I collected approximately 10 lists of “Best Books of 2005″ from the Internet, magazines and newspapers and combined them into one big meta-list. Here is every book that was on two or more of the original lists, organized by rank (that is, with the books on the most lists at the top). If I’ve read the book, I’ve included the rating I gave it on Goodreads (1-5 stars).
On 7 lists
THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING. By Joan Didion. (5)
NEVER LET ME GO. By Kazuo Ishiguro. (5)
On 6 lists
SATURDAY. By Ian McEwan.
ON BEAUTY. By Zadie Smith. (3)
On 5 lists
THE MARCH. By E.L. Doctorow. (4)
LUNAR PARK. By Bret Easton Ellis.
1776. By David McCullough. (4)
THE RIVER OF DOUBT: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey. By Candice Millard. (4)
KAFKA ON THE SHORE. By Haruki Murakami. Translated by Philip Gabriel. (4)
THE ASSASSINS’ GATE: America in Iraq. By George Packer. (4)
SHALIMAR THE CLOWN. By Salman Rushdie.
On 4 lists
THE PAINTED DRUM. By Louise Erdrich.
VERONICA. By Mary Gaitskill.
THE HISTORY OF LOVE. By Nicole Krauss.
TWO LIVES. By Vikram Seth. (4)
On 3 lists
THE SEA. By John Banville.
AMERICAN PROMETHEUS: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer. By Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin.
TULIA: Race, Cocaine, and Corruption in a Small Texas Town. By Nate Blakeslee.
COLLAPSE: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. By Jared Diamond. (4)
THE WORLD IS FLAT: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century. By Thomas L. Friedman.
MEMORIES OF MY MELANCHOLY WHORES. By Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
TEAM OF RIVALS: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. By Doris Kearns Goodwin.
BECOMING JUSTICE BLACKMUN: Harry Blackmun’s Supreme Court Journey. By Linda Greenhouse.
DREAM BOOGIE: The Triumph of Sam Cooke. By Peter Guralnick. (4)
THE SURVIVOR. By John F. Harris.
BURY THE CHAINS: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire’s Slaves. By Adam Hochschild. (4)
THE ACCIDENTAL MASTERPIECE: On the Art of Life and Vice Versa. By Michael Kimmelman.
1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus. By Charles C. Mann. (5)
NEW ART CITY. By Jed Perl.
NIGHT DRAWS NEAR: Iraq’s People in the Shadow of America’s War. By Anthony Shadid. (4)
PREP. By Curtis Sittenfeld
EUROPE CENTRAL. By William T. Vollmann. (5)
On 2 lists
ZORRO. By Isabel Allende.
A WOMAN IN BERLIN: Eight Weeks in the Conquered City: A Diary. By Anonymous. (5)
FOLLIES: New Stories. By Ann Beattie.
TOOTH AND CLAW. By T.C. Boyle.
MARCH. By Geraldine Brooks.
72 HOUR HOLD. By Bebe Moore Campbell.
LIKE A FIERY ELEPHANT: The Story of B.S. Johnson. By Jonathan Coe.
SLOW MAN. By J. M. Coetzee.
MELVILLE: His World and Work. By Andrew Delbanco.
102 MINUTES: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers. By Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn. (4)
CONSPIRACY OF FOOLS: A True Story. By Kurt Eichenwald.
TOWELHEAD. By Alicia Erian.
EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE. By Jonathan Safran Foer.
MIRROR TO AMERICA: The Autobiography of John Hope Franklin.
ANANSI BOYS. By Neil Gaiman.
THE HUNGRY TIDE. By Amitav Ghosh.
BLINK: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. By Malcolm Gladwell.
VINDICATION: A Life of Mary Wollstonecraft. By Lyndall Gordon.
PEARL. By Mary Gordon.
THEM: A Memoir of Parents. By Francine du Plessix Gray. (4)
TIMES LIKE THESE. By Rachel Ingalls
POSTWAR: A History of Europe Since 1945. By Tony Judt. (5)
MAO: The Unknown Story. By Jung Chang and Jon Halliday.
IMPERIAL GRUNTS: The American Military on the Ground. By Robert D. Kaplan.
THE CHOSEN: The Hidden History of Admission and Exclusion at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. By Jerome Karabel.
THE HA-HA. By Dave King.
MISSION TO AMERICA. By Walter Kirn.
INDECISION. By Benjamin Kunkel.
THE HOT KID. By Elmore Leonard.
MAGIC FOR BEGINNERS. By Kelly Link.
THE LETTERS OF ROBERT LOWELL. Edited by Saskia Hamilton.
BEYOND BLACK. By Hilary Mantel.
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN. By Cormac McCarthy.
THE TENDER BAR: A Memoir. By J. R. Moehringer.
THE DIVINERS. By Rick Moody.
THE GOOD WIFE. By Stewart O’Nan.
ISTANBUL: Memories and the City. By Orhan Pamuk. Translated by Maureen Freely.
MARK TWAIN: A Life. By Ron Powers.
A CHANGED MAN. By Francine Prose.
MY JIM. By Nancy Rawles.
THE ORIENTALIST: Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life. By Tom Reiss.
SPOOK: Science Tackles the Afterlife. By Mary Roach.
HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE. By J.K. Rowling.
GARBAGE LAND: On the Secret Trail of Trash. By Elizabeth Royte.
LAST NIGHT: Stories. By James Salter.
COLLECTED STORIES. By Carol Shields.
THE BEATLES: The Biography. By Bob Spitz.
THE HUMMINGBIRD’S DAUGHTER. By Luis Alberto Urrea.
PERFECT MADNESS: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety. By Judith Warner.
A THOUSAND YEARS OF GOOD PRAYERS. By Yiyun Li.