Fiction All Stars 2006

Fiction titles which received three or more starred reviews from major review sources.

Annotated lists of books receiving at least one starred review from one of four major review sources: Booklist, Kirkus, LJ and PW. The review source assigns the star.
  • Arthur and George
    Author: Barnes, Julian
    Publisher: Knopf $ 24.95 ISBN: 030726310x Date: 2006
    star Kirkus star LJ star PW star Booklist
    A masterful novel about low crime and high spirituality, guilt and innocence, identity, nationality and race, this tale is a profound and witty meditation on the fateful differences between what is believed, what is known, and what can be proven. Two men's lives become interwoven and each becomes the other's salvation.
    Suggested Reading: Sherlockian Stars
    Updated 1.21.06
  • Brookland
    Author: Barton, Emily
    Publisher: FSG $ 24 ISBN:0374116903 Date: 2006
    star PW starKirkus starLJ
    Set in eighteenth-century Brooklyn, this is the story of a determined and intelligent woman who is consumed by a vision of a bridge she devises to cross the East River in a single, magnificent span.
    Suggested Reading: Historical Fiction
    Updated 1.18.06
  • Beautiful Dreamer
    Author: Bigsby, C.W.E.
    Publisher: Thomas Dunne $ 21.95 ISBN: 0312355831 Date: 2006
    star LJ star Booklist star PW star Kirkus
    "Christopher Bigsby's Beautiful Dreamer is a tautly written and almost unbearably suspenseful parable of the tragedy of race relations in a backcountry Tennessee setting of some decades ago. It's a powerful Faulknerian vision made stark and compelling by its spare and pitiless language." - --Joyce Carol Oates
    Updated 7.27.06
  • Last Seen Leaving
    Author: Braffet, Kelly
    Publisher: Houghton $ 23 ISBN: 0618441441 Date: 2006
    star Kirkus star PW star LJ
    Twenty-something drifter Miranda crashes her car late at night on a lonely highway and is picked up by a passing stranger who soon reveals himself to be more sinister than at first glance--he's rumored to be a serial killer stalking young women. This novel explores the often ambiguous nature of danger and the dark secrets kept to protect loved ones.
    Updated 10.2.06
  • Rescue Missions: Stories
    Author: Busch, Frederick
    Publisher: Norton $ 24.95 ISBN: 039306252x Date: 2006
    star PW star LJ star Booklist
    Rescue Missions collects stories of mercy and need among lovers, family, and friends by "one of our very best short-story writers" (Anne Beattie).
    Updated 9.13.06
  • Theft
    Author: Carey, Peter
    Publisher: Knopf $ 24 ISBN: 0307263711 Date: 2006
    star Booklist star PW star Kirkus star LJ
    A two-time Booker Prize-winner takes on the topic of what people will do for art, for love, and for money. Ranging from the rural wilds of Australia to Manhattan via Tokyo--and exploring themes of art, fraud, responsibility and redemption--this novel will make readers laugh out loud.
    Updated 5.16.06
  • Winkie
    Author: Chase, Clifford
    Publisher: Grove $ 17.95 ISBN: 0802118305 Date: 2006
    star PW star Kirkus star Booklist
    In Cliff Chase's scathingly funny and surprisingly humane debut novel, the zeitgeist assumes the form of a one-foot-tall ursine Everyman--a mild-mannered teddy bear named Winkie who comes to life and finds himself on the wrong side of America's war on terror. After suffering decades of neglect from the children who once loved him, Winkie realizes that taking charge of his fate is as simple as knowing that he can do it, and so he hurls himself off the shelf, jumps out the window, and takes to the forest. But just as he is discovering the joys and wonders of mobility, self-determination, even true love, this small brown creature of indeterminate gender gets trapped in the jaws of a society gone rabid with fear and paranoia. Having come upon the cabin of the mad professor who stole his beloved, Winkie is suddenly surrounded by the FBI, who instantly conclude that he is the evil mastermind behind dozens of terrorist attacks that have been traced to the forest. Terrified and confused, Winkie is brought to trial, where the prosecution attempts to seal the little bear's fate by calling upon witnesses from the trials of Galileo, Socrates, John Scopes, and Oscar Wilde. Emotionally gripping and intellectually compelling, Winkie introduces the most memorable protagonist since the Velveteen Rabbit, and--with the help of a lesbian Moslem cleaning woman, a stuttering attorney, and a Lacan-spewing bear cub--brilliantly exposes the cruel absurdities of our age and explores what it means to be human in an increasingly barbaric world. - Publisher Marketing
    Suggested Reading: Debuts
    Updated 5.16.06
  • Brothers
