New York Times' 100 Notable Books of 2010

Manila Bulletin, December 25, 2010 | Go to article overview

New York Times' 100 Notable Books of 2010


American Subversive. By David Goodwillie. A bombing unites a blogger and a beautiful eco-terrorist in this literary thriller, an exploration of what motivates radicalism in an age of disillusion.

Angelology. By Danielle Trussoni. With a smitten art historian at her side, the young nun at the center of this rousing first novel is drawn into an ancient struggle against the Nephilim, hybrid offspring of humans and heavenly beings.

The Ask. By Sam Lipsyte. A deeply cynical academic fund-raiser fighting for his job is the protagonist of this darkly humorous satire, a witty paean to white-collar loserdom.

Bound. By Antonya Nelson. For Nelson's complacent heroine, the death of an estranged friend elicits memories of their reckless youth.Comedy in a Minor Key. By Hans Keilson. Set in Nazi-occupied Europe, this novel, appearing only now in English, is a mid-century masterpiece by the centenarian Keilson, who served in the Dutch resistance.Double Happiness: Stories. By Mary-Beth Hughes. Hughes likes to juxtapose her characters' relative passivity with the knife edge of evil within or, more often, outside them.Foreign Bodies. By Cynthia Ozick. This nimble, entertaining homage to Henry James's late work "The Ambassadors," in which an American heads to Paris to retrieve a wayward son, brilliantly upends the theme, meaning and stylistic manner of its revered precursor.Freedom. By Jonathan Franzen.

Fun with Problems: Stories. By Robert Stone. Our enduring central struggle - the battle between the head and the heart - is enacted again and again in Stone's collection.Girl by the Road at Night: A Novel of Vietnam. By David Rabe. In this tale of war and eros, two young people from opposite ends of the earth are caught up in events far beyond their control.The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. By Stieg Larsson. In the third installment of the pulse-racing trilogy featuring Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander, the pair are threatened by an adversary from deep within the very government that should be protecting them.Great House. By Nicole Krauss. In this tragic vision of a novel, Nadia, a writer in New York, faces a wrenching parting when a girl shows up to claim an enormous desk that has been in her safekeeping for decades.How to Live Safely in a Fictional Universe. By Charles Yu. Yu wraps his lonely story of a time machine repairman in layers of gorgeous meta-science-fiction.How to Read the Air. By Dinaw Mengestu. Mengestu's own origins inform this tale of an Ethiopian-American tracing the uncertain road once taken by his parents.I Curse the River of Time. By Per Petterson. This novel's lonely Scandinavian protagonist grapples with divorce, death and the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Ilustrado. By Miguel Syjuco.The Imperfectionists. By Tom Rachman. This intricate novel is built around the personal stories of staff members at an improbable English-language newspaper in Rome, and of the family who founded it in the 1950s.The Invisible Bridge. By Julie Orringer. Orringer's protagonist is a Jewish architecture student in late-1930s Paris forced to return home to Hungary ahead of the Nazi invasion there.Magenta Soul Whip. By Lisa Robertson. In these intellectual poems, the experimental curtains suddenly part to reveal clear, durable truth.The Living Fire: New and Selected Poems, 1975-2010. By Edward Hirsch. Hirsch's "living fire" is an irrational counterforce with which he balances his dignified quotidian.The Long Song. By Andrea Levy. Levy's high-spirited, ambitious heroine works on a plantation in the final days of slavery in Jamaica.The Lost Books of The Odyssey. By Zachary Mason. The conceit behind the multiple Odysseuses here (comic, dead, doubled, amnesiac) is that this is a translation of an ancient papyrus, a collection of variations on the myth.The Lotus Eaters. By Tatjana Soli. The photojournalist heroine of Soli's Vietnam War novel ponders whether those who represent war merely replicate its violence. …

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