1. The Kindly Ones. Jonathan Littel is an American who adopted the French language to write this massive novel on the experience of a rising star in the SS during the Second World War.  I found that the detailed descriptions of torture and sodomy don’t work well in the English translation.  On the other hand Littel’s French seems forced so I opted for the Japanese translation which kept my attention through page 467.
  2. The World According to Mr. Rogers:  Important Things to Remember. Ostensibly a memoir of a man who raised a generation’s children via television, but you can read this book as an intellectual history of the golden age of falsetto puppetry.
  3. Working with Power Tools (New Best of Fine Woodworking.) Among a handful of the best technical manuals specifically covering portable power tools I have read all year.   There is something good on every page and this is now my standard reference on the rotary lathe.
  4. The Alex Studies: Communicative and Cognitive Abilities of Grey Parrots.  Irene Pepperberg’s seminal masterwork.  Perhaps the vegetarian’s most compelling case against persuadable carnivores – requires extrapolation from parrots to other species.
  5. Michael Jackson’s Complete Guide to Single Malt Scotch. Indispensable for the moon-walking sophisticate.  Intriguing chapter on how wearing a glove challenges the tastebuds.
  6. Return to the Hundred Acre Woods.  The wisdom of Christopher Robin and Owl for a new generation.  Even Yana was transported to a kinder world.