Next to the NPR Book Concierge and A Year of Reading from The Millions, my other favorite best list is The Morning News Tournament of Books [or ToB].
Now, the tourney itself doesn’t start until March, which is one of the reasons I adore it. They give you time to digest all the best of the year hoopla and lists before diving into the tourney on 2016’s best books a few months into 2017. The pause and the perspective it affords are nice.
But, so as not to miss out on “the season of besting,” the ToB released their awesome long-list this week. 120 Books! The finalists for the ToB will contain titles from this 120 book grouping.
This long list and the tourney itself are a wonderful example of the overall point I have been trying to make this month about Sure Bets Lists being better than Best Lists. Because the ToB always considers genre and trends into their compilation of titles, AND because they are willing to consider best sellers alongside more literary offerings, AND because they allow the judges to make a personal decision on the winner of each head to head pairing AND because they allow for “zombies” who were eliminated to come back from the dead and keep competing AND because they always have some great under the radar titles that I have missed.... for all of these reasons [and a few I must be forgetting], the ToB lists are a great sure bet option for readers.
The ToB uses different perspectives of what was “Best” in 2016 to crowdsource a list that considers as wide a range of tastes as possible. The just released long-list alone can help you to help many readers looking for a good, “best” read this holiday season. Yes some are hot titles that will be checked out, but many will be on your shelf right now. And, they each come with an annotation so you can book talk the title immediately.
Click here for much more from me on the ToB. And don’t forget to look at the past years’s lists [links in the right gutter]. If you put those lists together with the narratives from the judging process, you get a great sense of what type of reader to give the books to even if you have never read them, or even heard of them, yourselves.
ToB is both fun and a great RA tool. Click over and see for yourself. There are hundreds of sure bet options there for a wide range of library patrons. The work is done for you, if you only visit the site.
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