100 Notable Books of 2017

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The year’s notable fiction, poetry and nonfiction, selected by the editors of The New York Times Book Review. This list represents books reviewed since Dec. 4, 2016, when we published our previous Notables list.

Fiction & Poetry

AMERICAN WAR by Omar El Akkad
This haunting debut novel imagines the events that lead up to and follow the Second American Civil War at the turn of the 22nd century.

ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE by Elizabeth Strout
This audacious novel is about small-town characters struggling to make sense of past family traumas.

AUTUMN by Ali Smith
Smith’s ingenious novel is about the friendship between a 101-year-old man and a 32-year-old woman in Britain after the Brexit vote.

BAD DREAMS AND OTHER STORIES by Tessa Hadley
Hadley serves up the bitter along with the delicious in these 10 stories.

BEAUTIFUL ANIMALS by Lawrence Osborne
On a Greek island, two wealthy young women encounter a handsome Syrian refugee, whom they endeavor to help, with disastrous results.

THE BOOK OF JOAN by Lidia Yuknavitch
In this brilliant novel, Earth, circa 2049, has been devastated by global warming and war.

A BOY IN WINTER by Rachel Seiffert
Seiffert’s intricate novel probes the bonds and betrayals in a Ukrainian town as it succumbs to Hitler.

THE CHANGELING by Victor LaValle
LaValle’s novel, about Apollo Kagwa, a used-book dealer, blends social criticism with horror, while remaining steadfastly literary.

CHRISTMAS DAYS: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days by Jeanette Winterson
A gift book from the British novelist, containing otherworldly and wickedly funny stories.

DANCE OF THE JAKARANDA by Peter Kimani
This funny, perceptive and ambitious work of historical fiction by a Kenyan poet and novelist explores his country’s colonial past.

THE DARK FLOOD RISES by Margaret Drabble
This masterly novel follows its 70-something heroine on a road trip through England.

THE DINNER PARTY: And Other Stories by Joshua Ferris
Anxiety, self-consciousness and humiliation are the default inner states of the characters in these 11 stories.

THE ESSEX SERPENT by Sarah Perry
This novel’s densely woven plot involves an independent-minded widow and the possible haunting presence of a giant serpent.

EXIT WEST by Mohsin Hamid
The new novel by the author of “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” and “How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia” mixes global unrest with a bit of the fantastic.

FAST by Jorie Graham
Graham created these poems against a backdrop of personal and political trauma — her parents are dying, she is undergoing cancer treatment, the nation is mired in war and ecological crisis.

FIVE-CARAT SOUL by James McBride
In his delightful first story collection, the author of the National Book Award-winning novel “The Good Lord Bird” continues to explore race, masculinity, music and history.

FOREST DARK by Nicole Krauss
Tracing the lives of two Americans in Israel, this restless novel explores the mysteries of disconnection and the divided self.

4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster
Auster’s book is an epic bildungsroman that presents the reader with four versions of the formative years of a Jewish boy born in Newark in 1947.

FRESH COMPLAINT: Stories by Jeffrey Eugenides
Eugenides’s expert debut collection of short stories is his first book since “The Marriage Plot” in 2011.

FUTURE HOME OF THE LIVING GOD by Louise Erdrich
What if human beings are neither inevitable nor ultimate? That’s the premise of Erdrich’s fascinating new novel.

GIVING GODHEAD by Dylan Krieger
Seamlessly mixing the religious with the obscene, Krieger’s poetry is inventive and powerful.

HISTORY OF WOLVES by Emily Fridlund
A slow-motion tragedy unfolds in Minnesota’s north woods in Fridlund’s disturbing debut.

HOME FIRE by Kamila Shamsie
A bold retelling of Sophocles’ “Antigone” that follows the lives of three British siblings of Pakistani descent.

HOMESICK FOR ANOTHER WORLD by Ottessa Moshfegh
The insightful stories in this dark debut collection are about “loneliness, desire, hope and self-awareness.”

A HORSE WALKS INTO A BAR by David Grossman, translated by Jessica Cohen
Grossman’s magnificently funny, sucker-punch-tragic novel about a tormented stand-up comedian combines comic dexterity with Portnoyish detail.

THE IDIOT by Elif Batuman
An innocent, language-intoxicated teenager, the daughter of Turkish immigrants, arrives at Harvard in the ’90s to pursue love and (especially) literature in Batuman’s hefty, gorgeous digressive slab of a novel.

