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message 1: by Hugh (last edited Dec 10, 2018 12:25AM) (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 3166 comments Mod
Last year we had quite an entertaining end of year poll where we allowed members to nominate three favourite books and I then organised a dynamic rankings poll of the nominated books. I was wondering if any of you would like to repeat this exercise.

If we give you, let's say, until the end of THIS week (Sunday 9th December) to nominate your candidates, we can start the rankings thread after that. Last year, we allowed any book first published the current year or the previous year, which would mean anything published since Jan 1 2017, and I would be tempted to exclude non-fiction, but beyond that all we need for now is up to three nominations per person.

Nominations are now closed, but this thread can remain open for general discussion, to keep the rankings thread tidier.

Note that the intention is to allow 2017 books that you read in 2018 rather than books almost all of us read last year, so we are really talking about the recent books from the list you read this year. Translations and retranslations of older books are permitted as long as the translation was published within these dates, as are collections of previously unpublished work.

Nominated so far (alphabetical by author):

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo (Sam)
The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker (Trevor)
The Only Story by Julian Barnes The Only Story by Julian Barnes (Jonathan)
The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao by Martha Batalha The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao by Martha Batalha (Lark)
The Idiot by Elif Batuman The Idiot by Elif Batuman (Ang)
The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne (Doug)
A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne (Doug)
The Great Concert of the Night by Jonathan Buckley The Great Concert of the Night by Jonathan Buckley (David)
Milkman by Anna Burns Milkman by Anna Burns (Michele)
Brother by David Chariandy Brother by David Chariandy (Sunita)
Gun Love by Jennifer Clement Gun Love by Jennifer Clement (Carissa)
Kudos by Rachel Cusk Kudos by Rachel Cusk (Jen)
Vernon Subutex 1 by Virginie Despentes Vernon Subutex 1 by Virginie Despentes (Cordelia)
Vernon Subutex, 2 (Vernon Subutex, #2) by Virginie Despentes Vernon Subutex 2 by Virginie Despentes (Cordelia, Antonomasia)
French Exit by Patrick deWitt French Exit by Patrick deWitt (H Anthony)
In the Distance by Hernan Diaz In the Distance by Hernan Diaz (Lark)
Belladonna by Daša Drndić Belladonna by Daša Drndić (Eric)
Murmur by Will Eaves Murmur by Will Eaves (Neil)
Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi (Nadine)
The Iliac Crest by Cristina Rivera Garza The Iliac Crest by Cristina Rivera Garza (June)
The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar (Jonathan)
Sight by Jessie Greengrass Sight by Jessie Greengrass (Gumble's Yard)
In Our Mad and Furious City by Guy Gunaratne In Our Mad and Furious City by Guy Gunaratne (Gumble's Yard)
Die, My Love by Ariana Harwicz Die, My Love by Ariana Harwicz (Ang)
Remains of Life by Wu He Remains of Life by Wu He (Eric)
Old Rendering Plant by Wolfgang Hilbig Old Rendering Plant by Wolfgang Hilbig (Paul)
Orchid & the Wasp by Caoilinn Hughes Orchid & the Wasp by Caoilinn Hughes (Sam)
Everything Under by Daisy Johnson Everything Under by Daisy Johnson (Hugh)
The Largesse of the Sea Maiden by Denis Johnson The Largesse of the Sea Maiden by Denis Johnson (Neil)
Anniversaries by Uwe Johnson Anniversaries by Uwe Johnson (Trevor)
The Cemetery in Barnes A Novel by Gabriel Josipovici The Cemetery in Barnes by Gabriel Josipovici (Hugh)
The White Book by Han Kang The White Book by Han Kang (Paul, Val)
River by Esther Kinsky River by Esther Kinsky (Val)
The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner (Robert)
Blue Self-Portrait by Noémi Lefebvre Blue Self-Portrait by Noémi Lefebvre (Ang)
Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss (Robert)
Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata (Antonomasia)
Border Districts A Fiction by Gerald Murnane Border Districts by Gerald Murnane (Sam)
The Gallows Pole by Benjamin Myers The Gallows Pole by Benjamin Myers (WndyJW)
The Friend by Sigrid Nunez The Friend by Sigrid Nunez (Nadine)
Warlight by Michael Ondaatje Warlight by Michael Ondaatje (Cordelia, Claire)
There There by Tommy Orange There There by Tommy Orange (Claire)
Love by Hanne Ørstavik Love by Hanne Ørstavik (Carissa)
Lucia by Alex Pheby Lucia by Alex Pheby (Paul)
Mothers by Chris Power Mothers by Chris Power (Jonathan)
The Overstory by Richard Powers The Overstory by Richard Powers (Robert, David)
The Long Take by Robin Robertson The Long Take by Robin Robertson (Sunita)
Normal People by Sally Rooney Normal People by Sally Rooney (Gumble's Yard)
From a Low and Quiet Sea Shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award 2018 by Donal Ryan From a Low and Quiet Sea by Donal Ryan (Val)
All the Names They Used for God by Anjali Sachdeva All the Names they Used for God by Anjali Sachdeva (David)
Winter by Ali Smith Winter by Ali Smith (Jen)
The Maze at Windermere by Gregory Blake Smith The Maze at Windermere by Gregory Blake Smith (Doug)
We That Are Young by Preti Taneja We That Are Young by Preti Taneja (WndyJW)
The World Is a Narrow Bridge by Aaron Thier The World is a Narrow Bridge by Aaron Thier (H Anthony)
Heads of the Colored People by Nafissa Thompson-Spires Heads of the Colored People by Nafissa Thompson-Spires (Nadine)
Flights by Olga Tokarczuk Flights by Olga Tokarczuk (Neil, Michele)
Last Stories by William Trevor Last Stories by William Trevor (Trevor)
Fox by Dubravka Ugrešić Fox by Dubravka Ugrešić (Eric)
The Aviator by Eugene Vodolazkin The Aviator by Eugene Volodazkin (Lark)
Lacking Character by Curtis White Lacking Character by Curtis White (H Anthony)
Attrib. and other stories by Eley Williams Attrib. and other stories by Eley Williams (Hugh)
The Shepherd's Hut by Tim Winton The Shepherd's Hut by Tim Winton (Jen)
Frontier by Can Xue Frontier by Can Xue (Michele)


