Barnes & Noble Names Its Favorite Books of 2011

a dance with dragons cover Barnes & Noble Names Its Favorite Books of 2011Barnes & Noble has posted its best books list for the year and it looks pretty much like all the others: in fiction, Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84, Stephen King’s 11/22/63 and — woah, hello George R.R. Martin’s A Dance with Dragons (it did sell something like 300,000 copies on its first day out.)

Its history-heavy non-fiction list shakes things up a little bit more: Robert K. Massie’s biography Catherine the Great and Stephen Greenblatt’s National Book Award-winning The Swerve: How We Became Modern, instead of what have become the non-fiction mainstays in other outlets (Joshua Foer’s Moonwalking with Einstein and Christopher Hitchens’s Arguably.)

Meanwhile, over at The Rumpus, Roxane Gay registers dismay with the mainstream of the New York Times 100 Notable Books list. “The writing I want to see is out there—I read it every day in literary magazines that are renowned as well as those that are lesser known or just starting out,” she writes. “I read it in books from major publishers and small presses and even micropresses. I do not find enough of that writing recognized by arbiters of excellence.”