Saturday, December 10, 2016

Books of the Year

The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other publications have been in "book of the year" mode this week.  What is somewhat odd to see from this perspective is that fiction is completely overshadowed by non-fiction.  Really well done literate fiction is preferred here, but nothing stands out at the moment even as all of the lists are read.  There must be something being missed here.  Non-fiction is well represented by books that are entertaining, informative, or influential enough to be required.

Among those non-fiction highlights are "Evicted"(uncontested exceptional), "The Fractured Republic"(thoughtful for the most part), "Shoe Dog"(entertaining business story with interesting characters),  "Hillbilly Elegy"(both thought provoking and self serving but necessary to read given attention paid to it by so many), and "Dark Money"(as unfortunately expected, but well delivered).  Some of the broader fiction lists include "The Noise of Time", "The Sympathizer",  "White Sands", "Nutshell", and "All That Man Is", books read here with interest, but none of these knocked my socks off, so to speak.  A great fiction book of 2016 seems to be missing. There is not even a genre book that did the job completely.

Are these observations at all widely held?  Time will tell.


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