Books for the Holidays

I always get excited for holiday reading. After a big Thanksgiving meal, I like to digest with a good book. And I save the ones that I can’t tote around with me (I do a lot of reading on the subway) for the lull between Christmas and New Year’s. (This year, I hope to read Pevear and Volokhonsky’s translation of War and Peace and Roberto Bolano’s 2666. I acknowledge that it’s an ambitious plan; we’ll see if I actually manage to finish either by 2009.) At a recent One Story staff meeting, we had an enthusiastic (and heated, since we don’t all agree) discussion about our favorite books of fiction published this year. Titles that were casually mentioned at that meeting include: The Lazarus Project by Aleksander Hemon; Home by Marilynne Robinson; The Boat by Nam Le; Ms. Hempel Chronicles by Sarah Shun-lien Bynum; the contentious Netherland by Joseph O’Neill; Lush Life by Richard Price; and The Good Thief by our own Hannah Tinti. There’s some overlap between our list and the new one in the New York Times Book Review. What were your favorite books of the year? What books do you intend to give your family and friends? What will you be reading this holiday season? Do tell. We always welcome your comments on our blog.