Here’s the 100 Best Books of the Year list you should care about.
It’s the New York Public Library’s 100 Best Books of the Year list! This one is noteworthy to me because it reflects, shall we say, a more direct engagement with people who read books outside of professional exigencies, who are neither critics nor writers nor editors nor vampiric media types always conjuring listicles, the better destroy literary culture as we know it. (Hi!)
With actual readers in mind, this list includes subcategories like Romance, Mystery and Thriller, and Historical Fiction (though they’re playing fast and loose with genre categories, as is their right, by including the likes of Téa Obreht in the last category, and Julia Phillips in the second). Perhaps my favorite thing about this list is that it includes ten books of poetry, which seems about right to me; my second favorite thing is the inclusion of Sarah Moss’s wonderful Ghost Wall.
Here’s the top ten:
Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips
Fleishman Is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Aker
Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations by Mira Jacobs
Normal People by Sally Rooney
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson
She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey
Thick: And Other Essays by Tressie McMillan Cottom
Three Women by Lisa Taddeo
Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion by Jia Tolentino