100 Notable Books of the Year 2006. The New York Times.

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  • FICTION & POETRY
  • ABSURDISTAN. By Gary Shteyngart. (Random House, $24.95.) A young American-educated Russian with an ill-gotten fortune waits to return to the United States in this darkly comic novel.
  • AFTER THIS. By Alice McDermott. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $24.) In her effectively elliptical novel, McDermott continues to scrutinize the lives of Irish Catholics on Long Island.
  • AGAINST THE DAY. By Thomas Pynchon. (Penguin Press, $35.) In Pynchon's globe-trotting tale, set (mostly) on the eve of World War I, anarchic Americans collide with quasi-psychic European hedonists and a crew of boyish balloonists, anticipating the shocks to come.
  • ALENTEJO BLUE. By Monica Ali. (Scribner, $24.) Ali's second novel revolves around the inhabitants of a southern Portuguese village.
  • ALL AUNT HAGAR'S CHILDREN. By Edward P. Jones. (Amistad/HarperCollins, $25.95.) Several characters from Jones's first story collection return in this one, set mostly in Washington, D.C.
  • APEX HIDES THE HURT. By Colson Whitehead. (Doubleday. $22.95.) In this parablelike novel, a commercial "nomenclature consultant" is hired to name a Midwestern town, and his task turns into an exploration of the corruption of language.
  • ARTHUR AND GEORGE. By Julian Barnes. (Knopf, $24.95.) A metaphysical mystery starring Arthur (Conan Doyle), spiritual detective.
  • AVERNO. By Louise Glück. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $22.) Poems inspired by the underworld of myth confront our most intractable fears.
  • BEASTS OF NO NATION. By Uzodinma Iweala. (HarperCollins, $16.95.) A first novel set in an unidentified West African land; its hero finds himself corrupted by contagious violence.
  • BLACK SWAN GREEN. By David Mitchell. (Random House, $23.95.) The magic of being a 13-year-old boy and exploring the world intersects, eventually, with the trials of real life.
  • BROOKLAND. By Emily Barton. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $25.) A tale of 18th-century sisters, one with a dream to bridge the East River.
  • COLLECTED POEMS, 1947-1997. By Allen Ginsberg. (HarperCollins, $39.95.) A hefty, brilliant volume that shows Ginsberg (1926-97) to be not only a legendary protest writer but also a lyric poet preoccupied with passion, place and fate.
  • THE COLLECTED STORIES OF AMY HEMPEL. (Scribner, $27.50.) The themes of Hempel's unsettling and blackly funny vignettes — mortality, desire and fear of human connection — are threaded with only the slenderest hopes of redemption.
  • THE DEAD FISH MUSEUM. By Charles D'Ambrosio. (Knopf, $22.) Stories of understated realism centered on the charged relations between fathers and sons, drifters or workers.
  • DIGGING TO AMERICA. By Anne Tyler. (Knopf, $24.95.) In Tyler's new novel, two families — one recently arrived Iranian-American, the other all-American — begin an unlikely friendship after both adopt Korean babies.
  • THE DISSIDENT. By Nell Freudenberger. (Ecco/HarperCollins, $25.95.) A Chinese artist is a guest of a dysfunctional Beverly Hills family in this debut novel of global misunderstanding.
  • THE DREAM LIFE OF SUKHANOV. By Olga Grushin. (Putnam, $24.95.) A Soviet artist sacrifices his talent for the party in this first novel.
  • EAT THE DOCUMENT. By Dana Spiotta. (Scribner, $24.) After years underground, '70s radicals who are haunted by the past and insecure in the present reunite and face their crime's consequences.
  • THE ECHO MAKER. By Richard Powers. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $25.) This novel's heroine tries to help her brother after a mysterious truck crash leaves him with a rare form of amnesia.
  • THE EMPEROR'S CHILDREN. By Claire Messud. (Knopf, $25.) The shocks of 9/11 disrupt the privileged lives of a group of young urban media types in this nimble, satirically chiding novel.
