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.