Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Say it with me! But not too loudly.

I have a great word for you: Oaxaca! Say it with me! One more time! Okay, that's enough. Hey, be quiet and listen to me! I have something important to say!

So I just had 2 of the best Seattle dining experiences I've had, ever.

Last night my parents and I went to La Carta de Oaxaca in Ballard. Oh WOW. We had guacamole that was the second best I've ever had (I actually like the guacamole I make better, but that's because I put lots of stuff in it, which I like). It was totally silky and smooth and almost all avocado with some cilantro, and not very salty or spicy at all, but still very very good--sort of the platonic ideal of guacamole, or something. They have like 25 different tequilas for their margaritas (I had the, um, "house," which I think was a cheapish Sauza, and it tasted fine to me). I had the entomatadas--this really thin (but not chewy!) piece of beef, served with their homemade tortillas covered in red sauce and some queso. And it's cheap! Go, and bring me with you! (The only thing is that you'll maybe have to wait a long time for a table.)

Tonight we went to Brasa for their happy hour. On Monday through Friday, from 5-7 pm, everything on their bar menu is half price when you buy a drink. I can't express how good a deal this is. The food is absolutely delicious. I had the spinach salad (with BACON), the curried mussels, and we shared a side of frites. FRITES AND BACON! Oh, heaven. (They had something called "Spanish doughnuts" on the dessert menu but we were all too full. Next time! Because, seriously, bacon AND frites AND doughnuts...)

Monday, December 26, 2005

LOL-ing.

Now, everyone knows I dislike acronyms, especially LOL, but I found 2 new websites today that literally (and I mean that!) made me laugh out loud.

The Armchair Cook writes about Food Network-related stuff. I loooove the Food Network, and I love snarky comments, and this site combines those 2 things perfectly. Proof: the Twelve Days of Christmas and this post featuring hilarious Giada de Laurentiis screenshots and commentary.

And look at Cute Overload! Cute things in cute positions! How cute is that! (This one is my favorite.)

Christmas cook-y.

I cooked pretty much all day yesterday. Let me just say that this was the most ambitious and fantastic meal that I have ever planned. (My parents helped with the preparation but I found all of the recipes and planned everything.) I am so proud!

Our dinner: Caramelized red onion tart with parmesan and thyme. Salad with mixed greens, toasted walnuts, cherry tomatoes, goat cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette. Maple-roasted turkey with sage, smoked bacon, and cornbread stuffing. Oven-roasted green beans. And for dessert, a ginger pear upside-down cake.

The bacon on the turkey was the most delicious bacon I have ever eaten--it was crispy from an hour in the oven and sweet from the maple basting glaze for the turkey. And since I made a 12-lb. turkey for 3 people, there are a LOT of leftovers.

(If you want to see some blurry and out-of-focus [are those the same thing?] pictures of the food and my tree, here you go. [Finally, something in my Flickr account besides Kate-is-drunk-on-Halloween pictures!])

Friday, December 23, 2005

Trivia Night report, 12/21.

Third place, again. We did have 33 points this time, though. (The winning team had 37!) I feel like we should be very proud that we got 20 out of 20 on the last half.

AND I think I had 2 UAFs this week! I knew that the Earl of Sandwich invented the meal to eat during a marathon card game, and I knew that Stevie Wonder was the original artist to perform "Superstition." But there were also many many other answers that I didn't know, including an entire South Park category.

After trivia, I was somehow convinced to stay for karaoke, where I performed not one, not two, but THREE songs. And then we went to Beth's for late-night bacon. (Is there anything better than late-night bacon?)

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah everyone! (As well as happy any other holiday you might celebrate.)

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Embarrassing.

1. When you're at the self-checkout at the supermarket, and you accidentally pick the Spanish option. And then the machine starts speaking to you in Spanish, and you had 3 years of high school Spanish and 1 semester of college Spanish, but apparently you never learned self-checkout Spanish vocabulary. Plus you have your iPod on, so you can't hear very well. So then you have to ask someone working there how to turn off the Spanish. All while a line is forming behind you. (Moral: Stop listening to the iPod all the freaking time and pay attention to what you're doing.)

2. When you're eating dinner with your boyfriend's cousin and husband, and the cousin stops eating his mashed potatoes and pulls something out of his mouth and you realize it's one of your hairs. In the mashed potatoes that you made to go along with the roast pork loin with beer sauce. (Moral: Hairnet. And a phenomenal dessert with no hair ingredients.)

Monday, December 19, 2005

I put your face on her all year.

