The Age's A2 section yesterday featured "a bevy of better writers" giving their picks of the year. (The introduction to the article doesn't make it clear who these writers are "better" than, although the writer who penned the introduction itself stands out as a likely candidate. Bevy?) The piece is not yet online, but you can guess at which books are recommended. It is a predictable, and scarcely engaging, collection of responses. Most (but not all) of the "better writers" involved structure their responses around cliches - "soaring language", "profoundly disturbing", "compelling narrative" - demonstrating the general hollowness of newspaper lit writing. Then there are those who write sentences like, "Australia is a fascinating idean but demands autochthonous voices to come to anything", as does one Gregory Day. Those people ought to have their writing equipment confiscated.
I've given up on my "Christmas Books" list. Put it down to a lack of time and a lack of enthusiasm.