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Book Critic Maureen Corrigan's Best of 2004

Tom Perrotta's <i>Little Children</i> tells stories of the suburbs with dark humor.
Tom Perrotta's Little Children tells stories of the suburbs with dark humor.
Detail from the cover of Gillian Gill's <i>The Nightingales</i>.
Detail from the cover of Gillian Gill's The Nightingales.

Book critic Maureen Corrigan gives us her picks for the best holiday books of 2004. Her choices range from literary thrillers to a new biography of Ben Franklin.

The full list of Corrigan's recommendations:


The Plot Against America, by Philip Roth (Houghton Mifflin)

The Master, by Colm Toibin (Scribners)

I Am Charlotte Simmons, by Tom Wolfe (FS&G)

Little Children, by Tom Perrotta (St. Martins)

The Jane Austen Book Club, by Karen Joy Fowler (Putnam/Marian Wood)

Non Fiction

Will in the World, by Stephen Greenblatt(Norton)

Wodehouse: A Life, by Robert McCrum (Norton)

Arc of Justice, by Kevin Boyle

Truth and Beauty, by Ann Patchett (Harper Collins)

A Chance Meeting, by Rachel Cohen (Random House)

The Bone Woman, by Clea Koff (Random House)

The Americanization of Ben Franklin, by Gordon S. Wood (Penguin)

Nightingales, by Gillian Gill (Ballantine)


The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes (2 volumes), edited with notes by Leslie S. Klinger (Norton)

Copyright 2023 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Maureen Corrigan, book critic for NPR's Fresh Air, is The Nicky and Jamie Grant Distinguished Professor of the Practice in Literary Criticism at Georgetown University. She is an associate editor of and contributor to Mystery and Suspense Writers (Scribner) and the winner of the 1999 Edgar Award for Criticism, presented by the Mystery Writers of America. In 2019, Corrigan was awarded the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing by the National Book Critics Circle.
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