Friday, November 28, 2008

New York Times' critics name favorite books of 2008

This year, rather than announce the 10 best books of the year -- typically five fiction and five non-fiction books -- the New York Times has done something different. Two of its reviewers, Janet Maslin and Michiko Kakutani, have each selected their 10 favorite books of the year.

Kakutani's selections include three I have read and one that is on my short-list. The three I have read are Louise Erdrich's The Plague of Doves, Lush Life by Richard Price and Netherland by Joseph O'Neill. The book on my short-list is Toni Morrison's A Mercy. I am surprised, but pleased by Kakutani's selection of Erdrich. She is a terrific, yet often overlooked, novelist. I liked Lush Life a lot, but did not care for Netherland.

Maslin's picks includes two books I have read -- The Given Day by Dennis Lehane and The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski. I liked Edgar Sawtelle a lot, but was lukewarm about The Given Day. Also on her list is 2666 by Roberto Bolano. That's on my short-list. And a book I plan to add to the short-list that Maslin enjoyed is When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson.

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