ILL WILL by Dan Chaon
Chaon’s dark, disturbing literary thriller encompasses drug addiction, accusations of satanic abuse and a self-deluding Midwestern psychologist.

A KIND OF FREEDOM by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton
This assured first novel shines an unflinching, compassionate light on three generations of a black family in New Orleans.

LESS by Andrew Sean Greer
On the eve of his 50th birthday and a former lover’s wedding, a mediocre novelist takes refuge in literary invitations that enable him to travel around the world.

LINCOLN IN THE BARDO by George Saunders
In this Man Booker Prize-winning first novel by a master of the short story, Abraham Lincoln visits the grave of his son Willie in 1862, and is surrounded by ghosts in purgatory.

MANHATTAN BEACH by Jennifer Egan
Egan’s engaging novel tells overlapping stories, but is most fundamentally about a young woman who works at the Brooklyn Naval Yard during World War II.

MRS. OSMOND by John Banville
Banville’s sequel to Henry James’s “Portrait of a Lady” follows Isabel Archer back to Rome and the possible end of her marriage.

MY ABSOLUTE DARLING by Gabriel Tallent
The heroine of this debut novel is Turtle, a 14-year-old who grows up feral in the forests and hills of Northern California.

NEW PEOPLE by Danzy Senna
Senna’s sinister and charming novel, about a married couple who are both biracial, riffs on themes she’s made her own — about what happens when races and cultures mingle in the home, and under the skin.

THE NINTH HOUR by Alice McDermott
In McDermott’s novel, the cause of a young Irish widow and her daughter is taken up by the nuns of a Brooklyn convent.

PACHINKO by Min Jin Lee
This stunning novel chronicling four generations of an ethnic Korean family in Japan is about outsiders and much more.

THE POWER by Naomi Alderman
In this fierce and unsettling novel, the ability to generate a dangerous electrical force from their bodies lets women take control, resulting in a vast, systemic upheaval of gender dynamics across the globe.

THE REFUGEES by Viet Thanh Nguyen
This superb collection of stories concerns men and women displaced from wartime Saigon and (mostly) settled in California.

SELECTION DAY by Aravind Adiga
Adiga’s third novel (he won the Booker Prize in 2008 for “The White Tiger”) is a sharp look at modern India. It revolves around two teenage brothers groomed by their father to be cricket stars.

A SEPARATION by Katie Kitamura
Deceptions pile on deceptions in this coolly unsettling postmodern mystery, in which a British woman travels to a Greek fishing village to search for her estranged husband, who has disappeared.

SING, UNBURIED, SING by Jesmyn Ward
Ward’s novel, which won the National Book Award, combines aspects of the American road novel and the ghost story with an exploration of the long aftershocks of a hurricane.

SIX FOUR by Hideo Yokoyama, translated by Jonathan Lloyd-Davies
A former criminal investigator, now working in police media relations, faces angry reporters, the nagging 14-year-old case of a kidnapped girl, and his own teenage daughter’s disappearance.

STAY WITH ME by Ayobami Adebayo
This debut novel is a portrait of a marriage in Nigeria beginning in the politically tumultous 1980s.

THE STONE SKY: The Broken Earth: Book Three by N.K. Jemisin
Jemisin won a Hugo Award for each of the first two novels in her Broken Earth trilogy. In the extraordinary conclusion, a mother and daughter do geologic battle for the fate of the earth.

TIES by Domenico Starnone, translated by Jhumpa Lahiri
The husband of the woman who has been identified as Elena Ferrante offers a powerful novel about a fraying marriage.

TRANSIT by Rachel Cusk
In the second novel of a planned trilogy, Cusk continues the story of Faye, a writer and teacher who is recently divorced and semi-broke.

WAKING LIONS by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen, translated by Sondra Silverston
An Israeli doctor in the Negev accidentally hits an Eritrean immigrant, then drives off. The consequences are explored with insight and a thriller’s twists and turns.

WHEREAS by Layli Long Soldier
Long Soldier, a member of the Oglala Sioux tribe, troubles our consideration of the language we use to carry our personal and national narratives in this moving debut poetry collection.

WHITE TEARS by Hari Kunzru
This complex ghost story about racial privilege, cultural appropriation and the blues is written with Kunzru’s customary eloquence and skill.

