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New York Times Notable Books of 2015

The gray lady picked 20 Macmillan titles:

Fiction & Poetry

THE BEAUTIFUL BUREAUCRAT by Helen Phillips
An administrative worker’s experiences pose existential questions in Phillips’s riveting, drolly surreal debut novel.

CITIZEN: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine
A meditation, in prose poems, images and essays, on what it means to be black in our racially divided society.

A MANUAL FOR CLEANING WOMEN: Selected Stories by Lucia Berlin
In these unadorned linked stories, Berlin examines women under duress and figures on America’s fringes.

OUTLINE by Rachel Cusk
Cusk’s heartbreaking portrait of poise, sympathy, regret and rage suggests a powerful alternate route for the biographical novel.

PURITY by Jonathan Franzen
Connections emerge slowly as lies and secrets are revealed in this intricately plotted novel about the corruptions of money and power.

THE SELLOUT by Paul Beatty
Beatty’s satire breaks open the private jokes and secrets of blackness in a way that feels powerful and profane but not escapist.

SUBMISSION by Michel Houellebecq
In Houellebecq’s morally complex novel, an alienated French professor and a France without faith or values yield to an Islamic government.

THE WHITES by Richard Price writing as Harry Brandt
Most readers will never come close to a New York homicide investigation, but they will instinctively know that Price’s insightful crime novel has this world down right.

Nonfiction

THE ARGONAUTS by Maggie Nelson
An exploration of the way our bodies define and limit us considers the author’s pregnancy and her partner’s own changes.

THE CRIME AND THE SILENCE: Confronting the Massacre of Jews in Wartime Jedwabne by Anna Bikont
A beautifully written and devastating reconstruction of mass murder and its denial.

DO NO HARM: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery by Henry Marsh
A neurosurgeon’s frank and absorbing account combines biography, descriptions of operations and considerations of policy.

GIVE US THE BALLOT: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America by Ari Berman
This engrossing narrative history of voting rights since 1965 focuses on the debate between two competing visions.

LISTENING TO STONE: The Art and Life of Isamu Noguchi by Hayden Herrera
Noguchi’s mother, a fascinating and tragic figure, haunted his expression much as she haunts the pages of Herrera’s elegant biography.

MODERNITY BRITAIN: 1957-62 by David Kynaston
Kynaston’s brilliant multivolume postwar history continues in this tapestry of social, political and economic change.

THE MONOPOLISTS: Obsession, Fury, and the Scandal Behind the World’s Favorite Board Game by Mary Pilon
The real story behind Monopoly, and the woman who went unrecognized for her role in its creation.

THE ODD WOMAN AND THE CITY: A Memoir by Vivian Gornick
Gornick’s account encompasses her quirky New York encounters but is essentially about being alone.

ONE OF US: The Story of Anders Breivik and the Massacre in Norway by Asne Seierstad
An exploration of the dark side of Scandinavia today.

THE OTHER PARIS by Luc Sante
Sante, the author of LOW LIFE, here celebrates the bohemian, the criminal and the louche in the history of the City of Light.

THE WEATHER EXPERIMENT: The Pioneers Who Sought to See the Future by Peter Moore
Unlike many British-centric meteorological histories, Moore’s evocative account pays homage to American contributions.

WITCHES OF AMERICA by Alex Mar
Mar presents a seeker’s memoir told through a quilted veil: a collection of strong journalistic profiles of fascinating modern practitioners of the occult.

Check out the handy-dandy Edelweiss collection.

 

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