Year-End Lists

Notable, browsable lists of the year's best music, movies, books, and TV shows. End-of-year lists are fingerprints; aggregate statistics are smudges. Therefore, no tallies. Follow the link for each list to see essential commentary from its authors, at the source. We note, of course, that it's not even December, yet. People. People! Lists are crashing down upon us unusually early. But here we go…

Jonah Weiner: 10 Favorite Albums of 2011

Jonah Weiner: 10 Favorite Albums of 2011 [as published by Slate]

  1. Danny Brown – XXX
  2. Clams Casino – Instrumental Mixtape
  3. Spaceghostpurrp – Blvcklvnd Rvdix 66.6 (1991)
  4. Drake – Take Care
  5. A$AP Rocky – LiveLoveA$AP
  6. James Blake – James Blake
  7. BEBETUNE$ – INHALE C-4 $$$$$
  8. Gang Gang Dance – Eye Contact
  9. Kuedo – Severant
  10. tUnE-yArDs – w h o k i l l

Jody Rosen: 10 Favorite Albums of 2011

Jody Rosen: 10 Favorite Albums of 2011 [as published by Slate]

  1. tUnE-yArDs – w h o k i l l
  2. Jay-Z & Kanye West – Watch the Throne
  3. Miguel – All I Want Is You
  4. Pistol Annies – Hell on Heels
  5. Paul Simon – So Beautiful or So What
  6. Patrick Stump – Soul Punk
  7. Danny Brown – XXX
  8. Eric Church – Chief
  9. Frank Ocean – Nostalgia, Ultra
  10. Britney Spears – Femme Fatale

Pinpoint Music: Top 25 Albums of 2011

Pinpoint Music: Top 25 Albums of 2011

  1. Charles Bradley & Menahan Street Band – No Time For Dreaming
  2. Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring for My Halo
  3. M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
  4. Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost
  5. Future Islands – On The Water
  6. Fucked Up – David Comes to Life
  7. Bon Iver – Bon Iver
  8. Shabazz Palaces – Black Up
  9. The Black Keys – El Camino
  10. The Luyas – Too Beautiful to Work
  11. The Antlers – Burst Apart
  12. Obits – Moody, Standard and Poor
  13. Sundelles – Georgia Swan
  14. PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
  15. Cults – Cults
  16. James Blake – James Blake
  17. Radiohead – The King Of Limbs
  18. PAPA – A Good Woman is Hard To Find EP
  19. Yuck – Yuck
  20. Okkervil River – I Am Very Far
  21. Peaking Lights – 936
  22. tUnE-yArDs – w h o k i l l
  23. Thee Oh Sees – Carrion Crawler/The Dream EP
  24. Real Estate – Days
  25. St. Vincent – Strange Mercy

Village Voice Poll: Best Films of 2011

Village Voice Poll: Best Films of 2011 [as voted by 95 critics] [full results] [see also 2017, 2016, 2015, 2012]

  1. The Tree of Life – Terrence Malick
  2. A Separation – Asghar Farhadi
  3. Melancholia – Lars von Trier
  4. Certified Copy – Abbas Kiarostami
  5. Mysteries of Lisbon – Raoul Ruiz
  6. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives – Apichatpong Weerasethakul
  7. Margaret – Kenneth Lonergan
  8. Meek’s Cutoff – Kelly Reichardt
  9. Drive – Nicolas Winding Refn
  10. Take Shelter – Jeff Nichols
  11. Hugo – Martin Scorsese
  12. A Dangerous Mind – David Cronenberg
  13. Martha Marcy May Marlene – Sean Durkin
  14. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – Tomas Alfredson
  15. The Descendants – Alexander Payne
  16. Weekend – Andrew Haigh
  17. The Artist – Michel Hazanavicius
  18. Poetry – Lee Chang-dong
  19. [tie] Shame – Steve McQueen
  20. Film Socialisme – Jean-Luc Godard
  21. The Interrupters – Steve James
  22. Tuesday, After Christmas – Radu Muntean
  23. A Brighter Summer Day – Edward Yang
  24. The Arbor – Clio Barnard
  25. The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceauşescu – Andrei Ujica
  26. Le Quattro Volte – Michelangelo Frammartino
  27. To Die Like A Man – João Pedro Rodrigues
  28. [tie] Nostalgia for the Light – Patricio Guzmán
  29. Midnight in Paris – Woody Allen
  30. The Future – Miranda July
  31. City of Life and Death – Lu Chuan
  32. We Need to Talk About Kevin – Lynne Ramsay
  33. Beginners – Mike Mills
  34. Le Havre – Aki Kaurismäki
  35. [tie] Rise of the Planet of the Apes – Rupert Wyatt
  36. Jane Eyre – Cary Fukunaga
  37. Bellflower – Evan Glodell
  38. [tie] Into the Abyss – Werner Herzog
  39. The Skin I Live In – Pedro Almodóvar