On Saturday night we went to see the Wrens at the KEXP Yule Benefit. There were a bunch of bands playing, but old lady that I am, I don't like standing for hours, so we got there late enough to see only the last 2 songs from Harvey Danger and the entire Okkervil River and Wrens sets. Okkervil River was good, but I thought the 3 songs I knew from listening to KEXP were the best of the bunch (here are two: "For Real" and "Black").

The Wrens were great. The Meadowlands is one of my top [insert small number] albums of all time. Most of the stuff they played on Saturday was from Meadowlands, with the exception of a cover of "Jingle Bells" to the tune of "Blister in the Sun" and a new song in which one of the Wrens (I think Kevin Whelan) called another Wren (I think Greg Whelan--they're brothers!) on his cell phone (on stage!) and Greg held his phone up to his guitar and Kevin sang into his phone and somehow Greg's guitar picked up Kevin's voice and sort of played it, half as vocals, half as guitar notes. [Edited to add: Josh got a picture of the cell phone thing. And DAMN it, I wish I had seen these posters for sale.]

The best thing about the Wrens is that both Whelan brothers work at Pfizer, and apparently back in the day one of them (Greg?) used to work with people from my company!

(Also, I've discovered that Nate is in looooooooove with DJ Michelle Myers [she MCed the concert]. But that's cool because John is my [not-so-] secret boyfriend.)

Friday, December 16, 2005

OH NO.

I know I am normally all glib and sarcastic here, talking about trivia nights and meat products, but this is totally serious and I am SO SO SO sad.

I just found out John Spencer (Leo McGarry from The West Wing) died today from a heart attack.

Oh no! I am really sad now.

Mmmeat.

Colin and I went to Salumi, epitome of meaty food deliciousness, for lunch today. I had the porchetta sandwich with provolone. It was SO good, although I suspect it might not be the...healthiest sandwich. It's pretty drippy--but dripping with nonfat liquid vitamins! And by "nonfat liquid vitamins," I mean "pork fat." But man, was that some tasty pork fat. (It's also a value-conscious sandwich. Almost 8 hours have elapsed since lunch, and I'm still not hungry. And for me, that's huge.)

So, FG, this is what awaits you if you renounce your vegetarianism! (Maybe you could start with a half sandwich.)

I feel like this link fits into the meat theme of this post: bacon brittle! (If anyone's still looking for a Christmas/Hanukkah gift for me...)

Trivia Night report, 12/14.

Well, we tied for third. (When I told Nate how we did, he said, "Doesn't that mean you came in fourth?" but I am choosing to ignore that. Third!)

The categories were actually pretty cool--there was a picture round with famous mugshots (we only missed Suge Knight's--we thought it was Stanley Williams, for timeliness and all), an Aesop's fables category, and a category about farm animals. My favorite category was one in which he played the B-side of a single and we had to identify the A-side. (This was hard--we only got 1 right--but it was still fun to think about. Did you know that "Jeremy" was the A-side to "Yellow Ledbetter?" [Of course, it would have helped if I could actually identify "Yellow Ledbetter." I confused it with "Elderly Woman..." Oops.])

I DID have a UAF this week, but it was no Lithuania. I knew that Paris Hilton was voted the Worst Dog Owner of 2005. So there you go: my team keeps me around for my legible handwriting (I fill in the answer sheet every week) and obscure-ish knowledge of reality television personalities. I guess it's better than nothing...

Monday, December 12, 2005

For your consumption (second in the series).

It's time for another read/cook post. But first, let me say that I had a pretty awesome weekend. First was karaoke on Friday. Then on Saturday, it was our Lolita book club where I got to break out my fancy literary epiphany and we had a surprisingly heated (but not in a bad way) debate about the book. THEN (after the book club ended around midnight) we went to Mr. Trivia and roommate's holiday party, where we admired the branches of government-themed Christmas tree (I liked the Supreme Court ornament the best) and drank gin and tonics out of Waterford crystal glasses. (By the way, giving me an expensive, breakable item is a bad idea, even in the soberest of situations.)

Sunday started with a delicious brunch, although there was an embarrassing moment when I got a little too excited about the squeezable jam packets on our table. (But they were really cool! Squeezable! So much nicer than those little rectangular tubs!)

Anyway. Here are some read/cook recommendations.

Read: Prep: A Novel.

So when I saw the cover of this book, I dismissed it as (probably bad) chick-lit. But then the NY Times picked it as one of the 10 Best Books of 2005. I am nothing if not a sheep-like follower of NYT recommendations, so I requested the book from the library. And you know what? It was great. I mean, it's not Nabokov or anything, but it's a quick read with great characters, an interesting plot, and incredibly believable dialogue.

