Saturday, December 06, 2008

The Best of the Best

The New York Times' critics whittled down its list of 100 Best Books of 2008 to just 10 and here they are.

Fiction :
Steven Millhauser - Thirteen Stories
Toni Morrison - A Mercy
Joseph O’Neill - Netherland
Roberto BolaƱo -2666
Jhumpa Lahiri - Unaccustomed Earth
Non-fiction :
Jane Mayer - The Dark Side : The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals
Dexter Filkins - The Forever War
Julian Barnes - Nothing to Be Frightened Of
Drew Gilpin Faust - This Republic of Suffering : Death and the American Civil War
Patrick French - The World is What it Is : The Authorized Biography of V. S. Naipaul
It's a pretty exciting list and all the books are described on the website, and there are links in each case to first chapters - so go explore!


Sue said...

Hi, I'm thinking of researching and learning more about Malaysia's history since 1957 but am not sure what books are good to read, would you be able to recommend some which are more indepth/neutral? I simply have no idea where to start! Could you give me some advise? Thanks :)

bibliobibuli said...

need more details about what exactly your focus might be and then maybe we can put our heads together ...

Chet said...

I always look forward to a new book by Toni Morrison, altho I may not always understand it. Since Beloved, I've found her increasingly difficult to read, altho Paradise is one of my favourite books.

Sue said...

Anyway, maybe if I share with you what I do, perhaps that will give you a better idea on recommending the right kind of books on the above subject? I’m a researcher and planner and although my background is advertising and marketing but I’ve been spending a lot of my time self studying sociology and working on social researches. I was recently very inspired by Malcolm Gladwell’s third book called Outlier. I think he’s one of the most brilliant and down-to-earth sociologists/writers! And I realized that as much as I’m studying about cultural and social norm changes, I’ve never really pried into the nearest and needless to say most accessible ‘culture’ to me, which is my own country! And I just realized that since Malaysia is a relatively young country of soon-to-be 52 years old, it’s definitely going to be an easier read compared to America or the UK. I’m planning to perhaps start my journey by refreshing my own memory through the school text books (I can only hope they won’t put me to sleep!). However, the reason why I asked your opinion is because I feel that your recommendation could perhaps entails something deeper at the same time, more ‘neutral’ as we all know school text books are the most biased! I have browsed through a book on the infamous 13th May incident and perhaps I should also start from there. I just hope I can still remain neutral after that!

bibliobibuli said...

yes, i've been reading about gladwell's new book and intend to buy it as soon as i see it and will blog about it.

odd coincidence, was having breakfast with my friend Barry who is staying with us, and i told him about "outliers" and he immediately realised that he had known the Gladwell family inc little Malcolm in Jamaica!

will get back to nyou re some suggestions

Sue said...

Thanks so much! It's really highly recommended on my list, so it's a worthwhile investment. Anyway, ya please let me know if you have any suggestions. I would like to email you my email, hehe, but unfortunately I think the one you have in your profile doesn't work... I guess I'll just check back this post!

sparks said...

Hi Sharon! Was just wondering if you have any suggestions for me regarding books on Malaysian history? If you don't mind, you can email me directly at[at]! Sorry for not contacting you earlier, I'm travelling in Kenya right now! Thanks :)