Williamsburg Regional Library is once again pleased to present the best of all the best-of-the-year lists. Sure, you can consult a single source to find the best books of the year, but which list should you believe? After all, no reviewer or even organization can possibly read even a fraction of everything published in a calendar year. With the All-the-Best-Books Compilation (ABBC), you don’t have to choose. The ABBC compiles all of the major lists and awards of 2012 into a single spreadsheet (Best2012) so you can see the true consensus of critics, authors, bloggers, librarians, and other people in the know about books.
The ABBC spreadsheet includes twelve categories:
- novels–literary and mainstream fiction
- short stories–literary and mainstream fiction
- crime fiction and thrillers
- speculative fiction (fantasy, science fiction, and horror
- historical fiction
- romance fiction
- young adult fiction
- graphic works
- narrative nonfiction (but not life stories)
- biographies and memoirs
- informational nonfiction: how-to books, art books, cooking, and reference works
In each category, books are listed by the number of mentions they’ve received as a best-of-the-year. Titles and authors are given, and also a coded list of which compiled sources mention each work. The final page of the spreadsheet provides a key to the source codes and a link to the page from which the information was obtained. Thanks to the Reader’s Advisor Online Blog and Largehearted Boy, two sites which collect great link lists for best-of-the-year lists and make it easier to complete this compilation. The ABBC takes their concept one step further and compiles the results into a single document.
The ABBC comes in the form of an Excel spreadsheet (Best2012) that you can download and re-sort alphabetically by title, by author, or in any other way you choose. Libraries, bookstores, and others who promote books are welcome to re-use information from the list to build displays, advise readers, inform collection or stock development, or just share the results with your patrons. We ask that you credit to Williamsburg Regional Library, Blogging for a Good Book, and chief compiler Neil Hollands if you use information from the ABBC in print or online. Do not republish the ABBC as a whole, but instead, link to this post (http://bfgb.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/all-the-best-books-compilation-abbc-2012-first-edition) or those that follow for future editions of the list.
This first edition of the list includes 66 sources (about half of the number that will make the final edition), but it should already show the general trend of which books are likely to make the top of the list. The biggest changes are likely to occur in genre categories, where many of the genre-specific lists have yet to be compiled. Stay tuned here at Blogging for a Good Book to find future editions of the list as additional sources are compiled. The final edition of the 2012 ABBC will be completed in March as compilation takes time and we’re still waiting for some of the major awards for 2012 to be presented.
Previous editions of the list can be found at the WRL site.
To be compiled, works must have first been published (or first published in a substantively new edition or translation) in the United States in 2012. The ABBC definition of genre (particularly speculative fiction and historical fiction) may be broader than those used by some publishers, so if you don’t find a book in the list where you expect it, look in another category where it might also be placed.
I’ll be posting about results in the different categories of the ABBC at my two blogging homes, here at Blogging for a Good Book and also at Booklist’s Book Group Buzz. Check in at both sites over the coming weeks for annotated summaries of the most frequently mentioned titles and my thoughts about trends in publishing and awards. I’ll kick off coverage later today at Book Group Buzz with a quick list of the most mentioned books overall so far.
Finally, due to time constraints and the complications of figuring out which works published in Britain, Australia, and other English-speaking countries were also published in the U.S. in the same year, this year I’m not compiling all of the great lists from English, Canadian, Australian, and other international sources into the ABBC. Hopefully next year I’ll have time to put them back in the ABBC!
Enjoy! I hope you have as much fun using this list as I did in compiling it.