I'm not sure if it was insomnia-induced reading, or reading-induced insomnia, but I read the entire book last Monday night (from about 11:30 PM to 5:00 AM Tuesday morning). In a lot of (rather uncomfortable) ways, the main character reminded me of me in high school--she's really self-conscious, insecure, and internal (like, she overanalyzes everything). Thank goodness I've changed so much, right? Right? Ahem.

As a disclaimer: it's not typical chick-lit, but I think the book might be more appealing to the girls out there.

Cook: Jamie Oliver's Chicken in Milk.

So this sounds really weird and disgusting. Lemon zest and milk? But it was fantastic. I am now convinced that Jamie knows his way around a chicken (see my lemon-butt chicken post). To go with the chicken, I made this baked brown rice pilaf. Soooo good. I'm normally pretty inept at making rice, but this recipe is foolproof. And the rice bakes at the same temperature as the chicken! Fate!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Trivia Night report, 12/7.

What a depressing Trivia Night. Not because of our performance--we got THIRTY SIX right. That's our best score ever. But another team got 38. Yup, only TWO wrong.

There were some good categories--Owen Wilson, Luke Wilson, or both; grammar; holiday music; communist Europe. And we even got 4 out of 5 in the Monday Night Football category!

Okay, so I am going to preface this by saying that my UAF was, once again, zero this week, so I'm clearly not the smartest person in the world, but there was a team that didn't know the subject of the sentence "Tom drinks delicious beer." Don't they teach grammar in schools anymore?

But yeah, zero. My team's wicked smart, though. Did you know that the Baltic Sea borders Lithuania? If you gave me 20 tries, I doubt I could pick out Lithuania on a map.

Tin roof, rusted.

We went to the infamous Bush Garden last night (karaoke EVERY DAY!) and I was convinced to perform not one, but TWO songs. First was "Faith," obviously, and second was a "Love Shack" duet with Colin.

That was fun.

(And if I commented on your blog in my, uh, impaired state at 2:30 AM, you should probably just ignore whatever I wrote. Drunk blog commenting: it's the new drunk dialing.)

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

2 things.

This site has such good deals on magazine subscriptions, I keep imagining scenarios of how they're going to screw me over. Are they selling my name and address? Stealing my credit card number? Whatever they do, I think it's worth it for their prices. Yesterday, I ordered Bon Appetit for $0.38 an issue, Self for $0.40 an issue, Rolling Stone for $0.11 an issue (even if they have nothing good in an entire issue: ELEVEN CENTS), and Runner's World for $0.25 an issue. I am REALLY tempted by the New Yorker, but I really doubt I'd read it every week, and then there'd just be big piles of magazines all over the apartment.

Have you guys heard that Black Eyed Peas song "My Humps"? It is a mind-bogglingly terrible song. (And I am not being all indie rock on you right now: I am speaking as the person who went to an *NSYNC concert unironically when I was in COLLEGE. [In my defense, the ticket was free...]) Anyway, you should read this article about the awfulness of the song. (I really like Hua Hsu, so I always read his stuff on Slate, but this is especially good.)

Friday, December 02, 2005

My first literary epiphany.

I've always loved to read. The old story is that my parents used to yell at me to stop reading and look out the window on our vacation car trips (Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks, New Mexico, Arizona, etc). I just wasn't interested in the scenery.

But I've always read more in terms of quantity than quality. I read very quickly, but getting through a lot of pages comes at the expense of retention--ask me what a book was about a few months (or weeks) after I've finished it, and I'm normally at a loss. Reading quickly helps in school--I've never not finished a book (I'm going to use "book" to imply something fictional here) for a class (high school or college). Granted, this wasn't too hard, because we didn't have THAT much to read in high school, and in college I usually took only one reading-intensive class per semester, and the rest of my course slots were filled with organic chemistry and differential equations. (Seriously, those 2 semesters of differential equations were probably the biggest waste of time in terms of when-will-I-use-this-in-real-life-terms. With orgo, I can read big chemical names on processed food packages and stuff, but differential equations?)

Plus, in college I normally took courses with "fun" reading instead of classes involving a lot of literary criticism--my very first semester at school I took a class called "Literary Animals" (we read literature written from animals' perspectives), and if I remember correctly, my final project involved reading a book about this horse and then taking an oral exam where the professor asked me questions and I had to respond from the point of view of the horse. (At this point, my parents are thinking, "we paid $30,000 a year for THIS?")

