When we asked the simple question, “What was the best book you read this year?” readers flooded us with answers. Wonderful, unexpected titles, from a 1967 book about cats by Doris Lessing to old favorites like Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s “Gift From the Sea” and Alan Paton’s “Cry, the Beloved Country” as well as recent bestsellers — Piper Kerman’s “Orange Is the New Black,” Dave Eggers’ “A Hologram for the King,” Kate Atkinson’s “Life After Life.”
Colum McCann’s “TransAtlantic,” long-listed for the National Book Award, was mentioned many times. So was Louise Erdrich’s “The Round House,” William Kent Krueger’s “Ordinary Grace” and Sarah Stonich’s quirky novel of life Up North, “Vacationland.” We’ve run a partial list on Page E11, and the full list is online.
Meanwhile, we also asked our top 10 critics to each pick one book published this year that they found remarkable; you’ll find the Critic’s Choices on Page E12.
In addition, we have our usual holiday roundups of fiction, nonfiction, art books, and regional books. This week’s book coverage — expanded to three pages for the season, with more online — is nothing but recommendations, by genre, by critic and by you.