By Kate Gavino

The New York Times 10 best books of 2011 includes everything from college baseball to alligator wrestlers.

While the New Yorker goes way back and chooses a new translation of the Iliad.

Which isn't as risky as Time's choice to list Kate Beaton's Hark! a Vagrant as fiction.

Meanwhile, the Daily Beast re-discovers the Great Gatsby and Murder on the Orient Express.

And GQ and the Atlantic take up a couple slots on Longform's list.

With all these lists circulating, it begs the question: what makes something the best?

If you ask a writer, they'll probably start gushing about their fellow peers.

Though many of them seem to be blinded by the crepuscular rays of their own success.

So be careful what gifts you give to your writer friends this year—

You never know what kind of heavy-handed symbolism they may unwittingly suggest.