Tuesday, December 21, 2010

'Tis the Season to Write a Shitload of Lists

Happy Solstice, Christmas, Kwanzaa, (late) Hanukkah, and New Year! 

It's that time of year again when respected publications like The New York Times and NPR spit out lists about the best books of the year, and readers like me (and maybe even you) look over their numbers and feel inadequate because I (and maybe you) never quite got around to reading any of them.

Here's the list of problems I've decided I have with lists like these:
  • In order for me to believe them, they have to be written by someone who has read every book that came out this year, which I find difficult to believe;
  • The lists don't define what "best" means, which is frustrating for those of us who haven't read any of them and maybe haven't even heard of some of them and are trying to decide which one of them to pick up;
  • Too often the list includes fiction and nonfiction, which is like comparing apples and oranges; and
  • They annoy me.
I won't be writing any more Not-So-Gentle Reader  lists anytime soon.  I do so hate to annoy people.

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