New York Times Best Books
The Best of 2023
by Paul Murray
A drama set in a small town in Ireland about a family struggling after an economic recession.
by Jonathan RosenAn acclaimed author investigates the forces that led his closest childhood friend, a paranoid schizophrenic with brilliant promise who defied the odds and graduated from Yale Law School, to kill the woman he loved.
by Nana Kwame Adjei-BrenyahThe star of a popular, but controversial for-profit program in the private prison industry that basically turns prisoners into gladiators contemplates freedom, in the new novel from the New York Times best-selling author of Friday Black.
by Kerry HowleyThe true story of intelligence specialist Reality Winner, a lone young woman who stuffs a state secret under her skirt and trusts the wrong people to help. Following Winner’s unlikely journey from rural Texas to a federal courtroom, Howley maps a hidden world....
by Maylis de KerangalIn this gripping tale, a Russian conscript and a French woman cross paths on the Trans-Siberian railroad, each fleeing to the east for their own reasons.
by John VaillantA suspenseful account of one of North America's most devastating forest fires--and a stark exploration of our dawning era of climate catastrophes.
by Zadie SmithA kaleidoscopic work of historical fiction set against the legal trial that divided Victorian England, about who gets to tell their story—and who gets to be believed.
by Ilyon WooThe remarkable true story of Ellen and William Craft, who escaped slavery through daring, determination, and disguise, with Ellen passing as a wealthy, disabled White man and William posing as "his" slave.
by Daniel MasonExploring the many ways we're connected to our environment and to one another across time, language and space, this sweeping collection of stories about a single house in the woods of New England is told through the lives of an extraordinary succession of inhabitants.
by Patricia EvangelistaIn this thoroughly reported and deeply human chronicle of the Philippines' drug war and Rodrigo Duterte's assault on the country's struggling democracy, a trauma journalist immerses herself in the world of killers and survivors, capturing the atmosphere of fear created when an elected president decides some lives are worth less than others.
The Best of 2022
by Jennifer EaganTold through lives of multiple characters, this electrifying, deeply moving novel, spanning 10 years, follows “Own Your Unconscious,” a new technology that allows access to every memory you’ve ever had, and to share every memory in exchange for access to the memories of others.
by Ed YongThe Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times best-selling author of I Contain Multitudes examines how the world of animal senses can help us understand and transform the way we perceive our world.
by Claire-Louise BennettIn a working-class town in a county west of London, a schoolgirl scribbles stories in the back pages of her exercise book, intoxicated by the first sparks of her imagination.
Stay True by Hua HsuA New Yorker staff writer, in this gripping memoir on friendship, grief, the search for self and the solace that can be found through art, recounts his close friendship with Ken, with whom he endured the successes and humiliations of everyday college life until Ken was violently, senselessly taken away from him.
by Barbara KingsolverThe son of an Appalachian teenager uses his good looks, wit and instincts to survive foster care, child labor, addiction, disastrous loves, and crushing losses.
by Rachel AvivRaising fundamental questions about how we understand ourselves in periods of crisis and distress, the author draws on deep, original reporting as well as unpublished journals and memoirs to write about people who have come up against the limits of psychiatric explanations for who they are.
by Namwali SerpellHaunted by the accidental death of her little brother Wayne years ago, Cassandra Williams begins seeing her brother everywhere and meets a man both mysterious and familiar who is also searching for someone and for his own place in the world--and his name is Wayne.
by Linda VillarosaFrom an award-winning writer at the New York Times Magazine and a contributor to the 1619 Project comes a landmark book that tells the full story of racial health disparities in America, revealing the toll racism takes on individuals and the health of our nation.
by Hernan DiazTold from the perspective of one woman bent on disentangling fact from fiction, this unrivaled novel about money, power, intimacy and perception is centered around the mystery of how the Rask family acquired their immense fortune in 1920s-1930's New York City.
by Fintan O'TooleThe Irish government opened the country to foreign investment and popular culture in 1958. O'Toole weaves his own experiences into Irish social, cultural, and economic change, showing how Ireland, in just one lifetime, has gone from a reactionary "backwater" to an almost totally open society-perhaps the most astonishing national transformation in modern history.
The Best of 2021
by Imbolo MbueAs an American oil company destroys the environment of Kosawa, the residents of the fictional African village fight back against a dictatorship that only cares about itself.
by Tove DitlevesenDanish poet Ditlevesen combines three books into one in a biographical exploration of her life, family, and womanhood.
by Katie KitamuraThe life of an interpreter working at The Hague’s International Court is destabilized by personal and political drama.
by Clint SmithSmith examines the legacy of slavery and the United States’ collective history through monuments and landmarks.
by HonorAiley Pearl Garfield, a Black girl growing up in Georgia, works to find belonging and explores the stories and legacies of her ancestors. e Fanonne Jeffers
by Andrea ElliottElliot narrates the childhood of Dasani Coates as she grows up in shelters across Brooklyn with her siblings.
No One is talking About This by Patricia LockwoodA woman who is social media famous travels to meet her fans and faces the existentialism of “the portal,” when her family is struck suddenly by tragedy.
by Annette Gordon-ReedGordon-Reed combines history with memoir as she delves into the importance and history of Juneteenth and the legacy of slavery.
by Benjamín LabatutDuring the 20th century, scientists make groundbreaking discoveries and wrestle with their ethical implications.
by Heather ClarkClark writes a unique new biography of Sylvia Plath, focusing on her relationships and literary achievements rather than her eventual suicide.