WHO IS RICH? by Matthew Klam
The protagonist of this novel, a middle-aged illustrator, is a conflicted adulterer. Klam agilely balances an existentially tragic story line with morbid humor and self-assured prose.

Nonfiction

AGE OF ANGER: A History of the Present by Pankaj Mishra
Mishra argues that broad swaths of the globe are reliving the traumas and violent dislocations that accompanied Europe’s transition to modernity in the 18th and 19th centuries.

AMERICAN FIRE: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land by Monica Hesse
Hesse tells the story of 67 fires set in Virginia during a five-month arson spree, beginning in 2012, and the mystery of why a local auto mechanic was behind them.

ANIMALS STRIKE CURIOUS POSES: Essays by Elena Passarello
Passarello presents biographies of famous animals, from an ancient mummified mammoth to Mr. Ed and Cecil the Lion.

THE BLOOD OF EMMETT TILL by Timothy B. Tyson.
Tyson’s absorbing retelling of the events leading up to the horrific lynching in 1955 includes an admission from Till’s accuser that some of her testimony was false.

BORN A CRIME: Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
The host of “The Daily Show” writes about growing up in South Africa under apartheid, and about the country’s rocky transition into the post-apartheid era in the 1990s.

BUNK: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News by Kevin Young
Young’s enthralling and essential history is both exhaustive and unapologetically subjective — not to mention timely. Again and again, he plumbs the undercurrents of a hoax to discover the fearfulness and racism that often lurk inside.

CHURCHILL AND ORWELL: The Fight for Freedom by Thomas E. Ricks
This enjoyable dual biography draws out the common causes of these 20th-century giants: two independent thinkers and opponents of totalitarianism whose influence remains pervasive today.

THE COLLECTED ESSAYS OF ELIZABETH HARDWICK selected by Darryl Pinckney
The landmark American critic surveys everything from the 1968 Democratic convention to the literature of New York City.

A COLONY IN A NATION by Chris Hayes
Hayes paints a portrait of two “distinct regimes” in America — one for whites, which he calls the Nation; the other for blacks, which he calls the Colony.

THE COLOR OF LAW: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein
Going back to the late 19th century, the author uncovers a policy of de jure segregation in virtually every presidential administration.

THE CRISIS OF THE MIDDLE-CLASS CONSTITUTION: Why Economic Inequality Threatens Our Republic by Ganesh Sitaraman
Sitaraman argues that the Constitution is premised on the existence of a thriving middle class, and that the current explosion of inequality will destroy it.

THE DAWN WATCH: Joseph Conrad in a Global World by Maya Jasanoff
Conrad explored the frontiers of a globalized world at the turn of the last century. Jasanoff uses Conrad’s novels and his biography to tell the history of that moment, one that mirrors our own.

THE DEATH AND LIFE OF THE GREAT LAKES by Dan Egan
Climate change, population growth and invasive species are destabilizing the Great Lakes’ wobbly ecosystem, but Egan provides a taut and cautiously hopeful narrative.

DESTINED FOR WAR: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap? by Graham Allison
Allison offers erudite historical case studies that illuminate the pressure toward military confrontation when a rising power challenges a dominant one.

DEVIL’S BARGAIN: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency by Joshua Green
Green’s book is a deeply reported and compulsively readable account of this fateful political partnership.

THE EVANGELICALS: The Struggle to Shape America by Frances FitzGerald
FitzGerald’s fair-minded history focuses on the doctrinal and political issues that have concerned white conservative Protestants since they abandoned their traditional separation from the world and merged with the Republican Party.

THE EVOLUTION OF BEAUTY: How Darwin’s Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World — and Us by Richard O. Prum
A mild-mannered ornithologist and expert on the evolution of feathers makes an impassioned case for the importance of Darwin’s second theory as his most radical and feminist.

FASTING AND FEASTING: The Life of Visionary Food Writer Patience Gray by Adam Federman
Federman’s biography is the first of this cult food writer.

FLÂNEUSE: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London by Lauren Elkin
Elkin joins memoir and biographies of walking women like Woolf and Sand.

FRIENDS DIVIDED: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson by Gordon S. Wood
Wood traces the long, fraught ties between the second and third presidents, and sides almost reluctantly with Jefferson in their philosophical smack-down.

THE FUTURE IS HISTORY: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia by Masha Gessen
Gessen, a longtime critic of Vladimir Putin, tells the story of modern Russia through the eyes of seven individuals who found that politics was a force none of them could escape; winner of the National Book Award.