What I'm trying to say is that while I love to read, I'm not one of those people who can give you a cogent, insightful criticism of a book. So imagine my surprise when I was reading Lolita (I've read it twice before, but I'm rereading it for our December book club) and I came across a number of references Nabokov makes to another famous literary work. (I'm being deliberately vague here, because we haven't had our book club meeting yet, and some of the members might read this.) I was so happy! My first literary epiphany!

And then the next morning, I googled my discovery (don't click if you're in the book club and haven't finished the book!), and I found pages and pages of text written about this. Was I upset? Hell no! I don't care if this is something every high school kid learns in class. I discovered it by myself! I'm validated by published literary criticism!

Differential equations were nowhere near this exciting.

Kate's Book List (an [hopefully] ongoing exercise).

I've been wanting to do this for a while: keep a list of all of the books I read. I actually probably start a list once a year or so, but then I always forget to update it. I'm hoping that this forum will help me remember (I'll link to this post in the "Etc." section on the left). Also, if you've read something I have, I'd love to talk about it!

But feel free to ignore this. It's the ultimate in self-indulgence: blogging something just for myself, not something for myself thinly veiled as something for other people!

2005 (starting around Thanksgivingish)
Horse Heaven, by Jane Smiley
Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov
Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story, by Chuck Klosterman
Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise, by Ruth Reichl
Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen, by Julie Powell
Prep, by Curtis Sittenfeld
Appetites: Why Women Want, by Caroline Knapp
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America, by Erik Larson
Hard News: The Scandals at The New York Times and Their Meaning for American Media, by Seth Mnookin
Until I Find You, by John Irving

2006
Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Drinking: A Love Story, by Caroline Knapp
Black Dogs, by Ian McEwan
The Comfort of Strangers, by Ian McEwan
Enduring Love, by Ian McEwan
Brick Lane, by Monica Ali
The Line of Beauty, by Alan Hollinghurst
The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green, by Joshua Braff
Snow, by Orhan Pamuk
The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova
Atonement, by Ian McEwan
Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro
My Friend Leonard, by James Frey
The Wonder Spot, by Melissa Bank
The Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion
The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke, by Suze Orman
Arthur & George, by Julian Barnes
Self-Made Man: One Woman's Journey into Manhood and Back, by Norah Vincent
The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
Amsterdam, by Ian McEwan
Thank You for Smoking, by Christopher Buckley
Desirable Daughters, by Bharati Mukherjee
She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders, by Jennifer Finney Boylan
Kiki Strike, by Kirsten Miller
The History of Love, by Nicole Krauss
On Beauty, by Zadie Smith
Reasons to Live, by Amy Hempel
Heat, by Bill Buford
The Botany of Desire, by Michael Pollan
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, by Susanna Clarke
Hidden, by Paul Jaskunas
Rumspringa: To Be or Not to Be Amish, by Tom Shachtman
The Reach of a Chef: Beyond the Kitchen, by Michael Ruhlman
The Nasty Bits, by Anthony Bourdain
Two for the Road, by Jane and Michael Stern
Mostly True, by Molly O'Neill
American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
A Death in Belmont, by Sebastian Junger
Breakfast at Tiffany's, by Truman Capote
My Life in France, by Julia Child and Alex Prud'Homme
Elements of Style, by Wendy Wasserstein
Plain Truth, by Jodi Picoult
The United States of Arugula, by David Kamp
The Amateur Marriage, by Anne Tyler
The Virgin Blue, by Tracy Chevalier
A Little Love Story, by Roland Merullo
The Tummy Trilogy, by Calvin Trillin

2007
The Known World, by Edward P. Jones
Marie Antoinette, by Antonia Fraser
A Long Way Down, by Nick Hornby
The Holy Innocents, by Gilbert Adair
The Unconsoled, by Kazuo Ishiguro

