Archive for the ‘Best Books 2016’ Category

The Top Literary Stories of 2016

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

lyricsBob Dylan winning the Nobel Prize for Literature tops LitHub‘s list of the 50 biggest literary stories of the year, writing “Regardless of how you feel about Dylan, this was the rare kind of ‘literary’ news that made its way to front pages everywhere.”

The second biggest story was less happy for its subject, the unmasking of Elena Ferrante.

The rise of poetry is #5. LitHub writes “poets.org saw its biggest surge of shares in four years … And in the most famous example of pop-culture/poetry crossover, Beyoncé collaborated with poet Warsan Shire’s when writing her visual album Lemonade.” The editor of Poetry Magazine wrote a piece for The Atlantic explaining why poems are at the forefront once more, “When people are under pressure of any kind, they turn to poetry. That’s why poetry is with us at the most important occasions in our lives: weddings, funerals, anniversaries. When Kobe Bryant retired, the first thing he seems to have done was write a poem.”

At #18 LitHub marks the return of book clubs, pointing out that Emma Waston, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Reese Witherspoon began sharing books and Oprah’s Book Club relaunched.

Nos. 17 and 18 acknowledge the roles of two other women taking on critical roles in the book world. Pamela Paul became the editor of the New York Times Book Review, “one of the most powerful positions in the book world [she is] Only the second woman ever to head the Grey Lady’s literary coverage” they write. Also, Lisa Lucas became the executive director of the National Book Foundation. Beating all of them out, however, is #7, Carla Hayden becoming Librarian of Congress.

If you haven’t yet had your fill of year-end summaries, LitHub also features “The Year’s Best Overlooked Books, According to Booksellers” and “Literary Podcasters Best of 2016 (and Most Anticipated in 2017).”

#libfaves16 The Votes are In!

Friday, December 23rd, 2016

The Librarians Have Spoken—or Tweeted #libfaves16

NOTE: Six years ago, our GalleyChatter columnist, Robin Beerbower along with Stephanie Chase and Linda Johns, began the annual #LibFaves project, an opportunity for librarians to tweet their favorite titles of the year. Since then, it has grown by leaps and bounds.. Below is Robin’s roundup of the year’s titles.

Thanks also to the those who helped with the vote counting, Janet Lockhart, Vicki Nesting, Gregg Winsor, Robin Nesbitt, Andrienne Cruz, Jane Jorgenson, Lucy Lockley, Kristi Chadwick, Janet Schneider and Joe Jones.
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For the past ten days, librarians have been doing their own year-end roundup of the best books by tweeting their favorites. The votes have now been tallied and EarlyWord can exclusively announce the results (eat your heart out, Entertainment Weekly!).

There were over 1,400 total votes (300 more than last year!) for over 750 titles (100 more!), just another indicator of how widely librarians read. 

Top Three Titles

darkmatter  Underground Railroad  homegoing

The top title most loved by librarians and library staff is one that has had scant attention from other best books lists, Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter (PRH/Crown). Librarians have been particular champions of this mind-bending SF title, heralded by GalleyChatters last May and a number one LibraryReads pick. Hollywood may bring it new attention. Sony is currently developing it for the big screen. Perhaps it will have a similar trajectory to one of the top #libfave14 titles, The Martian.

Coming in second is a title on everyone’s list, Colson Whitehead’s National Book Award winner and Oprah Choice, The Underground Railroad (PRH/Doubleday). Gregg Winsor tweeted “Timely, literary, emotional, raw, and important.”

Coming in a very close third is Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing (RH/Knopf; RH Audio; BOTOverDrive Sample), a multi-generational examination of the legacy of slavery.

The real fun of exploring this list is the amazing range of titles in a variety of genres. Download the full list here, libfaves16 and test yourself on how many you’ve even heard of, yet alone read. 

