Ron Silliman does an interesting thing with the New York Times' list of top 25 books by reprinting it in alphabetical order. By doing so, the endless repeating of certain authors, (OK, Phillip Roth, Don Delillo and Cormac McCarthy) makes the list even more depressing. Of course there is the argument that perhaps Roth gets so many votes because he is simply that good, and maybe he is. But I'm still more concerned with the voters than the votes, and this would have been far more interesting had they just made each judge put up their own list, like what Rolling Stone does sometimes with their readers and critics poll. I'd venture that even the judges themselves are a little disappointed that they are responsible for such a narrow list.
And finally, if this list is really a tally of numbers with the highest being number one, why wasn't it called Most Popular book of the past 25 years (well popular with writers and critics, anyway)?