New York Times: 100 Notable Books of 2011

The New York Times: 100 Notable Books of 2011, alphabetical by title [see also: Ten Best Books of 2011]

Fiction

  • The Angel Esmeralda: Nine Stories – Don DeLillo
  • The Art of Fielding – Chad Harbach
  • The Barbarian Nurseries – Héctor Tobar
  • Big Questions. Or, Asomatognosia: Whose Hand Is It Anyway? – Anders Brekhus Nilsen
  • The Buddha in the Attic – Julie Otsuka
  • Canti – Giacomo Leopardi
  • The Cat’s Table – Michael Ondaatje
  • Changó’s Beads and Two-Tone Shoes – William Kennedy
  • Come on All You Ghosts – Matthew Zapruder
  • 11/22/63 – Stephen King
  • The Free World – David Bezmozgis
  • Ghost Lights – Lydia Millet
  • The Grief of Others – Leah Hager Cohen
  • Gryphon: New and Selected Stories – Charles Baxter
  • House of Holes: A Book of Raunch – Nicholson Baker
  • The Last Werewolf – Glen Duncan
  • The Leftovers – Tom Perrotta
  • Life on Mars – Tracy K. Smith
  • The London Train – Tessa Hadley
  • Long, Last, Happy: New and Selected Stories – Barry Hannah
  • Lost Memory of Skin – Russell Banks
  • The Marriage Plot – Jeffrey Eugenides
  • A Moment in the Sun – John Sayles
  • Mr. Fox – Helen Oyeyemi
  • My New American Life – Francine Prose [pictured]
  • 1Q84 – Haruki Murakami
  • Open City – Teju Cole
  • The Pale King: An Unfinished Novel – David Foster Wallace
  • Parallel Stories – Peter Nadas, translated by Imre Goldstein
  • Say Her Name – Francisco Goldman
  • Scenes from Village Life – Amos Oz, translated by Nocholas de Lange
  • The Sense of an Ending – Julian Barnes
  • Seven Years – Peter Stamm
  • Shards – Ismet Prcic
  • Space, in Chains – Laura Kasischke
  • Stone Arabia – Dana Spiotta
  • The Stranger’s Child – Alan Hollinghurst
  • The Submission – Amy Waldman
  • Swamplandia! – Karen Russell
  • Taller When Prone: Poems – Les Murray
  • Ten Thousand Saints – Eleanor Henderson
  • This Beautiful Life – Helen Schulman
  • The Tiger’s Wife – Téa Obreht
  • The Tragedy of Arthur – Arthur Phillips
  • Train Dreams – Denis Johnson

Nonfiction

  • And So It Goes. Kurt Vonnegut: A Life – Charles J. Shields
  • Arguably: Essays – Christopher Hitchens
  • The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning – Maggie Nelson
  • Assassins of the Turquoise Palace – Roya Hakakian
  • The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations that Transform the World – David Deutsch
  • Believing is Seeing: Observations on the Mysteries of Photography – Errol Morris
  • The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined – Steven Pinker
  • Blood, Bones and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of  a Reluctant Chef – Gabrielle Hamilton
  • Blue Nights – Joan Didion
  • The Boy in the Moon: A Father’s Journey to Understand His Extraordinary Son – Ian Brown
  • Caravaggio: A Life Sacred and Profane – Andrew Graham-Dixon
  • Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman – Robert K. Massie
  • Clarence Darrow: Attorney for the Damned – John A. Farrell
  • Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness – Alexandra Fuller
  • Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine, and the Murder of a President – Candice Millard
  • The Ecstasy of Influence: Nonfictions, Etc. – Jonathan Lethem
  • 1861: The Civil War Awakening – Adam Goodheart
  • Examined Lives: From Socrates to Nietzsche – James Miller
  • 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created – Charles C. Mann
  • George F. Kennan: An American Life – John Lewis Gaddis
  • Great Soul: Mahatma GAndhi and His Struggle with India – Joseph Lelyveld
  • Harlem is Nowhere: A Journey to the Mecca of Black America – Sharifa Rhoes-Pitts
  • Holy War: How Vasco de Gama’s Epic Voyages Turned the Tide in a Centuries-Old Clash of Civilizations – Nigel Cliff
  • In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin – Erik Larson
  • Inferno: The World at War, 1939-1945 – Max Hastings
  • The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood – James Gleick
  • Inside Scientology: The Story of America’s Most Secretive Religion – Janet Reitman
  • Is That a Fish in Your Ear? Translation and the Meaning of Everything – David Bellos
  • Jerusalem: The Biography – Simon Sebag Montefiore
  • The Keats Brothers: The Life of John and George – Denis Gigante
  • Knocking on Heaven’s Door: how Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate the Universe and the Modern World – Lisa Randall
  • Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention – Manning Marable
  • The Memory Chalet – Tony Judt
  • Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid That Sparked the Civil War – Tony Horwitz
  • Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools, Including the Author, Who Went in Search of Them – Donovan Hohn
  • My Song: A Memoir – Harry Belafonte with Michael Shnayerson
  • The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom – Evgeny Morozov
  • One Day I Will Write About This Place: A Memoir – Binyavanga Wainaina
  • The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution – Francis Fukuyama
  • Pauline Kael: A Life in the Dark – Brian Kellow
  • Pulphead – John Jeremiah Sullivan
  • The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World – Daniel Yergin
  • Rights Gone Wrong: How Law Corrupts the Struggle for Equity – Richard Thompson Ford
  • Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend – Susan Orlean
  • [sic]: A Memoir – Joshua Cody
  • The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War – Andrew Roberts
  • The Swerve: How the World Became Modern – Stephen Greenblatt
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman
  • To A Mountain in Tibet – Colin Thubron
  • To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellionm 1914-1918 – Adam Hochschild
  • A Train in Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and Resistance in Occupied France – Caroline Moorehead
  • Van Gogh: The Life – Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith
  • Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness? What it Means to be Black Now – Touré
  • Why the West Rules — For Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future – Ian Morris
  • A World on Fire: Britain’s Crucial Role in the American Civil War – Amanda Foreman

