I was absorbed in 2014 by true crime. Like everybody else, I was completely addicted to Sarah Koenig's impressive investigative reporting of a murder case on season one of This American Life's offshoot podcast, Serial. I was also really impressed by a nuanced feature article in New York by Hanna Rosin called "By Noon They'd Both be Dead," about a mother's failed attempt to murder her teenage daughter, who has autism. That essay dared to ask tough questions about the physical, psychological, emotional and financial toll of autism upon the mothers of autistic children. I recently stopped writing a novel about a similar case because it was just too difficult for me to really go there. I was glad to see someone else had.
I have been trying to find a link within the books that I loved this year. There's nothing overt in subject or voice, but in retrospect, I think I gravitated toward books that forced me to slow down. This might be (is) grand bathroom psychologizing, but I think this has something to do with the fact that 2014 has been my most prolific year of online reading to date. Many of the most memorable pieces that I've encountered have been delivered to me on a scroll, already couched in other peoples' comments. I read them greedily so that I could join whatever conversation they sparked, or feel that particular satisfaction of telling someone else that there is a new piece that they simply must read, like now.