NYRB News


Best Books of the Year

Tis the season for gift guides and “best books of the year” lists. We won’t ask if you’ve been naughty or nice, but are confident that someone, if not yourself, deserves one of these books that have made the seasonal lists:

Berlin Stories, chosen by Nicholas Lezard at The Guardian: “A collection of vignettes written as if by some kind of innocent angel, or holy fool. His celebration of the ordinary is like seeing things for the first time, and for his almost mindless optimism not to irritate but to charm shows a sincere genius. Everyone who reads him falls in love with him. Even Kafka did.”

Wolf Story, chosen Dan Kois in Slate: “This ridiculously charming book is about a wolf, and a chicken, and a farmer, but really it’s about an exasperated, loving father in midcentury New York telling his very opinionated son a story.”

Pinocchio, chosen by Julia Eccleshare in The Guardian: “The classic story of the little wooden puppet who longs to become human has lost none of its humour and pathos. Pinocchio is best known for his most unfortunate characteristic – every time he lies, his nose grows longer and longer. The moral is never far from the surface, but the touching father-son relationship between Pinocchio and his maker, the poor woodcarver Geppetto, is just as important. Fulvio Testa’s illustrations capture the jaunty tone of the storytelling.”

Waiting for Barbarians, chosen by the editors of Kirkus Reviews: “Another top-notch collection of previously published criticism from Mendelsohn.”