Best of the Year: Books
Muhammad Kamil al-Khatib’s Just Like A River (Arris Books, [NI 359](http://www.newint.org/issue359/mix.htm)) got a five-star fiction rating. This superbly intricate narrative follows the lives of a cross-section of Damascus society against a background of escalating tension. The book’s 100 or so pages touch upon large themes while maintaining a sharp focus on the intimate human scale of events.
Also outstanding was A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali (Canongate, [NI 358](http://www.newint.org/issue358/mix.htm)), a thoughtful first novel by Gil Courtemanche set in Rwanda in the days leading up to the 1994 genocide. Our reviewer says: ‘This is one that has stayed with me and that I have thought about time and again’. A moving and brave meditation on love and evil, it also serves as a scathing indictment of an inert ‘international community’.
In the non-fiction category, Paul Kingsnorth’s One No, Many Yeses (Verso, [NI 358](http://www.newint.org/issue358/mix.htm)) got top marks for readability, scope and inspiration. A gripping, highly personable travelogue, this book is essential reading for anyone who wants to get up to speed with the growing social justice movement.
Blood Diamonds by Greg Campbell (Westview Press, [NI 356](http://www.newint.org/issue356/mix.htm)) is first-rate journalistic sleuthing, tracing the violence-soaked webs that link the legitimate diamond trade, shady dealers, rebels without a conscience, and organizations such as Hizbollah and al-Qaeda.