Nonfiction found a larger audience than fiction in 2011. The undead genre lives on and swells in number, too, but that’s how it goes with vampires and zombies. There were fewer event books, though in the fine tradition established by Harry Potter, a scattering of stores opened at midnight for the arrival of Haruki Murakami’s “1Q84.” Beyond the business of publishing — troubled, of course — good books continued to roll out. Here are 10 of the year’s best. “The Beauty and the Sorrow: An Intimate History of the First World War” by Peter Englund One of the most moving nonfiction narratives about “the war to end war” is 2002’s “Silent Night: The Story of the World War I Christmas Truce” by Stanley Weintraub. This is a much bigger book, incorporating the personal stories of 20 people from England and across the Continent as well as Australia and the United States, yet it has the same involving immediacy. The population of voices is drawn from starkly different perspectives, from the German schoolgirl to the American field surgeon. “Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef” by Gabrielle Hamilton The chef-owner of East Village restaurant Prune serves up… Read full this story
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