The Best Picture Books of 2009

Five books for children, worth at least a thousand words each, selected by Lisa Von Drasek

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The Best Speculative Fiction of 2009

Paul Di Filippo selects five titles that embody the wide range of an imaginatively explosive genre at the end of a decade.

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The Best of 2009: Bookseller's Choice

Longtime Barnes & Noble bookseller Peter Philbrook weighs in with a selection of some highlights from his year in reading.

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The Best Romances of 2009

Eloisa James on highlights from a year's reading of romances -- from soulful and sweet to supernaturally steamy.

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Private Stock: Christgau's Favorites

The pick of our critic-at-large's listening, reading and viewing in 2009.

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The Best Books of 2009 on Technology & the Internet

Five books that shed light on the latest digital transformations of our lives at home, at work, and in that increasingly fuzzy space between. Selected by Andrew Keen. Read more...

The Best Books of 2009 in History & Philosophy

Works that illuminate ideas, minds, and movements. Selected by A. C. Grayling.

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The Best Children's Books of 2009: Chapter Books

The cream of the crop among books for young readers. Selected by Liz Rosenberg.

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The Best Books in Translation of 2009

From Soviet-era satire to the conclusion of a literary spy epic, riveting reads from all over. Selected by Christopher Byrd.

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The Best Science & Nature Books of 2009

From shooting stars to a crisis of elephantine proportions, five books that bring us closer to understanding the natural world. Selected by Brendan Borrell.

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The Best Historical Fiction of 2009

An archaeologist in the fertile crescent, an explorer heading East, and a soldier's Antipodean encounter. Contributed by Anna Mundow.

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The Best Books on Politics and Policy for 2009

Ezra Klein offers some suggestions for books to help illuminate a tumultuous year in public affairs.

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The Best Graphic Novels of 2009

From an architect's trials to a comic-book universe brought to the brink, Douglas Wolk selects a year's worth of supreme visual storytelling.

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The Best Poetry of 2009

Rita Dove's Enlightement novel-in-verse, a monument to Palestine's leading poetic voice, and more. Contributed by Tess Taylor.

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The Best Art & Illustrated Books of 2009

Among the year's most memorable: the collected paintings of a Romantic master and the pictorial chronicle of a lost world of night and music. Selected by Robert Messenger.

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The Best Mysteries & Thrillers of 2009

Dark doings all over the world, from Bangkok to Belfast. Contributed by Dick Adler.

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The Best Fiction of 2009

A selection of the year's best fiction: tales that run the gamut from seaside idyll to subterranean quest. Contributed by Stefan Beck.

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The Best Literary Nonfiction of 2009

Melissa Holbrook Pierson surveys the books that best chronicled the real world in 2009 -- though "real" may be subject to some debate.

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The Best Short Story Collections of 2009

Five highlights -- and some honorable mentions -- in a banner year for short fiction. Contributed by Heller McAlpin.

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The Best Lives of 2009

Works of fact -- and fiction -- that illuminated the lives of legends. Selected by Katherine A. Powers.

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July 23: Jessica Mitford died on this day in 1996.

Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Paradise and Elsewhere

Canadian short story marvel Kathy Page emerges as the Alice Munro of the supernatural from these heartfelt tales of shapeshifting swimmers, mild-mannered cannibals, and personality-shifting viruses transmitted through kisses.

Pastoral

When a persuasive pastor arrives in a sleepy farm town, his sage influence has otherworldly results (talking sheep, a mayor who walks on water). But can he pull off the miracle of finding kindly local Liz Denny the love of her life?  Small wonder looms large in this charmer from Andre Alexis.

The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).