message 2: by Paul (last edited Dec 03, 2018 01:51AM) (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8771 comments 1 The White Book
2 Old Rendering Plant
3 Lucia

(lots of others that just missed out- notably but fortunately already nominated below in the first two entries - Milkman, Flights, Murmur, Cemetery in Barnes)

I seem to recall a certain amount of difficulty last year in picking a winner when a lot of books only had one vote from someone who loved it. Although I also recall managing to derive an algorithm that eventually produced the 'right' winner. Wonder if we are better coming up with a system this year like some sort of round of votes system to end up with one winner.


message 3: by Neil (new)

Neil | 1886 comments 1. Murmur
2. Lucia
3. Flights

My only problem is that this list might change tomorrow as I have about 10 books I really loved and picking just three is a bit tricky. Anyway, here it is for now.


message 4: by Hugh (last edited Dec 03, 2018 02:10AM) (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 3166 comments Mod
My nominations (no big surprises here):

1 Milkman by Anna Burns
2 The Cemetery in Barnes: A Novel by Gabriel Josipovici
3 Everything Under by Daisy Johnson

(edited version removing the duplicates already nominated by Neil or Paul).


message 5: by Neil (new)

Neil | 1886 comments I didn’t realise we should not duplicate. I will replace Lucia with The Largesse of the Sea Maiden.


Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer | 5412 comments Six of my top choices have been listed already (Lucia, Milkman, White Book, Murmur, Cemetery in Barnes, Everything Under) and a few of my others are books I think few on this forum have read so far but I hope people might read in 2019 (if you want one recommendation I would say Their Brilliant Careers: The Fantastic Lives of Sixteen Extraordinary Australian Writers)

So for now I will throw in some widely read books not mentioned so far:

Sight
In Our Mad and Furious City
Normal People


message 7: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 3166 comments Mod
Neil wrote: "I didn’t realise we should not duplicate. I will replace Lucia with The Largesse of the Sea Maiden."
I have no objection to duplicates, just wanted to widen the field a little!


message 8: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 3166 comments Mod
Anyone for The Long Take?


message 9: by Jen (new)


Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer | 5412 comments Nice choices Jen. Was hoping someone would suggest each of them

