Annual Best Books of the Year So Far

These lists of titles are hand-picked by Books editors and are chosen from the following seven categories: Mysteries & Thrillers, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Teens, Biographies & Memoirs, Business & Investing, and Nonfiction.

The Top 10 books of the year so far:

“The Sisters Brothers” by Patrick deWitt: Charlie and Eli Sisters are two hired guns who always get their man, but while Charlie is an old hand at killing, melancholic Eli yearns for a different life. Patrick deWitt takes the classic Western and transforms it into a comic tour-de-force with a generous amount of heart.*Note: Canadian author.

“Bossypants” by Tina Fey: Like the author herself, Fey’s autobiography is short, messy and impossibly funny.

“Blood, Bones, & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef” by Gabrielle Hamilton: A delectable memoir, tinged with adrenaline and too-little sleep–Hamilton recounts the unexpected dissolution of her idyllic family, her move to New York City at sixteen and her simmering passion for cooking.

“Alone in the Classroom” by Elizabeth Hay: Giller Prize-winning author, Elizabeth Hay, delivers a richly conceived novel, set in Saskatchewan and the Ottawa Valley, that delves into the complexity of human relationships, the nature of learning and memory, and a disturbing act that reverberates across generations. *Note: Canadian author.

“Moonwalking with Einstein: The Artand Science of Remembering Everything” by Joshua Foer: Foer learned the tricks of the masters as he went from journalist covering the U.S. Memory Championship to actual participant.

“In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin” by Erik Larson: In recounting the experiences of America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s regime and the Ambassador’s scandalously carefree daughter, Larson crafts a gripping, intimate narrative with a climax like the best political thrillers.

“The Tiger’s Wife” by Téa Obreht: Set during the war that tore apart Yugoslavia, Obreht’s astounding debut follows a young doctor in search of answers about her grandfather’s death. Readers will swoon as they are transported to the crossroads of narrative, myth, memory, and something even deeper.

“Please Look After Mom” by Kyung-Sook Shin: Kyung-Sook Shin’s elegantly spare prose is a joy to read as she uses multiple voices to relate the moving story of a mother and her family’s search for her after she goes missing in a crowded train station.

“Before I Go to Sleep” by S.J. Watson: In this gem of a debut thriller, Christine has developed a rare form of amnesia as a result of a mysterious accident. Each morning she relies on her husband Ben to explain their life together–until one day when Christine discovers a note in her journal: “Don’t trust Ben.”

“Lost in Shangri-La: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II” by Mitchell Zuckoff: Three survivors of an airplane crash are stranded deep in an impenetrable New Guinea jungle notorious for its cannibalistic tribes. A riveting story of deliverance under the most unlikely of circumstances, it deserves its place among the greatest survival stories of World War II. editors also chose their ten favorite Canadian titles of the year so far:

01. “The Free World” by David Bezmozgis

02. “The Sisters Brothers” by Patrick deWitt
03. “The Water Rat of Wanchai” by Ian Hamilton
04. “Alone in the Classroom” by Elizabeth Hay
05. “The Witch of Babylon” by D.J. McIntosh
06. “The Guilty Plea” by Robert Rotenberg
07. “Wonder” by Robert J. Sawyer
08. “Dogs at the Perimeter” by Madeleine Thien
09. “The Divinity Gene” by Matthew J. Trafford
10. “The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary” by Andrew Westoll