I came across many good books this year. And it's not even over yet! I've read 26 until this point. Some of the highlights were:
CHARLOTTE STREET by Danny Wallace
ENGLAND, ENGLAND by Julian Barnes
WINTER JOURNAL by Paul Auster
MACBETH by Shakespeare
PULPHEAD by John Jeremiah Sullivan
FREEDOM by Jonathan Franzen
BRIEF INTERVIEWS WITH HIDEOUS MEN by David Foster Wallace
ATONEMENT by Ian McEwan
MR. VERTIGO by Paul Auster
TEA PARTY by German author and journalist Eva C. Schweitzer
CHRONIC CITY by Jonathan Lethem
and DIE VIERTE HAND (the German translation of THE FOURTH HAND) by John Irving
12 incredibly good books out of 26, that's not bad at all. Some are funny (Charlotte Street), some are ernest (Macbeth, Atonement), some are informative (Pulphead, Tea Party), some are set in Britain (Charlotte Street, England, England, Macbeth, Atonement), some in the US (Winter Journal, Pulphead, Freedom, Brief Interviews with hideous Men, Mr. Vertigo, Tea Party, Chronic City, The Fourth Hand), some are innovative (England, England, Brief Interviews with hideous Men, Atonement) and some had an emotional impact on me (Charlotte Street, Winter Journal, Pulphead, Freedom, Atonement, Mr. Vertigo, Chronic City, The Fourth Hand).
(At this point I send a mental thank you to my local library which allows students to borrow books for free. I got half of the books on my highlight list there.)
Currently, I am reading NW by Zadie Smith which is pretty good so far. Afterwards I will try to work off the unread books still standing on my bookshelf (I am looking at you, Joyce and Proust). Let's see how many I can add to the current 26 until the end of the year.