Not necessarily published this year. And in no particular order. Insert any other qualifying statements here.
  1. Wolf Hall & Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
    I KNOW! I'm so behind the times. But for this Tudor-loving gal, both the scholarship and the writing in these tales were riveting. BOOK THREE, PLEASE, MANTEL.
  2. Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Hughette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune by Bill Dedman
    Rich people are CRAZY.
  3. Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget by Sarah Halpern
    Almost too close to home at times, this is the alcoholism memoir young women so desperately need.
  4. Whistling Vivaldi: And Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us by Claude M. Steele
    Fascinating look at how devastating stereotyping is in the educational environment.
  5. The Rocks by Peter Nichols
    Written by a fellow Antioch MFA, it's a gorgeous, sprawling love story and travelogue all in one.
  6. The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League by Jeff Hobbs
    Tragic is right. Sobering and devastating look at the attempts of one young man to escape his embattled home turf and make it in the Ivy League.
  7. Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo
    I'm way behind on this one too, but I finally steeled myself for this grueling and gorgeously written look at life in the Mumbai slums.
  8. Redeployment by Phil Klay
    This is the literary heir to Tim O'Brien's the things they carried. Stunning.
  9. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
    When a virus takes out most of the worlds population, what happens to those who remain? Enthralling.
  10. The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra by Helen Rappaport
    Maybe it's not for everyone, but I sort of have a thing for the Romanovs. This book is perhaps the best I've read about them.