Sunday Links, November 23, 2014


The winners of the National Book Awards have been announced.

The winners of the World Fantasy Awards have been announced.

The winners of the Anthony, Macavity and Shamus Awards have been announced.

Best Books of the Year

Amazon has published its lists of the best books of the year in myriad categories:  science, science fiction and fantasy, comics and graphic novels, literature and fiction, mystery, thriller and suspense and many more.  Its choices for the best books of the year regardless of genre are here.

The New York Times lists its Editors’ Choice books for the year.

Kirkus lists its best books of the year.

Waterstone’s asked some of its favorite authors to list their favorite books of the year.  Only one book is listed by two different writers:  Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel.  I’ve heard a lot of talk about this book, leading me to think that I should move it up higher in my TBR list.  Amazon’s Omnivoracious blog similarly asked a long list of celebrity authors to name their favorites.

The Toronto Globe and Mail lists its 100 best books of the year.  We haven’t seen some of these in the United States yet, so this list could also be used as a guide to next year’s reading.

Australia takes a different approach, listing the 50 favorite novelists of the year.

BookRiot links to the top ten literary TED talks of the year.

Want more “best of the year” lists?  The Largehearted Boy is once again aggregating links to all the online lists he can find.  I could get lost for days just looking at the lists he’s listed so far, comparing, buying, reserving at the library, disagreeing, agreeing — and I’ll bet you could, too.

What to Read Next

Kirkus suggests the six books you should read in the last six weeks of the year.

My Bookish Ways lists the highlights of the books being published in December in science fiction, fantasy and horror.

BuzzFeed suggests 12 cookbooks every booklover needs.

The Guardian lists the top 10 books about reading.  As this is one of my favorite categories of books, I was surprised to learn that I knew of only a few of those listed.  Naturally, the others went right onto my wishlist!

Flavorwire lists 50 dark books to read during the dark days of autumn and winter.  And the wishlist got even longer.

BuzzFeed counters the darkness by listing 21 books that could make the world a better place.

BookRiot makes us even more optimistic by listing more than 30 books about bad guys gone good.

Who’s up and coming these days?  Here’s a list of 20 writers under 40 you should be reading.

Bustle suggests 11 memoirs every woman should read while she’s in her 20s.  My own opinion is that these memoirs would be great reading at any age, for men as well as women.  Jeannette Walls’s The Glass Castle is an amazing book, for instance, and I read it in my 50s.  BuzzFeed has its own list of 12 memoirs that will get you through your 20s, and there’s surprisingly little overlap.  So

Writers and Readers

Watch this video of this year’s recipient of the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, Ursula K. LeGuin and marvel at what a national treasure she is.  Then go and read her books!  You can start with A Wizard of Earthsea.

In honor of Margaret Atwood’s 75th birthday, BookRiot lists 75 reasons why Atwood is awesome.

Nicola Griffith writes about why branding isn’t such a great idea for writers.  It is a long, well thought-out essay that deserves attention.

I love to go to bookstores (and other forums) and listen to writers read their work.  Flavorwire lists 50 writers you should really hear live.  Neil Gaiman is the only one I can cross off that list, having heard him read and speak several times, but otherwise I’ve got a long way to go before I’ve even made much of a dent.

Dan Meadows writes a great piece about library book sales.  He scored a copy of Joe Hill’s 20th Century Ghosts, one of the best collections of odd, sometimes horrific, sometimes lovely stories published in this century so far.  It would make me jealous if I didn’t have a copy of my own.  Seriously, get your hands on this one.

Genre Wars

The New Yorker, of all places, offers a new way to think about reading genre fiction in a piece by editor Joshua Rothman.  And follow the hyperlinks embedded in the article for some more good reading on the subject by Lev Grossman and Arthur Krystal.  Flavorwire follows up with its own take on the article suggesting that the so-called genre wars have ended in a truce.

Lady Business explains why women should read comics despite the industry’s, um, shall we say, odd history in depicting women.  And non-whites.  And anyone who isn’t a heterosexual.  And…

Adults should be reading Young Adult fiction, says Jeyn Roberts.  I agree!  Cristin Stickles of BookRiot takes it a step further and lists 23 things she’d rather be doing than reading yet another essay about whether adults should read Young Adult fiction.


At long last, Amazon and Hachette have resolved their dispute.

The Wall Street Journal says the library is still better than Amazon’s “all you can read” program — at least for now.

The Seattle Weekly writes of the perks, pitfalls and paradoxes of publishing with Amazon.

Ursula K. LeGuin thinks that Amazon has too much control over what books are published.  There’s a lot more to the interview in Salon that I’ve linked here, and it’s all worth reading.

Books versus E-books

io9 tell us why books are still one of the most enduring technologies.

The Little Red Reviewer suggests one way to read e-books.  (I go for categorization and spreadsheets to keep track of my ebooks; which do you think is more likely to work?)

Alison Flood of the The Guardian is entranced by the ability to highlight passages in the books she reads on her e-reader — and to see what others have highlighted as well.

Fun Stuff

A new television series debuts on December 7:  “The Librarians.”  How is it possible for any book person to resist this one?

Most of these 15 acronyms are likely to be familiar to you, but I’ll be there are one or two words included that you hadn’t realized were acronyms.

Electric Lit imagines that strangers talk to everyone the way they talk to writers.

No one ever buys books for me for Christmas — they’re always afraid I’ll already have whatever they pick.  (They can always just check my LibraryThing page or my Amazon wish lists, but apparently that takes the joy out of it — so I’m told.)  That means that a list like this one, of cool book-related items of jewelry, socks, book rests and other book-related gift items can come in handy.

LitReactor lists seven things to expect when you’re dating a reader.  The “moving is absolute hell” is doubled when both of you are readers; last time my husband and I moved (about 3-1/2 years ago) we had 350 boxes of books or thereabouts, as well as close to 50 bookcases.  (We tipped our movers very well.)

Happy Thanksgiving to all!  May you find plenty of time to read during the four-day holiday weekend.


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