Round–Up: The New York Times 10 Best Books of 2017, The Penguin Hotline, and Dictionary.com

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drawing of a penguin holding the phone with the text "The Penguin Hotline"From the New York Times Book Review’s 10 best books of 2017 to Dictionary.com’s word of the year, we’ve collected the latest literary news:


A week after releasing a list of “100 Notable Books of 2017,” the New York Times announced its annual selection of the 10 best books of the year. Chosen by the editors of the New York Times Book Review, the list is composed of five fiction and five nonfiction selections by well-known authors. Among the selections are Pulitzer Prize winner Ron Chernow’s biography Grant and Jesmyn Ward’s National Book Award-winning novel Sing, Unburied, Sing. Authors and readers have noted the absence of poetry collections from this list.


To kick off the holiday season, Penguin Random House reopened The Penguin Hotline. Users can take advantage of this free tool to find a book to give a loved one for the holidays. The hotline uses a survey featuring a variety of questions about who the user is shopping for to provide customized recommendations–made by real people. The Penguin Hotline has also compiled a list of recommended holiday reading in print and eBook formats.


Dictionary.com, a popular reference site, named “complicit” its word of the year for 2017. In 2015 and 2016, the chosen words were “identity” and “xenophobia,” respectively. Dictionary.com CEO Liz McMillan said in her statement: “Lookups for the word ‘complicit’ increased by nearly 300% in searches in 2017 as compared to 2016 […] We continue to see a direct correlation between trending word lookups and current events […]” The highest 11,000% rise in searches for “complicit” occurred on April 5, following Ivanka Trump’s interview on CBS.