Last week, the New York Times named its 100 finalists for best books of the year, and now that they’ve whittled their picks down to the 10 best, there are a few surprises. Stephen King’s commercial time-travel novel, 11/22/63, made the list, and Jeffrey Eugenides’ much-anticipated, generally well received yet somewhat polarizing novel The Marriage Plot was edged out. Karen Russell’s zany Swamplandia! is a quirky but not at all unusual choice, and of course, year-end lists always celebrate the new and the splashy, so expect Chad Harbach and 26-year-old Téa Obreht’s heralded debuts to continue racking up the “Best Of” honors.
There are fewer oddballs in the nonfiction category. Malcolm X by the late Manning Marable was arguably the favorite to win the National Book Award for Nonfiction this year — that honor went to Stephen Greenblatt’s The Swerve, which doesn’t appear in this top 10. See the full list below, in alphabetical order: READ FULL STORY