GENERATION REVOLUTION: On the Front Line Between Tradition and Change in the Middle East by Rachel Aspden
What happened to Egypt’s revolution? This excellent social history argues that despite their politics, young Egyptians did not reject the conservative mores of family and religion.

THE GLASS UNIVERSE: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars by Dava Sobel
This book, about the women “computers” whose calculations helped shape observational astronomy, is a highly engaging group portrait.

GRANT by Ron Chernow
Chernow gives us a Grant for our time, recounting not only the victories of the general but also the challenges of a president who fought against the K.K.K.

GREATER GOTHAM: A History of New York City From 1898 to 1919 by Mike Wallace
A vibrant, detailed chronicle of the 20 years that made New York City the place we know today.

THE GULF: The Making of an American Sea by Jack E. Davis
Davis’s sweeping history of the Gulf of Mexico takes into account colorful nature, idiosyncratic human characters and economic development.

HAMLET GLOBE TO GLOBE: Two Years, 190,000 Miles, 197 Countries, One Play by Dominic Dromgoole
To celebrate the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth, London’s Globe Theater performed “Hamlet” all around the world. Dromgoole’s witty account offers insight about the play and its enduring appeal.

HENRY DAVID THOREAU: A Life by Laura Dassow Walls
This new life of Thoreau, in time for his 200th birthday, paints a moving portrait of a brilliant, complex man.

THE HOUSE OF GOVERNMENT: A Saga of the Russian Revolution by Yuri Slezkine
This history describes the lives of Bolsheviks who were swallowed up by their own cause.

THE INVENTION OF ANGELA CARTER: A Biography by Edmund Gordon
This terrific book is the first full-length biography of Carter, whose novels were fantastical, feminist and sexy.

JANESVILLE: An American Story by Amy Goldstein
Goldstein writes about the impact on the small Wisconsin factory city of the title when General Motors closes a plant there.

KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann
In the 1920s, the Osage Indians had been driven onto land in Oklahoma that sat on top of immense oil deposits. The oil made the Osage rich, and then members of the nation started turning up murdered.

KRAZY: George Herriman, a Life in Black and White by Michael Tisserand
Who was the man behind “Krazy Kat”? This fascinating biography and guide to the work of the cartoonist, who passed for white, tells the full story.

LENIN: The Man, the Dictator, and the Master of Terror by Victor Sebestyen
Sebestyen has managed to produce a first-rate thriller by detailing the cynicism and murderous ambition of the founder of the Soviet Union.

LETTERMAN: The Last Giant of Late Night by Jason Zinoman
Zinoman’s lively book does impressive triple duty as an acute portrait of stardom, an insightful chronicle of three rambunctious decades of pop-culture evolution, and a very brainy fan’s notes.

LOCKING UP OUR OWN: Crime and Punishment in Black America by James Forman Jr.
A masterly account of how a generation of black elected officials wrestled with crises of violence and drug use by unleashing the brutal power of the criminal justice system on their constituents.

LOOKING FOR “THE STRANGER”: Albert Camus and the Life of a Literary Classic by Alice Kaplan
Impressive research illuminates the context and history of Camus’s classic novel.

THE LOST CITY OF THE MONKEY GOD: A True Story by Douglas Preston
The novelist joins a rugged expedition in search of pre-Columbian ruins in the Honduran rain forest.

NOMADLAND: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder
For three years, Bruder traveled and worked alongside “workampers,” older people, casualties of the Great Recession, who drive around the United States looking for seasonal work.

NOTES ON A FOREIGN COUNTRY: An American Abroad in a Post-American World by Suzy Hansen
Hansen, who moved to Istanbul after 9/11, grapples with her country’s violent role in the world.

PRAIRIE FIRES: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser
This thoroughly researched biography of the “Little House” author perceptively captures Wilder’s extraordinary life and legacy.

PRIESTDADDY: A Memoir by Patricia Lockwood
The poet’s memoir is fueled by a great character: her father, a rare married Catholic priest, a big bear of a man fond of guns, cream liqueurs and pork rinds.

THE SONGS WE KNOW BEST: John Ashbery’s Early Life by Karin Roffman
This first full-fledged biography of the poet is full of rich and fascinating detail.

TENEMENTS, TOWERS & TRASH: An Unconventional Illustrated History of New York City by Julia Wertz
Wertz has become a cult favorite for her graphic memoirs. Her new book is a departure, focusing on her great love, New York.

