Books 2005: Maureen Corrigan's Favorites

'The Tulip and the Pope'

Fresh Air book critic Maureen Corrigan lists her favorite books of 2005, including novels by Mary Gaitskill and Kazuo Ishiguro, and memoirs by Joan Didion and J.R. Moehringer.

The Tulip and the Pope by Deborah Larsen: Larsen recalls her experience as a young woman who decided to become in a nun in the 1960s. "Without disparaging or sentimentalizing the convent world that once was her life, Larsen conveys its drowsy power," Corrigan says.

The Woman at the Washington Zoo by Majorie Williams: The late political journalist's writings were compiled by her husband, Slate contributor Timothy Noah.

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion: Didion's acclaimed memoir, written in the period after her husband's death, won the National Book Award this year.

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova: This debut novel about Dracula created a bidding war in the publishing industry and was a listener favorite over the summer.

Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin: The high-profile historian examines Abraham Lincoln's political acumen.

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss: "I read [this] in a few stunned hours... Krauss is ambitious in her storyline and themes and has the gifts to carry out her big ideas," says Corrigan.

The Tender Bar by J. R. Moehringer: The journalist's memoir centers on his youth in his hometown pub in Manhasset, Long Island.

Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire's Slaves by Adam Hochschild: Hochschild offers a compelling history of the abolitionist movement in Britain.

Death in the Garden by Elizabeth Ironside: Classic crime fiction from the other side of the pond.

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro: Ishiguro's sci-fi-tinged novel about the students in an ususual British boarding school was short-listed for the Booker Prize.

Citizen Vince by Jess Walter: Walter tells a tale of crime and redemption set in Washington State.

Veronica by Mary Gaitskill: Gaitskill's second novel explores the unlikely friendship between two women: one ugly, middle-aged and dying, and the other young and beautiful.

Books Featured In This Story

The Tulip And The Pope
The Tulip And The Pope

by Deborah Larsen

Hardcover, 265 pages | purchase

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  • The Tulip And The Pope
  • Deborah Larsen
Death in the Garden
Death in the Garden

by Elizabeth Ironside

Paperback, 294 pages | purchase

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  • Death in the Garden
  • Elizabeth Ironside
The History of Love
The History of Love

by Nicole Krauss

Hardcover, 252 pages | purchase

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  • The History of Love
  • Nicole Krauss
Veronica
Veronica

by Mary Gaitskill

Hardcover, 227 pages | purchase

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  • Veronica
  • Mary Gaitskill
Never Let Me Go
Never Let Me Go

by Kazuo Ishiguro

Paperback, 288 pages | purchase

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  • Never Let Me Go
  • Kazuo Ishiguro
Bury the Chains
Bury the Chains

Prophets And Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire's Slaves

by Adam Hochschild

Paperback, 468 pages | purchase

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  • Bury the Chains
  • Prophets And Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire's Slaves
  • Adam Hochschild
Team of Rivals
Team Of Rivals

The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Hardcover, 916 pages | purchase

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  • Team Of Rivals
  • The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
  • Doris Kearns Goodwin
The Year of Magical Thinking
The Year of Magical Thinking

by Joan Didion

Hardcover, 227 pages | purchase

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  • The Year of Magical Thinking
  • Joan Didion
The Woman at the Washington Zoo
The Woman at the Washington Zoo

Writings on Politics, Family, And Fate

by Marjorie Williams and Timothy Noah

Hardcover, 365 pages | purchase

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  • The Woman at the Washington Zoo
  • Writings on Politics, Family, And Fate
  • Marjorie Williams and Timothy Noah
The Tender Bar
The Tender Bar

A Memoir

by J.R. Moehringer

Hardcover, 370 pages | purchase

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  • The Tender Bar
  • A Memoir
  • J.R. Moehringer
Citizen Vince
Citizen Vince

by Jess Walter

Hardcover, 293 pages | purchase

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  • Citizen Vince
  • Jess Walter
The Historian
The Historian

A Novel

by Elizabeth Kostova

Hardcover, 642 pages | purchase

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  • The Historian
  • A Novel
  • Elizabeth Kostova

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