To round out the top books receiving lots of librarian love, the next 7 titles on the list are :

4. News of the World by Paulette Jiles (HC/William Morrow)

5 & 6. (tie) Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld (RH) and Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond (PRH/Broadway)

7. The Mothers by Brit Bennett (PRH/Riverhead)

8, 9 & 10. (three-way tie) The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman (PRH/Roc), The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater (Scholastic Press), and The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon (PRH/Delacorte)

 

Fave #LibFaves16

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

Today is the last day of #libfaves16. As the countdown continues, we’ve been enjoying the pithy descriptions. Below are a few we selected from the last few days (title links are to Edelweiss listings):

THE HIDDEN LIFE OF TREES by Peter Wohlleben. A rare book that brings more magic to its subject through science. — Velocipedia@Grammarnatrix

My #libfaves16 Non-Fiction title for the year is ATLAS OBSCURA by Joshua Foer, et. al. It’s like porn for information junkies! Check it out! — Kelly Moore@ktmoore69

#libfaves16 Day 9: when you’re having so much fun you barely notice how much smarter you feel? AT THE EXISTENTIALIST CAFE @Sarah_Bakewell — David Wright @guybrarian

My #2 for #libfaves16 is PAPER AND FIRE by Rachel Caine  – I’ve called this series librarian catnip but it’s pure adrenaline for any reader. — Nicole Scherer@girlplusbooks

Today’s #libfaves16 is @mstiefvater’s finale THE RAVEN KING. Raven Cycle is one series you’ll love to pick apart & reread. Brilliant stuff. — Becky‏@beckiejean

UNDERGROUND RAILROAD by Colson Whitehead – believe the hype. Timely, literary, emotional, raw, and important. Go get it.–  greggwinsor‏@greggwinsor

1) #libfaves16 MY NAME IS LUCY BARTON by Elizabeth Strout – this book will dole out stuff that will slay you. This book has a sequel… — Marie Andrienne ‏@deienara

My final #libfaves16 is MY NAME IS LUCY BARTON by @LizStrout. What a quietly powerful book. Still thinking about it months after reading! — Inkywhisk‏@inkywhisk

It’s not too late to join in. Please type TITLES in all caps, to make it easier for those doing the final wrap-up (which we will publish).

Check out what others are posting by following the Twitter timeline widget to the right of the screen.

NYT Critic’s Top Books of 2016

Monday, December 19th, 2016

The New York Times book editors released their picks of the top books of the year in Friday’s issue, a total of forty titles from the four critics.

At this point, after so many best books list have been published, many of the titles are expected, but there are a few surprises.

9781619027206_735ffJennifer Senior picks the most overlooked title of them all, Grace by Natashia Deón (Counterpoint Press), calling it a “dazzling, underappreciated debut novel about a runaway slave, the daughter she never gets to hold, and the saintly man who raises the child instead.” 

Michiko Kakutani gives further support to a novel that has been a favorite of her colleagues on the Book Review, but hasn’t been recognized by many other best books lists, The North Water by Ian McGuire (Macmillan/Holt; OverDrive Sample). Kakutani says, “This novel about a 19th-century whaling expedition is as gory as Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd … a gripping and original act of bravura storytelling that immerses us in a Darwinian world that is as unforgiving as it is bloody.”

9781627795944_84336In addition to listing the title as one of their top ten, the NYT BR featured the author on the “Inside the NYT Book Review” podcast, and Book Review Editor Pamela Paul gave it her personal recommendation in a Reddit discussion last week, 

“a fantastic literary thriller that … would appeal to anyone. Well, anyone who is OK with blood and gore. (It’s very, very dark.) But it’s essentially a gritty, plot-driven story with a very, very bad guy as its villain and a flawed hero at its center. The story takes place on a whaling ship headed to the Arctic in the 19th century, and things go very wrong.”

9780812994827_8a326In nonfiction, Kakutani selects The ReturnFathers, Sons and the Land in Between by Hisham Matar (PRH/Random House; OverDrive Sample), also a NYT BR top ten title and a  particular favorite of editor Greg Cowles, who says on the podcast that he’s been “pushing it into peoples’ hands all year.” The author, a novelist, writes about trying to find his father, who was kidnapped in Libya by Qaddafi. Says Kakutani, “In this beautifully chiseled book, the younger Mr. Matar chronicles his Telemachus-like search for his missing father, whose absence has haunted him for decades. It’s a detective story of sorts, with Mr. Matar trying to piece together what happened to his father after his arrest.”

