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Best of 2011: 3 More Lists

Yes, the lists just keep coming. Here are 3 more from NPR:

Fired Up: The Year’s Best Science Fiction, Fantasy

Here are five of the best, most interesting, most mutated science fiction and fantasy novels published this year.

  • A Dance with Dragons, George R. R. Martin
  • The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, Catherynne M. Valente
  • Rule 34, Charles Stross
  • The Heroes, Joe Abercrombie
  • Delirium, Lauren Oliver

7 Books With Personality: Nancy Pearl’s 2011 Picks

Nancy Pearl speaks:

Although all works of fiction and narrative nonfiction have characters — be they animals, hobbits, dragons, humans, werewolves or whatever — I’ve found that there are some books in which these characters are three-dimensional and awfully interesting. (Whether or not they’re likable is another question.) These characters become, as the story progresses, more and more real to me. It’s as though they’ve become good friends.

I’m always on the lookout for this kind of book, but they’re not always easy to find. Oh, I’ve read plenty of novels in which the characters are pleasant enough, but they’re not particularly memorable. The sort of book I’m talking about here leaves you with a longing to find out what happened to the characters after the book ended. Here are some books — six novels and a work of history — that have marvelously evoked characters.

Read why she chose each of these books:

  • In Zanesville, Jo Ann Beard
  • A World on Fire: Britain’s Crucial Role in the American Civil War, Amanda Foreman
  • Blind Sight, Meg Howrey
  • The Summer of the Bear, Bella Pollen
  • By George, Wesley Stace
  • Vaclav & Lena, Haley Tanner
  • Down the Mysterly River, Bill Willingham

Year-End Wrap-Up: The 10 Best Novels Of 2011

Maureen Corrigan has chosen these:

  • Swamplandia! Karen Russell
  • Open City, Teju Cole
  • The Submission, Amy Waldman
  • The Art of Fielding, Chad Harbach
  • The Illumination, Kevin Brockmeier
  • The Leftovers, Tom Perrotta
  • The Marriage Plot, Jeffrey Eugenides
  • State of Wonder, Ann Patchett
  • Train Dreams, Denis Johnson
  • The Pale King: An Unfinished Novel, David Foster Wallace