In today’s Chronicle Book Review, book editor Oscar Villalon sets forth his unique and considered list of the best books of 2006 [click here to read it], and a longlist of notable titles from throughout the year. I like this list not only because I am a frequent contributor to the SFCBR, but for its attention to books from across the pond, for a focus on people and ideas, and above all for its emphasis on elevated writing. My fiction list below is culled from Oscar’s, the criteria only my familiarity with and approval of title and/or author.

The Accidental | Ali Smith

Black Swan Green | David Mitchell

Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman | Haruki Murakami
Read my review in the Honolulu Advertiser

The Emperor’s Children
| Claire Messud

Intuition | Allegra Goodman
Read my review in the San Francisco Chronicle, and in the Honolulu Advertiser

One Good Turn | Kate Atkinson
Read my review of her 2004 story collection “Not the End of the World” (SFCBR)