2011: The Literary Year in Review

It’s New Year’s Eve, a good time to look back on what’s happened in the literary world this year.

Here are two more “best books” lists I think I’ve missed, NPR’s choices of The Best Music Books of 2011 and 2011’s Best American Poetry.

Britain’s The Telegraph provides comprehensive coverage in The Literary Year 2011. If you weren’t able to keep up with all the controversy over literary awards this year, you can beef up your knowledge here. This article also summarizes major publications in various fields (such as memoir, biography, politics, and sports) and concludes: “If it was a listless year for fiction, the non-fiction market fared little better.” PBS Newshour offers Conversation: The Year in Fiction, a discussion with Washington Post book critic Ron Charles.

Book lovers are also word lovers. Merriam-Webster, the dictionary people, offer 2011: The Year in Words, a compendium of “Defining Moments: In politics, culture, sports and more, these words spiked in lookups because of events in the news.”

The Christian Science Monitor challenges your knowledge of the year’s highly touted publications with 2011 fiction quiz: Can you recognize the opening line? [Warning: Each individual item is on a separate page, so click at your own risk.]

I’ll be creating my own list of best books read in 2011 and posting it separately. If you have a similar list of your own, you can include a link to it in the comments section.

Finally, if you’d rather focus on the year ahead than on the year past, Christian Science Monitor contributor Rachel Meier has this list of 6 books you should resolve to read in 2012 (one recommendation per page, annoyingly).

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