National Book Critics Best of 2007 List

The National Book Critics Circle has, for the first time, asked its members and former winners to submit the title of the book from 2007 (Well, sort of. See the rules.) they'd recommend for others to read. So, it's not really a best of list, but the "Best Recommended" list.

It seems that more former nominees and winners submitted titles than member critics, but maybe that's just a sign that writers are more interested in reading good books than critics. Or maybe they're more excited about recognition for deserving books, even if it's not their own. The NBCC plans to do the list monthly next year, which I think might be going too deep in a shallow pool, but it will get some minimal publicity for books that are getting no help from their publishers.

The fiction winners for 2007 are:
1. Junot Diaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Riverhead)
2. Denis Johnson, Tree of Smoke (Farrar Straus & Giroux)
3. Michael Chabon, The Yiddish Policeman’s Union (HarperCollins)
4. Philip Roth, Exit Ghost (Houghton Mifflin)
5. Per Petterson, Out Stealing Horses (Graywolf)

The only one of those that I'm familiar with at all is Roth's Exit Ghost, which I started and then quit when I realized I really wanted to read the series in order.

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