The books critics liked best in 2008
Best fiction: Roberto Bolano for "2666" (no surprise here – this posthumously published mystery by Chilean novelist Bolano topped many "best of 2008" lists)
Best criticism: Seth Lerer for "Children's Literature: A Reader's History from Aesop to Harry Potter" (in accepting his award Lerer said his speech gave a new meaning to the need to "thank the little people")
Best biography: Patrick French for "The World Is What It Is: The Authorized Biography of V.S. Naipaul"