  • EVERYMAN. By Philip Roth. (Houghton Mifflin, $24.) A nameless protagonist grapples with aging, physical decline and impending death in this slender, elegant novel.
  • FORGETFULNESS. By Ward Just. (Houghton Mifflin, $25.) In this novel, one of Just's best, a small-time American spy uneasily revisits his earlier life after his French wife is murdered.
  • GALLATIN CANYON: Stories. By Thomas McGuane. (Knopf, $24.) McGuane's portraits of American manhood have the capacity to astonish.
  • GATE OF THE SUN. By Elias Khoury. Translated by Humphrey Davies. (Archipelago, $26.) A rich novel of the Arab experience, full of pain but tempered by hope.
  • GOLDEN COUNTRY. By Jennifer Gilmore. (Scribner, $25.) In this debut novel, two Jewish families seek material success and social acceptance across the decades of the 20th century.
  • HALF OF A YELLOW SUN. By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. (Knopf, $24.95.) A novel about sisters caught in the horrors of the Biafran War.
  • HIGH LONESOME: New & Selected Stories, 1966-2006. By Joyce Carol Oates. (Ecco/HarperCollins, $34.95.) A coherent overview of Oates's work, mixing classic with new stories.
  • THE INHABITED WORLD. By David Long. (Houghton Mifflin, $23.) This novel's hero, a ghost, looks back ruefully on his suicide and longs to help a woman survive her own despair.
  • THE INHERITANCE OF LOSS. By Kiran Desai. (Atlantic Monthly, $24.) The poised story, set in northern India, of disparate characters united by the toxic legacy of colonialism.
  • INTUITION. By Allegra Goodman. (Dial, $25.) A cancer researcher's dubious finding sets off a tidal wave that carries many people away.
  • THE KEEP. By Jennifer Egan. (Knopf, $23.95.) Old grievances drive the plot of this novel, set in a castle and a prison. Egan deftly weaves threads of sordid realism and John Fowles-like magic.
  • LAST EVENINGS ON EARTH. By Roberto Bolaño. Translated by Chris Andrews. (New Directions, $23.95.) The Pinochet years haunt these stories by a Chilean writer who died in 2003.
  • THE LAY OF THE LAND. By Richard Ford. (Knopf, $26.95.) Frank Bascombe, the mundane hero of Ford's earlier novels "The Sportswriter" and "Independence Day," finds himself afflicted with intimations of mortality.
  • LISEY'S STORY. By Stephen King. (Scribner, $28.) In this haunting love story, the widow of a celebrated writer takes up arms against a murderous stalker in this world and a blood-hungry beast in the world beyond.
  • NEW AND COLLECTED POEMS, 1964-2006. By Ishmael Reed. (Carroll & Graf, $25.95.) Poetry of politics and diversity, suffused with humor.
  • OLD FILTH. By Jane Gardam. (Europa, paper, $14.95.) The fictional tale of a Raj orphan whose acronymic nickname (from "Failed in London, Try Hong Kong") tells only part of the story.
  • ONE GOOD TURN. By Kate Atkinson. (Little, Brown, $24.99.) An Edinburgh road-rage incident sets off a string of murders in this deft thriller.
  • ONLY REVOLUTIONS. By Mark Z. Danielewski. (Pantheon, $26.) A structurally experimental road-trip novel with a road like a Möbius strip.
  • THE POSSIBILITY OF AN ISLAND. By Michel Houellebecq. Translated by Gavin Bowd. (Knopf, $24.95.) In this new novel from the French author, a radical libertine becomes the progenitor of a line of clones.
  • THE ROAD. By Cormac McCarthy. (Knopf, $24.) A man and his son travel across a post-apocalyptic landscape in this terrifying parable.
  • SKINNER'S DRIFT. By Lisa Fugard. (Scribner, $25.) A white farm family is the foreground of this novel; behind it, the sins of South Africa.
  • SPECIAL TOPICS IN CALAMITY PHYSICS. By Marisha Pessl. (Viking, $25.95.) A motherless waif whose life has been shaped by road trips with her father joins a circle of students around a charismatic teacher with a tragic secret.
