What To Read Awards: The Salon Book Critics' Poll

From Amy ("Gone Girl") through Zadie (Smith), the best book critics rank the year's finest fiction and nonfiction

Published December 23, 2012 4:00PM (EST)

  (Benjamin Wheelock/Salon)
(Benjamin Wheelock/Salon)

We live in a golden age of top-10 lists -- that is, if you really like drowning in year-end rankings.

That's where the first annual What To Read Awards come in. We wanted to bring some clarity to the barrage of bests. After all, top-10 lists should be a chance for readers to get a sense of what was really important over the last year. That's what Laura Miller does every week with her What To Read column, by selecting the one must-read book that she can really recommend as worthy of your attention.

And that's the goal of these awards. We surveyed almost 20 of our favorite critics, both print and online, veterans and newcomers. We aggregated their top-10s to generate a consensus of what the smartest critics see as the most essential titles of the year. The results are below.

By David Daley

David Daley, former editor-in-chief of Salon, is the author of the national bestseller “Ratf**ked: Why Your Vote Doesn’t Count” and “Unrigged: How Americans Are Battling Back to Save Democracy.”

MORE FROM David Daley

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Best Of 2012 Books Editor's Picks What To Read Awards