Underworld, by Don DeLillo
Acts of Faith, by Philip Caputo
The Secret History, by Donna Tartt
The Feast of Love, by Charles Baxter
Gentlemen & Players, by Joanne Harris
Remembering Denny, by Calvin Trillin
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, by Anne Fadiman
As She Climbed Across the Table, by Jonathan Lethem
Complications, by Atul Gawande
The Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton
Let Us Eat Cake, by Sharon Boorstin
Better, by Atul Gawande
A Death in the Family, by James Agee
Special Topics in Calamity Physics, by Marisha Pessl
The Emperor's Children, by Claire Messud
Stuffed: Adventures of a Restaurant Family, by Patricia Volk
The Kitchen Diaries, by Nigel Slater
The Gospel of Food: Everything You Think You Know About Food is Wrong, by Barry Glassner
Talk Talk, by T.C. Boyle
IV: A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas, by Chuck Klosterman
What to Eat, by Marion Nestle
A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini
Hollywood, by Gore Vidal
What I Loved, by Siri Hustvedt
The Corrections, by Jonathan Franzen
About Alice, by Calvin Trillin
Foolscap: Or, the Stages of Love, by Michael Malone
Intuition, by Allegra Goodman
Good Faith, by Jane Smiley
Sudden Rain, by Maritta Wolff
The Inheritance of Loss, by Kiran Desai
The Ghost at the Table, by Suzanne Berne
My Dream of You, by Nuala O'Faolain
Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert
The History Boys, by Alan Bennett
The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, by Barbara Kingsolver
On Chesil Beach, by Ian McEwan
The Night Climbers, by Ivo Stourton
Falling Man, by Don DeLillo
The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, by Michael Chabon
Real Food, by Nina Planck
The Abstinence Teacher, by Tom Perrotta
Bridge of Sighs, by Richard Russo
Run, by Ann Patchett
Call Me By Your Name, by Andre Aciman
Home Cooking, by Laurie Colwin
After This, by Alice McDermott
Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoevsky
The End of the Alphabet, by C.S. Richardson
Household Words, by Joan Silber

2008
Maynard & Jennica, by Rudolph Delson
The Spell, by Alan Hollinghurst
Songs Without Words, by Ann Packer
The Indian Clerk, by David Leavitt
The Swimming-Pool Library, by Alan Hollinghurst
Charming Billy, by Alice McDermott
At Weddings and Wakes, by Alice McDermott
How Doctors Think, by Jerome Groopman
Service Included, by Phoebe Damrosch
Gifted, by Nikita Lalwani
Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen
The Gathering, by Anne Enright
The Rest of Her Life, by Laura Moriarty
Matrimony, by Joshua Henkin
The Gravedigger's Daughter, by Joyce Carol Oates
What the Dead Know, by Laura Lippman
Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream, by Barbara Ehrenreich
Brookland, by Emily Barton
The Secret River, by Kate Grenville
The Beautiful Cigar Girl, by Daniel Stashower
The Great Man, by Kate Christensen
The House of Mirth, by Edith Wharton
Thunderstruck, by Erik Larson
Then We Came to the End, by Joshua Ferris
The Bad Girl, by Mario Vargas Llosa
The Interpretation of Murder, by Jed Rubenfeld
The Wife, by Meg Wolitzer
In Defense of Food, by Michael Pollan
The Epicure's Lament, by Kate Christensen
The Position, by Meg Wolitzer
People of the Book, by Geraldine Brooks
The Beauty Myth, by Naomi Wolf
Free Food for Millionaires, by Min Jin Lee
The Group, by Mary McCarthy
Friends for Life, by Meg Wolitzer
Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, by Anne Tyler
Laughing Without an Accent, by Firoozeh Dumas
Blood Kin, by Ceridwen Dovey
Health Food Junkies, by Steven Bratman
The Sorrows of an American, by Siri Hustvedt
March, by Geraldine Brooks
The Ten-Year Nap, by Meg Wolitzer
The Devil in the White City (again - it's great!), by Erik Larson
Divisadero, by Michael Ondaatje
Every Secret Thing, by Laura Lippman
By A Spider's Thread, by Laura Lippman
Year of Wonders, by Geraldine Brooks
The Man of My Dreams, by Curtis Sittenfeld
In the Time of the Butterflies, by Julia Alvarez
Spending, by Mary Gordon
The Groves of Academe, by Mary McCarthy
Run, by Ann Patchett (again)
American Wife, by Curtis Sittenfeld
Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream: A Day in the Life of Your Body, by Jennifer Ackerman
All the Sad Young Literary Men, by Keith Gessen
Absurdistan, by Gary Shteyngart
Unaccustomed Earth, by Jhumpa Lahiri
Lucky Us, by Joan Silber
A Simple Plan, by Scott Smith
In a Strange City, by Laura Lippman
To the Power of Three, by Laura Lippman
The Fourth Hand, by John Irving
A Whistling Woman, by A.S. Byatt

