We’ve avoided it for as long as possible, but the plethora of “Best Books of 2009″ lists can no longer be ignored. There seems to be a list for every age group, genre, and topic, so we’ve picked a few to focus on. And if “Best of” lists aren’t your thing, there’s a “Worst of” list as well.
BEST BOOKS FOR KIDS
- NPR is leading the way with its sheer number of “best of 2009″ lists posted so far. Most recently, it featured the “Best Young Adult Fiction of 2009,” calling YA “one of the most dynamic and exciting niches in publishing.” The five titles selected support this claim, with subject matter ranging from Charles Darwin to seductive goblins.
- The New York Times also recommends “Notable Children’s Books of 2009,” including a range of young adult, middle grade, and young reader titles. There’s some overlap with NPR’s young adult list (apparently this is a big year for Charles Darwin), but the Times also gives some unique suggestions.
BEST BOOKS FOR ADULTS
- If you’re looking for a straightforward “best of” list for adult readers, the New York Times‘ “The 10 Best Books of 2009” features five fiction and five nonfiction selections that are slightly more varied and less predictable than some other lists we’ve seen.
- The Millions features two “Best of the Millennium” lists, one chosen by “pros” and the other by readers. Each list features 20 books from the past decade, adding welcome variety to the 2009-only lists.
- And finally, if you’re sick of hearing about how great everything is, feel free to contribute to the Guardian’s interactive article, “What were your worst books of the decade?” Blogger Sam Jordison claims, “To remember only achievement and worth is to ignore the vast majority of our cultural experience,” so he mentions his own worst books of the decade and invites readers to share theirs. But be warned, the debate gets a bit heated, especially where Ian McEwan is concerned.
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