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.

Month: January, 2017

Chicago Review of Books: 12 Best Poetry Books of 2016

Thief in the Interior - Phillip B. Williams

Chicago Review of Books: 12 Best Poetry Books of 2016

  1. Thief in the Interior – Phillip B. Williams
  2. Poems: New and Selected – Ron Rash
  3. Ghost County – John McCarthy
  4. Popular Music – Kelly Schirmann
  5. Night-Sky Checkerboard – Oh Sae-young
  6. The Black Maria – Aracelis Girmay
  7. 1989, The Number – Kevin Coval and Nate Marshall
  8. The Secret Birds – Tony Fitzpatrick
  9. child in a winter house brightening – Abigail Zimmer
  10. Unbearable Splendor – Sun Yung Shin
  11. Meditations of a Beast – Kristine Ong Muslim
  12. Cattle of the Lord – Rosa Alice Branco

Keith Uhlich: 10 Best TV Shows of 2016

Keith Uhlich: 10 Best TV Shows of 2016, as posted by the BBC

  1. The Girlfriend Experience
  2. The X-Files
  3. O.J.: Made in America
  4. Black Mirror
  5. BoJack Horseman
  6. The Fall
  7. Better Call Saul
  8. Game of Thrones
  9. And Then There Were None
  10. The Americans

San Francisco Chronicle: 100 Recommended Books of 2016

San Francisco Chronicle: 100 Recommended Books of 2016

Fiction and Poetry

  • Alice & Oliver – Charles Bock
  • All That Man Is – David Szalay
  • Another Brooklyn – Jacqueline Woodson
  • Behold the Dreamers – Imbolo Mbue
  • Carousel Court – Joe McGinniss Jr.
  • Commonwealth – Ann Patchett
  • Daredevils – Shawn Vestal
  • Fine, Fine, Fine, Fine, Fine – Diane Williams
  • For a Little While: New and Selected Stories – Rick Bass
  • The Fortunes – Peter Ho Davies
  • A Gambler’s Anatomy – Jonathan Lethem
  • A Gentleman in Moscow – Amor Towles
  • Gesell Dome – Guillermo Saccomanno
  • The Girls – Emma Cline
  • Here Comes the Sun – Nicole Dennis-Benn
  • Here I Am – Jonathan Safran Foer
  • High Dive – Jonathan Lee
  • Homegoing – Yaa Gyasi
  • Hystopia – David Means
  • Innocents and Others – Dana Spiotta
  • The Jungle Around Us – Anne Raeff
  • The Kindness of Enemies – Leila Aboulela
  • LaRose – Louise Erdrich
  • The Last Painting of Sara de Vos – Dominic Smith
  • The Last Shift: Poems – Philip Levine
  • The Little Red Chairs – Edna O’Brien
  • Look – Solmaz Sharif
  • Losing It – Emma Rathbone
  • Mister Monkey – Francine Prose
  • Monterey Bay – Lindsay Hatton
  • Moonglow – Michael Chabon
  • Mortal Trash – Kim Addonizio
  • My Name Is Lucy Barton – Elizabeth Strout
  • My Struggle: Book Five – Karl Ove Knausgaard
  • The Nest – Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
  • Night Sky With Exit Wounds – Ocean Vuong
  • Ninety-Nine Stories of God – Joy Williams
  • The Noise of Time – Julian Barnes
  • Nutshell – Ian McEwan
  • Pond – Claire-Louise Bennett
  • The Portable Veblen – Elizabeth Mckenzie
  • The Queen of the Night – Alexander Chee
  • The Red Car – Marcy Dermansky
  • Reputations – Juan Gabriel Vásquez
  • The Revolutionaries Try Again – Mauro Javier Cardenas
  • Serious Sweet – A.L. Kennedy
  • Shelter in Place – Alexander Maksik
  • Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty – Ramona Ausubel
  • Sudden Death – Álvaro Enrigue. Translated by Natasha Wimmer
  • Sweet Lamb of Heaven – Lydia Millet
  • Sweetbitter – Stephanie Danler
  • Swing Time – Zadie Smith
  • The Terranauts – T.C. Boyle
  • The Vegetarian – Han Kang. Translated by Deborah Smith
  • The Veins of the Ocean – Patricia Engel
  • Version Control – Dexter Palmer
  • What Belongs to You – Garth Greenwell
  • What Lies Between Us – Nayomi Munaweera
  • You Should Pity Us Instead – Amy Gustine
  • Zero K – Don DeLillo

