Vanity Fair has reprinted a straw poll of leading journalists who were asked to choose their book of the year for 2016. Frank Rich, former drama critic for the New York Times and currently writer-at-large for New York Magazine, made this selection:
A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh, because it is a great novel about the inexorable passing of an age and a civilization, and surely this is a time to read (or re-read) wise fiction that gives us a wider view of the world than what is right in front of us.
Most of the other journalists chose non-fiction, but these other novels were mentioned:
Jill Lawrence named “… the latest Armand Gamache novel by former journalist Louise Penny, A Great Reckoning. Her literary mysteries are a grand, disturbing, sometimes laugh-out-loud feast of art, evil, psychology, religion, politics, crime and policing (and also bistro food). As a gift, I would recommend Still Life, the first in the series, because each book builds on the one before. Reading them in order is a treat.”
David Shribman, editor-in-chief, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “Hugh MacLennan, The Watch that Ends the Night (McGill-Queens University Press). This is a long forgotten 1959 Canadian novel that may be the best novel I’ve read in decades…The author is known for his classic The Two Solitudes but this is perhaps even better, an examination of friendship, loyalty and revolution in which the most memorable character is not a human but the city of Montreal.”
The poll was conducted by James Warren, Chief Media Writer, Poynter.org and originally appeared on that web site.