Magazine article Newsweek

A Ghost, A Wizard and the Rest Are Joys

Magazine article Newsweek

A Ghost, A Wizard and the Rest Are Joys

Article excerpt

All years have beginnings and ends, firsts and bests. But in the world of books, 2007 felt like a year of final chapters. After nine novels, Philip Roth laid to rest his alter ego, Nathan Zuckerman. J. K. Rowling gave Harry Potter a magical send-off. And the late Arthur Schlesinger Jr. left us his marvelous thoughts. Visit Newsweek.com for lists from our cultural critics; we start here with consensus picks for 2007's best books.

Exit Ghost Philip Roth

Long-recurring protagonist Nathan Zuckerman -- a sort of alt-Roth -- finally comes to the end of his road. Impotence, incontinence and flagging energy couldn't destroy him as a writer and a man; now, welcome to memory loss. Roth, meanwhile, has his old power -- and then some.

Falling Man Don DeLillo

In this novel about a few lives in the wake of 9/11, DeLillo stares down the temptation to expound on Important Themes, preferring instead to register just what it was like to live through that strange time when everything seemed vivid and nothing added up. A disquieting, haunting book.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows J. K. Rowling

The seventh and final installment of the "Potter" series went in no radical directions -- Harry didn't die -- but Rowling (top left) niftily tied up one plotline after another. Kids who grew up on these novels have no idea how lucky they are.

Journals Arthur Schlesinger Jr.

Historian and history maker Arthur Schlesin-ger Jr. seemed to know everything and everybody. (What other journals do you know that include encounters with Adlai Stevenson and Mick Jagger? …

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