Hugh I think we should leave The Long Take for Ang as she has been such a great champion of it.


message 13: by Trevor (new)


message 14: by Antonomasia (last edited Dec 03, 2018 08:42AM) (new)

Antonomasia | 2629 comments Seconding Cordelia's 4th nomination of Vernon Subutex 2, which I hope to read by the end of the year and would like the opportunity to vote on. (Loved VS1 and gave it 5 stars.) May come back later with two other books.


message 15: by Val (new)

Val | 1016 comments I answered a similar question in another group with:
River
The White Book

After those two I have about ten books I can't decide between. Five of them have already been nominated by others, so I will wait and see what else is nominated and then pick one which has not.


message 19: by Cordelia (new)

Cordelia (anne21) | 110 comments Cordelia wrote: "Milkman
Warlight
Vernon Subutex, 1 & Vernon Subutex, 2"


I think I might have too many books. Delete Milkman - its already been nominated by others.

So now my books are:
Warlight
Vernon Subutex 1
Vernon Subutex 2


message 20: by WndyJW (last edited Dec 09, 2018 12:12PM) (new)

WndyJW | 4882 comments We That Are Young
The Gallows Pole
Milkman

Sorry, I failed to read the directions.


message 21: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 3166 comments Mod
WndyJW wrote: "We That Are Young
The Gallows Pole
The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne"


Sorry Wendy, we can't accept Judith Hearne because it is not a new book by any definition. Feel free to nominate something else instead!


message 22: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8771 comments Would be good to come up with some sort of way to produce a winner different from our normal dynamic rankings. As noted from last year's thread, "the average rating tends to be biased towards books read by only a few people*, and also as various people have pointed out, a rank towards bottom of list still can designate approval."

(* e.g. Last year the top 6 were all books read by 1 or 2 people who - not surprisingly given they nominated them - liked them a lot.)

E.g. do we allow people to vote for their top 5 and then score the votes (5 for first etc)? Or some sort of run-off vote based on 1st place nominations (as I simulated last year).

Ideas welcome as it would be nice to crown a M&G Book of the Year.


message 23: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 3166 comments Mod
We could just use your aggregate system, but that has the opposite effect i.e. favouring the books everybody read and nobody hated! I would be in favour of imposing a minimum number of votes to count in the league table, perhaps 3, or some alternative draconian penalty for those with small numbers of backers. I still have last year's spreadsheet and would not be averse to playing with a few alternatives!


message 24: by Paul (last edited Dec 04, 2018 01:29AM) (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8771 comments Worth having a think. And yes there is no perfect system (my old friend Kenneth Arrow!).

There is both the issue with books with a small number of backers - but also the issue with tactically it being better not to vote for books one really likes but weren't one's absolute favourite (e.g. Milkman would be an example for me this year).

I think though if we only count people's top 5 say then for most people that is going to mean any book getting a vote was genuinely really liked (as most will have read >>5 of this list).

Yes that is ultimately unfair on those books that only one or two of us have read but I think there is no way round that. To take an example this year, I think Wolfgang Hilbig's novels are outstanding - but given I suspect only one or two of this group have read him, it really doesn't make sense for it to be the M&G book of the year.

Anyway let's both think - as long as whatever method you derive makes R13 the winner last year :-) - and other ideas welcome.


message 25: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 3166 comments Mod
I wouldn't discount the "Olympic medals table" method!


message 26: by David (new)

David (goodreadscombooksniffer) | 27 comments My three favourites (regardless of whether anyone else read them or not):

The Overstory
All the Names They Used for God
The Great Concert of the Night


message 27: by Paul (last edited Dec 04, 2018 03:07AM) (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8771 comments Hugh wrote: "I wouldn't discount the "Olympic medals table" method!"

Yes but the Olympic table as used by the IOC (Golds first, Silvers as a tie) or the US method (number of total medals), or the compromise one used for the 1908 London olympics (5 points for a gold, 3 for a silver, 1 for a bronze), or the Swedish method (3/2/1)?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympic...


message 28: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 3166 comments Mod
Paul wrote: "Hugh wrote: "I wouldn't discount the "Olympic medals table" method!"

Yes but the Olympic table as used by the IOC (Golds first, Silvers as a tie) or the US method (number of total medals), or the ..."


