Nancy Silverton's Books of the Year, in today's Wall Street Journal

Chef Nancy Silverton on Richard Russo and Marisa Silver

- Wall Street Journal, Dec. 10, 2016 by Bari Weiss 

To me, a great novel is like a great meal. The ingredients—no, make that the characters—meet, come to a boil, then simmer and, hopefully, meld together in such a deeply satisfying way that I linger. I can’t put my fork—book!—down.

In the past few years there have only been an armful of books I have loved: David Benioff’s “City of Thieves,” Donna Tartt’s “The Goldfinch,” Michael Krikorian’s “Southside,” Anthony Marra’s “A Constellation of Vital Phenomena,” Abraham Verghese’s “Cutting for Stone” and Elena Ferrante’s four Neapolitan novels.

But this past year I’ll happily add two to my short list. Marisa Silver’s “Little Nothing” was a great escape—a dark, mysterious adult fairy tale about a dwarf girl who turns into a wolf and then a . . . I won’t ruin it. With someone else’s pen, this love story could have been a mess, but Ms. Silver’s engaging, heartfelt style brought it together for me. I felt so deeply for this outcast and, perhaps even more, for the man who loves her unconditionally.

My other book for 2016 is Richard Russo’s “Everybody’s Fool,” the sequel to “Nobody’s Fool.” I see Paul Newman every time Sully’s name appears. And we all know that’s special. 

Ms. Silverton, a chef, is the author of “Mozza at Home.”