TO SIRI WITH LOVE: A Mother, Her Autistic Son, and the Kindness of Machines by Judith Newman
Newman’s tender, boisterous memoir strips the usual zone of privacy to edge into the world her autistic son occupies.

THE UNDOING PROJECT: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds by Michael Lewis
Lewis profiles the enchanted collaboration between Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman, whose groundbreaking work proved just how unreliable our intuition could be.

WE WERE EIGHT YEARS IN POWER: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates
A selection of Coates’s most influential pieces about race in America from The Atlantic, with subjects including Barack and Michelle Obama, Donald J. Trump, reparations and mass incarceration.

WHAT HAPPENED by Hillary Rodham Clinton
Clinton tells the story of what it was like to run for president of the United States as the first female nominee of a major party.

WORLD WITHOUT MIND: The Existential Threat of Big Tech by Franklin Foer
Foer dons the heavy mantle of cyber-skeptic with this persuasive brief against the big four tech giants who he believes pose a threat to the individual and society.

YOU SAY TO BRICK: The Life of Louis Kahn by Wendy Lesser
This biography covers the best-known works of the architect Louis Kahn as well as his complicated personal life.

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Announcing the Winners of the 2017 Goodreads Choice Awards

by Cybil, December 04, 2017, first appearing on Goodreads Blog
More than 3.8 million votes have been cast and counted in the 9th annual Goodreads Choice Awards honoring the year’s best books decided by you, the readers!

Now it’s time to celebrate some fantastic reading across 20 categories, representing 400 books between the winners and the finalists. And, of course, it’s time for some very talented authors to celebrate their wins!

We asked the winners of the 2017 Goodreads Choice Awards to share photos of themselves reacting to their victories. For Science Fiction winner Andy Weir, who is on a book tour, that meant making due with a bathroom-mirror selfie and a handwritten note. Colleen Hoover (who is celebrating her third consecutive win in the Romance category) received the good news while she was home sick, but—always a trooper—she rallied for the readers. And, well, some of these just made us laugh!

Be sure to explore all of the winning and nominated books!

Best Fiction: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Best Horror: Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King

Best Young Adult Fiction and Best Debut Goodreads AuthorThe Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Best Science Fiction: Artemis by Andy Weir

Best Science & Technology: Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson

Best Historical Fiction: Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

Best Romance: Without Merit by Colleen Hoover

Best Mystery & Thriller: Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Best Graphic Novel & Comic: Big Mushy Happy Lump by Sarah Andersen

Best Poetry: The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur

Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction: A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

Best History & Biography: The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women by Kate Moore

Best Humor: Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between) by Lauren Graham

Best Memoir & Autobiography: What Happened by Hillary Clinton

Best Food & Cookbook: The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Come and Get It! by Ree Drummond

Best Nonfiction: How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life by Lilly Singh

Best Middle Grade & Children’s: The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan

5 Fantasy Tales of the Holidays That Even a Grinch Will Enjoy

Photo by Alisa Anton on Unsplash

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and if you’re looking for a holiday-themed read, then you’re in the right place. Got any to add? We invite you to make your suggestions in the comments. Books about Hanukkah and other December observances welcome!

The cover of the book A Lot Like Christmas

A Lot Like Christmas

CONNIE WILLIS

Connie Willis has written about Christmas before. Her wonderful time travel novel The Doomsday Book takes place around Christmas — in both the 13th and 21st centuries. As a matter of fact, one could make the argument that The Doomsday Book probably deserves its own entry on this list.  That said, if reading about the bubonic plague doesn’t sound like your cup of Christmas wassail, perhaps you’d be better off with A Lot Like Christmas: a collection of stories that explore many aspects of the holiday. Everything from the three Magi to Dickens’ Christmas ghosts get the Willis treatment. Perfect for a last-minute stocking stuffer!

The cover of the book Wolfsbane and Mistletoe

Wolfsbane and Mistletoe

CHARLAINE HARRIS

Maybe you don’t associate werewolves with Christmas, but Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner’s collection Wolfsbane and Mistletoe makes a strong argument for doing so. The 15 short stories here feature werewolves of all sorts — scary, happy, funny — dealing with the holidays the best that they can. Vampire aficionados take note: This includes an original Sookie Stackhouse story!

