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End of the year book lists usually start appearing in November and continue to show up throughout December and into January. The people who complain about best of the year lists being published before the end of the year, may not realize that professional reviewers normally read books 3 to 6 months in advance of the release dates. Most reviewers are already reading 2012 titles.

Most best books of the year lists chosen by the general public are generally not published before the end of the year. Locus Online doesn’t publish the results of their poll until April.

Goodreads is one exception because they let everyone vote without giving them time to read all the eligible candidates. Last year the winners of the Goodreads Choice Awards were announced in January, but this year they’ve changed the rules and will end the Choice Awards in November so they can report the results in December. Next year the December 2011 books will be eligible for the 2012 Choice Awards, but that still doesn’t leave much chance for books released in the last half of November since voting ends on November 30, 2011.

Online Best of 2011 Lists

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