Best Books Wrap Up

Monday, December 19th, 2016

As an end-of-the-year gift, we’ve put together the various book critics’s picks into downloadable spreadsheets, for your use in last-minute ordering, or for discovering titles you may have overlooked (also available in the links at the right of the screen, under “Best Books, 2016”).

Best Books 2016, Childrens and YA

Best Books 2016 Adult Nonfiction

Best Books 2016 Adult Fiction and Poetry

Library Favorites

Monday, December 19th, 2016

darkmatter homegoing

Library staff have been tweeting their ten favorite titles of the year, one per day since Dec. 12th, using the hashtag #libfaves2016.

Two very different novels now top the list, the SF title Dark Matter by Blake Crouch (PRH/Crown; BOT; Overdrive Sample) and Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing (RH/Knopf; RH Audio; BOTOverDrive Sample), a multi-generational examination of the legacy of slavery.

Libfaves participant Carrie Shaurette says that Dark Matter is a “Mind-bending thriller that will make you reflect on the life choices you’ve made.” Greg Winsor says it is an “emotional thriller about alternate universes and going home” and suggests, “Hollywood take notice.” One day later, another libfaves tweet noted that Hollywood had done just that, linking to a Deadline story that director Roland Emmerich is “orbiting” the project.

Janet Snyder describes Homegoing as “graceful, powerful & packed w book club potential. Tragedy & legacy of slavery over 8 generations,” while another tweet simply quotes from the book, “Strength is knowing that everyone belongs to themselves.”

Many of the tweets are admirable 140 character readers’ advisory examples. Just a few that caught our eye (links are to the titles):

JANE STEELE by Lyndsay Faye. Murderous heroine delivered in delicious prose… A gorgeous literary feat! –Annette Jones@ZenLibrarian

JANE STEELE by Lyndsay Faye – excellent re-imagining of Jane Eyre if Jane killed off all the people who deserved it. — Jane Jorgenson@madpoptart
 

INVISIBLE LIBRARY by GenevieveCogman. You had me at cyborg alligators. Best new series I read this year —  Joe_Jones@Joe_Jones

LAB GIRL by Hope Jahren. Curiosity-driven science gets its due & it’s messy, funny, glorious. — Stephen Sposato@stephensposato

Therese Oneill, UNMENTIONABLE, b/c it’s freakin’ hilarious, informative, & meticulously researched w/ OMG! moments. — Robin B@robinsbooks

THE GENE: AN INTIMATE HISTORY by Mukherjee. Tracing the history of genetics, this reads like a mystery novel. — Matthew Noe@NoetheMatt

It’s not too late to join in. The rules are simple. Tweet your ten favorite titles of the year, one per day. If you’re late to the party, no worries. Just play catchup by posting the ones you missed.

Please type TITLES in all caps, to make it easier for those doing the final wrap-up (which we will publish).

Check out what others are posting by following the Twitter timeline widget to the right of the screen.

#Libfaves16 Weekend

Saturday, December 17th, 2016

LibFave rules are simple — tweet your ten favorite titles of the year, one per day. If you’re late to the party, no worries. Just play catchup by posting the ones you missed.

Please type TITLES in all caps, to make it easier for those doing the final wrap-up (which we will publish).

Check out what others are posting by following the Twitter timeline widget to the right of the screen.

NORTH WATER Surges

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

9781627795944_e366cIan McGuire’s blend of history, adventure, and thriller is still rising on Amazon.

Of the NYT‘s “10 Best Books of 2016,” The North Water (Macmillan/Holt; OverDrive Sample) showed the most impressive strength in terms of staying power, and now The Wall Street Journal has named it one of “The Best Mysteries of 2016,” helping the book jump again on the Amazon ratings.

WSJ writes, “The ghosts of Melville, Coleridge and Conrad haunt The North Water, Ian McGuire’s mesmerizing account of an 1859 whaling expedition plagued by ill fortune and its own bad intentions.”

Holds are surging in most systems we checked, with some showing ratios as high as 5:1.

