The Best Literary Crime Fiction of 2022

Cover images of the best literary crime fiction of 2022

It has been just over three years since I published my definitive list of The 112 Best Literary Mysteries and Crime Novels. Obviously, more great literary crime titles are published every year, and 2022 was no exception. So here is the best literary crime fiction of the year based on curated lists from The New York Times, The Guardian, Publishers … Read more

The Best Philosophical Fiction of 2022

Cover images of the best philosophical fiction of 2022

For the sixth year in a row, here is the annual update to my list of The 105 Best Philosophical Novels. Based on curated lists from The New York Times, The Guardian, Publishers Weekly and more, suggestions from readers on Goodreads, and ratings on Goodreads and Amazon, these four works of philosophical fiction stood out in 2022. For more philosophical … Read more

The Best Dystopian Books of 2022

Cover images of the best dystopian books of 2022

Welcome to the seventh year of annual updates to my list of The 110 Best Dystopian Novels. Starting from dozens of contenders, I narrowed the field to these four best dystopian books of 2022. Rankings are based on curated lists from The Guardian, The New York Times, Publishers Weekly and more, suggestions from readers on Goodreads, and ratings on Goodreads … Read more

3 Novels That Make Brilliant Use of Unconventional Structure

3 books with an unconventional structure

Stereotypically, a story has a beginning, a middle and an end. And more often than not, they occur in that order, starting with the earliest relevant chronological event and moving linearly through time before ending with the last relevant event. A narrator, usually a character in the story or an omniscient observer, relates the events. A story that experiments with … Read more

Self-Parking Cars, Automation and Skill

Self-Parking Cars, Automation and Skill

The advent of self-parking cars is one example of how automated systems are replacing human skills. As we face increasing automation, we must decide whether the benefits of each new automated system outweigh the loss of related skills. Knowing All the Angles In the Seinfeld episode “The Parking Space,” George boasts to Elaine of his parallel parking prowess: George: “I … Read more

The Mistaken Mare of Easttown Gun: Blending Forensic Fact and Dramatic Fiction

The fatal Colt Detective Special

The mystery in HBO’s 2021 hit limited series Mare of Easttown hinges on the details of the gun used to murder a teenage girl. Drawing on my experience as a forensic firearms examiner and fiction author, I explain what the creators got wrong about the Mare of Easttown gun and assess how they blended fact and fiction in the show’s … Read more

The 93 Best Novellas

The Little Prince, Animal Farm and The House on Mango Street—three of The 93 Best Novellas

Based on curated lists from Lit Hub, Book Riot and more, suggestions from readers on Goodreads and Reddit, and recommendations from authors like Stephen King, Seanan McGuire, Banana Yoshimoto and Sandra Cisneros, here is a roundup of the 93 best novellas ever written. For the purposes of this list, I am following the Science Fiction Writers of America’s definition of a novella: a … Read more

The Best Literary Mysteries of 2021

Cover images of The Best Literary Mysteries of 2021

Just over two years ago, I published a definitive list of The 112 Best Literary Mysteries and Crime Novels that covers all literary mysteries published before 2019. Since more great titles in this genre are published every year, I release annual supplemental to my original list. So here are the best literary mysteries of 2021 based on curated lists from … Read more

The Best Philosophical Novels of 2021

Cover images of the best philosophical novels of 2021

As we look back on another year, here is the annual update to my list of The 105 Best Philosophical Novels. Based on curated lists from The Guardian, The New York Times, Publishers Weekly and more, suggestions from readers on Goodreads, and ratings on Goodreads and Amazon, here are the best philosophical novels of 2021. For more philosophical reading, download … Read more

The Best Dystopian Novels of 2021

Cover images of the best dystopian novels of 2021

For the sixth year running, here is the annual update to my list of The 110 Best Dystopian Novels. These four best dystopian novels of 2021 were selected from dozens of contenders based on curated lists from The Guardian, The New York Times, Publishers Weekly and more, suggestions from readers on Goodreads, and ratings on Goodreads and Amazon. To complement … Read more