Thursday, December 23, 2004

Best of the Best
Last year I made a rough, unscientific list of the best of the best books of the year. I had another look at the lists this year and my unscientific methodology produced this list of non-fiction books of 2004 that made it to several best-of lists. In descending order of popularity they are:

Chronicles: Volume One, Bob Dylan

Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib, Seymour Hersh

Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare, Stephen Greenblatt

What's the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America, Thomas Frank

Alexander Hamilton, Ron Chernow

Arc of Justice: A Story of Race Riots, Civil Rights, and Murder in Jazz Age America, Kevin Boyle

The Working Poor: Invisible in America, David K. Shipler

Against All Enemies, Richard Clarke

American Brutus: John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln Conspiracies, Michael W. Kauffman

Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001, Steve Coll

American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush, Kevin Phillips

De Kooning: An American Master, Mark Stevens and Annalyn Swan

The Fall of Baghdad, Jon Lee Anderson

Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found, Suketu Mehta

America (the Book), Jon Stewart

Galleycat has already compiled a list of the best of the best fiction, which is topped by these books:

The Plot Against America: A Novel, Philip Roth 23

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke 20

The Master, Colm Toibin 17

The Line of Beauty, Alan Hollinghurst 16

Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell 14

Gilead, Marilynne Robinson 12

Snow, Orhan Pamuk 12

Runaway: Stories, Alice Munro 11

Aloft, Chang-rae Lee 10


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