In a recent Inside the NYT Book Review podcast, hosted by editor Pamela Paul, McGuire talks about the novel’s high-tension plot. Set in the mid-19th century on a whaling ship headed for the Arctic Circle. it features a ruthless, violent murderer and a troubled ship’s surgeon who fights him. McGuire said the idea came to him in stages. First as he worked on a biographical novel about Melville and then when he found a diary kept by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who served as a surgeon on a whaling ship.

NYTBR says “if you have read all of Conrad and Cormac McCarthy” you will want to turn to McGuire. For “all its harrowing bloodiness” the novel “is a huge amount of fun too.”

The novel is written as a tight thriller, continues NYTBR, with a gripping, quickly moving plot plot, interesting characters, and a deep thematic richness – topped by lots of twists and turns and a surprising ending.

Listen to the full podcast below. If you want to listen to just the North Water segment, listen to it on the NYT site. It begins around time stamp 34:00 (turn the little dial to fast forward).

Number One Picks

Monday, December 12th, 2016

In their new year-end issues, both People magazine and sister publication Entertainment Weekly name their picks of the top ten books of the year, in ranked order. 

grow-outFor People, the top title is You’ll Grow Out of It (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample) by Jessi Klein, head writer for Amy Schumer. People describes the book as a “hilarious, spot-on essay collection :From her horror of thongs to her most humiliating breakup, Klein’s topics — and disarming honesty — strike a chord.” This one does not appear on EW’s Top Ten. It is a #7 on Time magazine’s list.

nixFor Entertainment Weekly, it’s a debut that received attention when it was released in August, Nathan Hill’s  The Nix (PRH/Knopf; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample). 

EW says that it’s hard to describe the novel, but that “Hill’s magnificently overstuff debut contains multitude and ten some … It’s not just that Hill is a  brilliantly surreal social satirist … it’s that he does it all with so much wit and style and heart.”

Neither list is online yet. Download our spreadsheet with the rankings, People and Ent. Weekly Top Ten, 2016

Of the other publications that picked number one titles, most picked this year’s National Book Award winner in fiction.

Amazon Editors

Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad (PRH/Doubleday; RH Audio; BOTOverDrive Sample

New York magazine

The Underground Railroad

Time magazine, Fiction

The Underground Railroad

Time magazine, Nonfiction

John Lewis, March: Book Three, (Top Shelf Productions)

LibraryFaves Starts TODAY

Monday, December 12th, 2016

Bill Gates’s Faves

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

In a model Donald Trump might want to consider, Bill Gates says “reading books is my favorite way to learn about a new topic. I’ve been reading about a book a week on average since I was a kid. Even when my schedule is out of control, I carve out a lot of time for reading.”

He offers those thoughts as a preface to his end of year list of favorites which he says represents an “eclectic mix of topics—from tennis to tennis shoes, genomics to great leadership. They’re all very well written, and they all dropped me down a rabbit hole of unexpected insights and pleasures.”

His list is shuffling the Amazon rankings as all of the books gain ground.

His five choices, with an excerpt of his explanations and its movement on Amazon, are:

9781598534801_1242fString Theory: David Foster Wallace on Tennis, David Foster Wallace (PRH/Library of America).

“You don’t have to play or even watch tennis to love this book. The late author wielded a pen as skillfully as Roger Federer wields a tennis racket. Here, as in his other brilliant works, Wallace found mind-blowing ways of bending language like a metal spoon.”

Showing an impressive score, Wallace’s book moved from #8,425 to within the Top 100, sitting at #80.

9781501135910_59461Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike, Phil Knight (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample).

It is “a refreshingly honest reminder of what the path to business success really looks like: messy, precarious, and riddled with mistakes … [Knight] tells his story as honestly as he can. It’s an amazing tale.”

It too leaped on Amazon, and is also now in the Top 100 at #60, up from #391.

9781476733500_d13c4The Gene: An Intimate History, Siddhartha Mukherjee (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Mukherjee’s book has a “special focus on huge ethical questions that the latest and greatest genome technologies provoke. Mukherjee wrote this book for a lay audience, because he knows that the new genome technologies are at the cusp of affecting us all in profound ways.”

Another Top 100, at #75, the book moved up from #325.

