WHEN you work on something day in and day out, it can be easy to lose perspective. So much of your attention is focused on the immediate -- what's coming out this week, this moment -- that the long view disappears. Yet as we here at Book Review went back over the titles we covered in 2006, one thing became quite apparent: In the world of books and publishing, it was a very good year.
In this holiday issue, you will find our "Favorite Books" list, highlighting 50 titles we admired over the last 12 months (25 fiction and poetry; 25 nonfiction). We make no claim, it must be said, to be definitive; yes, the books here moved us, but they are by no means the only ones. We've also asked a number of Southern Californians to suggest the books -- either new or old -- that they might want to give as presents. And we offer an array of other pieces, looking at old favorites and instant classics, books to enjoy throughout the year.
-- David L. Ulin