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Best of the year

To reflect the eclectic tastes of readers, we asked nine critics to pick their 10 favorite books of the year, each starting with the title that they think deserves special attention .

December 18, 2011
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Every great book breaks rules. Dwarves, child prodigies, murder victims, they’ve all narrated our treasured classics. And one day Rana Dasgupta’s “Solo’’ will be spoken of with the same hushed reverence. It is a magical, heartbreaking book full of occult wisdom and lyrical grace. A book about how we never stand outside history; and yet how we must see ourselves in that way to live. No one understands this conumdrum better than the book’s one-hundred-year-old Bulgarian hero, whose life story consumes the first half of the story.

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