Today I received an email from Goodreads with the subject line "Vote for the Best Books of the Year!" My first thought is, "Holy shit, is the year almost over?" Then I click on the link, go to my favorite category (History & Biography, of course), and then I look at the choices.
And then i have my second thought: "Who in the hell chooses these books?"
Now, I appreciate that when it comes to books my tastes can be a little esoteric. There's a reason why I don't shop at Barnes & Noble, and why I special order many of my books. So I don't expect to find the book that I thought was the best history book of the year on it. But come on! At least one and arguably a second aren't even biographies -- they're autobiographies, which are in a separate category. Two others would be more accurately described as "current events," which would make them a better fit in the Nonfiction category I could quibble about a few more, but it would be pointless.
So I cast my vote for what I thought was the best book on the list. I also voted in two other categories that I cared about, but I passed on the others, which bring us to the offer I want to make: if you consult the list would like for me to vote for a favorite book of yours, just identify the book and the category it's in in the comments below, and will happily do so. This of it as a way of amplifying the power of your choice, Is it a demonstration of questionable integrity? Possibly, but then so is assembling a list of "best books" that's based on what advertisers paid the most to promote them. So feel free to list which books you liked, and I'll cast accordingly.