  • THE STORIES OF MARY GORDON. By Mary Gordon. (Pantheon, $26.) Motifs from Gordon's life, particularly the pain of childhood grief, resurface throughout this collection
  • STRONG IS YOUR HOLD. By Galway Kinnell. (Houghton Mifflin, $25.) Kinnell's first collection of new poems in more than a decade revisits themes of marriage, friendship and death, with long, loose lines reminiscent of Whitman.
  • SUITE FRANÇAISE. By Irène Némirovsky. Translated by Sandra Smith. (Knopf, $25.) Before dying at Auschwitz in 1942, Némirovsky wrote these two exquisitely shaped novellas about France in defeat. But the manuscripts came to light only in the late '90s.
  • TERRORIST. By John Updike. (Knopf, $24.95.) Updike's latest novel knits together preoccupations that have been with him for some 50 years — sex, death, religion — as an American high school boy, half-Irish, half-Egyptian, is intoxicated by Islamic radicalism.
  • THE TRANSLATOR. By Leila Aboulela. (Black Cat/Grove/Atlantic; paper, $12.) A Muslim widow's love for an agnostic Scottish Islamic scholar allows her to nourish a hope for happiness.
  • TWILIGHT OF THE SUPERHEROES. By Deborah Eisenberg. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $23.) A contemporary master of the short story leavens familial angst with mordant humor in her fifth collection in 20 years.
  • THE USES OF ENCHANTMENT. By Heidi Julavits. (Doubleday, $24.95.) A teenage girl is either a victim or a false accuser in this dark-humored novel of psychoanalysis and prep school angst.
  • A WOMAN IN JERUSALEM. By A. B. Yehoshua. Translated by Hillel Halkin. (Harcourt, $25.) This novel's hero journeys to return a woman's body to her family in a remote former Soviet Republic.
  • NONFICTION
  • THE AFTERLIFE. By Donald Antrim. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $21.) Antrim's memoir reckons with his complicated grief at the death of his emotionally volatile, alcoholic mother.
  • AMERICA AT THE CROSSROADS: Democracy, Power, and the Neoconservative Legacy. By Francis Fukuyama. (Yale University, $25.) Parting ways with fellow neocons, Fukuyama censures their blunders and those of the Bush administration, and offers advice for the future.
  • ANDREW CARNEGIE. By David Nasaw. (Penguin Press, $35.) Nasaw's colorful biography reveals a far from conventional capitalist.
  • AT CANAAN'S EDGE: America in the King Years, 1965-68. By Taylor Branch. (Simon & Schuster, $35.) The third volume, remarkable for its breadth and detail, in the Pulitzer Prize-winning author's history of the life and times of Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement.
  • AVA GARDNER: "Love Is Nothing." By Lee Server. (St. Martin's, $29.95.) A fond reckoning of her marriages, affairs, friendships and movies.
  • THE BLIND SIDE: Evolution of a Game. By Michael Lewis. (Norton, $24.95.) From the mean streets to salvation by football: a schoolboy's story.
  • BLOOD AND THUNDER: An Epic of the American West. By Hampton Sides. (Doubleday, $26.95.) A history of this country's brutal Westward expansion, with Kit Carson at its center.
  • BLUE ARABESQUE: A Search for the Sublime. By Patricia Hampl. (Harcourt, $22.) A memoir of Hampl's quest for art with transcendent power.
  • CLEMENTE: The Passion and Grace of Baseball's Last Hero. By David Maraniss. (Simon & Schuster, $26.) A Pulitzer Prize winner whose previous subjects have included Vince Lombardi and Bill Clinton turns to baseball's first Latino superstar.
  • CONSIDER THE LOBSTER: And Other Essays. By David Foster Wallace. (Little, Brown, $25.95.) Magazine articles with a moral framework.
  • THE COURTIER AND THE HERETIC: Leibniz, Spinoza, and the Fate of God in the Modern World. By Matthew Stewart. (Norton, $25.95.) An unlikely page-turner about a 17th-century metaphysical duel, fought in deceit and intrigue, that continues to this day.
