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This time every year, an avalanche of end-of-year wrap ups and best-of lists tumbles onto the internet. Sometimes, the best-books-of-the-year lists have a lot of the same titles. The most often noted title I'm seeing is Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel. This year, every best of list has either Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn or Building Stories by Chris Ware -- the inclusion of the one or the other will give you a sense of the tenor of the list. When I'm reading these lists, though, I'm really looking for titles I missed, forgot about, or just haven't had the chance to read.
A List of Lists
Made me want to read: Under the category of "Young Adult Literature for Adults," The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan
Made me want to read: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
Made me want to read: The Devil in Silver by Victor LaValle
New York Times 10 Best Books of 2012 (For the ambitious, there's also the 100 Notable Books of 2012)
Made me want to read: Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity by Andrew Solomon.
Made me want to read: My Heart Is an Idiot: Essays by Davy Rothbart
Actually, even better than HuffPo's Best list is their semi-snarky New York Times Best Of 2012: Alternative Reads, which tells you to ignore Times selections in favor of more exciting fare. Made me want to read: Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar, by Cheryl Strayed (which they recommend instead of Far From the Tree)
Made me want to read: Alif the Unseen, by G. Willow Wilson
Made me want to read: Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, by Ben Fountain
The Guardian's Books of the Year, selected by a variety of writers
Made me want to read: Shalom Auslander's Hope: A Tragedy
On Vulture.com, Kathryn Schulz's Top 10 Books of 2012
Made me want to read: Marilynne Robinson, When I Was a Child, I Read Books: Essays
And, taking this list of lists to its ultimate conclusion: The Rumpus named their "Best 'Best Books of 2012' List of 2012," a ruminative blog post by Roxane Gay, which includes such sub-lists as "Book I was moderately ashamed of reading" and "Books I was ambivalent, torn, or slightly hostile about". A fun read with some interesting recommendations.
Photo credit: no_typographic_man
Nicole Pasini is the Branch Manager at the Woodside and Portola Valley Libraries. She (obviously) likes to read.