Where’d You Go, Bernadette was the best book I read this year. I can’t remember the last novel that elicited so much laughter from me; a remarkable accomplishment considering its dearth of sympathetic characters. This story of an affluent Seattle family who comes undone pokes fun at a rich array of upper-middle-class foibles, but it never crosses the line into pure satire. Even though we may not like the people we meet in the book, author Maria Semple makes us care about what happens to them.
And the runners-up: Stephen King’s Joyland and Lauren Beukes’ The Shining Girls. Joyland is a bittersweet ghost story that shows King writes best when he writes short. The Shining Girls is a time-travel story crossbred with a serial killer thriller and the result is pure narrative adrenaline.