NPR Choice pageJonathan Franzen's Freedom Fourth Estate was head and shoulders above any other book this year: moving, funny, and unexpectedly beautiful. I missed it when it was over. Stephen Sondheim's Finishing the Hat Virgin was like its author: fascinating, precise, opinionated, brilliant. Never has anyone made me feel so close to the terrifying and occasionally exhilarating insanity that is stand-up comedy. I enjoyed — if that can be the word — The Big Short by Michael Lewis Allen Lane , an account of how a group of people contrived to bring the banking system to its knees, to take much of your money and many of your jobs, to condemn your children to a life of debt — and got away unpunished, with millions in their own back pockets.
The 10 Best Books of 2010
This year we took our annual slugfest to the pub underneath our new office and came up with a list of the year's top books that could be our best ever. It wasn't any easier with a drink in hand to pick, and agree upon, the best books of , but we did it. And, as a magazine that's published continuously since and reviews over 7, books a year, we had a lot to consider. The women are back Before the full list hits in Monday's issue, here's a peek at our top So who made the cut?
As we say each December, trying to keep up with every book released in a year is like trying to drink from a firehose, especially since books tend to be far more niche-y and audience-specific than films, and require a greater time commitment than music. The emerging sense of threat makes this book a compelling experience: On the one hand, these pockets of tradition are threatened by modern Western ways that marginalize events like multi-night storytelling sessions centered on a complex sacred picture. If they disappear, he implies, India—and the world—will be poorer and less welcoming. Valente Tucked between her triumph Palimpsest —a kaleidoscopic fantasy about a sexually transmitted city—and her upcoming Stalinist folktale Deathless , Catherynne M. As advertised, Habitation exhumes the medieval legend of Prester John, the apocryphal shepherd of a lost Christian tribe in the Orient.
As these 48 stories published in The New Yorker from through demonstrate, Beattie, even as she chronicled and satirized her posts generation, also became its defining voice. Donoghue has created one of the pure triumphs of recent fiction: an ebullient child narrator, held captive with his mother in an byfoot room, through whom we encounter the blurry, often complicated space between closeness and autonomy. In a narrative at once delicate and vigorous — rich in psychological, sociological and political meaning — Donoghue reveals how joy and terror often dwell side by side. Neither modernist nor antique, his stories are timeless. Alfred A. Ranging across some 40 years and inhabiting 13 different characters, each with his own story and perspective, Egan makes these disparate parts cohere into an artful whole, irradiated by a Proustian feel for loss, regret and the ravages of love.
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