Sarah Rodman: Top Albums of 2011

Sarah Rodman: Top Albums of 2011 [as published by The Boston Globe]

  1. Dave Hause – Resolutions
  2. Adele – 21
  3. The Decemberists – The King is Dead
  4. Lori McKenna – Lorraine
  5. Eric Church – Chief
  6. Jill Scott – The Light of the Sun
  7. Vince Gill – Guitar Slinger
  8. Foo Fighters – Wasting Light
  9. The Roots – undun
  10. Drive-By Truckers – Go-Go Boots

Austin Town Hall: Top 50 Albums of 2011

Austin Town Hall: Top 50 Albums of 2011

  1. Wye Oak – Civilian
  2. The Twerps – The Twerps
  3. Gold Leaves – The Ornament
  4. Real Estate – Days
  5. Cloud Nothings – Cloud Nothings
  6. Pure X – Pleasure
  7. Seapony – Go With Me
  8. The Antlers – Burst Apart
  9. Iceage – New Brigade
  10. Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
  11. Other Lives – Tamer Animals
  12. Light for Fire – Light for Fire
  13. Girls Names – Dead to Me
  14. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – Belong
  15. King Creosote and Jon Hopkins – Diamond Mine
  16. Snowmine – Laminate Pet Animal
  17. The Drums – Portamento
  18. Comet Gain – Howl of the Lonely Crowd
  19. The Joy Formidable – The Big Roar
  20. Yuck – Yuck
  21. Craft Spells – Idle Labor
  22. Mind Spiders – Mind Spiders
  23. Atlas Sound – Parallax
  24. Papercuts – Fading Parade
  25. Ducktails – Ducktails III
  26. The War on Drugs – Slave Ambient
  27. Cut Off Your Hands – Hollow
  28. Grooms – Prom
  29. Wax Idols – No Future
  30. Smith Westerns – Dye It Blonde
  31. Sonny and the Sunsets – Hit After Hit
  32. Okkervil River – I Am Very Far
  33. Devon Williams – Euphoria
  34. Cold Cave – Cherish the Light Years
  35. Crystal Stilts – In Love With Oblivion
  36. Male Bonding – Nothing Hurts
  37. Chad Van Gaalen – Diaper Island
  38. Chelsea Wolfe – Apokalypsis
  39. Bad Sports – Kings of the Weekend
  40. Tim Cohen – Magic Trick
  41. The Rosebuds – Loud Planes Fly Low
  42. Obits – Moody, Standard and Poor
  43. Destroyer – Kaputt
  44. Dum Dum Girls – Only in Dreams
  45. Geoffrey O’ Connor – Vanity is Forever
  46. Blue Skies for Black Hearts – Embracing the Modern Age
  47. Rural Alberta Advantage – Departing
  48. AM & Shawn Lee – Celestial Electric
  49. Secret Cities – Strange Hearts
  50. The New Tigers – The New Tigers

AP: 10 Best Albums of 2011

Associated Press: 10 Best Albums of 2011

  1. Adele – 21
  2. The Civil Wars – Barton Hollow
  3. Beyoncé – 4
  4. Jay-Z and Kanye West – Watch the Throne
  5. Frank Ocean – Nostalgia, Ultra
  6. Betty Wright and the Roots – The Movie
  7. Pistol Annies – Hell on Heels
  8. The Roots – Undun
  9. Lady Antebellum – Own the Night
  10. Beastie Boys – Hot Sauce Committee Part Two