2009
Climbing the Mango Trees, by Madhur Jaffrey
Pope Joan, by Donna Woolfolk Cross
Revolutionary Road, by Richard Yates
The Hour I First Believed, by Wally Lamb
Engleby, by Sebastian Faulks
Olive Kitteridge, by Elizabeth Strout
Family Happiness, by Laurie Colwin
I See You Everywhere, by Julia Glass
Wonder Boys, by Michael Chabon
A Homemade Life, by Molly Wizenberg
Passionate Minds, by David Bodanis
Loving Frank, by Nancy Horan
The Post-Birthday World, by Lionel Shriver
Another Marvelous Thing, by Laurie Colwin
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson
Candy Girl, by Diablo Cody (pls don't read this, I beg you)
Birdsong, by Sebastian Faulks
The Talented Mr. Ripley, by Patricia Highsmith
The Girl at the Lion d'Or, by Sebastian Faulks
Ripley Under Ground, by Patricia Highsmith
Ripley's Game, by Patricia Highsmith
A Fraction of the Whole, by Steve Toltz
A Fortunate Age, by Joanna Smith Rakoff
Admission, by Jean Hanff Korelitz
Commencement, by J. Courtney Sullivan
The Girl Who Played with Fire, by Steig Larsson
The Easter Parade, by Richard Yates
Falling Angels, by Tracy Chevalier
The Whole World Over, by Julia Glass
Flesh and Blood, by Michael Cunningham
The Dissident, by Nell Freudenberger
Nineteen Minutes, by Jodi Picoult
Memorial, by Bruce Wagner
The Falls, by Joyce Carol Oates
Stone's Fall, by Iain Pears
Gossip of the Starlings, by Nina de Gramont
Born Round, by Frank Bruni
An Instance of the Fingerpost, by Iain Pears
What Happened to Anna K., by Irina Reyn
Digging to America, by Anne Tyler
The Reach of a Chef, by Michael Ruhlman
Waiting, by Debra Ginsberg
Freakonomics, by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
Without a Backward Glance, by Kate Veitch
Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy

2010
Trouble, by Kate Christensen
Await Your Reply, by Dan Chaon
Second Chance, by Jane Green
Beginner's Greek, by James Collins
Housekeeping, by Marilynne Robinson
The Ginger Tree, by Oswald Wynd
A Friend of the Family, by Lauren Grodstein
The Angel's Game, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The American Painter Emma Dial, by Samantha Peale
Brooklyn, by Colm Toibin
A Reliable Wife, by Robert Goolrick
Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel
Her Fearful Symmetry, by Audrey Niffenegger
Let the Great World Spin, by Colum McCann
Family Album, by Penelope Lively
I Was Told There'd Be Cake, by Sloane Crosley
The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak
Juliet, Naked, by Nick Hornby
The Man Who Loved Books Too Much, by Allison Hoover Bartlett
We Need to Talk About Kevin, by Lionel Shriver
Spoon Fed, by Kim Severson
Housekeeping vs. the Dirt, by Nick Hornby
So Much for That, by Lionel Shriver
Family Matters, by Rohinton Mistry
As Meat Loves Salt, by Maria McCann
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, by Stieg Larsson
Game Control, by Lionel Shriver
If You Follow Me, by Malena Watrous
Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell
Black Cross, by Greg Iles
Shine On, Bright and Dangerous Object, by Laurie Colwin
Double Fault, by Lionel Shriver
Solar, by Ian McEwan
The Heights, by Peter Hedges
Dear Strangers, by Meg Mullins
Away, by Amy Bloom
Invisible, by Paul Auster
And the Heart Says Whatever, by Emily Gould
The Privileges, by Jonathan Dee
Palace Council, by Stephen L. Carter
The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
Freedom, by Jonathan Franzen
One Day, by David Nicholls
Family Happiness, by Laurie Colwin
By Nightfall, by Michael Cunningham
Red Hook Road, by Ayelet Waldman

2011
Strangers at the Feast, by Jennifer Vanderbes
Private Life, by Jane Smiley
So Long, See You Tomorrow, by William Maxwell
The Pleasing Hour, by Lily King
The Help, by Kathryn Stockett
A Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan
Medium Raw, by Anthony Bourdain
My Hollywood, by Mona Simpson
The Nine, by Jeffrey Toobin
The Cookbook Collector, by Allegra Goodman
Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins
Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins
Foreign Bodies, by Cynthia Ozick
The Hand that First Held Mine, by Maggie O'Farrell
The Uncoupling, by Meg Wolitzer
The Fallen Angel, by David Hewson
The Imperfectionists, by Tom Rachman
A Plea for Eros, by Siri Hustvedt
The Love of My Youth, by Mary Gordon
Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand
State of Wonder, by Ann Patchett
In the Garden of Beasts, by Erik Larson
WAR, by Sebastian Junger
Last Night in Montreal, by Emily St. John Mandel
The View from Saturday, by E.l. Konigsburg
So Much Pretty, by Cara Hoffman
Tell No One, by Harlan Coben
Three Stages of Amazement, by Carol Edgarian
The Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett
The Summer Without Men, by Siri Hustvedt
Every Last One, by Anna Quindlen
A Dangerous Fortune, by Ken Follett
Nothing to Envy, by Barbara Demick
Eye of the Needle, by Ken Follett
Bound, by Antonya Nelson
Ten Thousand Saints, by Eleanor Henderson
The Marriage Plot, by Jeffrey Eugenides
The Key to Rebecca, by Ken Follett

