Thursday, October 6, 2011

Top Ten Books in Ten Years: Part One

I was talking to Ann Devere, owner of Plaza Books in Las Vegas, one recent afternoon. She’d been reading the NPR online list of the top 100 science fiction/fantasy books as picked by readers.

 “That’s too wide a category,” I said. “The true test of ‘the best’ would be to narrow the selection down to a mere ten, a mere ten from the last ten years.  
Which ten books would you pick from your shelf  
(and she has over 1,000 soft cover titles) 
to take with you to that desert island? What are the ten best of the past decade?

Hard? I think so, but far more succinct and timely.

As the discussion developed, it occurred to me that this would make an interesting post. Forget the hundred. Narrow it down. Get rid of the dead wood and the also-rans.

What are the ten best genre specific books of the past decade?

Ann is a member of The Las Vegas Antiquarian Book Guild, a group of booksellers who specialize in used and collectible books. These are the people who meet, greet, and talk to the readers. These are the people who can name titles and authors and summarize plots the way a kid can recite the alphabet. These are the people who know what they like and what their loyal customers like.

What better group, I thought, to ask for input.

And who better to kick off the list than Ann Devere herself!

Thankfully, she agreed and next post, I’ll be listing Ann’s choices: Her list of the ten best science fiction/fantasy books of the decade, 2000-2010.

BTW: When you're in Las Vegas, drop in Plaza Books. Ask Ann about a title and I bet she will know if she has it in stock and exactly where it would be on the shelf.