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The New York Times Book Review Announces Their 10 Best Books of 2023

The list includes five fiction and five nonfiction titles, listed in no particular order. The nonfiction selections were: The Best Minds by Jonathan Rosen, Bottoms Up and the Devil Laughs by Kerry Howley, Fire Weather by John Vaillant, Master Slave Husband Wife by Ilyon Woo, and Some People Need Killing by Patricia Evangelista.

Interestingly, all but one of these selections were geographically focussed on North America, with Evangelista’s memoir of Rodrigo Duterte’s regime in the Philippines as the only exception.

One notable exclusion from the nonfiction list was The Wager by David Grann, an exploration of shipwreck and mutiny in 1741. Grann is the author of the widely-acclaimed and recently-adapted Killers of the Flower Moon, and The Wager has already been commissioned for a film adaptation of its own.

The fiction selections were: The Bee Sting by Paul Murray, Chain-Gang All-Stars by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Eastbound by Maylis de Kerangal, The Fraud by Zadie Smith, and North Woods by Daniel Mason.

The Bee Sting has been one of the most lauded novels of 2023, having been shortlisted for the Booker Prize and winning the Irish Book Award for Novel of the Year for its rich description of a dysfunctional Irish family.

Zadie Smith, too, maintains a perennial presence among critics’ lists. The Fraud is historical fiction set in the Victorian era which spans Jamaica and Britain, exploring themes of justice, truth, and the human experience.

North Woods depicts a small piece of western Massachusetts over hundreds of years by combining letters, poems and illustrations with traditional prose. It includes meditations on the area’s animals, residents, and ghosts, among others.

Eastbound represents the only novel in translation represented on the list. Originally published in French, it follows a young Russian conscript and his journey across Siberia.

Source: Studentnewspaper