1. A Lost Lady, by Willa Cather. A knockout, and oddly neglected these days.
2. The Dinner, by Herman Koch. It sold millions in Europe, but I don’t find snark about rich Dutch people that interesting.
3. Wave, by Sonali Deraniyagala. Smart reviewers love this memoir of a woman who lost her family in the tsunami, but it didn’t have enough structure to grab my attention.
4. John Stuart Mill, Autobiography and Bentham and Coleridge. Of course these are re-reads. Especially when read in conjunction, they are two of the best books on how to think, as well as gripping stories in their own right.
5. Amour, the new movie by Michael Haneke. I can’t review it without introducing spoilers, but it’s one of the two movies this year I have been recommending. The other is the Chilean film NO, a fantastic account of how, even in the strangest of circumstances, democracies filter policy outcomes, as indeed autocracies do too (in different ways).