Whether long (1Q84‘s 932 pages) or short (The Sense of an Ending‘s 163), first-time novel (as a whopping four of these are) or new book by an old pro, depressing meditation on death or pop-culture sci-fi candy, these are the 10 novels that thrilled me the most this year — keeping me up late into the night, challenging the battery of my Kindle and the patience of my wife. Check out the list below, then pick up this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly (on newsstands today) to find out why I chose these as my favorites.
1. The Submission, Amy Waldman
2. 1Q84, Haruki Murakami
3. Stone Arabia, Dana Spiotta
4. Swamplandia!, Karen Russell
5. The Pale King, David Foster Wallace
6. The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes
7. The Tiger’s Wife, Tea Obreht
8. Say Her Name, Francisco Goldman
9. Ready Player One, Ernest Cline
10. Once Upon a River, Bonnie Jo Campbell
I’d love to have been able to include more, of course. Ann Patchett’s State of Wonder, Charles Frazier’s Nightwoods, Ali Smith’s There but for the, Paul La Farge’s Luminous Airplanes, and Teju Cole’s Open City likely would have made the cut had I been able to do a top 15.
Think some of these stank? Furious that one of your favorites isn’t included? Let us know below. And to read our list of the best non-fiction books (which includes Tina Fey’s Bossypants and Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs) and all of our picks for the year’s best movies, TV shows, albums, songs, and more, check out the new issue of EW, out now.
Follow Rob on twitter: @RobBrunnerEW