May 2012

The Reader Survey

Believer Readers Vote for Their Favorites

Heroically mailed to San Francisco on non-prepaid postcards

Ben Lerner’s Leaving the Atocha Station and Heather Christle’s The Trees The Trees were chosen from our short lists of books of fiction and poetry (published in the March/April issue) selected by the editors of the Believer.

We also asked our readers to fill out a survey card included in the January 2012 issue indicating which they thought were the three strongest works of fiction and poetry published in 2011. The top twenty most represented titles in each category we received from readers follow.

Readers’ Favorite Works of Fiction in 2011

  1. The Art of Fielding—Chad Harbach
  2. Swamplandia!—Karen Russell
  3. The Sisters Brothers—Patrick deWitt
  4. The Pale King—David Foster Wallace
  5. Stone Arabia—Dana Spiotta
  6. The Devil All the Time—Donald Ray Pollock
  7. Ten Thousand Saints—Eleanor Henderson
  8. Leaving the Atocha Station—Ben Lerner
  9. We the Animals—Justin Torres
  10. The Marriage Plot—Jeffrey Eugenides
  11. Busy Monsters—William Giraldi
  12. Lightning Rods—Helen DeWitt
  13. Open City—Teju Cole
  14. There But For The—Ali Smith
  15. Zone One—Colson Whitehead
  16. Zazen—Vanessa Veselka
  17. The Call—Yannick Murphy
  18. Habibi—Craig Thompson
  19. State of Wonder—Ann Patchett
  20. The Family Fang—Kevin Wilson

Readers’ Favorite Works of Poetry in 2011

  1. Life on Mars—Tracy K. Smith
  2. Fall Higher—Dean Young
  3. Double Shadow—Carl Phillips
  4. Ardency: A Chronicle of the Amistad Rebels—Kevin Young
  5. Voyager—Srikanth Reddy
  6. Head Off & Split—Nikky Finney
  7. Traveler—Devin Johnston
  8. Space, in Chains—Laura Kasischke
  9. Of Lamb—Matthea Harvey
  10. Flies—Michael Dickman
  11. Poems—Elizabeth Bishop
  12. The Trees The Trees—Heather Christle
  13. The Captain Asks for a Show of Hands—Nick Flynn
  14. The Cold War—Kathleen Ossip
  15. Mercury—Ariana Reines
  16. Ethics of Sleep—Bernadette Mayer
  17. The Source—Noah Eli Gordon
  18. Black Blossoms—Rigoberto González
  19. Vanishing-Line—Jeffrey Yang
  20. Coming to That—Dorothea Tanning

What did you think?
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