best books of 2017 new york times
It’s about the author’s intense friendship with a girl who grew up to be a stripper and spend time in women’s shelters, and it has the sinister propulsion of a Mary Gaitskill short story. But the very idea of a morality lecture from O’Reilly made this the best unintended humor book of 2017. Harper may be the all-time best advertisement for online courses in fiction writing. Ward’s National Book Award-winning third novel sings America. This was a year when books — like the rest of us — tried to keep up with the news, and did a pretty good job of it. It’s a warm-blooded yet brooding novel about the neurobiology of love. Children who grow up in the country know about death; they can, in a manner of speaking, see their own bones out the window.” Jaeggy finds a new way to tell the story of a life — to pluck out “human characteristics amidst the chaos,” as Schwob described the biographer’s art, and to distill her subjects’ essences onto the page. I particularly enjoyed the thriller “Fierce Kingdom,” by Gin Phillips, and the lively true-crime procedural “American Fire,” by Monica Hesse. ), ‘SAINTS FOR ALL OCCASIONS’ By J. Courtney Sullivan (Knopf). Janet Maslin, a former staff critic who remains a frequent contributor to The Times, also lists her favorites. A death-haunted, drug-addicted woman and her children take a road trip to collect her white husband from prison, picking up a mysterious hitchhiker on the way: the ghost of a 12-year-old boy who’s on a quest of his own. ), ‘TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN’ By John Green (Dutton). The year’s best books, selected by the editors of The New York Times Book Review. ), ‘BEHAVE: THE BIOLOGY OF HUMANS AT OUR BEST AND WORST’ By Robert M. Sapolsky (Penguin Press). Thanks to books by John Jeremiah Sullivan (“Pulphead”) and Leslie Jamison (“The Empathy Exams”) and a handful of other young writers, the essay collection has new impetus and drama in American letters. Adiga’s take on the world makes you consider what the apocalypse might sound like as reported by the BBC’s Hindi service. (Read the review. The title refers to an actual place, a government-run hospital that, in the early part of the 20th century, sterilized many of its patients without their consent. ), ‘JANESVILLE: AN AMERICAN STORY’ By Amy Goldstein (Simon & Schuster). This was a corkscrew of a year. Food is her ostensible subject, but she can get anywhere from there. ), ‘THE WATER WILL COME: RISING SEAS, SINKING CITIES, AND THE REMAKING OF THE CIVILIZED WORLD’ By Jeff Goodell (Little, Brown). She’s also irresistible — a clever, almost appallingly innocent 6-foot-tall daughter of Turkish immigrants who arrives at Harvard in the mid-’90s and begins wooing a reluctant love interest over email. It’s the kind of book that’s so involving you read it as you’re walking down the street. The tests for a good Nixon biography, given how many exist, are fairly simple. This is Adiga’s third novel, and it offers proof that his Man Booker Prize, for “The White Tiger” in 2008, was no fluke. By Dwight Garner, Jennifer Senior, Parul Sehgal and Janet Maslin. ), ‘THE COMPLETE STORIES’ By Leonora Carrington (Dorothy). Selected by the editors of the New York Times Book Review Score A book’s total score is based on multiple factors, including the number of people who have voted for it and how highly those voters ranked the book. (Read the review. ), ‘TRANSIT’ By Rachel Cusk (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). This superb, shattering book probably made a deeper impression on me than any other this year. (Read the review. Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood, We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy, The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars, The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land, The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story, Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century, The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds, Devil's Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency, The House of Government: A Saga of the Russian Revolution, Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom, The Evolution of Beauty: How Darwin's Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World—And Us, The Crisis of the Middle-Class Constitution: Why Economic Inequality Threatens Our Republic. Gerard’s book deserves to be talked about in this company. “His sister Jane lived three years,” she writes of De Quincey. I’ve left out major titles, like Ron Chernow’s “Grant,” that I reviewed but hardly need attention here. Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap? An intimately reported and beautifully rendered work of nonfiction about a pair of 17-year-old boys — “unaccompanied alien children,” in the chilly parlance of the law — who come to the United States to escape the gang brutality of El Salvador.