This past week, the New York Times Book Review released its 100 Notable Books of 2017, including poetry, non-fiction, and fiction. The list represents books reviewed after December 4, 2016, when last year’s list was published. You can find these titles on Libro.fm’s 100 Notable Books of 2017 playlist… Happy Listening!
This list includes many fantastic titles, but you may find yourself disappointed about some of your favorite books that did not make the list. If you’re wondering about how titles on the list are selected, read on for information from the New York Times Book Review editor.
So what exactly determines whether a book makes the list?
The 100 Notables are books that stand out from the thousands we review or otherwise cover throughout the year, selected by staff editors at the Book Review, several of whom have been working here for more than three decades – some very experienced and picky judges.
How is the list narrowed down and ultimately selected?
The Book Review gathers all Editors’ Choice columns from the entire publishing year into a huge document, and then all the editors get involved in the torturous rounds of elimination.
Has the process changed over the years?
Yes. It used to be that every single Editors’ Choice book became a Notable of the year, and the list went on forever; and though it made many authors happy, it was a bit overwhelming for readers. In 2004, then-editor Sam Tanenhaus made the wise decision to narrow the list to 100, dividing it evenly between fiction (including poetry) and nonfiction.
*Q&A adapted from Book Briefing: The story behind our 100 Notable Books of 2017