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The best mysteries of all time? A tall order you’d think, but in 1995 the Mystery Writers of America complied just that. The Top 100 Best Mysteries of All Time was compiled by the ‘active members’ of the Mystery Writers of America. It contains a few surprises, including Scott Turow’s Presumed Innocent at number 5, Rumpole of the Bailey by John Mortimer at 26 and the Swedish modern classic The Laughing Policeman by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo at 46.
Chris Silas Neal More than 5,000 of you nominated . More than 60,000 of you voted . And now the results are in. The winners of NPR's Top 100 Science-Fiction and Fantasy survey are an intriguing mix of classic and contemporary titles.
Jeffrey Eugenides may have only written three books, but two of those are The Virgin Suicides (big tick) and this, Middlesex (even bigger tick). An unapologetic, purposefully constructed epic family saga, Middlesex not only examines the trials and tribulations of three generations of Greek Americans, but places that within the context of America’s intersex community. Comprehensively researched, empathetic and drenched in a heady grandeur, Middlesex richly deserved its Pulitzer Prize.
2012 is shaping up to be another exciting year for readers. While last year boasted long-awaited novels from David Foster Wallace, Haruki Murakami , and Jeffrey Eugenides , readers this year can look forward to new Toni Morrison , Richard Ford , Peter Carey , Lionel Shriver , and, of course, newly translated Roberto Bolaño , as well as, in the hazy distance of this coming fall and beyond, new Michael Chabon, Hilary Mantel , and John Banville . We also have a number of favorites stepping outside of fiction. Marilynn Robinson and Jonathan Franzen have new essay collections on the way. A pair of plays are on tap from Denis Johnson .
The Atlantic ’s literary editor picks the five best of the crop.
In compiling the books on this list, the editors at SuperScholar have tried to provide a window into the culture of the last 50 years. Ideally, if you read every book on this list, you will know how we got to where we are today. Not all the books on this list are “great.” The criterion for inclusion was not greatness but INFLUENCE.
Halloween horror of a different kind … Richard Attenborough as Pinkie in the 1947 film of Brighton Rock. Photograph: Ronald Grant Archive Halloween is my favourite holiday, though I'm not quite sure why. It may be some blood-deep ethnic link to the ancient Celtic festival from whence it came; it may be the fact that I'm crazy-stupid for slasher movies and monkey nuts.