An Ode to End-of-Year Book Lists

best-of-2016I’m a sucker for year-end lists: be they best recipes, best movies, or best moments in sports. It should be no surprise that end-of-year books lists are my favorite. Nothing plumps up my TBR list quite like everyone on the internet compiling lists of great books I’ve never heard of. I generally prefer a short and specific roundup with some titles that aren’t on every other Best-of-2016 list, but I can appreciate an all-inclusive behemoth as long as the descriptions are compelling. While I work on my own version of the best books I read this year, here are some of the lists I’ve enjoyed most:

NPR’s Book Concierge. A compilation of the year’s best books sorted by the usual genre or topic categories and some far more interesting ones. You’ll want to give yourself ample time to click through the tags like It’s All Geek to Me, Book Club Picks, Seriously Great Writing, and The Dark Side.

The Guardian’s Hidden Gems of 2016. I really enjoy lists of great books I may have missed, and this one is no exception. Because the list comes from The Guardian, the books range from titles I’ve never heard of to books that were actually quite popular here in the U.S.

Brightly’s Favorite Kids’ Books: 2016 is full of books I can’t wait to read. I can read 4 or 5 picture books in one sitting (depending on the book and what the toddler is up to), so I feel like kid lit lists are my best bet when it comes to actually reading all the books on the list. Brightly also has a roundup of memorable children’s literature moments from 2016 that is equally enjoyable.

Powell’s Best of 2016: Young Adult. I wanted a list that gives me the best YA books of 2016, not the most critically-acclaimed or the most popular on Twitter. I’ve only read a couple books on this list, but the reviews of the ones I’ve read are spot on. Powell’s also has lists for children’s literature, nonfiction, cookbooks, and fiction.

Book Riot’s Best of 2016. Book Riot has a different feel than many of the websites on this list, and the books reflect that different. If you’re a Book Riot lover (as I am), this is one you won’t want to miss.

2016 Kirkus Prize Winners. One winner each for fiction, non-fiction, and young readers, plus the other finalists for each award. I’ve only heard of about half the books on the list, but that’s not a bad thing.

The 10 Best Australian Children’s Books of 2016. I have a not-so-secret obsession with Australian authors. I’ve recently extended my love to Australian picture books. The best part about this list? I haven’t heard of a single one of these books. I may have to really search to track some down, but there’s nothing like finding a completely new favorite. An added bonus is giving these books as gifts without worrying that the kids in my life have 3 copies already. Another Australian list of summer reading (hard to fathom as I shiver in my sweatshirt and socks) can be found here, although these books are not limited to Australian authors.

Have I missed any great year-end book lists? Have you written one? I’d love to hear about it!


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