Back in December, I find myself wondering what the difference between all these lists were. The New York Times, Washington Post, Amazon, EW, everyone and their mother was putting out “Best of” lists. I know this happens every year. But this year, I got to thinking “What is the difference between all these lists?” I started with just comparing ten lists and compiling which fiction and non-fiction works appeared most frequently across lists.
I also wanted to see what the difference was between the New York Times’ best 100 books and the Washington Post‘s top 50 fiction and top 50 non-fiction books was. And * drum roll * there wasn’t much agreement in the non-fiction lists. Five books appeared on both lists (in non-alphabetical order).
There was more agreement among fiction books – 15 books appeared on both papers’ “Best of” lists. This included (also in non-alphabetical order):
I guess intuitively it makes sense. The range of non-fiction books is a lot bigger than the range of fiction books which means that there is more competition for audiences/markets. This then eats into the overall readership #s (for non fiction books). This seems to be true too if I factor in the other book lists as well – there as a lot more agreement regarding core fiction books that were considered generally the best vs. core non fiction books. Practically, this is interesting for me anyway because I’m still trying to figure out what I want to read this year. 🙂