  • THE DISCOMFORT ZONE: A Personal History. By Jonathan Franzen. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $22.) Essays by the author of "The Corrections" focus on formative experiences of his youth.
  • EAT, PRAY, LOVE: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia. By Elizabeth Gilbert. (Viking, $24.95.) A charismatic but troubled traveler seeks a balance of pleasure and devotion — and finds romance.
  • FALLING THROUGH THE EARTH: A Memoir. By Danielle Trussoni. (Holt, $23.) With affection, respect and humor, a daughter tries to make sense of the demons her father brought home from the Vietcong's subterranean labyrinth.
  • FIASCO: The American Military Adventure in Iraq. By Thomas E. Ricks. (Penguin Press, $27.95.) A comprehensive account, by a veteran Pentagon correspondent for The Washington Post, of how a bungled occupation fed a ballooning insurgency.
  • FIELD NOTES FROM A CATASTROPHE: Man, Nature, and Climate Change. By Elizabeth Kolbert. (Bloomsbury, $22.95.) A global tour of the evidence, with scientists the author meets along the way doing most of the talking.
  • FLAUBERT: A Biography. By Frederick Brown. (Little, Brown, $35.) The man behind "Madame Bovary" is brought to life as a romantic and a realist, a dreamer and a debunker.
  • FUN HOME: A Family Tragicomic. By Alison Bechdel. (Houghton Mifflin, $19.95.) A lesbian comes to terms with the life and death of her closeted gay father in this graphic memoir.
  • THE GHOST MAP: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic — and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World. By Steven Johnson. (Riverhead, $26.95.) How John Snow answered the riddle of cholera in 1854.
  • THE GREAT DELUGE: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. By Douglas Brinkley. (Morrow/ HarperCollins, $29.95.) A historian's account of the horrors spawned by the infamous storm, many of them man-made.
  • THE GREATEST STORY EVER SOLD: The Decline and Fall of Truth From 9/11 to Katrina. By Frank Rich. (Penguin Press, $25.95.) The Times columnist indicts the Bush administration's approach to message management.
  • HAPPINESS: A History. By Darrin M. McMahon. (Atlantic Monthly, $27.50.) A tour of Western philosophy and its efforts to understand that sought-after yet most elusive of states.
  • HEAT: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany. By Bill Buford. (Knopf, $25.95.) The former New Yorker fiction editor's life-altering culinary apprenticeship at Babbo and beyond.
  • IRAN AWAKENING: A Memoir of Revolution and Hope. By Shirin Ebadi with Azadeh Moaveni. (Random House, $24.95.) The Nobel laureate tells her life story, from growing up in pre-revolutionary Iran to taking on the authorities as a foremost defender of human rights.
  • JAMES TIPTREE, JR.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon. By Julie Phillips. (St. Martin's, $27.95.) A biography of the complex woman who, as James Tiptree Jr., found in science fiction the perfect genre for telling her own story.
  • JANE GOODALL: The Woman Who Redefined Man. By Dale Peterson. (Houghton Mifflin, $35.) A meticulous portrait of the pioneering researcher whose years of observing chimpanzees changed the way we see our fellow primates.
  • KATE: The Woman Who Was Hepburn. By William J. Mann. (Holt, $30.) Mann's biography takes some complicated sexual algebra into account.
  • LEE MILLER: A Life. By Carolyn Burke. (Knopf, $35.) She was a muse to artists like Man Ray, and an artist herself, photographing the horror of war; that work, though, was ultimately her undoing.
  • THE LOOMING TOWER: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11. By Lawrence Wright. (Knopf, $27.95.) How a few men mounted a catastrophic assault on America, even as another group of men and women tried desperately to stop it.
  • THE LOST: A Search for Six of Six Million. By Daniel Mendelsohn. (HarperCollins, $27.95.) Grappling with the Holocaust in both its personal and geopolitical dimensions, Mendelsohn reconstructs the story of his great-uncle's family.
