"With the debut of the Review section in September, the Journal's books coverage expanded dramatically. Now, in addition to weekday reviews and extra reviews on Fridays, half a dozen pages in the Saturday-Sunday paper inform readers about the good, the bad and the ungainly among publishers' latest offerings.
Over the past year, we've assessed books on the rise of Facebook, the decline of Detroit, the history of the Atlantic Ocean, the implosion of Wall Street and the construction of the Hoover Dam. We reviewed the memoirs of Tony Blair, Laura Bush and George W. Bush. Oh, and Keith Richards. Our critics evaluated collections of work by H.L. Mencken, short-story writer Ann Beattie and journalist Matt Labash. The subjects of biographies we reviewed were similarly varied: The roster included Adam Smith, Pearl Buck, Somerset Maugham and Willie Mays. We also looked at novels by Anne Tyler, Jonathan Franzen and Joseph Wambaugh.
The weekly Five Best column's contributors in 2010 included Salman Rushdie, Jon Krakauer, Norris Church Mailer and Pete Dexter. Of course, the "best" designation is a bit audacious, whether applied to Mr. Rushdie's selection of fantasy books or to the "best" books of the year. Some titles in 2010, though, were hailed by our reviewers as particular stand-outs. Here are 10 of those books from the past year:"