Once again, the good librarians at the Williamsburg (Virginia) Regional Library have performed a public service and compiled all the best lists, awards and other honors for books published in 2010 for their annual megalist — available as an Excel spreadsheet.
The fiction winner is Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom, which is kind of interesting since it hasn’t won the Big Name awards (though it still has a shot at the Pulitzer, which is announced this month). And I was delighted to see that three of the eight writers in the Speculative Fiction category (Gary Shteyngart, Charles Yu and William Gibson) will be here for the 2012 Key West Literary Seminar, Yet Another World (check out the rest of the amazing line-up: still room to register!). So, by the way, will the author of the No. 2 in fiction (and National Book Critics Circle Award Winner), Jennifer Egan. And yes, we have the vast majority of the top books listed here in the library collection.
BTW, for those of you who follow books more than basketball, that other big tournament is getting ready to wrap up — The Tournament of Books — and the championship round features the top two novels on Williamsburg’s list, Freedom versus A Visit From The Goon Squad. The best part of this tournament is you can go back and read all the different rounds in whatever order you like. I suppose some might frown on this sort of competitive literary exercise, but it’s all in good faith and good fun — I’ve never seen cheap shots or nasty takedowns here. And any time I get to read anything by Elif Batuman, I’m happy. I wonder if they’d consider adding a nonfiction category?
Update: And the winner is … A Visit From the Goon Squad! Which I’m delighted to hear, not only because I happen to have a copy of the book in my house (though I’ll admit I haven’t read it yet — or Freedom, either) — and because Egan will be here in Key West, in January, for the Key West Literary Seminar — still time to sign up!).