‘Tis the season for “best books of year” lists. One of my favorites is the New York Times 100 Notable Books, which I prefer because getting a list of 100 books is much better than trying to distill the best reading of the year down to a handful of books. In fact I didn’t really care for some of the books that made the NYT’s Top Ten books list.
Other books lists I like are The Guardian, the Washington Post, and Modern Mrs. Darcy. NPR has a fun way of listing best books but for my purposes they list too many books. I appreciate any list that consolidates all the best of lists, like this one at LitHub.
Some of my favorite reads on this year’s lists include Klara and the Sun and Crying in H Mart. Then there are some I appreciated but was less excited about, like Burnt Sugar, Detransition Baby, and How Beautiful We Were. But most of these books are ones I haven’t read yet.
I’ve added these books by some of my favorite authors that are showing up on the year’s best-of lists:
- The Sentence by Louise Erdrich
- Oh William by Elizabeth Strout
- Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead
- A Town Called Solace by Mary Lawson
- Beautiful World, Where are You by Sally Rooney
- Velvet was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
- Five Tuesdays in Winter by Lily King
And here are some new authors I’ve added from some of these lists:
- Wayward by Dana Spiotta
- Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo (won the National Book Award)
- The Love Songs of W.E.B. DuBois by Honoree Fannone Jeffers
- Strange Beasts of China by Yan Ge
- All That She Carried by Tiya Miles (won the National Book Award)
- The Arsonist’s City by Hala Alyan
- Light Perpetual by Francis Spufford
Have you read any of these books? Which do you recommend? And which “Best Of” lists do you find the most useful?