New York Times Book ListsHence the lists that follow. The New York Times has three daily book critics. Because they review different titles, there can be no getting them into a room to vote on a single, unanimous Top 10 list. But for each there were favorites, and books that stood out from the crowd. In the lists below, we are happy to share them. Michiko Kakutani and Janet Maslin present their books roughly in order of preference.
NPR’s Book Concierge
Year-end "best of" lists are great for things like pop culture moments , celebrity snafus, or provocative photographs. But when it comes to a best-of list for books, you're not looking for cheap entertainment or nostalgia as you click through. You want to know what you should have been reading during those commutes you spent scrolling through Instagram or playing Candy Crush. A book is an investment, both of time and money. And while everyone—from blogging bibliophiles to The New York Times —is entitled to their opinion, the number of best-of lists out there and the variance among them has left us wondering just what books are worth bringing with us into the new year.
Szabo, who died in , first published her novel in , in the last years of Communist rule; this supple translation shows how a story about two women in 20th-century Hungary can resonate in a very different time and place. This revelatory collection gathers 43 of them, introducing her to a wider audience as an uncompromising and largehearted observer of life whose sympathies favor smart, mouthy women struggling to get by much as Berlin herself — an alcoholic who raised four sons on her own — frequently did. A divorced woman traveling in Greece, our narrator, talks — or rather listens — to the people she meets, absorbing their stories of love and loss, deception, pride and folly. Coates writes to his son with a cleareyed realism about the beautiful and terrible struggle that inheres in flesh and bone. If sugar was the defining commodity of the 18th century and oil of the 20th, then surely cotton was king in the 19th century. In this sweeping, ambitious and disturbing survey , Beckert takes us through every phase of a global industry that has relied on millions of miserably treated slaves, sharecroppers and millworkers to turn out its product.
Impressively, it is also a vastly entertaining feat of storytelling. Wry and devastating in equal measure, the novel is a cracked mirror that throws light in every direction — on music and literature; science and philosophy; marriage and motherhood and infidelity; and especially love and the grueling rigors of domestic life. In , the anthropologist Margaret Mead took a field trip to the Sepik River in New Guinea with her second husband; they met and collaborated with the man who would become her third. King has taken the known details of that actual event and created this exquisite novel, her fourth, about the rewards and disappointments of intellectual ambition and physical desire. The result is an intelligent, sensual tale told with a suitable mix of precision and heat. Deeply unnerving and gorgeously tender, the book chronicles how grief renders the parents unable to cherish and raise their other son; love, it suggests, becomes warped and jagged and even seemingly vanishes in the midst of mourning. In this brilliant debut story collection, Klay — a former Marine who served in Iraq — shows what happens when young, heavily armed Americans collide with a fractured and deeply foreign country few of them even remotely understand.
The New York Times Book Review editors have selected their 10 best books of , and the Library is pleased to have all of them one is on order right now in our collection. Our reference and collections managers Abigal Altman and Audrey Chapuis, with the assistance of retiree-turned-volunteer Simon Gallo, diligently and meticulously read through the many reviews of new books as part of their process of choosing which ones to add to our collection. Here is the list of the 10 best books of as selected by the New York Times the first 5 being fiction and the last 5 are non-fiction. Happy reading! Your email address will not be published. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Library Culture Picks: December 7 December
As the narrative suggests, nothing recovers from a bomb: not our humanity, not our politics, not even our faith. Propelled by a vision that is savage, brutal and relentless, McGuire relates the tale of an opium-addicted 19th-century Irish surgeon who encounters a vicious psychopath on board an Arctic-bound whaling ship. With grim, jagged lyricism, McGuire describes violence with unsparing color and even relish while suggesting a path forward for historical fiction. Picture a meeting between Joseph Conrad and Cormac McCarthy in some run-down port as they offer each other a long, sour nod of recognition. Inspired by the notebooks and reminiscences of his grandfather, a painter who served in the Belgian Army in World War I, Hertmans writes with an eloquence reminiscent of W. Sebald as he explores the places where narrative authority, invention and speculation flow together.