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.

Maureen Corrigan: 10 Best Books of 2016

Maureen Corrigan: 10 Best Books of 2016 (as aired on NPR’s Fresh Air)

  1. The Underground Railroad – Colson Whitehead
  2. Homegoing – Yaa Gyasi
  3. Underground Airlines – Ben H. Winters
  4. Here I Am – Jonathan Safran Foer
  5. The Wonder – Emma Donoghue
  6. The Lonely City: Adventures In The Art Of Being Alone – Olivia Laing
  7. Eleanor Roosevelt: The War Years And After, 1939-1962 – Blanche Wiesen Cook
  8. Eyes On The Street: The Life Of Jane Jacobs – Robert Kanigel
  9. Born To Run – Bruce Springsteen
  10. When Breath Becomes Air – Paul Kalanithi

Hank Stuever: 20 Best TV Shows of 2016

Hank Stuever: 20 Best TV Shows of 2016, as published by The Washington Post

  1. O.J.: Made in America
  2. Veep
  3. The Americans
  4. Transparent
  5. The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
  6. Atlanta
  7. Quarry
  8. The Night Of
  9. The Crown
  10. Billions

What almost made the list

  • American Crime
  • Better Things
  • Fleabag
  • Game of Thrones
  • Good Girls Revolt
  • Insecure
  • Silicon Valley
  • Stranger Things
  • This Is Us
  • Underground

Q: Top 50 Albums Of 2016

Q Magazine: Top 50 Albums of 2016

  1. David Bowie – Blackstar
  2. Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker
  3. PJ Harvey – The Hope Six Demolition Project
  4. A Tribe Called Quest – We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service
  5. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree
  6. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
  7. Cass McCombs – Mangy Love
  8. Angel Olsen – My Woman
  9. The 1975 – I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It
  10. Christine and the Queens – Chaleur Humaine
  11. Skepta – Konnichiwa
  12. Goat – Requiem
  13. Beyoncé – Lemonade
  14. Michael Kiwanuka – Love & Hate
  15. Dexys – Let the Record Show: Dexys Do Irish and Country Soul
  16. Cate Le Bon – Crab Day
  17. Frank Ocean – Blonde
  18. The Avalanches – Wildflower
  19. Parquet Courts – Human Performance
  20. Anohni – Hopelessness
  21. Iggy Pop – Post Pop Depression
  22. Steve Mason – Meet the Humans
  23. Pet Shop Boys – Super
  24. Julia Jacklin – Don’t Let the Kids Win
  25. Wild Beasts – Boy King
  26. The Lemon Twigs – Do Hollywood
  27. Underworld – Barbara Barbara, we face a shining future
  28. Anna Meredith – Varmints
  29. Let’s Eat Grandma – I, Gemini
  30. Jamie T – Trick
  31. Kate Tempest – Let Them Eat Chaos
  32. Bat for Lashes – The Bride
  33. Kendrick Lamar – Untitled Unmastered
  34. Lady Gaga – Joanne
  35. Savages – Adore Life
  36. Biffy Clyro – Ellipsis
  37. Brian Eno – The Ship
  38. The Fat White Family – Songs for Our Mothers
  39. Thee Oh Sees – A Weird Exits
  40. Bastille – Wild World
  41. Kevin Morby – Singing Saw
  42. Solange – A Seat at the Table
  43. The Coral – Distance Inbetween
  44. The Last Shadow Puppets – Everything You’ve Come To Expect
  45. Kanye West – The Life of Pablo
  46. Peter Doherty – Hamburg Demonstrations
  47. Blossoms – Blossoms
  48. Drake – Views
  49. Richard Ashcroft – These People
  50. Primal Scream – Chaosmosis

Dennis Cooper: 15 Favorite Films of 2016

Dennis Cooper: 15 Favorite Films of 2016

  • Cameraperson – Kirsten Johnson
  • No Home Movie – Chantal Akerman
  • The Death of Louis XIV – Albert Serra
  • Nocturama – Bertrand Bonello
  • Malgré la nuit – Philippe Grandrieux
  • Knight of Cups – Terrence Malick
  • The Forbidden Room – Guy Maddin
  • Brothers of the Night – Patric Chiha
  • Les malheurs de Sophie – Christophe Honoré
  • Ashes – Steve McQueen
  • Cemetery of Splendour – Apichatpong Weerasethakul
  • Kuo’s Eyes – Benedetta De Alessi
  • Measuring Change – James Benning
  • Three – Johnnie To
  • Voyage of Time: Life’s Journey – Terrence Malick

Craig Jenkins: 15 Best Albums of 2016

Craig Jenkins: 15 Best Albums of 2016 (as published by New York Magazine’s Vulture)

  1. Frank Ocean – Blonde
  2. David Bowie – Blackstar
  3. Beyoncé – Lemonade
  4. A Tribe Called Quest – We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service
  5. Kanye West – The Life of Pablo
  6. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
  7. Miranda Lambert – The Weight of These Wings
  8. NxWorries – Yes Lawd!
  9. American Football – American Football
  10. Kevin Abstract – American Boyfriend: A Suburban Love Story
  11. Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book
  12. Solange – A Seat at the Table
  13. Mitski – Puberty 2
  14. Dawn Richard – Redemption
  15. Pinegrove – Cardinal

Dan Chiasson: 8 Best Poetry Books of 2016

Dan Chiasson: 8 Best Poetry Books of 2016 (as published by The New Yorker)

  • A Woman of Property – Robyn Schiff
  • Gap Gardening – Rosmarie Waldrop
  • Collected Poems – Adrienne Rich
  • The After Party – Jana Prikryl
  • Night Sky With Exit Wounds – Ocean Vuong
  • Falling Awake – Alice Oswald
  • House of Lords and Commons – Ishion Hutchinson
  • Envelope Poems – Emily Dickinson

Christopher Orr: 35 Best Movies of 2016

Arrival - Denis Villeneuve

Christopher Orr: 35 Best Movies of 2016 (as published by The Atlantic)

  1. Arrival – Denis Villeneuve
  2. La La Land – Damien Chazelle
  3. Manchester by the Sea – Kenneth Lonergan
  4. Hell or High Water – David Mackenzie
  5. The Lobster – Yorgos Lanthimos
  6. Moonlight – Barry Jenkins
  7. The Handmaiden – Park Chan-wook
  8. Zootopia – Byron Howard and Rich Moore
  9. O.J.: Made in America – Ezra Edelman
  10. Loving – Jeff Nichols
  11. Hail, Caesar! – Joel & Ethan Coen
  12. Sing Street – John Carney

Honorable Mentions (Alphabetically)

  • The Birth of a Nation – Nate Parker
  • Captain America: Civil War – Anthony & Joe Russo
  • Don’t Think Twice – Mike Birbiglia
  • Elle – Paul Verhoeven
  • Elvis & Nixon – Liza Johnson
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – David Yates
  • Fences – Denzel Washington
  • God Knows Where I Am – Jedd Wider and Todd Wider
  • Green Room – Jeremy Saulnier
  • Hacksaw Ridge – Mel Gibson
  • The Jungle Book – Jon Favreau
  • Kubo and the Two Strings – Travis Knight
  • Life, Animated – Roger Ross Williams
  • Love & Friendship – Whit Stillman
  • Moana – Ron Clements and John Musker
  • A Monster Calls – J.A. Bayona
  • The Nice Guys – Shane Black
  • Operation Avalanche – Matt Johnson
  • Rogue One – Gareth Edwards
  • Tallulah – Sian Heder
  • 10 Cloverfield Lane – Dan Trachtenberg
  • Weiner – Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg
  • The Witch – Robert Eggers