1. Golden Boy
Max Walker, 15, is smart, good-looking, and popular — and his coming-of-age tale is complicated by the fact that he was born with both male and female genitalia, which his parents would like to keep a secret.
2. The Unknown Bridesmaid
In this finely crafted novel, a prickly middle-aged child psychologist grapples with the fallout from her own troubled girlhood.
3. An Event in Autumn
Mankell’s melancholy novella — his last starring Kurt Wallander — comes with an afterword by the author about the creation of his famous detective.
4. The Birth of Korean Cool
”Gangnam Style” was the tip of the iceberg. Hong shows how, in just a few decades, South Korea has become a cutting-edge pop powerhouse.
5. Bad Feminist
Feisty, whip-smart essays on gender, sexuality, and race.
6. American Blonde
The golden age of Hollywood comes alive in Niven’s fourth book to feature sassy 1940s heroine Velva Jean, now a movie star.
7. Bleeding Edge
Pynchon’s playful digital-age mystery bristles with humor and pop culture references.
8. Floating City
Forget Wall Street — it’s the illegal underground economy that really makes New York City hum, as Venkatesh proves in his fascinating sociological dissection.
9. The O. Henry Prize Stories
Edited by Laura Furman
This collection of last year’s best short fiction is packed with great essays by the O. Henry judges, who write about their favorites.
10. Falling Upwards
The Victorian era, literature, and science are beautifully intertwined in a history of hot-air ballooning.