There are so many "Best Books of 2011" lists circulating and as a book lover, I want to blow a whistle and yell back, "best according to whom?"
Take this book I had been hearing a lot about -- The Art of Fielding -- by Chad Harbach. There were endless rave reviews about it and I ended up getting the idea that it was about publishing. I bought it. I read it. I had the completely WRONG idea about it. This is likely because half the reviews went on and on about how this book was changing publishing forever, or some nonsense. This book is about BASEBALL and I hate baseball.
I mean, this book is about a shortstop. A guy on a baseball team. (Insert a big "Who Cares?!" here please.) I didn't really know what a shortstop did, nor did I care. I spent the first half of the book figuring the guy who was a shortstop would graduate, go to New York and work in publishing and that was going to be the interesting part. That never happened.
And I also don't know why anyone thought it was such a great book -- even leaving the baseball stuff aside -- I didn't think it was particularly well written.
So I guess I would say that finding a TRUSTED source for book recommendations is different from trusting a list of someone's idea of "best books."