Our favorite nonfiction books of the year travel through history from ancient Rome to the U.S. Civil War, while in fiction Stephen King sends a Maine schoolteacher back to 1958 to try to save John F. Kennedy’s life. (A separate list of the year’s top business books appeared yesterday.)
“The Art of Fielding” by Chad Harbach (Little, Brown/Fourth Estate). At a small Wisconsin college, a gifted shortstop named Henry Skrimshander is about to tie a record for errorless games when his throw to first goes awry and beans a teammate in the dugout. The accident serves to knit together five characters in this richly entertaining and accomplished first novel.