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The year in books

Geoff Dyer picks out the highlights of his year of reading, from Alan Hollinghurst to Malcolm X

By Geoff Dyer   December 2011

Max Hastings’s All Hell Let Loose tells the history of the second world war from the point of view of ordinary people

Looking at my year’s list of “Books Read”—a custom that has remained quaintly unchanged since the knowledge-hungry years of late teens—reminds me that I now make an active effort to free myself from the tyranny of the new, from the compulsion to keep up with the latest thing. And while a more astute observer might be able to detect underlying trends in publishing—less historical fiction, more biography or whatever—I can’t discern any pattern in my own reading other…

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