Yes, of course, it's the time of year for all the "Best of" books lists. Ninety-nine percent of which bore me silly. But every year I'm always excited to see the New York Times Notable Books list. Not because I look to it for recommendations or anything, but because I enjoy seeing how few notable books I read every year.
So how did I do this year? Well, on the fiction side: .5. Down from 1 in 2013! I say .5 because I only read about half of Lauren Groff's novel Fates and Furies and HATED it. Not only that, there's only about two titles here I'm still interested in reading: Outline, because I enjoy Rachel Cusk; and Lucia Berlin's A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories, because I like the title.
And now, ta-da! Nonfiction: 3.5. The three I read were Kate Bolick's Spinster: Making a Life of One's Own, Rosemary Sullivan's Stalin's Daughter, and Kathryn Edin's $2.00 a Day Living on Almost Nothing in America. Again, a .5 because I read about a quarter of Ta-Nehisi Coates's Between the World and Me and then had to take it back to the library because it was overdue. At least I recognized most of the titles on the nonfiction side (and had had some home from the library; just didn't have the time to read them); most of the fiction titles I'd never heard of at all.
Sigh. Evidently I will never be a serious reader of notable-type books.
In other news, the GoodReads Choice Awards/Best Books of 2015 list is out too, and as much as I'm not really a fan of GoodReads (if you search for a good book on "civil rights," there, for the love of God, it suggests Kathryn Stockett's novel The Help), at least some of those lists are interesting. I'm not sure I agree with the choice of Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari as the "best nonfiction" of the year (it was good, but I don't know that it was that good), but at least this nonfiction list includes some books I'd still really like to read. (The Science list there is interesting too.)
What do you think? Any "Best of" lists you particularly enjoy or dislike? I'm starting to think I should run my reading spreadsheet from June to June, and then post a "best of" list in the middle of the year. Mainly I just get so tired of these types of lists at this time of year.