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More than twenty employees from Powells.com and our various stores have contributed their lists of the top five books published in 2005. If you're looking for suggestions on what to buy with that Powell's Gift Card you got for Christmas, here are over a hundred excellent ones. (See also Staff Top 5s from 2004, 2003.)

Robin F.
Bolton
  • by Malcolm Gladwell
    Blink is riveting and entertaining, not to mention quite brief, which makes for a very fast read — but it stays with you. Few books can change your worldview or cause you to rethink your every action and response to the world around you. Not only can Blink boast such a claim, but it does so in a brisk, engrossing, unforgettable fashion. And it makes for great conversation at parties.
  • The Complete Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson
  • Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
  • The Hot Kid by Elmore Leonard
  • Wimbledon Green by Seth
Dave W.
  • by Joan Didion
    Best book of 2005, favorite book of the year... Slice the question any number of ways, but the book published last year that I'm most grateful for having read is The Year of Magical Thinking, a devastating affirmation of love and commitment, hope and despair, life and death.
  • Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
  • On Beauty by Zadie Smith
  • Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
  • March by Geraldine Brooks
Georgie
  • by Kazuo Ishiguro
    Ishiguro's prose has never failed to dazzle me, and this novel is certainly no exception. With a near stillness, a quiet passivity, Ishiguro's narrator tells the story of her and her two friends' eerie predestined fate; a fate that echoes throughout novels such as The Handmaid's Tale and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. What is revealed here is an important, wistful meditation on life and society. His books are marvels — astonishing works of art.
  • The Closed Circle by Jonathan Coe
  • Ash and Bone by John Harvey
  • The Reasons I Won't Be Coming by Elliot Perlman
  • With No One A Witness by Elizabeth George
Amy A.
Steven F.
Gerry
April
Beth
  • by Georgie R. R. Martin
    Is it fair to say a book that has been on the shelves less than two months is the best book of 2005? If it is written by George R. R. Martin, then, yes. We've been waiting two years for the fourth book in A Song of Ice and Fire series and I'm glad he took his time. The quality of the writing and of the story have not diminished.
  • The March by E. L. Doctorow
  • March by Geraldine Brooks
  • Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell
  • The Hallowed Hunt by Lois McMaster Bujold
Valaas
John B.
Michal
Doug
Kevin
  • by Sam Lipsyte
    A caustic and hilarious story about Lewis Miner, a man afflicted by a terrible high school experience and blessed with an acid tongue that takes no prisoners. Lipsyte's sentences are creations of absolute wonder and terrific angst.
  • Nice Big American Baby by Judy Budnitz
  • The Underminer by Mike Albo
  • Pants All Night by Frayn Masters
  • Wide Eyed by Trinie Dalton
Mike H.
Jill
Carla
Faatz
Alexis
David H.
  • by Jim Lynch
    Are you captivated by stories of rare creatures living beneath the surface of the ocean? Do you like the idea of an eccentric teenage narrator handing out startlingly detailed descriptions of these creatures and other aquatic mysteries? Are you a sucker for coming-of-age tales that take place in small coastal towns? Then read this amazing book.
  • Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
  • Willful Creatures by Aimee Bender
  • Counting Heads by David Marusek
  • Life Expectancy by Dean Koontz
Ann
Mary Jo
Adrienne
Farley
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