Nonfiction

  • Against Everything: Essays – Mark Greif
  • America’s Social Arsonist: Fred Ross and Grassroots Organizing in the Twentieth Century – Gabriel Thompson
  • Am I Alone Here?: Notes on Living to Read and Reading to Live – Peter Orner
  • At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails – Sarah Bakewell
  • The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads – Tim Wu
  • Born To Run – Bruce Springsteen
  • Children of Paradise: The Struggle for the Soul of Iran – Laura Secor
  • Citizen Scientist: Searching for Heroes and Hope in an Age of Extinction – Mary Ellen Hannibal
  • The Earth Is Weeping: The Epic Story of the Indian Wars for the American West – Peter Cozzens
  • Eleanor Roosevelt: The War Years And After, 1939-1962 – Blanche Wiesen Cook
  • The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race – Jesmyn Ward
  • The Firebrand and the First Lady: Portrait of a Friendship: Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Struggle for Social Justice – Patricia Bell-Scott
  • The Gene: An Intimate History – Siddhartha Mukherjee
  • Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape – Peggy Orenstein
  • The Gunning of America: Business and the Making of American Gun Culture – Pamela Haag
  • Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis – J.D. Vance
  • How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything: Tales from the Pentagon – Rosa Brooks
  • Joe Gould’s Teeth – Jill Lepore
  • Kill ‘Em and Leave: Searching for James Brown and the American Soul – James McBride
  • Known and Strange Things: Essays – Teju Cole
  • The Life and the Adventures of a Haunted Convict – Austin Reed
  • Louisa: The Extraordinary Life of Mrs. Adams – Louisa Thomas
  • “Most Blessed of the Patriarchs”: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination – Annette Gordon-Reed and Peter S. Onuf
  • Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas – Rebecca Solnit and Joshua Jelly-Schapiro
  • The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America – Andrés Reséndez
  • Pit Bull: The Battle over an American Icon – Bronwen Dickey
  • The Red Parts: Autobiography of a Trial – Maggie Nelson
  • Shame and Wonder: Essays – David Searcy
  • Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life – Ruth Franklin
  • Soul at the White Heat: Inspiration, Obsession, and the Writing Life – Joyce Carol Oates
  • Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936–1939 – Adam Hochschild
  • Spiral: Trapped in the Forever War – Mark Danner
  • Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right – Arlie Russell Hochschild
  • Time Travel: A History – James Gleick
  • The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine – Ben Ehrenreich
  • We Have the Technology: How Biohackers, Foodies, Physicians, and Scientists Are Transforming Human Perception, One Sense at a Time – Kara Platoni
  • When We Are No More: How Digital Memory Is Shaping Our Future – Abby Smith Rumsey
  • White Sands: Experiences from the Outside World – Geoff Dyer
  • White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America – Nancy Isenberg
  • Writing to Save a Life: The Louis Till File – John Edgar Wideman

Jordan Cronk: 30 Favorite Albums of 2016

Jordan Cronk: 30 Favorite Albums of 2016 (as posted to Twitter)

  1. The Hotelier – Goodness
  2. David Bowie – Blackstar
  3. Jenny Hval – Blood Bitch
  4. Anohni – Hopelessness
  5. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
  6. Angel Olsen – My Woman
  7. Camp Cope – Camp Cope
  8. Elysia Crampton – Elysia Crampton Presents: Demon City
  9. Pinegrove – Cardinal
  10. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree
  11. Cass McCombs – Mangy Love
  12. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith – EARS
  13. Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker
  14. Nicolas Jaar – Sirens
  15. Huerco S – For Those of You Who Have Never (And Also Those Who Have)
  16. Dedekind Cut – $uccessor (Ded004)
  17. Roy Montgomery – R M H Q: Headquarters
  18. Tim Hecker – Love Streams
  19. Mitski – Puberty 2
  20. The Range – Potential
  21. Julianna Barwick – Will
  22. The Avalanches – Wildflower
  23. Elza Soares – A Mulher do Fim do Mundo
  24. American Football – American Football (LP2)
  25. Anenon – Petrol
  26. Horse Lords – Interventions
  27. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith & Suzanne Ciani – FRKWYS Vol. 13: Sunergy
  28. Ian William Craig – Centres
  29. Arca – Entrañas
  30. Yves Tumor – Serpent Music

Peter Labuza: 15 Favorite Films of 2016

Peter Labuza: 15 Favorite Films of 2016 (as posted to Letterboxd and discussed on The Cinephiliacs)

  1. Cameraperson – Kirsten Johnson
  2. O.J.: Made in America – Ezra Edelman
  3. Toni Erdmann – Maren Ade
  4. Mountains May Depart – Jia Zhang-ke
  5. Creepy – Kiyoshi Kurosawa
  6. Kill Zone 2 – Soi Cheang
  7. Love & Friendship – Whit Stillman
  8. Sixty Six – Lewis Klahr
  9. Certain Women – Kelly Reichardt
  10. Allied – Robert Zemeckis
  11. Sully – Clint Eastwood
  12. Hell or High Water – David Mackenzie
  13. Sunset Song – Terence Davies
  14. 20th Century Women – Mike Mills
  15. On Football – Sergio Oksman

