This is the time of year when the newspapers are putting out their best books of the year lists.
The New York Times Lists its 100 Notable Books of the Year, list is then whittled down to a top ten. Litlists does a great job of linking each fiction title to websites, extracts and "page 69 tests". (This is altogether a fabulous blog for those who love lists of books ... as I do.)
I haven't mentioned the Page 69 test on this blog before, but it is an intriguing way to test out whether you are going to like a book or not. The idea was first suggested by Marshall McLuhan, the guru of The Gutenberg Galaxy (1962) who recommends that the browser turn to page 69 of any book and read it. Here's a whole list of Page 69's for you to try it out on ... and for homework see if it works for the books on your shelves!
Another excellent list of books of the year is this one from The Guardian where authors including A.S. Byatt and William Boyd choose 2009's beast reads.
It's all very well having lists of best books, says Sam Jordison, but a rollcall of worst books would give us a truer picture of the decade. Jordison plays devil's advocate beautifully!
Postpostscript (13/12) :
Jordison's list, now pages long, gets more exciting by the day, and not a literary great remains unscathed.
Lorna Bradbury in The Telegraph has an excellent list of bests of 2009 - plenty of worthwhile reading suggestions here. It was a very good year, for fiction, she says.
Best reading from an antipodean point of view - Aussie authors, including Alexis Wright and kate Grenville, talk about their personal favourites of 2009 in The Age.