The cover of the book Counting Up, Counting Down

Counting Up, Counting Down

HARRY TURTLEDOVE

The Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights is the subject of alternative history author Harry Turtledove’s short story “In This Season”. Collected in his anthology Counting Up, Counting Down, “In This Season” is the story of a Jewish community in World War II that builds a golem to protect them from the Nazis. None of rest of the stories in Counting Up, Counting down tackles the holidays, but as Harry Turtledove fans know, there’s just about nothing he can’t make interesting.

The cover of the book Santa vs. Satan

Santa vs. Satan

JAKE KALISH (ILLUSTRATIONS BY CHRISTOPHER FROST)

We’ve got too many gifts on our wish lists to suggest that Santa Claus isn’t real, but if you’re interested in how this totally-not-imaginary beloved figure might fare in a brawl with the devil, Santa vs. Satan is the book for you. Author Jake Kalish brings his questions about these and other match-ups to experts from the fields of martial arts, pop culture, and more to definitively answer the question most of us have asked as kids: “Who would win in a fight between…”

The cover of the book Krampus: The Yule Lord

Krampus: The Yule Lord

BROM

Most of you probably already know about Krampus, the Christmas devil. This holiday horror is well-known throughout parts of Europe, but those of us with a dark sense of humor have made him our own. Master fantasy artist Brom wrote and illustrated this chilling tale of a musician who gets pulled into a fight between Santa and Krampus,  or as they’re also known, Saint Nicholas and the horned god Pan. Brom’s creative aesthetic has always been quite dark, and this is a Christmas story that only he could have created. Start a new tradition and read it to your kids on Christmas Eve! (Note: Do not read this book to your kids on Christmas Eve.)

December is READ A NEW BOOK Month!

Books 3

December is a lot of things, some good (holidays… ummm… maybe snow, if you like that sort of thing… the days technically start getting longer again after the first day of winter even if you can’t actually notice it… that’s all I’ve got), some bad (cold, diseases, holiday stress, maybe snow, winter, short days, etc.)… Maybe a bit more bad than good if you really stop to think about it, but those holidays are pretty cool though, right?

Man, now I just feel like I bummed everyone out. I can’t even remember where I was going with that. What can fix the situation? Wait! I know! BOOKS!

Happy Read A New Book Month everyone. May you find one that brings you joy and warmth this December. And if you have trouble finding one, I know some folks that can help.

We’re not sure if that means a book that has been published recently or just a book that you have not read before, but either way we’re happy to help you find one.

 

12 Audiobooks to Get You Through the Crazy Holiday Season

Shopping

The holidays are just around the corner, and while that can mean many things, for many of us it likely means a long road trip, or two. No matter the length, road trips (particularly in holiday traffic) can be an excruciating endeavor.

Snacks, a less-than-judicious amount of caffeine, comfy clothes, and a good audiobook can make all the difference. They can turn a miserable car ride into something not only tolerable, but enjoyable.

To help you manage pesky holiday excursions, we’ve curated a list of twelve of our favorite audiobooks. There are books here for the whole family to enjoy, as well as more grown-up fare.  Let’s have a look.

The cover of the book Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

J.K. Rowling, Read by Jim Dale

If you haven’t experienced Jim Dale’s truly delightful narration of the Harry Potter series, this is the perfect time to check it out. Dale is one of best audiobook readers in the business, and Harry Potter might just be his masterpiece. More importantly, J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world is perfect for the whole family.

The cover of the book Life

Life

Keith Richards, Read by Johnny Depp

What could possibly be better than Keith Richards’ insightful and candid memoir read by Johnny Depp? The answer, of course, is not much. Depp’s languid, playful, wry reading of Mr. Richards’ various hijinks is the perfect distraction for a long car ride. This one may not be for the kiddos, though.

The cover of the book Matilda

Matilda

Roald Dahl, Read by Kate Winslet

Matilda is one of Roald Dahl’s best-known and most charming creations. The spunky magic-tinged tale is a perfect example of Dahl’s wonderfully absurd prose style, and more importantly, it’s excellent for kids – and adults who are kids at heart. Kate Winslet’s narration is just icing on the cake.

The cover of the book The Martian

The Martian

Andy Weir, Read by R.C. Bray

If you want a read to make a car-ride fly by, Andy Weir’s best-selling thriller is just the ticket.  The instant-classic tale of a astronaut stranded on Mars following a botched expedition is exhilarating, tense, and darkly humorous. This one is guaranteed to make that trip seem mercilessly short, and beyond some PG-13 language, this another solid family read. Weir’s latest, a futuristic heist set on a colony on the Moon titled Artemis, is also well worth a listen.

