Our compilation of all the best books of the year into one spreadsheet grows ever more feverish as 2011 starts to recede into the distance. This is the most complete look at the favorites of the literary world you’ll find anywhere, and because of that completeness, it takes a little longer to finish up than other best-of-the-year lists. Bear with us, the end is in sight!
Since our last release, we’ve gone from 62 best-of-the-year lists and awards compiled to 99 in version 4.0. We’ve found 428 more titles that someone has deemed a best of the year, bringing that total to 2,252 book published in the U.S. during 2011. Since version 3.0, we’ve added the lists from the Stoker Awards, the Kitschie Awards, the Edgar Awards, Locus, the Miami Herald, the Chicago Sun-Times, Progressive, the Montreal Mirror, The Onion A.V. Club, Powell’s Books, the Austin Chronicle, GQ, 12 Most…, Algonquin Books Blog, the ALEX Awards, The Atlantic, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Barrington Books, the Barry Awards, the Dilys Award, Biblioklept, Blastr, the Book Lady’s Blog, Bon Appetit, Galleycat, January Magazine, the Book Smugglers, the Los Angeles Times Book Awards, Books and Culture, Books in Bloom, Nebula Awards, the YALSA Awards, the Printz Award, the Costa Book Awards, Bookshelves of Doom, and CNBC. It makes me tired just to give you the list.
Over 70 books have 10 or more documented best-of-the-year mentions, with four–Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Marriage Plot, Teá Obreht’s The Tiger’s Wife, Chad Harbach’s The Art of Fielding, and Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus—now gone beyond 30 different sources that named them a best of the year for 2011.
No matter how you slice it, whether you want to know the best-of-the-best or are more interested in looking for less publicized hidden gems further down on the lists, we’ve got the biggest best list anywhere to be found. And as always, you’re encouraged to download the Excel spreadsheet, sort it any way that you like, and re-use it at your libraries and on your websites. Just give credit to Williamsburg Regional Library when you do so.
There is one more release of the ABBC yet to come in March, then we’ll call the compilation complete for another year.