The New York Times Book Review has come out with their annual list of the 10 Best Books of the Year.
The editors at the New York Times work hard to curate this annual listing which is not ranked by sales or popular vote. In a recent Books Briefing email, Editor Pamela Paul said, “These are not necessarily the most relevant or important books of the year; many books feel very timely because of their political importance or social message. When we say ‘best,’ we mean overall quality. These are books we think should and will endure, books that transcend the current moment and will be read for years to come.”
The books are chosen from among the 100 Notable Books of 2017 from the New York Times Book Review. From there, the selection is narrowed down by “Collaboration and argument,” says Pamela Paul. “The staff editors of the Book Review keep a running list of contenders beginning around February, and we periodically circulate that list among ourselves. Titles come onto the list and, less often, get knocked off. By September, we have a long (sometimes very long) list. We begin to address Best Books in our weekly meetings, and early frontrunners emerge and make it on to a shortlist. Toward the end of the year, the Book Review’s staff editors, along with other writers and editors on the Books desk, vote on all the nominees. The process ends in November, when it comes down to raw numbers and, occasionally, brute editorial force (i.e., an autocratic decision) about what makes the final cut. We think these books are worth it.”
This year’s list includes 5 Fiction titles and 5 Non-Fiction, with a wide range of topics represented. “It so happens that the themes considered in this year’s 10 Best happen to touch on very urgent issues: migration, gender inequality, identity, civil rights, Brexit. They also happen to be fantastic books in every sense — beautifully told, well argued, highly readable.”
You can view and purchase the 10 Best Books of the Year as audiobooks on our New York Times Top 10 Best Books of 2017 playlist!