  • MAYFLOWER: A Story of Courage, Community, and War. By Nathaniel Philbrick. (Viking, $29.95.) Philbrick's vivid account of the earnest band of English men and women known as America's founders offers perspectives of both the Pilgrims and the Indians.
  • THE MOST FAMOUS MAN IN AMERICA: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher. By Debby Applegate. (Doubleday, $27.95.) A rich portrait of the 19th-century Protestant reformer renowned for his preaching — and for an adultery scandal.
  • THE OMNIVORE'S DILEMMA: A Natural History of Four Meals. By Michael Pollan. (Penguin Press, $26.95.) Pollan embarks on four separate eating adventures, each of which begins at the very beginning — in the soil — and ends with a cooked, finished meal.
  • ORACLE BONES: A Journey Between China's Past and Present. By Peter Hessler. (HarperCollins, $26.95.) The New Yorker's Beijing correspondent describes a country in constant motion and reveals its historical underpinning.
  • THE PLACES IN BETWEEN. By Rory Stewart. (Harvest/Harcourt, paper, $14.) The author recounts his walk across Afghanistan, in the dead of winter.
  • PRISONERS: A Muslim and a Jew Across the Middle East Divide. By Jeffrey Goldberg. (Knopf, $25.) The one-sided friendship of a onetime Israeli immigrant and a onetime Palestinian prisoner.
  • PROGRAMMING THE UNIVERSE: A Quantum Computer Scientist Takes On the Cosmos. By Seth Lloyd. (Knopf, $25.95.) An M.I.T. professor seeks to explain the fundamental workings of the universe by equating it with a new device called a quantum computer.
  • QUEEN OF FASHION: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution. By Caroline Weber. (Holt, $27.50.) Weber suggests that the queen miscalculated in dressing to project an image of power.
  • READING LIKE A WRITER: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them. By Francine Prose. (HarperCollins, $23.95.) How to read with writerly sensitivity, with reference to the masters.
  • REDEMPTION: The Last Battle of the Civil War. By Nicholas Lemann. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $24.) The story of the demise of Reconstruction in Mississippi, retold in all its terrible gore.
  • SELF-MADE MAN: One Woman's Journey Into Manhood and Back Again. By Norah Vincent. (Viking, $24.95.) An artful journalist cross-dresses to learn otherwise unavailable truths.
  • STATE OF DENIAL. By Bob Woodward. (Simon & Schuster, $30.) Part 3 of the "Bush at War" cycle, by the longtime Washington Post reporter and editor, describes the inept conduct of the invasion and occupation of Iraq.
  • STRANGE PIECE OF PARADISE. By Terri Jentz. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $27.) Jentz's enraging account of her search for a maniac who viciously attacked her with an ax in 1977.
  • SWEET AND LOW: A Family Story. By Rich Cohen. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $25.) A disinherited member of the Sweet'N Low clan digs up dirt.
  • TEMPTATIONS OF THE WEST: How to be Modern in India, Pakistan, Tibet, and Beyond. By Pankaj Mishra. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $25.) The struggle of ancient societies to define themselves as Western influences encroach.
  • THINGS I DIDN'T KNOW: A Memoir. By Robert Hughes. (Knopf, $27.95.) Writing after a near-fatal car crash, the Australian art critic describes his formative years and the evolution of his craft.
  • UNCOMMON CARRIERS. By John McPhee. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $24.) On-the-job portraits of men who drive big transport machines.
  • THE UNITED STATES OF ARUGULA: How We Became a Gourmet Nation. By David Kamp. (Broadway, $26.) Personalities from Julia Child to Emeril Lagasse drive this lively history of the postwar revolution in American gastronomy.
  • THE WAR OF THE WORLD: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West. By Niall Ferguson. (Penguin Press, $35.) A panoramic moral analysis of an age of military-industrial slaughter.
  • THE WORST HARD TIME: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl. By Timothy Egan. (Houghton Mifflin, $28.) What happened to those who stayed put in the 1930s while the very earth itself blew away.