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literary food blog, for readers with good taste.

The TBR List: Best Of

The "best of" my bookshelves.

The "best of" my bookshelves.

I have a serious question for my fellow readers: How much attention do you pay to year-end best books lists? A lot of great sites have started publishing theirs and — setting aside the fact that it seems a tad early to be declaring 2014 over — I'm struck by how long some of them are. Plus, it's hard to know what goes into compiling these lists, which makes me hesitant about accepting them as the final word. 

Some related questions:

  1. How does any publication without a full staff read enough books to write such a long list?
  2. Am I the only book blogger who doesn't read every single day?
  3. Do these people only read books from the current year? It boggles me that they can have time to compile a top 10, 20, 50 list and also read older books.
  4. Do they all read with Spritz?!
  5. Do books ends up on the lists because they're buzzy, or do they garner buzz because they're actually that good?
  6. Can we ever know how much their being ranked is a result of marketing?
  7. Are specific lists (best of memoirs, romance, YA, etc.) more reliable?
  8. Is it all a matter of taste, and am I silly for being skeptical?
  9. How can they know the books they've chosen really are "the best" of what came out this year?

This is all to say that I'm not writing a "best of" post for 2014. I'll stick to sharing recommendations as I discover them. And I'll probably look to some best of lists for suggestions, but I'll decide on my own whether they deserve the designation.


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