On Point's Best Books Of 201745:56

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With guest host Tom Gjelten.

We're talking to two book critics and one independent bookseller about their top books of the year. Below, you can check out the books they picked. We talk about a few of them on our show.

And don't miss the On Point staff's picks. Click this link for our favorites. Oh, also, we're collecting our listeners' favorite books of the year — check those out here. (You've got a lot of reading to catch up on.)


Besty Burton, co-owner and co-founder of The King's English bookshop in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Elizabeth Taylor, co-editor of the National Book Review. (@etayloretayor)

Kevin Nguyen, senior editor at GQ. (@knguyen)

Betsy's Picks:

1. “Sing, Unburied, Sing” by Jesmyn Ward

2. “Mrs. Osmond” by John Banville

3. “Silence in the Age of Noise” by Erling Kagge

4. “Leonardo da Vinci” by Walter Isaacson

5. “Anything Is Possible” by Elizabeth Strout

6. “House Of Names” by Colm Tóibín

7. “Autumn” by Ali Smith

8. “This Immeasurable Place: Food and Farming from the Edge of Wilderness: Recipes from Hell's Backbone Grill" by Blake Spalding, Jen Castle and Lavinia Spalding

9. “Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI" by  David Grann

10. “Displaced" by Stephen Abarbanell

Elizabeth's Picks:

1. “The Evangelicals: The Struggle To Reshape America" by Frances FitzGerald

2. “Lincoln in the Bardo” by George Saunders

3. “Cuz: The Life and Times of Michael A." by Danielle Allen

4. “Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder" by Caroline Fraser

5. “Exit West” by Mohsin Hamid

6. “Pachinko” by Min Jin Lee

7. “Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-facts and Fake News" by Kevin Young

8. “Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI” by David Grann

9. “Sing, Unburied, Sing” by Jesmyn Ward

10. “Home Fire” by Kamila Shamsie

Kevin's Picks:

1. “White Tears” by Hari Kunzru

2. “Mrs. Fletcher” by Tom Perrotta

3. “Ghosts of the Tsunami" by Richard Lloyd Parry

4. “Exit West” by Mohsin Hamid

5. “American War” by Omar El Akkad

6. “Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI" by David Grann

7. “Little Fires Everywhere” by Celeste Ng.

8. “Made For Love” by Alissa Nutting

9. “Homesick for Another World” by Ottessa Moshfegh

10. “Locking Up Our Own” by James Forman, Jr.

It’s the holidays, it’s the end of the year, and time to review some of the notable books of 2017. It’s been a year of great political drama and cultural reckoning, and another good year for literature. For those of you considering books as holiday gifts, we have many to choose from, both fiction and nonfiction, from history to science fiction and fantasy. Biographies of great men and women. Even some comedy! This hour, On Point: the Best Books of 2017. --Tom Gjelten

This program aired on December 15, 2017.