2012
A Place Called Freedom, by Ken Follett
The Soldier's Wife, by Margaret Leroy
This Beautiful Life, by Helen Schulman
After You'd Gone, by Maggie O'Farrell
The Stranger's Child, by Alan Hollinghurst
The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach
The Weird Sisters, by Eleanor Brown
No Cheating, No Dying, by Elizabeth Weil
Heft, by Liz Moore
Husband and Wife, by Leah Stewart
Behind the Scenes at the Museum, by Kate Atkinson
The Sense of an Ending, by Julian Barnes
The Descendants, by Kaui Hart Hemmings
The Social Animal, by David Brooks
11/22/63, by Stephen King
Matterhorn, by Karl Marlantes
Plan B, by Jonathan Tropper
Habibi, by Craig Thompson
The Winds of War, by Herman Wouk
How to Cook Like a Man, by Daniel Duane
War and Remembrance, by Herman Wouk
The Submission, by Amy Waldman
Columbine, by Dave Cullen
The Sisters, by Nancy Jensen
The Crown, by Nancy Bilyeau
Bring Up the Bodies, by Hilary Mantel
Case Histories, by Kate Atkinson
The Leopard, by Jo Nesbo
The Forgotten Garden, by Kate Morton
The Redbreast, by Jo Nesbo
Maine, by J. Courtney Sullivan
A Shot in the Heart, by Mikal Gilmore
Capital, by John Lanchester
Caleb's Crossing, by Geraldine Brooks
In the Woods, by Tana French
Nemesis, by Jo Nesbo
In One Person, by John Irving
One Good Turn, by Kate Atkinson
Headhunters, by Jo Nesbo

This Is Where I Leave You, by Jonathan Tropper
The World to Come, by Dara Horn
When Will There Be Good News?, by Kate Atkinson
The Paris Wife, by Paula McLain 
Wild, by Cheryl Strayed 
The Information Officer, by Mark Mills
Restoration, by Olaf Olaffson
Following Foo, by BD Wong 
Why Have Kids?, by Jessica Valenti 
Gone Girl, by Caitlin Flynn
The Likeness, by Tana French 
Alias Grace, by Margaret Atwood

2013
Faithful Place, by Tana French 
Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg
The Wife, by Meg Wolitzer
Beautiful Ruins, by Jess Walter 
Dark Places, by Gillian Flynn
Where'd You Go, Bernadette, by Maria Semple

The Cranes Dance, by Meg Howrey 
The Yonahlosee Riding Camp for Girls, by Anton DiSclafani
The Middlesteins, by Jami Attenberg 
Sharp Objects, by Gillian Flynn 
The Art Forger, by B.A. Shapiro
The Casual Vacancy, by J.K. Rowling

A Dual Inheritance, by Joanna Hershon
The Interestings, by Meg Wolitzer 
Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson
The Mothers, by Jennifer Gilmore 
The Spoiler, by Annalena McAfee 
The Dinner, by Herman Koch 
Poor Man's Feast, by Elissa Altman
TransAtlantic, by Colum McCann
All That Is, by James Salter 
The Woman Upstairs, by Claire Messud
The Signature of All Things, by Elizabeth Gilbert
The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt

2014
Perfect Reader, by Maggie Pouncey
After Visiting Friends, by Michael Hainey
Far from the Tree, by Andrew Solomon
Perfect Family, by Pam Lewis
Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief, by Lawrence Wright
The Husband's Secret, by Liane Moriarty
Lies You Wanted to Hear, by James Whitfield Thomson
Rules of Civility, by Amor Towles
Sycamore Row, by John Grisham
Overwhelmed, by Brigid Shulte
The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress, by Ariel Lawhon
Elsewhere, California, by Dana Johnson
The Blazing World, by Siri Hustvedt
Astonish Me, by Maggie Shipstead
The Vacationers, by Emma Straub
Clever Girl, by Tessa Hadley
The Children Act, by Ian McEwan
Sweet Tooth, by Ian McEwan
The Innocent, by Ian McEwan
Defending Jacob, by William Landay
Beyond Black, by Hilary Mantel
Life Drawing, by Robin Black

