ReadySteadyBlog

This has been widely linked to, but librarians rule, so I'm happy to keep the meme alive: the New York Public Library has unveiled its annual list of 25 Books to Remember.


The Books to Remember program celebrates its 50th anniversary this year—with a list of outstanding titles chosen for their “distinct and lasting contribution to literature.” A panel of NYPL librarians works for months to pick the year’s most outstanding titles. The panel of seven begins by examining hundreds of book reviews. Next, they plunge in, each reading on average more than 100 of the year’s most notable works. Discussions and debates follow as the merits of each book are weighed. Finally, a vote decides which 25 make the list of the year’s most memorable reads.

The list includes some of the (dull) usual suspects (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer; Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro; On Beauty by Zadie Smith), some books we've reviewed here on RSB (The March; Small Island), Windows on the World by Frederic Beigbeder, which I thought clumsy and disingenuous, The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion, which moved me a great deal, and a couple of other titles that look worth tracking down - Bread and Roses: Migrants, and the Struggle for the American Dream by Bruce Watson ("vividly reconstructs the story of the 1912 textile strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts, a watershed moment in American labor history") and The War Works Hard by Dunya Mikha’il (translated from the Arabic by Elizabeth Winslow, this "intimate, subversive, and farsighted collection by an Iraqi poet chronicles the effects of tyranny and war on the psyche.")

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