25 Books to Remember from 2005
Annotation:The complex life of the pioneering physicist is fully explored in this rich combination of biography and 20th Century scientific and political history.
Annotation:An award-winning American journalist skillfully presents a balanced, vital, and highly readable chronicle of the ongoing Iraq War and the people affected by its consequences.
Annotation:This heartbreaking debut novel set in West Africa tells the story a young boy who is recruited by guerilla soldiers after his father’s brutal death.
Annotation:The dramatic story of two boxers provides a context for understanding the political, cultural and social tensions leading up to World War II.
Annotation:Bordewich’s thoroughly researched history of the Underground Railroad compellingly examines the abolitionist movement and the nation’s shifting sentiment about slavery
Annotation:Watson vividly reconstructs the story of 1912 textile strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts, a watershed moment in American labor history.
Annotation:This wonderful romp follows two naturalists and an artist in search of a carnivorous marsupial presumed to be extinct. Illustrated by Alexis Rockman.
Annotation:In this humorous, heartbreaking odyssey, Oskar Schell, the nine-year-old son of a man killed in the September 11 attacks, scours New York City to unravel the mystery of a key his father left behind.
Annotation:Michael’s impoverished childhood is shaped by family woes and a troubled community and nation in this compelling coming-of-age story set in rural Ireland.
Annotation:The fauna of her New Hampshire farm, political history and the lessons of aging are among the subjects explored in these direct, expressive poems.
Annotation:Clever constructions of 1950s culture and trenchant takes on feminism and mortality characterize this tough, witty collection of verse.
Annotation:General Sherman’s legendary march through Georgia and the Carolinas is retraced in this panoramic historical tale of slavery, war and freedom.
Annotation:In this elegantly crafted novel, an idyllic British boarding school is the dramatic setting for an alternate reality marked by childhood secrets and betrayals.
Annotation:In this haunting first novel, a blue-collar suburb of Detroit is shaken by the gradual and mysterious disappearance of its family men.
Annotation:The lives of a Jamaican immigrant couple and their British landlords collide in unexpected and intimate ways as London rebuilds itself from the devastation of World War II.
Annotation:In this unforgettable debut tale of the 1840s Oregon migration, a Scottish frontiersman’s life changes when he meets a pioneer woman who helps him confront his sorrow.
Annotation:This provocative novel tells the story of an acclaimed New York artist who spends 30 years practicing her sacred craft on a remote South Pacific Island.
Annotation:Distinguished biographer Gordon vividly portrays the life and genius of the uncompromising, unconventional and prescient 18th Century feminist.
Annotation:This intimate, subversive and farsighted collection by an Iraqi poet chronicles the effects of tyranny and war on the psyche. Translated from the Arabic by Elizabeth Winslow.
Annotation:This gripping fictional account of September 11, 2001 juxtaposes the story of a family gathering on the morning of the terrorist attacks with a writer’s reflection of the event one year later. Translated from the French by Frank Wynne.
Annotation:Generously written with candor and grace, Didion’s potent memoir records her effort to cope with her husband’s sudden death and her daughter’s illness and to understand grief.
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Books to Remember is an annual list of 25 titles chosen for their ability to provide an informative or transformative reading experience for adults. Selection criteria include literary excellence, uniqueness of concept and command of subject matter. These books were selected by the following committee from the staff of The New York Public Library: Susan Chute, Frannie Crook, Malynda Dalton (Chair), Francie Einenkel, Faith Jones, Glenn Mills, Auburn Nelson. Selected titles appearing on this booklist may be available in recorded, braille or large print versions.