Here’s their picks (descriptions – when given, come from the library catalogue summaries, unless otherwise noted):
Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon: “Three strangers are drawn into a world in which identities are invented and reinvented according to need, pasts are erased, and the future is perilously uncharted.” Second novel from a prize winning American short story writer.
A Fiery Peace in a Cold War: Bernard Schriever and the ultimate weapon by Neil Sheehan.
In Other Rooms, Other Wonders by Daniyal Mueenuddin: A literary debut that explores class, culture, power, and desire among the ruling and servant classes of Pakistan…. Mueenuddin bares—at times humorously, at times tragically—the complexities of Pakistani class and culture and presents a vivid picture of a time and a place, of the old powers and the new, as the Pakistani feudal order is undermined and transformed.
Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi by Geoff Dyer
The Lost City of Z: a tale of deadly obsession in the Amazon by David Grann
Shop Class as Soulcraft: an inquiry into the value of work by Matthew B. Crawford.
The list hasn’t been without controversy. Several sources, including the NY Times, have pointed out that the list lacks any titles from female authors. PW claims it was as surprised as everyone else when the final list came together and lacked any female authors, but that they compiled the list based on literary merit and “ignored gender and genre and who had the buzz…” What do you think?