2015
The Starboard Sea, by Amber Dermont
The Boys in the Boat, by Daniel Brown
Us, by David Nicholls
Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel
The Secret Place, by Tana French
The Confidence Code, by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman
The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., by Adelle Waldman
I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You, by Courtney Maum
Light Years, by James Salter
The Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller
Seating Arrangements, by Maggie Shipstead
Dead Wake, by Erik Larson
The Prince of Tides, by Pat Conroy
I Didn't Come Here to Make Friends, by Courtney Robinson
All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr
The Paying Guests, by Sarah Waters
Expecting Better, by Emily Oster
Delancey, by Molly Wizenberg
The Cuckoo's Calling, by Robert Galbraith
Midnight in Europe, by Alan Furst
Bring Up the Bodies, by Hilary Mantel
The Other Boleyn Girl, by Philippa Gregory
Unbecoming, by Rebecca Scherm
Someone, by Alice McDermott
The Astral, by Kate Christensen
Big Little Lies, by Liane Moriarty
Missoula, by Jon Krakauer
Blue Plate Special, by Kate Christensen
You, by Caroline Kepnes
After Birth, by Elisa Albert
Migratory Animals, by Mary Helen Specht
The Half Brother, by Holly LeCraw
The Accident, by Chris Pavone
We Are Not Ourselves, by Matthew Thomas
The Expats, by Chris Pavone
A God in Ruins, by Kate Atkinson
The Days of Abandonment, by Elena Ferrante
Restless, by William Boyd
Everything I Never Told You, by Celeste Ng
The Narrow Road to the Deep North, by Richard Flanagan
The Children's Crusade, by Ann Packer
The Whites, by Richard Price
The Girls from Corona del Mar, by Rufi Thorpe
The Book of You, by Claire Kendal
Until You're Mine, by Samantha Hayes
Smilla's Sense of Snow, by Peter Hoeg
Hausfrau, by Jill Alexander Essbaum
The Northern Clemency, by Philip Hensher
Fall of Giants, by Ken Follett
Remember Me Like This, by Bret Anthony Johnston
One of Us, by Asne Seierstad
A Big Storm Knocked It Over, by Laurie Colwin
Flat Water Tuesday, by Ron Irwin
Among the Ten Thousand Things, by Julia Pierpont
Villa America, by Liza Klaussmann
Goodbye Without Leaving, by Laurie Colwin
Circling the Sun, by Paula McLain
A Little Life, by Hanya Yanagihara
Bradstreet Gate, by Robin Kirman

2016
The Wisdom of Perversity, by Rafael Yglesias
Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget, by Sarah Hepola
Bull Mountain, by Brian Panowich
Fates and Furies, by Lauren Groff
Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Argonauts, by Maggie Nelson
The Taming of the Queen, by Philippa Gregory
Find A Way, by Diana Nyad
Wideacre, by Philippa Gregory
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, by Karen Joy Fowler
The Improbability of Love, by Hannah Rothschild
Leaving the Atocha Station, by Ben Lerner
10:04, by Ben Lerner
The Rocks, by Peter Nichols
Necessary Errors, by Caleb Crain
Dept. of Speculation, by Jenny Offill
Broken Harbor, by Tana French
The Expatriates, by Janice YK Lee
City on Fire, by Garth Risk Hallberg
The Engagements, by J. Courtney Sullivan
Night Film, by Marisha Pessl
My Name is Lucy Barton, by Elizabeth Strout
Arcadia, by Lauren Groff
Before the Wind, by Jim Lynch
Half of a Yellow Sun, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Sweetbitter, by Stephanie Danler
Ladivine, by Marie NDiaye
Everyone Brave is Forgiven, by Chris Cleave
Eligible, by Curtis Sittenfeld
And After the Fire, by Lauren Belfer
The Trespasser, by Tana French

2017
Commonwealth, by Ann Patchett
Another Brooklyn, by Jacqueline Woodson
The Hopefuls, by Jennifer Close
The Last Painting of Sara de Vos, by Dominic Smith
The Course of Love, by Alain de Botton
Hillbilly Elegy, by JD Vance
Bring up the Bodies, by Hilary Mantel
Small Great Things, by Jodi Picoult
Imagine Me Gone, by Adam Haslett
Shrill, by Lindy West
What Alice Forgot, by Liane Moriarty
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, by Patrick Lencioni
Truly Madly Guilty, by Liane Moriarty
The Snow Child, by Eowyn Ivey
Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi
Swing Time, by Zadie Smith
Modern Lovers, by Emma Straub