The 5 Best Fiction Books of '06 per The NY Times

Absurdistan Absurdistan By Gary Shteyngart
"An inventive, witty book, whose self-defeating hero and dark humor tempered with pessimistic social realism rarely fail to entertain."
Special Topics in Calamity Physics Special Topics in Calamity Physics By Marisha Pessl
Double stars for this one, my personal favorite of the year.
"The antic ghost of Nabokov hovers over this buoyantly literate first novel, a murder mystery narrated by a teenager enamored of her own precocity but also in thrall to her father, an enigmatic itinerant professor, and to the charismatic female teacher whose death is announced on the first page."
The Collected Stories The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel
"These are stories about people who make choices that seem inevitable, whose longings and misgivings evoke eternal human experience. With compassion, wit, and the acutest eye, Hempel observes the marriages, minor disasters, and moments of revelation in an uneasy America."
The Emperor's Children The Emperor's Children By Claire Messud
"Superbly intelligent, keenly observed comedy of manners, set amid the glitter of cultural Manhattan in 2001, also looks unsparingly, though sympathetically, at a privileged class unwittingly poised, in its insularity, for the catastrophe of 9/11. "
The Lay of the Land The Lay of the Land By Richard Ford
"The third installment, following "The Sportswriter" and "Independence Day", in the serial epic of Frank Bascombe, flawed husband, fuddled dad, writer turned real estate agent and voluble first-person narrator."

Posted December 04, 2006 Permalink