    Author: Chen, Da
    Publisher: Shambala $ 25 ISBN: 1400097282 Date: 2006
    star Kirkus star PW star Booklist
    A sweeping family saga, Brothers follows the parallel paths of two brothers born to different mothers. Da Chen paints a mesmerizing portrait of their lives, of their desperate love for the same woman, and of China during the cultural revolution.
    Updated 8.4.06
  • The Meaning of Night: A Confession
    Author: Cox, Michael
    Publisher: Norton $ 25.95 ISBN: 0393062031 Date: 2006
    star LJ star PW star Kirkus
    The atmosphere of Bleak House, the sensuous thrill of Perfume, and the mystery of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell all combine in a story of murder, deceit, love, and revenge in Victorian England. Cox gives readers an enthralling novel that will captivate right up to its final thrilling revelation.
    Updated 7.17.06
  • Thin Place
    Author: Davis, Kathyrn
    Publisher: Little Brown $ 23.95 ISBN: 0316735043 Date: 2006
    star Kirkus star PW star Booklist
    The prize-winning author of Versailles tells the story of a small New England village unsettled by a young girl's unearthly gift.
    Updated 10.17.05
  • In the Company of the Courtesan
    Author: Dunant, Sarah
    Publisher: Random $ 23.95 ISBN: 1400063817 Date: 2006
    star PW star Booklist star Kirkus star LJ
    Set in Renaissance Italy, this follow-up to Dunant's The Birth of Venus recounts the fantastic escapades of Bucino Teodoldo, a wily dwarf, and his mistress, celebrated courtesan Fiammetta Bianchini, who escape to Venice where intrigue awaits.
    Suggested Reading: Historical Fiction | Venice
    Updated 1.18.06
  • The Lay of the Land
    Author: Ford, Richard
    Publisher: Knopf $ 26.95 ISBN: 0679454683 Date: 2006
    star Kirkus star PW star Booklist
    With The Sportswriter, in 1985, Richard Ford began a cycle of novels that ten years later--after Independence Day--won both the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award. Now, Frank Bascombe's story resumes, in the fall of 2000, with the presidential election still hanging in the balance and Thanksgiving looming before him with all the perils of a post-nuclear family get-together.
    Updated 11.1.06
  • The Eagle's Throne
    Author: Fuentes, Carlos
    Publisher: Random $ 26.95 ISBN: 1400062470 Date: 2006
    star Kirkus star Booklist star LJ
    In this provocative novel, Fuentes exposes many of the political skeletons lurking in the closet of Mexican history, as he weaves a novel of cunning, naked ambition, and duplicity.
    Updated 5.15.06
  • Skinner's Drift
    Author: Fugard, Lisa
    Publisher: Scribner $ 25 ISBN: 0743272994 Date: 2006
    star Kirkus star PW star Booklist
    In this beautiful and brutal debut, the new South Africa comes to life with its violent history, as Eva van Rensburg must do when she confronts her dying father with a terrible secret from her childhood.
    Suggested Reading: Debuts
    Updated 10.11.05
  • The Whole World Over
    Author: Glass, Julia
    Publisher: Pantheon $ 25.95 ISBN: 0375422749 Date: 2006
    star PW star LJ star Kirkus
    In this new work by the bestselling author of Three Junes, Greenie Duquette, the fiery proprietor of her own Greenwich Village pastry business, becomes the personal chef for the governor of New Mexico, setting in motion a period of adventure and upheaval that culminates in the tragedy of 9/11.
    Suggested Reading:Reading Group Stars | 911
    Updated 3.20.06
  • Intuition
    Author: Goodman, Allegra
    Publisher: Dial $ 25 ISBN: 0385336128 Date: 2006
    star Kirkus star PW star Booklist
    The National Book Award finalist returns with a revelatory new novel, a mesmerizing human drama set in the pressure-cooker atmosphere of a cancer research lab.
    Updated 12.5.05
  • The Dream Life of Sukhanov
    Author: Grushin, Olga
    Publisher: Putnam $ 24.95 ISBN: 0399152989 Date: 2006
    star Kirkus star LJ star Booklist
    Nearly 25 years ago, Anatoly Sukhanov traded his precarious existence as a brilliant underground artist for the perks and comforts of a high-ranking Soviet apparatchik. Once he created art; now he censors it. Buried dreams return to haunt him, new political alignments in the Kremlin threaten to undo him, and he finds himself losing everything he sold his soul to gain.
    Updated 11.14.05
  • Grief
    Author: Holleran, Andrew
    Publisher: Hyperion $ 19.95 ISBN: 1401302505 Date: 2006
    star Kirkus star PW star Booklist
    Reeling from the death of his invalid mother, a professor comes to the nation's capital to recuperate from his loss. What he finds there--in his lonely landlord, in the city's mood and architecture, and in the journals of Mary Todd Lincoln--shows him poignant truths about America, yearning, and mourning itself.