9780465027668The Myth of the Strong Leader: Political Leadership in the Modern Age, Archie Brown (Perseus/PGW/Legato/Basic Books; OverDrive Sample).

Gates says that the “fierce election battle” prompted him to read this and that he learned that “the leaders who make the biggest contributions to history and humanity generally are not the ones we perceive to be ‘strong leaders.’ Instead, they tend to be the ones who collaborate, delegate, and negotiate—and recognize that no one person can or should have all the answers.”

The leap here was the most impressive Amazon jump of all, going from #240,893 to #390.

9781608196104_b6abaThe Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future, Gretchen Bakke, Ph.D. (Macmillan/Bloomsbury USA).

Calling it one of his favorite genres, “Books About Mundane Stuff That Are Actually Fascinating,” Gates says the book will “convince you that the electrical grid is one of the greatest engineering wonders of the modern world. I think you would also come to see why modernizing the grid is so complex and so critical for building our clean-energy future.”

This lesser known title did very well too, moving from #25,051 to #222.

As he did for his summer choices, Gates offers an narrated, animated overview of his picks:

Library Faves

Friday, December 2nd, 2016

Tweet your favorites of the year.

NYT’s Top Ten on the Rise

Friday, December 2nd, 2016

The New York Time‘s announcement of their picks of the 10 Best Books of 2016 has had an effect on Amazon’s sales rankings. Of the paper’s ten picks, five titles have made significant leaps.

9780385542364_9d8d8Unsurprisingly, Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad (PRH/Doubleday; RH Audio; BOTOverDrive Sample), already a best seller, has the highest ranking of the ten. The National Book Award winner moved from #80 to #55 at the time of this posting (bet on these titles gaining a bit more ground over the weekend).

9781627795944_e366cIan McGuire’s The North Water (Macmillan/Holt; OverDrive Sample) made a greater leap. The Man Booker longlist title skyrocketed from #4,907 to just outside the top 100 at #141, perhaps simply because it’s the first title on the NYT‘s list. For a refresher on the story, see the NYT Book Review by Colm Toibin, the daily NYT by Michiko Kakutani, and the take by The Wall Street Journal. It has not appeared on the other best books lists we’ve tracked.

9780525429630_6e612The National Book Award finalist,  The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan (PRH/Viking; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample) rose even more, moving from #5,189 to #280. It is also a Washington Post best of the year.

9781590514887_b6f51In nonfiction, At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails with Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Others, Sarah Bakewell (PRH/Other Press; OverDrive Sample) made the largest leap, moving from #4,716 to #264. The book earned starred reviews from all four pre-pub sources, with Booklist writing that it’s not all arcane philosophy, “With coverage of friendship, travel, argument, tragedy, drugs, Paris, and, of course, lots of sex, Bakewell’s biographical approach pays off.”

9780385535595_c7da8Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right, Jane Mayer (PRH/Doubleday; BOT) jumped over 1,000 titles, moving from #1,293 to #163. The very timely book is still part of the conversation as the president-elect creates his financial base of advisors. As we wrote earlier, Mayer explains how the Koch family and other wealthy conservative families have undertaken a concerted campaign to shape the political environment.

LibraryReads Favorite of Favorites 2016

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

9781501132933_b8c2bscreen-shot-2014-09-12-at-8-52-19-pmThe votes are in for the books library staff most enjoyed sharing with readers in 2016 and for the second year in a row, the LibraryReads Favorite of Favorites top vote earner is a psychological suspense novel, Ruth Ware’s sophomore hit, The Woman in Cabin 10 (S&S; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“An intruder in the middle of the night leaves Lo Blacklock feeling vulnerable. Trying to shake off her fears, she hopes her big break of covering the maiden voyage of the luxury cruise ship, the Aurora, will help. The first night of the voyage changes everything. What did she really see in the water and who was the woman in the cabin next door? The claustrophobic feeling of being on a ship and the twists and turns of who, and what, to believe keep you on the edge of your seat. Count on this being one of the hot reads this summer!” — Joseph Jones, Cuyahoga County Public Library, OH

In 2015 the winner was Paula Hawkins’s The Girl On The Train. Ware is often compared to Hawkins, as did Vicki Nesting, St. Charles Parish Library, Destrehan, LA in her annotation of Ware’s debut novel, In A Dark, Dark Wood when it was included as a LibraryReads pick in 2015.

