Tag: best-of lists

  • A Very Good Anti-Best List

    It’s exasperating when people refer to a work of art as “great” as if that were an objective pronouncement. Great for what? The idea that there could be stable, neutral criteria by which literature could be judged more or less worthy is at best nonsensical. In practice, it’s often a way for powerful people to […]

  • Best for what?–reading 2018

    I love hearing about people’s favorite books, and regularly shop and read from lists published everywhere every December. I’ve even written a short discussion of my favorite genre books in 2018, to appear in Strange Horizons‘¬†annual roundup a few days from now. But I’m skeptical of these lists, too: “best” for whom, when, and why? […]

  • Close-reading the 2015 National Book Awards

    Forecast: capricious poetry weather ahead. Last year I tackled the National Book Award’s poetry long list in time for a new year’s post and learned a lot from the exercise. This year I was completing the same task, reading with admirable industry and dedication, when I picked up Sunday’s New York Times Book Review and […]