In the News: Politics and current events remained at the forefront of the books world with several titles leading the way: The Looming Tower, Lawrence Wright's definitive account of Al Qaida's path to 9/11; Fiasco, Thomas E. Ricks's influentially damning history of the first three years of the war in Iraq; and The Audacity of Hope, a political manifesto from a certain young senator from Illinois, whose 1995 memoir would go on to be one of the bestselling political books of the decade.
Rattling the Food Chain: Michael Pollan presented his own "eater's manifesto" with The Omnivore's Dilemma, where he traced four meals back to their mostly industrial sources, influencing a nation of eaters and sparking countless hours of debate about how we source the food we eat.
A Literary Discovery: The 60-year-old novel Suite Française, uncovered among the possessions of Irene Nemirovsky, a mostly forgotten writer who was killed in Auschwitz, went on to win the hearts of readers around the world (and was our No. 1 Editors' Pick for 2006).
Culinary Hooligan: In Heat, one of my personal favorites from 2006, former Granta and New Yorker editor Bill Buford went behind the line to learn how to properly make pasta, butcher a pig, and take a royal hazing from Mario Batali.