On arguing with the best-of lists, fantasy edition

This woman spends some thought on Time’s Best Fantasy Books of All Time list, checking off books she’s read, and finds herself arguing with many of the choices made by the team that compiled it. Of course. I realize there’s a movement out there to do away with terms like “Best”, but once you realize that any such choice is just an opinion expressed for the purposes of arguing, you should be fine. Same with awards. It’s just that-particular-jury’s choice, not the actual best. And even history doesn’t always get it right, as we see with the article linked in the post below about Gertrude Trelevyan. It’s just a bunch of factors of chance and opinion that decide. But it’s always good to challenge the gatekeepers, so givver, lady.

But even as I totted up my “wins” (A Wrinkle in Time, Dragonflight, A Wizard of Earthsea, The Crystal Cave, Watership Down—check, check, check, check, check) and argued (where the heck is Charlotte’s Web?) and wondered (was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory left out due to the racism underlying the characterization of the Oompa-Loompas?), I was heartened by the prominence of children’s books on the list—it’s a rarity for children’s books to appear in such numbers, if at all, in any general list of great literature.

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