Fresh Air book critic Maureen Corrigan lists her favorite books of 2005, including novels by Mary Gaitskill and Kazuo Ishiguro, and memoirs by Joan Didion and J.R. Moehringer.
Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.Veronica by Mary Gaitskill: Gaitskill's second novel explores the unlikely friendship between two women: one ugly, middle-aged and dying, and the other young and beautiful. The History of Love by Nicole Krauss: "I read [this] in a few stunned hours... Krauss is ambitious in her storyline and themes and has the gifts to carry out her big ideas," says Corrigan. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro: Ishiguro's sci-fi-tinged novel about the students in an ususual British boarding school was short-listed for the Booker Prize. The Tender Bar by J. R. Moehringer: The journalist's memoir centers on his youth in his hometown pub in Manhasset, Long Island. The Woman at the Washington Zoo by Majorie Williams: The late political journalist's writings were compiled by her husband, Slate contributor Timothy Noah. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion: Didion's acclaimed memoir, written in the period after her husband's death, won the National Book Award this year. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova: This debut novel about Dracula created a bidding war in the publishing industry and was a listener favorite over the summer. Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin: The high-profile historian examines Abraham Lincoln's political acumen. The Tulip and the Pope by Deborah Larsen: Larsen recalls her experience as a young woman who decided to become in a nun in the 1960s. "Without disparaging or sentimentalizing the convent world that once was her life, Larsen conveys its drowsy power," Corrigan says. Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire's Slaves by Adam Hochschild: Hochschild offers a compelling history of the abolitionist movement in Britain. Death in the Garden by Elizabeth Ironside: Classic crime fiction from the other side of the pond. Citizen Vince by Jess Walter: Walter tells a tale of crime and redemption set in Washington State.
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