“There are so many books. Always so many. They collide in my mind.” - Colum McCann
December 23, 2011 6:06 AM   Subscribe

The Millions 2011: A Year in Reading. With 72 participants naming 214 books, it’s safe to say this has been our biggest and most high profile Year in Reading yet. Our participants included the current Poet Laureate, a longtime candidate for the Nobel Prize for Literature, the reigning winners of the IMPAC and Pulitzer Prizes, two authors of books named The New York Times’ 10 Best of 2011, a recent inductee to the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, and more Pushcart winners than I care to count.

We also recognize that it’s becoming easier than ever to rely on algorithms and lists for one’s book recommendations – and while there are some treasures to be found through such means, there is nothing quite like the warmth of an actual human being’s testimony to vouchsafe your next reading choice. We hope that these articles have turned you on to new writers – authors of books selected by others, or authors of the articles themselves.

A Year in Reading: Rachel Syme, Elissa Schappell, Mark Bibbins, A.N. Devers, Buzz Poole, Ellis Avery, Belinda McKeon, Brooke Hauser, Kevin Brockmeier, Jean-Christophe Valtat, Natasha Wimmer, Nuruddin Farah, Matthew Gallaway, Jane Alison, Jeff Martin, Garth Risk Hallberg, Kevin Hartnett, Emily St. John Mandel, Jacob Lambert, Patrick Brown, Parul Sehgal, Christopher Boucher, Denise Mina, Alex Shakar, Brad Listi, Hannah Nordhaus, Daniel Orozco, Ward Farnsworth, Edie Meidav, Jonathan Safran Foer, David Vann, Siddhartha Deb, Yasar Kemal, Mona Simpson, Alex Ross, Dennis Cooper, Jami Attenberg, Edan Lepucki, Emily M. Keeler, Mark O'Connell, Carolyn Kellogg, Rosecrans Baldwin, Bill Morris, Chris Baio (Vampire Weekend), Hamilton Leithauser (The Walkmen), Mayim Bialik, Philip Levine, Adam Ross, Emma Straub, David Bezmozgis, Charles Baxter, Amy Waldman, Nathan Englander, Duff McKagan, Deborah Eisenberg, Chad Harbach, Geoff Dyer, Benjamin Hale, Hannah Pittard, Scott Esposito (Conversational Reading), Michael Schaub, Michael Bourne, John Williams (The Second Pass), Dan Kois, Nick Moran, Colum McCann, Eleanor Henderson, Ben Marcus, Jennifer Egan, Stephen Dodson (Languagehat),
posted by Fizz (12 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
This post is going to cost me a lot of money.
posted by davidjmcgee at 6:28 AM on December 23, 2011 [4 favorites]

Certain books are frequently mentioned by most of these authors but it's better than the New York Times Bestseller list. It's writers and what they love in their own words.
posted by Fizz at 6:32 AM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

Between reading the Millions at the end of the year, and the Morning News' Tournament of Books, that's my reading list for the rest of the year.
posted by gladly at 7:13 AM on December 23, 2011 [2 favorites]

For about 30 seconds, I genuinely thought the post was talking about Reading, the large but hardly exciting commuter town west of London. I was all like, wow, Poet Laureate, Noble Prize Candidate...Reading has really upped it's game.
posted by rhymer at 8:48 AM on December 23, 2011 [3 favorites]

should be its
posted by rhymer at 8:48 AM on December 23, 2011

What, no previously?
posted by gingerbeer at 12:39 PM on December 23, 2011

I know I'm too damn lazy, but where can we get the list of 214 books and skip the clicking around?
posted by lukemeister at 1:16 PM on December 23, 2011

I know I'm too damn lazy, but where can we get the list of 214 books and skip the clicking around?

I'd normally agree with you. Lord knows we've seen a large number of horribly set up Best of 2011 Lists that have a thousand click-throughs. But, this is one of the few times that I think it's worth enduring. You can get countless lists generated by the New York Times Bestsellers, amazon.com, computerized algorithms that look at what you're clicking and/or your purchasing habits.

But this list is all about writers sharing their love of reading. What turns them on, what makes them give up sleep so that they can read a few more chapters before going to bed. It's worth clicking through and reading about their passion for reading. It provides more context for the choices they've made. What inspired them or what let them down.

Still, if it's something you really really want - maybe write the editor an e-mail and see if there is a list they've compiled that they wouldn't mind sending to you.
posted by Fizz at 3:58 AM on December 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

Thanks, Fizz!
posted by lukemeister at 6:06 PM on December 24, 2011

Now that I look at it, the summary is a good place to start.
posted by lukemeister at 6:56 PM on December 24, 2011

There's a Millions group on Goodreads and they've added a bookshelf with all the 2011 Year in Reading books.
posted by gladly at 7:55 AM on January 8, 2012

« Older Somewhat Beyond Zero Population Growth   |   ...oh yes, I have Tourette's Syndrome. Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments