The Reader Survey

Believer readers vote for their favorites

Heroically mailed to San Francisco on non-prepaid postcards

James Hynes’s Next and Atsuro Riley’s Romey’s Order were chosen from our short lists of books of fiction and poetry (published in the March/April issue and accessible online at here and here, respectively) selected by the editors of the Believer. We also asked our readers to fill out a survey card included in the January 2011 issue indicating which they thought were the three strongest works of fiction and poetry published in 2010. The top twenty most represented titles in each category we received from readers follow.


  1. Come On All You Ghosts—Matthew Zapruder
  2. Nox—Anne Carson
  3. The Cloud Corporation—Timothy Donnelly
  4. One With Others—C. D. Wright
  5. The Network—Jena Osman
  6. Mean Free Path—Ben Lerner
  7. The Best of It—Kay Ryan
  8. Nick Demske—Nick Demske
  9. Rough Honey—Melissa Stein
  10. People Are Tiny in Paintings of China—Cynthia Arrieu-King
  11. Thin Kimono—Michael Earl Craig
  12. The Book of Frank—CAConrad
  13. Romey’s Order—Atsuro Riley
  14. R’s Boat—Lisa Robertson
  15. Ghost Machine—Ben Mirov
  16. Crash Dome—Alex Phillips
  17. Crave Radiance—Elizabeth Alexander
  18. We Are All Good If They Try Hard Enough—Mike Young
  19. The Lightning That Strikes the Neighbors’ House—Nick Lantz
  20. Raptus—Joanna Klink


  1. Freedom—Jonathan Franzen
  2. A Visit from the Goon Squad—Jennifer Egan
  3. The Instructions—Adam Levin
  4. Citrus County—John Brandon
  5. The Ask—Sam Lipsyte
  6. Super Sad True Love Story—Gary Shteyngart
  7. Room—Emma Donoghue
  8. The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet—David Mitchell
  9. The Imperfectionists—Tom Rachman
  10. Skippy Dies—Paul Murray
  11. The Orange Eats Creeps—Grace Krilanovich
  12. Long, Last, Happy—Barry Hannah
  13. C—Tom McCarthy
  14. All Is Forgotten, Nothing Is Lost—Lan Samantha Chang
  15. Pee on Water—Rachel B. Glaser
  16. The Four Fingers of Death—Rick Moody
  17. Sunset Park—Paul Auster
  18. The Passage—Justin Cronin
  19. The Lost Books of the Odyssey—Zachary Mason
  20. The Pregnant Widow—Martin Amis

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