The year’s notable fiction, poetry and nonfiction, selected by the editors of The New York Times Book Review.
Some of the interesting non-fiction includes:
BEHIND THE BEAUTIFUL FOREVERS: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity. By Katherine Boo. (Random House, $27.) This extraordinary moral inquiry into life in an Indian slum shows the human costs exacted by a brutal social Darwinism.
THE FOLLY OF FOOLS: The Logic of Deceit and Self-Deception in Human Life. By Robert Trivers. (Basic Books, $28.) An intriguing argument that deceit is a beneficial evolutionary “deep feature” of life.
THOMAS JEFFERSON: The Art of Power. By Jon Meacham. (Random House, $35.) This readable and well-researched life celebrates Jefferson’s skills as a practical politician, unafraid to wield power even when it conflicted with his small-government views. (FS: I just ordered this one.)
Some of the notable fiction includes:
BRING UP THE BODIES. By Hilary Mantel. (Macrae/Holt, $28.) Mantel's sequel to “Wolf Hall” traces the fall of Anne Boleyn, and makes the familiar story fascinating and suspenseful again.
BUILDING STORIES. By Chris Ware. (Pantheon, $50.) A big, sturdy box containing hard-bound volumes, pamphlets and a tabloid houses Ware's demanding, melancholy and magnificent graphic novel about the inhabitants of a Chicago building.
Although I haven't read it yet, I've heard a lot of good things about Bring up the Bodies.