The Morning News

The 2016 Tournament of Books Long List

The long list for the 2016 Tournament of Books, with 86 titles culled from the year’s finest fiction.

Very soon, early January, we’re going to release the short list and judges for our 12th annual Tournament of Books, to take place in March 2016, presented by the beautiful folks and products behind Field Notes.

But because you’ve asked us to do this many times before, and because we enjoy doing this—telling you what books we loved over the past year—here is our long-ass list: 86 titles that we believe represent many of the finest works of fiction published in English (mostly in America) in 2015.

Where do these titles come from? Friends, strangers, countrymen. Randos we met in the hotel bar. Booksellers we value, relatives we stomach, reviewers we stalk on social media. This list is unranked and is not comprehensive, not conclusive, possibly not even well-thought-out. Already, we’re whacking our foreheads about the titles we forgot or didn’t know to include. But the fiction included below is damn fine.

Big thanks as always to our presenting sponsor Field Notes, manufacturer of the best pocket notebooks on Earth, and also our book sponsor, the great If you’re looking for something for writing or reading this holiday season, seek them out.

Oh, and one other thing. Please go over here and do two things: 1) Tell us your favorite work of fiction published in English in 2015; and 2) Apply, if you like, to be this year’s ToB Reader Judge.

By doing the former, you’ll help us gauge which titles the crowd loves most. Also, we’ll be checking responses for any titles we missed—the final list will mostly derive from the grouping below, but it’s by no means closed.

Happy holidays, everyone, and see you in a couple weeks. We’ve got a bunch of new features planned for this year’s tournament, and we can’t wait to share them with you. For now the Rooster slumbers, but only lightly.

We get a cut from any purchases made through the links below. Book descriptions are excerpted from publishers’ summaries and edited for length.

The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante

Here is the dazzling saga of two women, the brilliant, bookish Elena and the fiery uncontainable Lila. In this book, both are adults; life’s great discoveries have been made, its vagaries and losses have been suffered. Through it all, the women’s friendship, examined in its every detail over the course of four books, remains the gravitational center of their lives.