This is definitely a more personal list. We didn’t have to come to consensus on this one, the Book Review editors all picked the books they held nearest and dearest. Some of them I read for our 10 Best list and loved: the laudably Dickensian Becoming Dickens, Ladyexpert Eugenides’s novel of post-collegiate life and love, Kastin’s Nica’s Dream, which evokes a New York that no longer exists. Two of my picks come solidly from among my subject areas (in this case law and fine arts): the drool-worthy Prints and the Pursuit of Knowledge in Early Modern Europe, which was equal parts beautiful, strange, and scholarly; and the late Harvard Law professor William J. Stuntz’s The Collapse of American Criminal Justice, an urgent, compelling call for reform and a stringent critique of the system that currently exists. (I care about prison reform and so should you!) My last choice was a book I reviewed for Margaret Heilbrun, our lit editor—a collection of essays by John Jeremiah Sullivan, Pulphead, which, suffice to say, I’m a big fan of.