For the first time, the New York Times announced its ten best books of year at a live event in Manhattan on Thursday morning, at the Greene Space, recorded for their podcast. Book Review editor Pamela Paul spoke with a panel of NYT editors about each selection, stating that a best book of the year is “a book that is not only of the moment but a book that we think transcends the moment.” The five fiction selections include debuts from Lisa Halliday and Tommy Orange, as well as Esi Eduygan’s Giller Prize-winning novel. The complete list:
The Great Believers, by Rebecca Makkai
Washington Black, by Esi Eduygan
The Perfect Nanny, by Leila Slimani
Asymmetry, by Lisa Halliday
There There, by Tommy Orange
The five nonfiction selections include debut memoirs from Lisa Brennan-Jobs and Tara Westover, as well as narrative nonfiction and biography selections. Paul noted that compiling the nonfiction list was especially difficult because “there are so many different kinds of books to cover.” The nonfiction picks:
American Prison, by Shane Bauer
How to Change Your Mind, by Michael Pollan
Small Fry, by Lisa Brennan-Jobs
Educated, by Tara Westover
Frederick Douglass, by David W. Blight
In other picks and best ofs, There Will Be No Miracles Here by Casey Gerald is the December selection for the PBS NewsHour-New York Times book club, Now Read This.
Waterstones named Sally Rooney‘s Normal People (forthcoming from Hogarth in April 2019) as its book of the year.
Library Journal did not pick a Top 10 list of books this year — instead they offer a package of 188 titles across 20 categories.