05 December 2006

And Word Nerd Calls Herself a Reader

The list of the NYT 100 Most Notable Books of 2006 is out.

Here's the shocker: Word Nerd hasn't read a one of them.

Mark Danielewski's Only Revolutions is on the list, and she read about 50 pages of that, before getting wildly lost. And once, at the library, she looked at Allegra Goodman's Intuition on the shelf.

She did read, The Stolen Child which got lots of good critical acclaim and is not on the list. Same with A Brief History of the Dead.

2006 for Word Nerd though might be the year of the backlist as she worked through early Robert Parker books, ditto with Donald Westlake, started in on Roger Zelazny's Amber Chronicles and finished reading all of Janet Evanovich's 12 Stephanie Plum novels, plus catching up on some other already-on-the-shelf novels from Susan McBride, Nancy Martin, and others.

Adding insult to injury, the list of the 10 Best Books in 2006 (culled from the whole 100 notable list) includes 10 titles that Word Nerd hasn't even heard of. Just for comparison's sake, Word Nerd looked at the 10 Best Book picks by the NYT for 2005, 2004 and 2003. Word Nerd never heard of any of them either.

But still, Word Nerd feels like she doesn't deserve the "reader" moniker since she missed all these books the NYT has decided are important.

On the other hand, maybe this is why awards like the Quills are a good thing since those are a better reflection of what real people read. The Quills include books like Mitch Albom titles and Christopher Moore titles.

Word Nerd will do her own list later this month of the 10 best books she read this year. Who needs the NYT? (Word Nerd ducks as the gods of journalism are sure to hurl lightning bolts in her direction for that flip remark.)


Kelly (Lynn) Parra said...

Bethany, it's the same for me. Many of those titles and authors I haven't yet read. Truthfully, I haven't been a dedicated reader all my life, only for about 8 years now so I'm catching up. ;)

Anonymous said...

I've seen a number of them at the library, and I'm desperate to lay my hands on a copy of The Road.

However, before any of us pull out the cat-o-nine tails, I think we need to consider what it is that we want to read. How much genre fiction is on this list? Not much. How much genre fiction do we read? Quite a bit.

There are some best-sellers on the list, but I'm just not in a hurry to read The Terrorist. I think, overall, we all read quite a lot. These books may just may not be our respective cups of tea. There are a lot of books out there.

Anonymous said...

I had the very same thought about A Brief History of the Dead, the premise of which continues to haunt me months after I read it. I am astonished that the book did not garner more coverage, and its omission on the NYT list you reference is startling. As I said, I had the very same thought when I saw that list the first time. Oh, well. Actually, I first read about ABOTD in Newsweek a few days prior to is release, and I was intrigued, but I don't think I have heard anything about it in the media since that time. That is unfortunate.

Buffy said...

Calamity Physics is really quite a good read. If only for it's uniqueness and construction. Some people find it gimmicky. I didn't.