Friday, November 25, 2005

With the holiday season also comes that time of year when various publications and other entities start putting out their "Best Of" lists. This year, I thought I might tabulate the best books of the year according to the number of lists on which they appear. It at least provides a slight guideline to the fiction and non-fiction that is considered top-notch by a variety of sources. In order to appear on my list below, a book must have appeared on at least two lists. I'll start today with a fiction list, which I'll update every Friday until people stop doing 2005 lists. I'll do the same with non-fiction books, but I'll cover those on Mondays.

And so, without further ado, here are the fiction works of 2005 that are thus far catching the eyes of critics and other readers.

1. (tie) The March, by E.L. Doctorow
1. (tie) Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro
3. (tie) On Beauty, by Zadie Smith
3. (tie) Saturday, by Ian McEwan
3. (tie) Veronica, by Mary Gaitskill
6. (tie) Beyond Black, by Hilary Mantel
6. (tie) Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, by J.K. Rowling
6. (tie) Kafka on the Shore, by Haruki Murakami
6. (tie) Shalimar the Clown, by Salman Rushdie
10. (tie) Anansi Boys, by Neil Gaiman
10. (tie) Envy, by Kathryn Harrison
10. (tie) Europe Central, by William T. Vollman
10. (tie) The Harmony Silk Factory, by Tash Aw
10. (tie) The Hot Kid, by Elmore Leonard
10. (tie) Lunar Park, by Bret Easton Ellis
10. (tie) Maps for Lost Lovers, by Nadeem Aslam
10. (tie) No Country for Old Men, by Cormac McCarthy
10. (tie) The Painted Drum, by Louise Erdich
10. (tie) The Sea, by John Banville
10. (tie) Slow Man, by JM Coetzee
10. (tie) Trance, by Christopher Sorrentino


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