The end of the year means lists! Here are but a few:
The New York Times' 100 Notable Books of 2009. Sometimes the review itself is a great read, such as the one for Follow Me: A heroine bent on reinvention is at the center of this densely stitched crazy quilt of a novel, which spans six decades and a wealth of genres while evoking a quintessential American mythology. How do you get a reviewer like that? I know, I know: write a great story. Two of my favorite authors apparently have - Alice Munro and Barbara Kingsolver, both on the list.
Publishers Weekly posted several lists.
USA Today listed the bestsellers, which doesn't necessarily mean a best read, to me. There's viral marketing, and then there's great writing.
The Guardian UK published a list of what kept them turning pages and a "What not to miss" list.
Amazon solely recognized that hey, 2009 isn't over yet! Its subhead's a disclaimer stating "so far." Which begs the question: do publishers avoid releases after say, October, knowing that the listmakers won't include those books in the "best" categories?
And if you're taking a vacation in a balmy clime, you might want to check out NPR's best beach reads for the year.
If you're the kind of person who cross-checks lists thoroughly, check out Large Hearted Boy's amazing compilation of lists.
My TBR list always grows after reading these. As an author, of course I'd love to be listed, but more than that, I hope my writing touches readers' hearts and minds, and makes them want to read more.
Sadly, I'm not on any of the above lists. But then, they're all for print. When I Googled "2009 best ebooks," the mishmash of results contained nothing related to the search. Maybe it's time for such a list. Not the individual "bestsellers" on each publisher's site. A comprehensive list encompassing all epublishers and genres, just like the print versions. It would be a leap toward respectability and recognition of the validity of ebooks. They're not going away anytime soon. It's misleading for only those print books also published as ebooks to be listed, given the rising sales of ebooks. So I'm putting out the challenge: let's have a "best ebook reads" list next year!