New York Public Library Names Last Year's Books to Remember

by Staff

The New York Public Library recently released its list of twenty-five books to remember from 2007, naming poetry, fiction, and nonfiction titles that exemplify “literary excellence, uniqueness of concept, and command of subject matter.”

The list includes several of this year’s prestigious award-winning titles, including Robert Hass’s poetry collection Time and Materials: Poems 1997-2005, which won both the Pulitzer Prize in poetry and a National Book Award; Junot Díaz’s novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, winner of a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Critics Circle Award; and Denis Johnson's novel Tree of Smoke, which won the National Book Award in fiction. The English translation of Per Petterson’s novel Out Stealing Horses won both the IMPAC Dublin Award and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award.

The notable books are:

Agent Zigzag: A True Story of Nazi Espionage, Love, and Betrayal (Harmony Books) by Ben Macintyre

Be Near Me (Harcourt) by Andrew O'Hagan

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Riverhead Books) by Junot Díaz

By George (Little, Brown) by Wesley Stace

Cheating at Canasta (Viking) by William Trevor

Chrysalis: Maria Sibylla Merian and the Secrets of Metamorphosis (Harcourt) by Kim Todd

The Dirt on Clean: An Unsanitized History (North Point Press) by Katherine Ashenburg

The Door: Poems (Houghton Mifflin) by Margaret Atwood

Edith Wharton (Knopf) by Hermione Lee

Empire of Blue Water: Captain Morgan's Great Pirate Army, the Epic Battle for the Americas, and the Catastrophe That Ended the Outlaws' Bloody Reign (Crown) by Stephan Talty

Grammar Lessons: Translating a Life in Spain (University of Iowa Press) by Michele Morano

Heyday (Random House) by Kurt Andersen

Hotel de Dream: A New York Novel (Ecco) by Edmund White

The Indian Clerk (Bloomsbury USA) by David Leavitt

Last Night at the Lobster (Viking) by Stewart O'Nan

Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name (Ecco) by Vendela Vida

The Man Suit (Black Ocean) by Zachary Schomburg

Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present (Doubleday) by Harriet A. Washington

Oscar Micheaux: the Great and Only: The Life of America's First Black Filmmaker (HarperCollins) by Patrick McGilligan

Out Stealing Horses (Graywolf Press) by Per Petterson, translated by Anne Born

The Pesthouse (Nan A. Talese) by Jim Crace

Schulz and Peanuts: A Biography (HarperCollins) by David Michaelis

A Slave No More: Two Men Who Escaped to Freedom, Including Their Own Narratives of Emancipation (Harcourt) by David W. Blight

Time and Materials: Poems 1997-2005 (Ecco) by Robert Hass

Tree of Smoke (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) by Denis Johnson

The selections were made by New York Public Library staff members Matthew Baiotto, Adele Bellinger, Tracy Crawford, Abigail Dreyer, Sarah Jewell, Billy Parrott, Jessica Pigza, Lisa Piraino, and Joseph Vissers. The Books to Remember list is compiled annually to honor titles that "provide an informative or transformative reading experience for adults."