The cover of the book The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book

Neil Gaiman, Read by Neil Gaiman

There’s nothing quite like listening to a writer read their own work, and Neil Gaiman is among the best. This 2009 Newberry Award winner is as captivating for adults as it is for children, and features Gaiman’s trademark magic-tinged, subversively gothic style. The Graveyard Book centers on an orphan raised by ghosts in a cemetery following the murder of his parents.

The cover of the book Hogfather

Hogfather

Terry Pratchett, Read by Nigel Planer

What would the holidays be without a Christmas tale? If you’re in the market for something catering a bit more toward grown-ups, Terry Pratchett’s deliriously comical skewering of Father Christmas is just the ticket. In Pratchett’s Discworld, the Hogfather is a scary Santa Claus-like figure who delivers gifts on Hogswatchnight.

The cover of the book A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol

Charles Dickens, Read by Tim Curry

If you prefer something both classic and more kid-friendly, look no further than Tim Curry’s brilliant reading of Charles Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol. A Christmas Carol is an obvious holiday staple, and Curry’s voice is a perfect match for Dickens’ linguistic flourishes.

The cover of the book Big Little Lies

Big Little Lies

Liane Moriarty, Read by Caroline Lee

Big Little Lies may begin as a light satire of suburban parenting, but things heat up quickly. Filled with compelling, well-drawn characters and sharp-tongued wit, Big Little Lies is the sort of book that might just make you wish that car ride was a tad longer.

The cover of the book The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride

William Goldman, Read by Rob Reiner

If you’ve only experienced the cinematic adaptation of The Princess Bride, do yourself a favor and pick up this audiobook. While the movie is a classic, the novel’s wry observations of Floran culture and self-aware, tongue-in-cheek really are a delight.

The cover of the book Uncommon Type

Uncommon Type

Tom Hanks, Read by Tom Hanks

You can add great writer and unsurprisingly great narrator to the list of things that make Tom Hanks generally awesome. This collection of short stories, all based – to a certain extent – on Hank’s well-known love of typewriters, run the gamut from poignant and heartwarming to downright hilarious. And Hanks’ amiable reading brings the whole thing to another level.

The cover of the book A Wrinkle in Time

A Wrinkle in Time

Madeleine L’Engle, Read by Hope Davis

A Wrinkle in Time is brilliantly drawn classic that has endured as a favorite for adults and children alike. It’s also incredibly thought-provoking and a sure conversation starter, particularly if you’re listening with children. With a highly anticipated adaptation on the way from Ava Duvernay, and starring the likes of Reese Witherspoon and Oprah, now’s a perfect time to give this one a look.

The cover of the book And Then There Were None

And Then There Were None

Agatha Christie, Read by Dan Stevens

If you’re anything like me, nothing beats a good mystery for a road trip.  When it comes to mysteries, Agatha Christie is in a class all her own. While any of her classics will get the job done, And Then There Were None is simply one of her bests and most complex.

Books to Film: December Releases

The Disaster Artist by Greg Sestero & Tom Bissell

The Disaster ArtistThe Disaster Artist_filmMovie: The Disaster Artist
When it comes out: December 1 (Limited); December 8 (Expanded)
What the book is about: In 2003, an independent film called The Room—written, produced, directed, and starring a very rich social misfit of indeterminate age and origin named Tommy Wiseau—made its disastrous debut in Los Angeles. Described by one reviewer as “like getting stabbed in the head,” the $6 million film earned a grand total of $1,800 at the box office and closed after two weeks. Now in its tenth anniversary year, The Room is an international phenomenon to rival The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Thousands of fans wait in line for hours to attend screenings complete with costumes, audience rituals, merchandising, and thousands of plastic spoons, but readers need not have seen The Room to appreciate its costar Greg Sestero’s account of how Tommy Wiseau defied every law of artistry, business, and interpersonal relationships to achieve the dream only he could love.

The Tribes of Palos Verdes by Joy Nicholson

Tribes of Palos VerdesTribes of Palos Verdes_filmMovie: The Tribes of Palos Verdes
When it comes out: December 1
What the book is about: Medina Mason is a defiant, awkward newcomer to the affluent beach community of Palos Verdes, California. As her parents’ marriage disintegrates and her beloved brother falls prey to the temptations of drugs and the lunacy of their mother, Medina surfs to survive, finding a bitter solace in the rough comfort of the waves. This is the moving story of growing up “different,” of the love between siblings, and of one girl’s power to save herself.

