Doctor Zhivago By Boris Pasternak, translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, Vintage, 672 pages, $18.95
Pevear and Volokhonsky’s latest entry in their acclaimed translations of Russian classics is this beautifully told tale of the life and loves of a poet-doctor during the Russian Revolution by a writer of genius.
The Hare with Amber Eyes A Hidden Inheritance, by Edmund de Waal, Picador, 351 pages, $18.50
A surprise hit of 2010, this work by a famous ceramicist is both a memoir and a search for the story behind 264 Japanese carvings (netsuke). Encompassing art, Paris, Proust, the Nazis and generations of his own family, de Waal’s gives us a luminous, superbly crafted work that deservedly peppered year-end best-of lists.
Galileo’s Daughter A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love, by David Sobel, Penguin, 420 pages, $19.50
The award-winning author of Longitude delivers a winning blend of science, history and biography in this life of Maria Celeste, daughter of the great astronomer and cloistered nun. The emergent clash between science and religion is especially well portrayed.
C By Tom McCarthy, Vintage Canada, 388 pages, $21
This Man Booker prize finalist of 2010 is an epic, intricate, complex, pyrotechnic tale about noise, silence and many other things. It takes Serge Carrefax (C is also for cryptic) from the early years of the 20th century through to the birth of the modern era.
The Virgin Suicides By Jeffrey Eugenides, Vintage Canada, 243 pages, $21
This hauntingly beautiful 1993 debut novel follows the suicides over a single year in a Detroit suburb of the five Lisbon sisters, through the eyes of the boys who watched and loved them from a distance. Eugenides’s new novel, T he Marriage Plot, is reviewed today.
Tilted The Trials of Conrad Black, by Steven Skurka, Dundurn, 348 pages, $26.99
Skurka, a Canadian lawyer who attended Conrad Black’s trials in Chicago, shows how both the defence and prosecution attempted to tilt the proceedings in their favour. This new edition updates recent developments in the case, including new interviews.
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