Whichever allows Milkman the best chance!!


message 30: by Doug (last edited Dec 04, 2018 08:55AM) (new)

Doug Hugh wrote
Whichever allows Milkman the best chance!!
"


Seems the fix is already in, much like the unscrupulous GOP tampering with the elections in this country - and all that means is that, whichever method is used, the winner will be the lowest common denominator, and not necessarily the 'best' book. But if that gives you some satisfaction, mazel tov!


message 31: by Antonomasia (new)

Antonomasia | 2629 comments We don't need any more tension about this book! (Even if some of it is meant in jest.)

You can display more than one ranking system in any case, as for the longlist threads.


message 32: by Val (new)

Val | 1016 comments Thank you Wendy for nominating "We that are Young", Sunita for nominating "The Long Take" and Jen for nominating "Winter". The first two were among my possible third nominations and "Winter" I couldn't nominate as I read it in 2017.
I will choose From a Low and Quiet Sea as my third nomination.


message 33: by Antonomasia (new)

Antonomasia | 2629 comments Sorry Doug, I meant that generally, not at you and see it might have looked as if it were aimed at you. Not sure how funny idea of fixing votes for Milkman is after the tensions 2 or 3 months ago.


message 34: by Doug (new)

Doug Antonomasia wrote: "Sorry Doug, I meant that generally, not at you and see it might have looked as if it were aimed at you. Not sure how funny idea of fixing votes for Milkman is after the tensions 2 or 3 months ago."

Thanks for the clarification.... I appreciate that! I don't take polls like this at all seriously...as I said, and the mathematicians amongst us can concur, all it does is pander to the lowest common denominator - the LEAST voted upon nominations are the ones from the more DISCERNING readers!

Which is why I even bothered to nominate some lesser known books - so that others might discover some hidden gems - we have ALL heard about Milkman (ad nauseum!) :-)


message 35: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 3166 comments Mod
Sorry if I stirred things up - it wasn't meant to be more than a throwaway comment.


message 36: by Antonomasia (new)

Antonomasia | 2629 comments Do you think a retranslation (published 2018) would qualify for this? (Though it would end up as part of that long tail of books with only one or two votes - so not sure whether to nominate for that reason as well.)


message 38: by Hugh (last edited Dec 05, 2018 12:24AM) (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 3166 comments Mod
Antonomasia wrote: "Do you think a retranslation (published 2018) would qualify for this?"

Yes - I would accept it


message 39: by lark (new)

lark benobi (larkbenobi) | 291 comments It doesn't seem a terrible outcome to have a long tailed list of books that I haven't yet heard about...this is a wonderful list of nominations.


message 40: by Val (new)

Val | 1016 comments Lark wrote: "It doesn't seem a terrible outcome to have a long tailed list of books that I haven't yet heard about...this is a wonderful list of nominations."
I agree.


message 41: by Nadine in California (last edited Dec 04, 2018 05:18PM) (new)

Nadine in California (nadinekc) | 206 comments Freshwater
Heads of the Colored People
The Friend

I think I like this list better than the ToB longlist!


message 43: by Ang (last edited Dec 04, 2018 05:44PM) (new)

Ang | 1685 comments I am glad to see my Booker favourites From a Low and Quiet Sea and The Long Take already nominated. I am going to go with The Idiot which had me laughing out loud as I read it. I will think of two more.


message 44: by Ang (new)

Ang | 1685 comments How quickly we (I) forget after a Booker and Goldsmiths season. A glance through my books read reveals Blue Self-Portrait and Anything is Possible as my other two submissions.


message 45: by Michele (new)

Michele | 46 comments Milkman
Flights
Frontier

I LOVE this end of year list. Thank you everyone for contributing!


message 46: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 3166 comments Mod
Thanks for all those nominations - I agree that this is becoming an amazing list. Thanks to Michele, I can slip in one more instead of Milkman, which I know some of you (led by our RofC judges) read in 2017, but was still one of my personal reading highlights of the year, the wonderful Attrib. and other stories by Eley Williams


message 47: by Hugh (last edited Dec 05, 2018 01:40AM) (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 3166 comments Mod
I have a possible solution to stop the list being dominated by books very few have read. What I propose is to add penalty points to books with fewer than 5 readers - if we take the length of the list (42 last year) and divide the result by 10, we get 4.2. We then add 4.2 points to the adjusted weighting of each book with fewer than 5 so 4 readers maps to 4.2 points, 3 to 8.4, 2 to 12.6 and 4 to 16.8. So everything still gets included in the list, but we get a more consensual set of front runners:

