If this is November, it must be “best of” time

Just as the Christmas season now seems to begins right after Halloween (if not before), it also appears it is the kick-off time for “best of the year” lists. Both Amazon and Publisher’s Weekly have chimed in with their lists of the best books of the year. Interestingly, both list Roberto Bolaño’s 2666, even though it won’t be released until next week.

Here’s how my year’s reading stacked up with some of their selections:

Publishers Weekly
Fiction: 1 of 25
SF/Fantasy/Horror: 0 of 7
Mass Market: 0 of 5
Nonfiction: 1.5 of 27 (a .5 because I didn’t complete one but another is on my library “hold” list)

Amazon Editor’s Top 10
Literature and Fiction: 2
Science Fiction & Fantasy: 0
Biographies & Memoirs: 1 (not counting the one I quit reading about one-third in)
Current Events: 1
History: 0 (although one is in the to be read stack at home)

Amazon Top 10 by sales
Literature and Fiction: 0
Science Fiction & Fantasy: 0
Biographies & Memoirs: 1 (not the same in the editor’s list)
Current Events: 0
History: 1

So, it appears that regardless of whether it’s those who claim some expertise or the average consumer, I just don’t read the best books. That doesn’t mean I’ll spare you my personal best of 2008 list — only that I actually wait until the end of the year to compile it.

Popularity is the one insult I have never suffered.

Oscar Wilde, The Duchess of Padua

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