Friday, December 31, 2010

Looking Backward and Forward

If things seem to have been a bit quiet lately in Limboland, it’s because my energies have been drawn away for most of the last month toward unrelated endeavors. Principally, my participation in January Magazine’s Best Books of 2010 feature. As I have for the last dozen years (wow, can it really have been that long?), I edited the crime fiction section of that annual package, which spotlighted 36 crime, mystery, and thriller works that January critics think represented the best that American and British publishers had to offer readers this year. You’ll find the Webzine’s two-part assessment of those books here and here.

Meanwhile, I also contributed to January’s picks of the best fiction due out next year. As editor Linda L. Richards explains:
It feels a bit like crystal ball-gazing, sure it does. And it’s also like searching for 10 needles in a haystack. Still, here we are taking a run at it: In the glorious literary year that will be 2011, what will be the 10 most important books?

It’s a dangerous business, this sticking out of necks. You have to be prepared to be wrong or corrected. Plus, fate can throw a monkey wrench into the works. But the way we see things right now, this is how it looks: an exciting year of books. Despite continuous rumors of falling skies, the world of literature continues to evolve and even to thrive, depending on how you look at things.

Now, clearly, there will be thousands of books published in the English language in 2011. Narrowing that exciting field down to just 10 titles in an impossible task. We’ve done it anyway. Here are the 10 works of fiction that will be published in the first half of the year that we’re currently anticipating the most.
Among those 10 are four works of crime and thriller fiction that deserve notice. Click here to see all of January’s choices.

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