A List of Words You Can Argue About
December 5, 2017 7:08 AM   Subscribe

Featuring 374 titles and filterable on a laundry list of criteria, NPR's 2017 Book Concierge isn't the typical end-of-year best-of list.

But if you are looking for the typical list-you-can-fight-over,

The Guardian
LA Times
Harpers Bazaar
Bill Gates

have you covered.
posted by uncleozzy (12 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
What about scifi/fantasy?
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 7:25 AM on December 5, 2017

There's a sci-fi/fantasy section. The list of categories is alphabetized; scroll down.
posted by inconstant at 7:36 AM on December 5, 2017

I love the Book Concierge! (The 2016 version did lead me astray with a few titles, but I realise that not everything is going to be for me, and I also learned that I do not like the Hogarth Shakespeare books at all.)
posted by minsies at 7:56 AM on December 5, 2017

Max Brooks wrote a Minecraft novel? Related: I want to read a Minecraft novel?

Seriously, my son got the unofficial MC books, and I don't like slagging on other people's work, but they're really not good. They're basically recitations of game mechanics with gaming terms incongruously thrown in. Like the villagers don't call them "monsters" or whatever, they call them "hostile mobs" and "griefers". If I can replace those with something good, I'd be very happy.

Also Reincarnation Blues is good. I'm 3/4 of the way through and loving it.
posted by middleclasstool at 8:00 AM on December 5, 2017

Look, I get it: The name doesn't exactly scream page turner.

No? It was the first one I actually clicked on because I thought it might be. Function of age, I suppose.
posted by BWA at 8:26 AM on December 5, 2017

My Goodreads to-be-read list doesn't know what hit it! (Neither will my bank account...)

I super appreciate that the NPR list lets you filter by genre.
posted by Ziggy500 at 8:30 AM on December 5, 2017

My Goodreads to-be-read list doesn't know what hit it!

Yeah, the NPR Concierge makes up the bulk of my to-read list pretty much every year. It's pretty reliable, for me, when combined with my usual do-judge-a-book-by-its-cover heuristic.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:32 AM on December 5, 2017

I'm sorry, but is "Identity & Culture" just books written by non–white dudes, plus a foray into the alt right?
posted by dame at 8:46 AM on December 5, 2017

I love the NPR list, I just slowly flip through it and whenever something catches my fancy I open a tab for my library and place holds until something is available. I have three ebooks on hold and am 7 chapters in to The Misfourtune of Marion Palm, which made my bus ride so much nicer. Thank you for posting!
posted by lepus at 8:50 AM on December 5, 2017

At first glance I thought a Dalek had written a book about FDR.
posted by wittgenstein at 9:31 AM on December 5, 2017

What about scifi/fantasy?

Over the weekend, I took a stab at sorting over 700 SF/F titles from 2017 by something like their popularity at Goodreads (not just their rating but also how widely read they are). I think the NPR list is still interesting.
posted by cpound at 10:24 AM on December 5, 2017

I'm sorry, but is "Identity & Culture" just books written by non–white dudes, plus a foray into the alt right?

That seems uncharitable, but the 'ranking' of the books in the grid is randomized every time so it's possible we had an entirely different first impression!

Anyway, my top 3 rows of Identity & Culture:

-an Indian-American woman's collection of essays
-a woman writing on the alt-right and 4chan culture
-a Chinese-American woman's novel about a Chinese immigrant
-a Japanese woman's manga memoir about lesbianism
-a white woman's memoir
-Studio 54's (male) owner's book on Studio 54
-Gabourey Sidibe's memoir
-a Sioux chef and white chef's book about Sioux cooking
-a Brazilian cartoonist's graphic novel on slavery
-a black woman's YA novel
-a white woman's book on sex and music
-Solnit's new book of essays

So, 3 dudes total, one white; 5 white ladies; 5 non-white ladies.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 10:42 AM on December 5, 2017

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