Amazon.com just announced their list of “Best Books of 2011.”
Based on what criteria? Self has no idea. Reader reviews?
What really intrigued her about the list is that the # 1 book is Chad Harbach’s The Art of Fielding, and there is a very long article about Chad in the Vanity Fair issue that has Angelina Jolie in extreme close-up on the cover. Self hasn’t finished reading the article yet (as she said, it’s quite long), but she got to the part where the writer of the article and Chad had to support themselves with day jobs, and how it took them four years to come up with a manuscript, or something to that effect.
Anyhoo, here is the Amazon list “Best of 2011.” As usual self had to scroll down to find the name of the highest-ranked woman writer, and it is Laini Taylor, at # 6. In addition, self ended up counting the number of women on the list: out of a total of 20, there are five, which she considers rather lame. The six women authors are: Laini Taylor, Tea Obreht, Erin Morgenstern, Tina Fey, and Gabrielle Hamilton. Self notes, too, that Walter Isaacson’s 600-page authorized biography of Steve Jobs, called simply Steve Jobs, is # 8 on this list. Finally, she is so happy to see David McCullough’s presence on this list, for she’s read two previous books by him, and she thinks he is one of our finest historians.
BTW, BIG BIG shout-out to Zack Linmark, whose novel Leche made it to Publishers Weekly List of Best Fiction (for 2011), one of 18. Go, Zack, go!
- The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach
- IQ84 by Haruki Murakami
- What It Is Like to Go to War by Karl Marlantes
- The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
- In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson
- Daughter of Smoke and Bone (love this title!) by Laini Taylor
- Before I Go to Sleep by SJ Watson
- Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
- Lost in Shangri-la by Steve Zuckoff
- The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht
- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
- Bossypants by Tina Fey
- Blood, Bones, and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton
- We the Animals by Justin Torres
- Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer
- The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan
- The Greater Journey by David McCullough
- Lost Memory of Skin by Russell Banks
- Maphead by Ken Jennings
- The Sisters Brothers by Patrick De Witt
Some of these titles, like # 20, seem ungrammatical, but perhaps that’s deliberate. Or perhaps Publishers Weekly, which put forth the announcement of the Amazon.com list, was in too much of a hurry to proofread — ?
Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.