TERRY GROSS, Host:
Get out your pencils, paper and charge cards. Book critic Maureen Corrigan has drawn up her list for the best books of the year. Here's part one of her list, best fiction of 2006.
MAUREEN CORRIGAN: And last, but certainly not least this year, Richard Ford's novel "The Lay of the Land" also explores the complexities of family, especially after divorce and remarriage. "The Lay of the Land" is the final volume in Ford's Frank Boscombe trilogy that began with "The Sportswriter" in 1986 and continued through "Independence Day" in 1995. Some of my most recent blissful moments were spent listening to Frank's musings on everything from the Bush presidency to the chummy atmosphere of a lesbian bar to the teeth gnashing familial conviviality of Thanksgiving. If there were ever a reason this year to be especially grateful for the gift of clear sight, Ford's as the author and mine as the lucky reader, it's embodied in "The Lay of the Land."
GROSS: This is FRESH AIR.
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