2. "Transatlantic," by Colum McCann
They all made their way to Ireland: Frederick Douglass (in 1845), a pair of British pilots who were also World War I veterans (1919), and American diplomat George Mitchell (1998). As disparate as these threads are, 2009 National Book Award winner Irish author Colum McCann ("Let the Great World Spin") manages to pull them together to powerful effect in his latest novel "Transatlantic." Fiction and history blend in this story which becomes a meditation on lives that must transcend violence to find meaning. You can read our full review here.