British novel tops Amazon’s list for 2008

By The Associated Press

NEW YORK – Philip Hensher’s “The Northern Clemency” is a British novel that as of Sunday had yet to attract any customer reviews on But the online retailer’s staff reviewers have noticed well, making it Amazon’s book of the year.

“It quickly became a favorite here as soon as our advance copies arrived,” Tom Nissley, Amazon senior books editor, said in a statement Sunday. “Its unpredictable and beautifully observed story of two families in Sheffield, England, reminded us of writers from Jonathan Franzen to Anne Tyler …”

Hensher’s novel was followed by “Hurry Down Sunshine,” Michael Greenberg’s memoir about his daughter’s mental illness; and Rick Perlstein’s “Nixonland,” a review of Richard Nixon’s impact on American politics. Also cited was David Wroblewski’s “The Story of Edgar Sawtelle,” a debut novel heavily promoted by Amazon and later endorsed by Oprah Winfrey.

Others in the top 10: “The Forever War” by Dexter Filkins; “The Likeness” by Tana French; “Serena” by Ron Rash; “So Brave, Young, and Handsome” by Leif Enger; “The Lazarus Project” by Aleksandar Hemon; and “The Ten-Cent Plague” by David Hajdu.