What was the greatest year ever for books? If that sounds like it’s just a parlour game for literary types, that’s because it is. Jane Ciabattari at the BBC is up to the challenge and even has an answer.
But how could one even go about determining the finest 12 months in publishing history? Well, first, by searching for a cluster of landmark books: debut books or major masterpieces published that year. Next, by evaluating their lasting impact: do these books continue to enthrall readers and explore our human dilemmas and joys in memorable ways? And then by asking: did the books published in this year alter the course of literature? Did they influence literary form or content, or introduce key stylistic innovations?