Michael Silverblatt’s Top 5 Fiction Picks of the Year

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett (Harper)
A hugely entertaining family saga. I read it over one weekend and couldn’t put it down.

Another Brooklyn by Jacquelyn Woodson (Amistad)
A deeply affecting novel about the way we remember the past.  Although Woodson is best known for her magnificent Brown Girl Dreaming, this is her first adult novel in twenty years — it’s subtle and graceful.

An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine (Grove)
The perfect novel for the older person in your life who loves to read. It’s really a novel about solitude and soul-satisfaction; it’s one of a kind.

Do Not Be a Gentleman When You Say Goodnight by Mitch Sisskind (The Song Cave)
The first collection in 40 years of stories and poems from this hilarious writer. I think Mitch Sisskind is the funniest living writer in America — he brings many of the traditions of Jewish comedy back to life —  he makes you laugh and cry at the same time.

Float by Anne Carson (Knopf)
Float comes in a box containing twenty-two pamphlets, each a separate work; they can be read in any order. Anne Carson’s genius is undeniable. In this new work her insightfulness is fully on display. This is for the reader who likes experimental fiction, essays and poetry.