Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Books of the Year
Once again, fimoculous has compiled all of the best-of lists he could find. If you know of others, please e-mail him.

Among fiction, these are the works most frequently mentioned.

The Accidental by Ali Smith

On Beauty by Zadie Smith

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Arthur & George by Julian Barnes

Saturday by Ian McEwan

Lunar Park by Bret Easton Ellis

We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

The Sea by John Banville

Shalimar the Clown by Salman Rushdie

The March by E.L. Doctorow

I'm glad that Ali Smith is here and it's good to see Rushdie revived. (Incidentally, this blog was -- according to my research-- the website that broke the news about Shalimar. Thank you, Emory, for inviting him to Atlanta.) Lunar Park and Kafka on the Shore are the ones I'm most looking forward to reading because I haven't read those authors before.

Among the non-fiction crowd we have:

Mao: The Unknown Story. By Jung Chang and Jon Halliday

1776, by David McCullough

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond

The Assassin's Gate: America in Iraq by George Packer

1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann

As crookedtimberites pointed out earlier, the weakness of the Packer book is that it devotes almost no space to war opposers, of both the pacifist and the anti-this-war-now types.

Finally, here are a couple that seem fascinating but didn't make more than a couple of shortlists:
Tulia: Race, Cocaine and Corruption in a Small Texas Town by Nate Blakeslee

Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel by Jane Smiley

UPDATE (1/23): Moved Doctorow's The March from non-fiction to fiction.

2 Comments:

Blogger Ashutosh said...

I have read '1776' and found it excellent, if you are interested in that kind of a thing. Have heard a lot about 'Collapse' and want to read it this year. Diamond's other book, 'Guns, Germs, and Steel', also makes for engrossing reading.

10:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OOPs! A correction: The March by E. L. Doctorow is a novel, not non-fiction...

4:35 PM  

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