Librarians were early advocates of Ware, who is becoming a marquee author. Not only have both her novels been LibraryReads picks, both were Galleychat favorites (here too).

Look for more from Ware on the horizon. She signed a deal with her British publisher for two more books, to be released in the summers of 2017 and 2018 and Reese Witherspoon acquired the film rights to her debut.

The second top vote earner is 9780062491794_da1a1Commonwealth by Ann Patchett (HC/Harper; Harper Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“The Cousins and the Keatings are two California families forever intertwined and permanently shattered by infidelity. Bert Cousins leaves his wife for Beverly Keating, leaving her to raise four children on her own. Beverly, with two children of her own, leaves her husband for Bert. The six children involved are forced to forge a childhood bond based on the combined disappointment in their parents. As adults, they find their families’ stories revealed in a way they couldn’t possibly expect. Patchett has written a family drama that perfectly captures both the absurdity and the heartbreak of domestic life.” — Michael Colford, Boston Public Library, Boston, MA

As we noted, the novel marks a high point in Patchett’s selling history, with Commonwealth debuting at #4 on the USA Today Best-Selling Books list, her highest ever opening number. According to the paper, Bel Canto reached #8 in 2003 but debuted at #70 and State of Wonder hit, and peaked, at #12. The novel also debuted at #1 on the NYT list, another first for the author who has had bestsellers in the past, “most notably,” according to the NYT  “Bel Canto (16 weeks on the paperback fiction list in 2002-3) and State of Wonder (35 weeks on the hardcover and paperback fiction lists in 2011-12).”

A darling of critics. it is on many of the year-end best books lists (downloadable spreadsheet here) and earned glowing reviews. The daily NYT called it “exquisite.” Patchett is also a Hollywood draw, Bel Canto is in development as a movie starring Julianne Moore (announced in 2012, there has been no news since, but it is still listed as in development on IMDb).

Rounding out the top vote-getters is 9781400067695_38ba8My Name Is Lucy Barton, Elizabeth Strout (PRH/Viking; OverDrive Sample).

“Set in the mid-1980s, Lucy Barton, hospitalized for nine weeks, is surprised when her estranged mother shows up at her bedside. Her mother talks of local gossip, but underneath the banalities, Lucy senses the love that cannot be expressed. This is the story that Lucy must write about, the one story that has shaped her entire life. A beautiful lyrical story of a mother and daughter and the love they share.” — Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

A critical favorite too, it made the National Book Award, the Man Booker Prize, and the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction Longlists. For more from Strout see this recent Book Lust interview with Nancy Pearl.

The full list of the ten favorite picks is now available online.

Best Books Season in Full Swing

Monday, November 28th, 2016

sport-kings wolf-road

Over the years, we’ve learned that the most interesting aspect of best books lists are not the consensus titles, but those that are rated very highly by just one or two publications.

Now that the New York Times Book Review has released their picks of the Best Books of the Year, we can make comparisons. Unsurprisingly, in fiction, the top two titles are the National Book Award winner, The Underground Railroad and the NBA finalist Jacqueline Woodson’s Another Brooklyn.

Two other titles stand out as unusual. The Kirkus Prize went to
C. E. Morgan’s The Sport of Kings (Macmillan/FSG) a title that was also a Carnegie Medal longlist selection, but not a finalist. It is on the NYT BR list, but not among the Top Ten. The other is the number two selection by the Amazon editors, Beth Lewis’s The Wolf Road (PRH/Crown), which has so far not appeared on any other list.

What makes these titles superior in the editors’s and judges’s minds? Unfortunately, we aren’t given an insight into those deliberations, so we’re left guessing.

We’ve put together all the fiction selections into one downloadable spreadsheet, best-books-2016-fiction-and-poetry-v2Use it to make your own discoveries and for end-of-the year ordering. UPDATE: Time magazine has released their Top Ten of Everything, including Top Ten Novels. We’ve updated the spreadsheet with those picks.

We will have the childrens and YA spreadsheet available by the end of the week and nonfiction by the end of next week.