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“May you live in interesting times” is a quote commonly attributed to Confucius, probably erroneously, but Robert F. Kennedy did use it in a speech in 1966, adding a rueful twist: “Like it or not, we live in interesting times....” Regardless of your thinking on these current times, they are certainly anything but boring, and we feel the same about the books published this year.

Once again, we take the opportunity near year's end to review the year in books, highlighting the very best of what American publishing had to offer in fiction, poetry, nonfiction, comics, religion, lifestyle and children's. There were the authors we expected to deliver, and they did: Louise Erdrich with The Plague of Doves, Richard Price with Lush Life, Jhumpa Lahiri with Unaccustomed Earth, Lydia Millet with How the Dead Dream. A breakthrough surprise about cricket, Netherland by Joseph O'Neill, delighted us, while Tim Winton's Breath took ours away. We listened to our elders in How to Live: A Search for Wisdom from Old People; thought about our planet with The Soul of the Rhino; examined our history in The Hemingses of Monticello and Abraham Lincoln: A Life; and, thanks to Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw, we even considered Jesus for President.
  1. No One Heard Her Scream By Jordan Dane

    Book Cover: No One Heard Her Scream By Jordan Dane
    (mystery and thrillers, romance)

    "Dane crafts this debut murder mystery with tight plotting and smooth prose, and adds a few sparks to create a story that appeals to mainstream thriller readers as well as romantic suspense fans."

  2. The Face By Angela Hunt

    Book Cover: The Face By Angela Hunt
    (literature and fiction, mystery and thrillers, religion and spirituality, romance)

    "Compelling characterization drives this enthralling tale of second chances and new beginnings, centered on the struggles of a young woman born without a face."

  3. Deadly Deceptions By Linda Lael Miller

    Book Cover: Deadly Deceptions By Linda Lael Miller
    (mystery and thrillers, romance)

    "Miller's second Cave Creek supernatural mystery is packed full of plot twists and smart romance, painting crime-solver Mojo Sheepshanks as much more than just another quirky psychic."

  4. Heart Of The Wolf By Terry Spear

    Book Cover: Heart Of The Wolf By Terry Spear
    (literature and fiction, romance)

    "A werewolf woman defies the alpha male of her pack in this supernatural romance, with chemistry that crackles off the page and a richly depicted pack dynamic"

  5. Private Arrangements By Sherry Thomas

    Book Cover: Private Arrangements By Sherry Thomas

    "Deft plotting and sparkling characterization mark this superior debut historical romance, wherein an English lord agrees to grant his wife a divorce if she produces an heir within a year."

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