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Top Books of 2008

Believe it or not, music isn't the only thing that compels people to to publish year-end lists. Here are some of the more notorious year-end lists (regular Playground readers already know to expect Bolaño on these):

The New York Times' 10 Best Books of 2008

Publisher Weekly's Best Books of the Year

NPR's Top Fiction Picks for 2008

The Washington Post's 10 Best Books of the Year

A little British flavor - The Times' Christmas Books 2008: Fiction

And that most prolific of critics, Stephen King's favorites... big change of pace from these other lists. Not necessarily a good change of pace.

As you've probably noticed, Roberto Bolaño's 2666, Toni Morrison's A Mercy, and Joseph O'Neill's Netherland are pretty ubiquitous. There's a reason for that. Do yourself a favor and read one over break; 2666 is high on my list. Also, other common list-toppers are Alexander Hemon's The Lazarus Project and Jhumpa Lahiri's Unaccustomed Earth.

And of course, this year's big English-language literary prizes went to:

Pulitzer Prize for Fiction - The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (announced in April)

Nobel Prize for Literature (meh) - Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio

National Book Award for Fiction - Shadow Country by Peter Matthiessen

Man Booker Prize for Fiction - The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

Happy reading!

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