The New York Times has named a dozen books the best of 2024 so far.

The newspaper’s books staff gave its imprimatur to seven novels and five works of nonfiction, writing, “We suspect that some (though certainly not all) will be top of mind when we publish our end-of-year, best-of lists.”

Percival Everett’s James, a reimagining of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, made the list, with the staff writing that the narrator, Jim, “recounts the classic tale in a language that is his own, with surprising details that reveal a far more resourceful, cunning and powerful character than we knew.”

The newspaper also recommended Marie-Helene Bertino’s Beautyland, which it called a “funny-sad novel,” alongside Dolly Alderton’s Good Material, Kaveh Akbar’s Martyr!, Tana French’s The Hunter, Tommy Orange’s Wandering Stars, and Rita Bullwinkel’s Headshot.

In nonfiction, the newspaper’s books staff praised Salman Rushdie’s Knife: Meditations After an Attempted Murder, as a “candid, plain-spoken and gripping new memoir,” as well as Alexandra Fuller’s memoir Fi, which they called “elegant and honest.”

The other nonfiction books to make the list were Jonathan Blitzer’s Everyone Who Is Gone Is Here: The United States, Central America, and the Making of a Crisis, Hampton Sides’ The Wide Wide Sea: Imperial Ambition, First Contact and the Fateful Final Voyage of Captain James Cook, and Adam Shatz’s The Rebel’s Clinic: The Revolutionary Lives of Frantz Fanon.

Michael Schaub is a contributing writer.