Dan Kois edits Vulture, New York magazine’s arts and culture blog.
Like many people who work in publishing, feed off of publishing, or report on publishing, I’m constantly reading months or even years ahead. So my 2007 reading experience was unlike that of many of your correspondents; rarely could I find time to dip into the past. When I did, it was to re-read works that had given me great pleasure: the funny and sad novels of Tom Drury, for a profile I still swear to God I will eventually write; Harry Potter and His Dark Materials, in preparation for the final volume of the former and the film of the latter. I read comics systematically and comprehensively this year for the first time, and loved dozens and dozens of them, sometimes feeling like a reading cheater in my ability to rip through an entire satisfying story in an hour or less. But the best book I read all this year is a book that isn’t even coming out until next year: Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith, a thriller set in the darkest days of Stalinist Russia, one of the finest intersections of historical setting and propulsive plot I’ve read in a long time. It’s a book that transcends the serial killer genre and becomes a difficult, complicated work of art in its own right.