    Updated 5.16.06
  • Timothy: Notes of an Abject Reptile
    Author: Klinkenborg, Verlyn
    Publisher: Knopf $ 16.95 ISBN: 0679407286 Date: 2006
    star PW star Kirkus star LJ star Booklist
    Exploring the natural history of a tortoise by adopting its own sensibility, Timothy is the story of a creature whose real life was observed by the 18th-century curate Gilbert White, author of The Natural history of Senborne.
    Updated 12.27.05
  • The Girls
    Author: Lansens, Lori
    Publisher: Little Brown $ 23.95 ISBN: 0316069035 Date: 2006
    star Booklist star LJ star Kirkus
    In Lori Lansens' astonishing second novel, readers come to know and love two of the most remarkable characters in Canadian fiction: Rose and Ruby, 29-year-old conjoined twins.
    Suggested Reading: Twins
    Updated 2.28.06
  • Magic Time
    Author: Marlett, Doug
    Publisher: FSG $ 24.95 ISBN: 0374200017 Date: 2006
    star Kirkus star Booklist star LJ
    Carter Ransom, a son of Mississippi, had the great fortune and terrible luck of falling in love in '64 with a New York-born civil rights worker who was killed. Carter's father presided over the first trial of the murders, but now the question, among many others, is whether the good judge was knowingly involved in a cover-up.
    Updated 8.10.06
  • The Road
    Author: McCarthy, Cormac
    Publisher: Knopf $ 24 ISBN: 0307265439 Date: 2006
    star Kirkus star PW star Booklist star LJ
    At once brutal and tender, despairing and rashly hopeful, spare of language and profoundly moving, this work is a fierce and haunting meditation on the tenuous divide between civilization and savagery, and the essential, sometimes terrifying power of filial love.
    Updated 8.28.06
  • People's Act of Love
    Author: Meek, James
    Publisher: Cannongate $ 24 ISBN: 1841957305 Date: 2006
    star PW star Booklist star Kirkus
    In the outer reaches of a country recently torn apart by civil war lives a small Christian sect and its enigmatic leader, Balashov. Anna Petrovna, a beautiful, restless photographer, is raising her young son by herself amid this brutal landscape. Stationed nearby is a company of Czech soldiers, desperate to get home but on the losing side of the recent conflict. Each soldier lives in a fragile co-existence and a troubling uncertainty prevails. Into this isolated community trudges Samarin, an escapee from Russia's northernmost prison camp. Immediately apprehended, he is brought before Captain Matula, the Czech company's megalomaniac commander. But the stranger's appearance has caught the attention of others, including that of Anna Petrovna. And when a local shaman is found murdered, suspicion and terror engulf this village. To be published in twenty countries, The People's Act of Love is quite simply magnificent storytelling and it promises to be an auspicious literary event. - Publisher Marketing.
    Updated 12.27.05
  • A Family Daughter
    Author: Meloy, Maile
    Publisher: Scribner $ 24 ISBN: 074327766x Date: 2006
    star Kirkus star PW star Booklist
    From the award-winning author of Liars and Saints comes a riveting sequel of love, sex, secrets, guilt, and forgiveness, which follows the fascinating Santerre clan to Argentina.
    Updated 12.28.05
  • The Emperor's Children
    Author: Messud, Claire
    Publisher: Knopf $ 25 ISBN: 030726419x Date: 2006
    star PW star Kirkus star LJ
    A magnificent novel of fate and fortune--of love and friendship, family and secrets, of striving and glamour, disaster and promise--this is a tour de force that brings to life a city, a generation, and living in the moment.
    Updated 6.20.06
  • Black Swan Green
    Author: Mitchell, David
    Publisher: Random $ 24.95 ISBN: 1400063795 Date: 2006
    starPW starKirkus starBooklist
    From award-winning writer Mitchell comes a sinewy, meditative novel of boyhood on the cusp of adulthood and the old on the cusp of the new. Black Swan Green tracks a single year in what is, for 13-year-old Jason Taylor, the sleepiest village in muddiest Worcestershire in a dying Cold War England, 1982.
    Updated 2.21.06
  • Abundance: A Novel of Marie Antoinette
    Author: Naslund, Sena Jeter
    Publisher: Morrow $ 26.95 ISBN: 0060825391 Date: 2006
    star PW star Kirkus star LJ star Booklist
    From the author of Ahab's Wife and Four Spirits comes her most astonishing work yet--a portrait of a young queen called Marie Antoinette.
    Suggested Reading: Marie Antoinette
    Updated 9.13.06
  • Suite Francaise
    Author: Nemirovsky, Irene
    Publisher: Knopf $ 25 ISBN: 1400044731 Date: 2006
    star PW star Kirkus star Booklist
