|Page 3 of 4 < >|
The best novels of 2010
LORD OF MISRULE , by Jaimy Gordon (McPherson, $25). This novel abounds with observations about horses, money and luck. Gordon has completely mastered the language of the racetrack and formed it into an evocative and idiosyncratic style. Winner of the National Book Award. -Jane Smiley
MAN IN THE WOODS , by Scott Spencer (Ecco, $24.99). An agonizing question hovers over this thriller: Will two decent people have their happiness destroyed because of a senseless encounter with an unbalanced man? -P.A.
THE OTHER FAMILY , by Joanna Trollope (Touchstone; paperback, $15). The story of two families firmly divided yet irrevocably connected by the man who was the biological father in both households. -Reeve Lindbergh
OUR KIND OF TRAITOR , by John le Carr (Viking, $27.95). A Russian moneylender presses a young British couple to help him retire from his dangerous profession. If a better thriller has been published this year, I'd like to see it. -Dennis Drabelle
THE PASSAGE , by Justin Cronin (Ballantine, $27). This spectacular vampire saga - first in a planned trilogy - stitches together scraps of classic horror and science fiction, techno thrillers and apocalyptic terror. -R.C.
PHANTOM NOISE , by Brian Turner (Alice James, $16.95). Turner's poetry shows us soldiers who are invincible and wounded, a nation noble and culpable, and a war by turns necessary and abominable. -Courtney Cook
PRIVATE LIFE , by Jane Smiley (Knopf, $26.95). In the course of this brilliantly imagined, carefully chiseled story, Smiley introduces a rich cast of characters, a virtual rush of Californian diversity. A quantum leap for this author. -Marie Arana
SAVAGE LANDS , by Clare Clark (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25). The struggling French colony of Louisiana provides a richly atmospheric backdrop for the intertwined lives of three settlers who are newcomers to this unwelcoming terrain. -Sybil Steinberg
SELECTED STORIES , by William Trevor (Viking, $35). Wry, wistful, slice-of-life stories that have been likened to those of Anton Chekhov because of their acute observations, limpid prose, and subtlety of presentation. -Ron Hansen