The New York Times has selected its best books of the year - and unlike many UK national newspapers it has kept its list short and sweet with just 10 fiction and non-fiction titles selected.
The fiction camp is headed by Asymmetry, Lisa Halliday's debut novel which the New York Times says"manages to be, all at once, a transgressive roman à clef, a novel of ideas and a politically engaged work of metafiction."
Rebecca Makkai's Man Booker-longlisted The Great Believers is another novel that makes the prestigious top 10 for its "deeply affecting" depiction of the 80s AIDs crisis and the 2015 Paris terror attacks.
The Perfect Nanny (aka Lullaby) helped author Leila Slimani become the first Moroccan-born winner of France's Goncourt Prize. The NYT critics hailed it pithily as a "mesmerizingly twisted novel".
Tommy Orange's debut novel, There There, earned comparisons with William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying, with the Times' editors singling out its "moments of pure soaring beauty" as it tells the intertwined tales of Native Americans living in Oakland, California. The book also made The Guardian's selection of the best novels of the year.
Rounding off the fiction selections is Washington Black, Esi Edugyan's Man Booker shortlisted novel about a freed slave's journeys from Barbados to Nova Scotia, sometimes travelling in a hot air balloon. The NYT hailed it as a "transcendent work of empathy and imagination".
The non-fiction titles are headed by American Prison, Shane Bauer's undercover exposé of a Louisiana prison. The Times' critics praised its "meticulous catalogue of horrors" stemming from the profit-focused prison industry flourishing in the US.
Tara Westover's memoir, Educated, caught the NYT's attention with its extraordinary tale of a home-schooled child from a survivalist family in Idaho ending up as a Cambridge scholar. It is "a book that testifies to an irrepressible thirst to learn" said the critics.
David W Blight's biography of the anti-slavery campaigner and politician Frederick Douglass was singled out for its deep scholarship and authority. "The result is a portrait that is likely to stand as the definitive account for years to come," said the NYT.
How to Change Your Mind, Michael Polland's exploration of the history and science of psychadelic drugs also made the non-fiction top 5. "The book hits its high point when he examines the mysticism and spirituality of the psychedelic experience," opined the Times' critics, who noted also that Pollard dropped LSD as part of his research.
The final non-fiction selection is Small Fry, Lisa Brennan-Jobs' memoir detailing her fraught relationship with her late father - Apple founder Steve Jobs. Her unflinching depiction of Jobs as "a man prone to mind-boggling acts of emotional negligence and abuse" especially caught the critics' attention.