Yardley: Favorites from
A Lifetime of Reading

Yardley, Critic

Many are assessing their favorite books of the year right now, but imagine summing up your favorites from an entire lifetime?

Jonathan Yardley, long-time Washington Post book critic takes on that task in his final, farewell column before retiring.

Only one of the total of 30 titles was published this year, Ward Just’s American Romantic (HMG), which Yardley counts as “perhaps his best, though the competition is fierce” (he also lists Just’s 1990 novel, The Congressman Who Loved Flaubert).

In nonfiction, one author gets three mentions, Rick Atkinson for his “magisterial World War II trilogy,” An Army at Dawn, (Macmillan/Holt, 2002), The Day of Battle, (Macmillan/Holt, 2007) and The Guns at Last Light (Macmillan/Holt, 2013),

In a separate column, Yardley looks back on his career with the Washington Post.(many of you will recognize the headshot, above, that once ran above his column), and resolves to “make one last attempt to read Ulysses, the gargantuan novel by James Joyce that was admitted to this country by my great-great uncle, federal Judge John Woolsey, whose famous opinion authorizing its admission I regard as considerably more engaging, witty and intelligible than the novel itself.”

A critic to the end!

Comments are closed.