Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Hypothetical Book Championship Belt

For the past couple of years I have read a lot of books, and I have used this blog to detail the best books I read every couple of months and then the best of the year.  In lieu of that, I have decided this year to hand out a hypothetical book championship belt.  Inspired by the "Hypothetical NBA Championship Belt" I will keep the belt with the best fiction and non-fiction books I read this year.  Only one question remains, which books are currently holding the belt? 

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green - For nearly two years I avoided reading this book mostly because I was too scared.  It is a book about two teens who are star crossed lovers, who also happen to have terminal cancer.  Not exactly a cheery premise but, after hearing nothing but praise for a very long time, I finally gave it a shot.  All I can say is it justifies the high praise; it is beautifully written, thought provoking and a passionate book that celebrates all the life to be lived.  Truly Green has written a book that juggles a tricky act near the line of life and death, and he pulls it off in spectacular fashion.  Worthwhile of the belt and a strong contender to hold it for some time.

Spillover by David Quammen - I am highly fascinated by two topics: astronauts and highly infectious diseases.  One of my pantheon books is Richard Preston's The Hot Zone about Ebola.  Quammen's book examines the zoonotic origins of many diseases and pandemics we are facing today (Ebola, AIDs etc).  While you might expect a heavy dose of science this is instead a fast paced, thrilling and genuinely enlightening read about diseases and their intriguing origins.  At times this is a terrifying book, at others a brilliant look at a world waiting, always, at the edges of our own and threatening, forever to crash in. 

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