Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Best of the Best of 2011, So Far, Updated

With more lists rolling in--the WSJ, People and Entertainment Weekly among them--the consensus best of the best of 2011 list is acquiring real shape and clarity. As always happens, both the fiction and nonfiction lists have neatly produced two clear groups of top 10 picks.
Continuing the pattern from the beginning of this year's voting, the top novels are acquiring far more votes, with fiction claiming 7 of the top 8 slots overall. Tea Obreht's THE TIGER'S WIFE remains the runaway pick for book of the year.
We're still waiting on lists from a few major sources, including USA Today and the Los Angeles Times, so as usual, we won't declare our final list--with a complete list of sources, editors and agents, and other observations of interest--for another week or two. But to help with holiday sales and promotion, here's how the lists stand, based on 35 sources so far:
Top 10 Fiction
1. The Tiger's Wife, Tea Obreht (16)
2. 1Q84, Haruki Murakami (11)
The Marriage Plot, Jeffrey Eugenides
4. State of Wonder, Ann Patchett (10)
The Art of Fielding, Chad Harbach
6. The Sisters Brothers, Patrick DeWitt (8)
The Tragedy of Arthur, Arthur Phillips
8. The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes (7)
Open City, Teju Cole
The Stranger's Child, Alan Hollinghurst
The Next Contenders
The Cat's Table, Michael Ondaatje
The Submission, Amy Waldman
The Pale King, David Foster Wallace
The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern
Top 10 Nonfiction
1. In The Garden Of Beasts, Erik Larson (9)
2. Blood, Bones & Butter, Gabrielle Hamilton (7)
Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson
4. Blue Nights, Joan Didion (6)
The Swerve, Stephen Greenblatt
Bossypants, Tina Fey
7. Townie, Andre Dubus III (5)
Karl Marlantes, What It Is Like to Go to War
Boomerang, Michael Lewis
Lost in Shangri-La, Mitchell Zuckoff
The Next Contenders
Destiny of the Republic, Candice Millard
Catherine the Great, Robert K. Massie
The Greater Journey, David McCullough
Moonwalking with Einstein, Joshua Foer
Malcolm X, Manning Marable

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