1, A Line Made by Walking by Sara Baume, 5.92, 11.88, 13, 1
2, Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor, 5.35, 14.15, 20, 7
3, Human Acts by Han Kang, 6.90, 15.95, 10, 0
4, Moonglow by Michael Chabon, 9.40, 16.51, 5, 1
5, Homesick for Another World by Ottessa Moshfegh, 2.00, 17.02, 2, 1
6, Playing Possum by Kevin Davey, 10.29, 17.65, 7, 2
7, Solar Bones by Mike McCormack, 7.88, 17.73, 16, 2
8, Winter by Ali Smith, 7.10, 17.75, 10, 0
9, Children of the New World by Alexander Weinstein, 1.00, 18.40, 1, 1
10, The Break by Katherena Vermette, 1.00, 18.63, 1, 1
11, An Overcoat: Scenes from the Afterlife of H.B. by Jack Robinson, 7.67, 19.33, 3, 0
12, Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie, 8.80, 19.51, 15, 0
13, Midwinter Break by Bernard MacLaverty, 6.33, 19.68, 3, 0
14, Autumn by Ali Smith, 8.05, 19.95, 19, 0
15, The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti, 11.40, 20.17, 5, 0
16, As A God Might Be by Neil Griffiths, 5.50, 20.18, 2, 0
17, Transit by Rachel Cusk, 9.91, 21.03, 11, 0
18, Anything Is Possible by Elizabeth Strout, 11.29, 21.11, 7, 0
19, You Don't Have to Say You Love Me by Sherman Alexie, 2.00, 21.15, 1, 0
20, Days Without End by Sebastian Barry, 8.95, 21.46, 19, 1
21, The Gallows Pole by Benjamin Myers, 13.00, 21.51, 7, 0
22, In the Absence of Absalon by Simon Okotie, 11.00, 21.97, 4, 0
23, Sudden Death by Alvaro Enrigue, 8.50, 21.99, 4, 1
24, The Ninth Hour by Alice MacDermott, 7.33, 22.08, 3, 0
25, Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders, 8.52, 22.65, 21, 1
26, Commonwealth by Ann Patchett, 10.57, 22.86, 7, 0
27, A Field Guide to Reality by Joanna Kavenna, 3.00, 22.86, 1, 0
28, A Horse Walks into a Bar by David Grossman, 11.71, 24.26, 7, 0
29, The Nix by Nathan Hill, 10.08, 24.65, 13, 1
30, We That Are Young by Preti Taneja, 13.00, 25.37, 4, 0
31, Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward, 9.00, 25.68, 5, 0
32, Golden Hill by Francis Spufford, 10.56, 26.09, 9, 0
33, Darker With The Lights On by David Hayden, 12.25, 26.84, 4, 0
34, Fever Dream by Samantha Schweblin, 12.00, 27.11, 14, 1
35, 4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster, 13.31, 27.34, 13, 0
36, The Burning Girl by Claire Messud, 3.00, 27.97, 1, 0
37, So Much Blue by Percival Everett, 4.50, 28.17, 2, 0
38, Attrib. and other stories by Eley Williams, 13.67, 29.00, 3, 0
39, Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel, 6.00, 29.25, 2, 0
40, Elmet by Fiona Mozley, 13.56, 31.75, 16, 0
41, Bellevue Square by Michael Redhill, 5.50, 33.95, 2, 0
42, Sorry to Disrupt the Peace by Patti Yumi Cottrell, 19.75, 36.37, 4, 0


message 48: by Ang (new)

Ang | 1685 comments Ah, Anything Is Possible was on last year's list. I might make a substitution for something else.


message 49: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 3166 comments Mod
Ang, In my view that should not disqualify it, since there may be other books which only a few cognoscenti read last year, but much more only got round to this year.


message 50: by Ang (new)

Ang | 1685 comments That's okay but I would like to change it to Sugar Money which is a much better "slavery adventure" than the one that made the Booker list.


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