waiting dogs

The end of the year is at last in sight, and you all know what that means: yes, the long, patient wait at the door is almost over. That squirrelly institution of the book world, the Stevereads Best – and Worst! – Books of the Year is almost upon us yet again!

Looking back at 2012, specifically at that little convulsion that gripped the blogosphere during the summer about the ‘ethics’ of negative book-reviewing, I momentarily had qualms about the tried-and-true format of my annual Stevereads Gotterdammerung. True, I spend most of these annual posts praising the best of the year’s books – but I’ve also seen it as my duty to jump up and down on the worst of the year’s books. And thinking about this summer’s teapot tempest made me wonder: should I retire the Worst Books feature (with its, um, iconic illustration)? Is bashing truly horrible books really just a waste of time – and of space that could better go to praising more good books?

Then I thought: naaaaah.

The solution I came up with: I’ll still point out some of the worst books of 2012, but this year, for the first time, I’ll also greatly expand my best books coverage – more categories, more books, and with any luck, more good recommendations for all of you. I read more new books in 2012 than in any other year of my life, and thanks to the wonderful bully pulpit of Open Letters Weekly (and a handful of other venues), I’ve actually reviewed a fair number of them – nowhere near all, but more than I’ve ever reviewed before. “Best Books” lists are cropping up everywhere in print and online these days, as the Western world gears up for its year-end gift-giving holidays, and here at Stevereads you can have the satisfaction of knowing that your host has read more in 2012 than many entire newspaper and magazine book-departments combined. That reading will be distilled over the upcoming days, and with any luck, you’ll find all of it interesting and some of it useful.

It all starts tomorrow, so be sure to check back!

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