'tis the season of "Best of 2010" lists. And far from it from me to be a Grinch. So this month's compendium of literary links has some decidedly "best of" flair — but not in the traditional sense. Here, you'll find everything from the year's best book-related videos to the annual Tournament of Books. Enjoy!
The Millions' A Year in Reading — It's always fun to find out what famous authors are reading, right? The Millions has been posting a guest-written article a day from writers like Margaret Atwood, Lionel Shriver (who I just recently discovered is a woman! Holy George Eliot, Batman!), and Sam Lipsyte. A lot of these favorite authors' favorite books are rather obscure — for instance, Tom McCarthy, author of C, picked a book published in 1971 by someone named Ingeborg Bachmann. Got that one? But I thought it ironic that the author (Michael Cunningham) of one of my least favorite books this year (By Nightfall) chose Room, by Emma Donoghue, one of my favorites of this year, as his favorite. But then he also picked The Hunger Games, at which I thumb my non-YA, non-sci-fi-reading nose. ;)
2. Book Videos: 19 of the Best and Worst — Cheers to The Huffington Post for collecting these book-related videos and book trailers in one easy-to-view spot. The idea of the "book trailer" really took off in 2010, and while opinions are generally mixed, mine's not: I love 'em. And my favorite of the 19? Tie between Denis Leary and James Franco with Gary Shteyngart. Both hilarious. What's your favorite?
The 2011 Tournament of Books — To paraphrase The Simpsons, this annual tradition is one of my favorite yearly customs. The longlist for the tournament was just announced, so as to give holiday shoppers a good list. It includes just about all the heavy-hitters you'd expect. The tournament will be pared down to 16 in January, and the winner announced in March. I wish there was somewhere you could gamble on this, like the NCAA Tournament. But I'm happy to see The Instructions made the longlist — that is my choice for most underrated book of 2010. What book is your pick to win? (Also, if you can explain in 100 words why you'd like to be a judge, you might just get to be a judge. The deadline to enter is this Sunday, Dec. 19.)
4. Letters To Santa By Shakespeare Characters — Right off the bat, we have Ophelia asking for a "He's Just Not That Into You" book and DVD. It gets better from there. God bless you, McSweeney's.
5. 12 Common Misperceptions About Book Publishing — This article from The Nervous Breakdown by writer J.E. Fishman is one of the most interesting, comprehensive, no-nonsense pieces on publishing I've ever seen. It's a must-read for anyone interested in the biz. (Side note: E-book price-whiners: Pay special attention to No. 12.)
6. The Top Five Sins of the Book Reviewer — Today's post is my 100th post of 2010, so I hope you'll allow me the sell-indulgence of linking back to my favorite post of the year — not because I think it's the best-written or anything but because it generated the most (and most interesting) feedback. Cheers!