The November Criminals by Sam Munson

November CriminalsNovember Criminals_filmMovie: The November Criminals
When it comes out: December 8
What the book is about: For a high school senior, Addison Schacht has a lot of preoccupations. Like getting into college. Selling drugs to his classmates. His complicated relationship with his best friend (NOT his girlfriend) Digger. And he’s just added another to the list: the murder of his classmate Kevin Broadus, and his own absurd, obsessive plan to investigate the death. When presented with an essay question on his application to the University of Chicago—What are your best and worst qualities?—Addison finds himself provoked into giving his final, unapologetic say about all of the above and more.

The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf & Robert Lawson

FerdinandFerdinand_film.jpgMovie: Ferdinand
When it comes out: December 15
What the book is about: All the other bulls would run and jump and butt their heads together. But Ferdinand would rather sit and smell the flowers. And he does just that, until the day a bumblebee and some men from the Madrid bullfights give gentle Ferdinand a chance to be the most ferocious star of the corrida—and the most unexpected comic hero.

Molly’s Game by Molly Bloom

Mollys GameMollys Game_filmMovie: Molly’s Game
When it comes out: December 25
What the book is about: In Molly’s Game, Molly Bloom takes the reader through her adventures running an exclusive high-stakes private poker game. Her clients ranged from iconic stars like Leonardo DiCaprio and Ben Affleck to politicians and financial titans so powerful they moved markets and changed the course of history. With rich detail, Molly describes a world that until now has been shrouded in glamour, privilege, and secrecy, one where she fearlessly took on the Russian and Italian mobs—until she met the one adversary she could not outsmart, even though she had justice on her side: the United States government.

Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool by Peter Turner

Films Stars Don'tFilms Stars Don't_filmMovie: Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool 
When it comes out: December 29
What the book is about: On 29 September 1981, Peter Turner received a phone call that would change his life. His former lover, Hollywood actress Gloria Grahame, had collapsed in a Lancaster hotel and was refusing medical attention. He had no choice but to take her into his chaotic and often eccentric family’s home in Liverpool. Turner had first set eyes on Grahame when he was a young actor, living in London. Best known for her portrayal of irresistible femme fatales in films such as The Big HeatOklahoma and The Bad and the Beautiful, for which she won an Oscar, Grahame electrified audiences with her steely expressions and heavy lidded eyes and the heroines she bought to life were often dark and dangerous. Turner and Grahame became firm friends and remained so ever after their love affair had ended. And it was to him she turned in her final hour of need.

 

World Fantasy Awards Announced

by Chris SchluepNovember 07, 2017, first appearing on Omnivoracious

The winners of the 2017 World Fantasy Awards have been announced. The ceremony was held earlier this month in San Antonio, Texas at the World Fantasy Convention. The Lifetime Achievement Awards, presented annually to individuals who have demonstrated outstanding service to the fantasy field, went to Terry Brooks and Marina Warner.

Below is a list of the winners from selected categories. You can see all of the winners listed on Locus.

Best Novel

  • The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North
  • Borderline by Mishell Baker
  • Roadsouls by Betsy James
  • The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin
  • Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff

Best Long Fiction

  • The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson
  • The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle
  • Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
  • A Taste of Honey by Kai Ashante Wilson

Best Short Fiction

  • Das Steingeschöpf” by G.V. Anderson
  • Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies” by Brooke Bolander
  • Seasons of Glass and Iron” by Amal El-Mohtar
  • Little Widow” by Maria Dahvana Headley
  • The Fall Shall Further the Flight in Me” by Rachael K. Jones

Best Anthology

  • Dreaming in the Dark edited by Jack Dann
  • Clockwork Phoenix 5 edited by Mike Allen
  • Children of Lovecraft edited by Ellen Datlow
  • The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2016 edited by Karen Joy Fowler & John Joseph Adams
  • The Starlit Wood edited by Dominik Parisien & Navah Wolfe

Best Collection

  • A Natural History of Hell by Jeffrey Ford
  • Sharp Ends by Joe Abercrombie
  • On the Eyeball Floor and Other Stories by Tina Connolly
  • Vacui Magia by L.S. Johnson
  • The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu