Best Books of the Year Countdown: 80 to 61

Welcome back to the show. What have we seen so far in our preview of our 2009 editors' Top 100? Three books by National Book Award-winning meganovelists that aren't meganovels. A collection of starkly beautiful photographs of mental hospitals in disrepair. A rare success at turning a blog into a book. A charming picture book full of warnings about dangerous animals. A celebrity memoir that's better than any celebrity memoir deserves to be. A history of the mob that upends most every mob cliche. And, yes, a novel composed entirely of questions.

What's next?:

80. Ad Hoc at Home, Thomas Keller

79. Toby Alone, Timothee de Fombelle

78. Robert Altman: The Oral Biography by Mitchell Zuckoff

77. Her Fearful Symmetry, Audrey Niffenegger

76. The Myth of the Rational Market, Justin Fox

75. George Sprott: 1894-1975, Seth

74. Juliet, Naked, Nick Hornby

73. Tears in the Darkness: The Story of the Bataan Death March and Its Aftermath, Michael and Elizabeth Norman

72. The Letters of Samuel Beckett, Vol. 1, 1929-1940, Samuel Beckett

71. Green Metropolis, David Owen

70. Mannahatta: A Natural History of New York City, Eric W. Sanderson

69. Columbine, Dave Cullen

68. A New Literary History of America, edited by Greil Marcus and Werner Sollors

67. Asterios Polyp, David Mazzucchelli

66. Await Your Reply, Dan Chaon

65. The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America, Douglas Brinkley

64. Lowboy, John Wray

63. Everything Matters!, Ron Currie Jr.

62. Shiver, Maggie Stiefvater

61. Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking, Michael Ruhlman

#60 to #41 coming tomorrow. --Tom

More Best Books of 2009:

#100 to #81

#60 to #41

#40 to #21

#20 to #11

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