More Best Books

Library Journal has just released its Best Books list. As we’ve come to expect, there are few overlaps with the other lists that have appeared to date.

But, perhaps with a business a diverse as book publishing, we should be more interested in differences than similarities. In the list intro, LJ‘s Book Review editor, Barbara Hoffert says the editors were looking for “unique voices” as well as “highlighting what might otherwise be lost.” No wonder many of the titles are not familiar.

LJ notes that sister publication, PW caught flak for their Top Ten list, because it includes no female authors. Of LJ‘s 31 Best Books, 11 are by women, or about one third of the list. Although that’s much better then PW‘s Top 10, it’s similar to PW‘s Top 100 which includes 30 women.

This year, LJ added Street Lit to their selection of best titles in the genres.

It’s a genre that appears to be going mainstream. PUSH, originally published over 13 years ago, is now #1 on the NYT Pbk. Trade Fiction list after 11 weeks, due buzz around the movie. A street lit title that has not benefited from media attention, The Cartel 2, by Ashley JaQuavis, has been on the extended list for two weeks, which may be the first time a book published by a small, street-lit focused publisher (Urban Books) has appeared on the NYT list. Two of Urban Book’s titles appear on LJ‘s list.

An even surer sign that street lit is getting notice from main street; the Wall Street Journal‘s Op/Ed page recently railed against the genre (‘Precious’ Little of Value in Ghetto Lit) and mentioned that, horrors, libraries are stocking the genre; “Even libraries now stock gangster-lit novels, because they bring new readers in the door.”

Barbara Genco, Collection Management Editor for Library Journal, and her Pratt LIS students put together a useful guide to street lit resources for the recent BEA, available here.

We’ve updated the Bests — Titles Selected by Three or More — Spreadsheet.

Comments are closed.