Hari Kunzru to Philip Pullman: writers and politicians pick the best books of 2008
Compiled by Ginny Hooker writing in guardian.co.uk, Saturday 29 November.
Alex Ross's The Rest is Noise has been widely praised, and quite right too. It's a history of 20th-century music so vivid and original in approach that it made me listen again to many pieces I thought I knew well. It was so interesting that I even forgave him for saying nothing about my favourite composer, Nicolai Medtner.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson, translated by Reg Keeland (Quercus), is several cuts above most thrillers I've read recently - intelligent, complex, with a gripping plot and deeply intriguing characters. The author's sudden early death is a great loss: he would have lit up the fiction lists for a long time to come.