Saturday, November 26, 2005

Top 100s

The quondam Eclectic Econoclast, now reborn as the Econoclectic, observed that the NY Times has published its list of 100 Notable books of the year. The Globe and Mail has followed (as is our Canadian wont).

Remarkable fact - I have read the same number of books on both lists. In fact, the same books, Saturday, and Freakonomics.

Reading the lists, I figured that over the next few years, I might read at most a couple more books from each list.

My book-buying is somewhat patterned. I like hardcovers sold as seconds (they usually sell for less than the paperback), but this guarantees I won't read the book the year it makes the top 100 list. Books I will buy as new hardcovers are usually not the sort that would make the list - for example, it is my intention to go purchase the new Scott Turow and Minette Walters novels today; I know I will enjoy them, and likely so will my mother when I pass them on.

Why were the two books above exceptions? This post from Norm Geras sold McEwan's novel to me (and the novel had so much more in it than was hinted - in fact for me the 'grandeur in this view' theme was also key to its success). Numerous reviews of the Dubner-Levitt book in the many economics blogs I follow sold it (and my mother enjoyed it as well!). Very interesting to watch marketing take new forms.


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