Every year around this time, I look forward to seeing what books were selected by the New York Times Book Review as the best of the year. I've read several books in the past that made the list and enjoyed all of them. A few examples are the novels A Mercy by Toni Morrison and Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl and the non-fiction books The Rest is Noise by Alex Ross and The Bounty by Caroline Alexander. I'm not sying I completely agree with the opinions of the NYTBR panel, but it is a good source for finding books to read. Here are my thoughs on this year's selections for fiction.
Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
This is the book that everyone was talking about this year. I read the opening of Franzen's earlier book The Corrections and liked it. I'm definitely curious about Freedom.
The New Yorker Stories by Ann Beattie
I am not familiar with this author.
Room by Emma Donoghue
The premise of this one is intriguing. The story concerns a 5-year old boy and his mother who are trapped in a single room. The story is narrated by the boy. It's hard to imagine how an entire novel can be sustaiined by the narrative voice of a child but apparently it works.
Selected Stories by William Trevor
Like the Beattie book, I am not familiar with this author.
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
I really enjoyed Egan's previous book The Keep so I'm looking forward to this one. It has an unusual narrative technique; it seems like a collection of short stories but it is really part of one big story. One of the stories is told through a Power Point presentation.