    An extraordinary novel of life under Nazi occupation--discovered and published 62 years after the author's tragic death at Auschwitz. Subtle, often fiercely ironic, and deeply compassionate, Suite Franaise is both a piercing record of its time and a brilliant, profoundly moving work of art.
    Suggested Reading: World Wars
    Updated 4.10.06
  • Prospero's Daughter
    Author: Nunez, Elizabeth
    Publisher: One World $ 24.95 ISBN: 0345455355 Date: 2006
    star Kirkus star Booklist star LJ
    Loosely based on Shakespeare's play The Tempest, this new novel by American Book Award- winning author Nunez tackles the issues of race, class, science, and passion- and interweaves the English, African, and Caribbean influences Nunez is known for.
    Sugggested Reading: Shakespearean Stars | Adult Books for Teens
    Updated 2.28.06
  • Echo Maker
    Author: Powers, Richard
    Publisher: FSG $ 25 ISBN: 0374146357 Date: 2006
    star PW star Kirkus star Booklist
    On a remote Nebraska road, 27-year-old Mark Schluter flips his truck in a near-fatal accident. His older sister Karin returns reluctantly to their hometown to nurse Mark back from a traumatic head injury. When he emerges from a protracted coma, Mark believes that this woman--who looks, acts, and sounds just like his sister--is really an identical impostor.
    Updated 8.4.06
  • Against the Day
    Author: Pynchon, Thomas
    Publisher: Putnam $ 35 ISBN: 159420120x Date: 2006
    star PW star Booklist star LJ
    Spanning the period between the Chicago World's Fair of 1893 and the years just after World War I, this novel moves from the labor troubles in Colorado to turn-of-the-century New York, to London and Gottingen, Venice and Vienna, the Balkans, Central Asia, and elsewhere.
    Updated 11.27.06
  • Everyman
    Author: Roth, Philip
    Publisher: Houghton Mifflin $ 24 ISBN: 061873516x Date: 2006
    star Kirkus star PW star LJ
    The bestselling author of The Plot Against America now turns his attention to one man's lifelong confrontation with mortality. From his first glimpse of death during his childhood through his vigorous, seemingly invincible prime, Roth's hero is a man bewildered not only by his own decline but by the unimaginable deaths of his contemporaries and those he has loved.
    Updated 4.3.06
  • The Book of Dave
    Author: Self, Will
    Publisher: Bloomsbury $ 24.95 ISBN: 1596911239 Date: 2006
    star PW star LJ star Booklist
    Five centuries after Dave Rudman wrote a gripping text--part memoir, part deranged philosophical treatise, and part handbook meant for his son when he came of age--it is discovered by the inhabitants on the island of Ham, where it becomes a sacred text of biblical proportion, and its author is revered as a mighty prophet.
    Updated 9.13.06
  • Everyman's Rules for Scientific Living
    Author: Tiffany, Carrie
    Publisher: Scribner $ 23.95 ISBN: 0743286375 Date: 2006
    starPW starBooklist starKirkus
    Sensual, witty, and startlingly original, Tiffany's debut novel--about a young woman, her passionate relationship with an agricultural expert, and their efforts at scientific living--marks the arrival of a great new voice in fiction.
    Suggested Reading: Debuts
    Updated 1.28.06
  • Terrorist
    Author: Updike, John
    Publisher: Knopf $ 25 ISBN: 0307264653 Date: 2006
    star Booklist star Kirkus star PW
    Born of an Irish-American mother and an Egyptian father long since disappeared, 18-year-old Ahmad craves spiritual nurture and is drawn into an insidious plot.
    Updated 4.10.06
  • The Amalgamation Polka
    Author: Wright, Stephen
    Publisher: Knopf 24.95 $ ISBN: 067945117x Date: 2006
    star PW star LJ star Booklist
    Born in 1844 in bucolic upstate New York, Liberty Fish is the child of fervent abolitionists as well as the grandson of Carolina slaveholders even more dedicated to their cause-a conflict that ultimately costs his mother her life and comples Liberty, in hopes of reconciling the familial disunion, to escape from the cauldron of war into a bedlam more distubing yet. Rich in characters heartbreaking and bloodcurdling, comic and horrific this books is shot through with politics and dreams, and it captures great swaths of the American experience.
    Updated 12.28.05

Starred Review Lists

Books that received at least one starred review from Booklist, Kirkus, LJ, and PW.

2013 Crime Fiction: Jan-June | Fiction: Jan-June | Speculative Fiction

2012 Crime Fiction: July-Dec | Fiction: July-Dec | Speculative Fiction

Hotlists@ Google Docs

Crime Fiction... 2013 | 2012 | 2011

Fiction... 2013 | 2012 | 2011

(lists of new and notable books - lists are sortable and can be downloaded)

more stars lists...

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