Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Best Books of 2006 according to The New York Times

The New York Times has posted its list of the Top Ten Books of 2006. I am very glad to see that Michael Pollans Book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, is one of the non-fiction books on the list. I thought this was a radicalizing, change-your life, kind of book written in a most interesting manner, and obviously thousands of others agree. The book was a bestseller for months. I think it may even win Pollan the Pulitzer Prize.

It’s actually an intriguing list. They named Marisha Pessl’s book, Special Topics in Calamity Physics, as one of the best fiction books. (This was one of the books I took out of the library, read the first 100 pages, and returned. The first chapter was captivating, but I couldn’t get into the rest. I also had more pressing work-related books to read and the due date loomed faster than I expected.) This is a first time novelist, a very lovely young woman, and while she is a fine writer I think the choice is not evident. I don’t agree with the selection but it is refreshing to have younger writers represented.

I haven’t read any of the other books, although I have The Looming Tower out from the library and it was due yesterday. Another missed opportunity.

But I definitely will make a point to try and get to these other books. The New York Times imprimatur counts for everything in a certain part of the reading world. It’s definitely how I select gift books. Many lit bloggers hate the Times book review and its selections and its reviewers, but I am not one of those.

Here's what Danielle Trussoini wrote on MySpace when she found out her book was named one of the Top Ten books of the year:

"I am a bit tipsy on champange as I write this (so please forgive the slurs and egregiously incorrect spelling) but I have recently learned that my book has been named one of the best ten books of 2006 by the New York Times Book Review! Am I dreaming?"

If you want to read dissenting views, definitely check out Ed Champion’s take on the book review.

The New Tork Times Top Ten Books of 2006:

Absurdistan, by Gary Shteyngart
The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel
The Emperor's Children, by Claire Messud
The Lay of the Land, by Richard Ford
Special Topics in Calamity Physics, by Marisha Pessl
Falling Through the Earth, by Danielle Trussoni
The Looming Tower, by Lawrence Wright
Mayflower, by Nathaniel Philbrick
The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan
The Places In Between, by Rory Stewart

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