Keith Uhlich: 15 Favorite Films of 2016

Keith Uhlich: 15 Best Movies of 2016 (as published at his site and discussed on The Cinephiliacs)

  1. Justin Timberlake + the Tennessee Kids – Jonathan Demme
  2. A Quiet Passion – Terence Davies
  3. Knight of Cups – Terrence Malick
  4. [tie] The Neon Demon – Nicolas Winding Refn
  5. The Lost City of Z – James Gray
  6. Ten Mornings, Ten Evenings and One Horizon – Tomonari Nishikawa
  7. The Girlfriend Experience (TV series) – Lodge Kerrigan and Amy Seimetz
  8. The BFG – Steven Spielberg
  9. [tie] Silence – Martin Scorsese
  10. 31 – Rob Zombie
  11. [tie] Moonlight – Barry Jenkins
  12. Certain Women – Kelly Reichardt
  13. [tie] Things to Come – Mia Hansen-Løve
  14. Nocturama – Bertrand Bonello
  15. [tie] The X-Files: Episode “Babylon” – Chris Carter

Tiny Mix Tapes: 51 Favorite Music Releases of 2016

Babyfather - BBF Hosted By DJ Escrow

Tiny Mix Tapes: 51 Favorite Music Releases of 2016

  1. Babyfather – “BBF” Hosted By DJ Escrow
  2. Lolina – Live In Paris
  3. Kanye West – The Life of Pablo
  4. Arca – Entrañas
  5. Frank Ocean – Blonde
  6. [tie] Frank Ocean – Endless
  7. Jenny Hval – Blood Bitch
  8. James Ferraro – Human Story 3
  9. Charli XCX – Vroom Vroom
  10. Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition
  11. Elysia Crampton – Dissolution of The Sovereign: A Time Slide Into The Future (Or: A Non-Abled Offender’s Exercise in Jurisprudence)
  12. Yves Tumor – Serpent Music
  13. Lil Yachty – Lil Boat
  14. Young Thug – Jeffery
  15. Rihanna – Anti
  16. Jessy Lanza – Oh No
  17. Foodman – Ez Minzoku
  18. Dedekind Cut – $uccessor
  19. Kero Kero Bonito – Bonito Generation
  20. Elysia Crampton – Elysia Crampton Presents: Demon City
  21. Jeremih – Late Nights: The Album
  22. Princess Nokia – 1992
  23. DJWWWW – Arigato
  24. Solange – A Seat at the Table
  25. serpentwithfeet – blisters
  26. Puce Mary – The Spiral
  27. Noname – Telefone
  28. Tim Hecker – Love Streams
  29. Macula Dog – Why Do You Look Like Your Dog?
  30. David Bowie – Blackstar
  31. Crying – Beyond the Fleeting Gales
  32. Andy Stott – Too Many Voices
  33. Beyoncé – Lemonade
  34. Autechre – elseq 1-5
  35. death’s dynamic shroud.wmv – Classroom Sexxtape
  36. The Caretaker – Everywhere at the End of Time
  37. Future – Evol
  38. The Savage Young Taterbug – Shadow of Marlboro Man
  39. YTAMO – Mi Wo
  40. Julianna Barwick – Will
  41. Klein – ONLY
  42. Anohni – Hopelessness
  43. DJ Coquelin & MC Cloarec – JE M’EN TAPE
  44. Mitski – Puberty 2
  45. Huerco S – For Those of You Who Have Never (And Also Those Who Have)
  46. Oren Ambarchi – Hubris
  47. Angel Olsen – MY WOMAN
  48. Amnesia Scanner – AS
  49. KA – Honor Killed the Samurai
  50. Sean McCann – Music for Public Ensemble
  51. N-Prolenta – A Love Story 4 @Deezius, Neo, Chuk, E, Milkleaves, Angel, Isis, + Every1else…. And Most of All My Damn Self

San Francisco Chronicle: Top 10 Books of 2016

San Francisco Chronicle: Top 10 Books of 2016

Fiction

  • Barkskins – Annie Proulx
  • Imagine Me Gone – Adam Haslett
  • The Past – Tessa Hadley
  • The Sport of Kings – C.E. Morgan
  • The Underground Railroad – Colson Whitehead

Nonfiction

  • Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right – Jane Mayer
  • Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City – Matthew Desmond
  • How to Survive a Plague: The Inside Story of How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDS – David France
  • Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets – Svetlana Alexievich
  • Truevine: Two Brothers, a Kidnapping, and a Mother’s Quest: A True Story of the Jim Crow South – Beth Macy

E. Ce Miller: 12 Best Poetry Collections of 2016

E. Ce Miller: 12 Best Poetry Collections of 2016 (as published by Bustle)

  • Look – Solmaz Sharif
  • Night Sky With Exit Wounds – Ocean Vuong
  • Measures of Expatriation – Vahni Capildeo
  • The Performance of Becoming Human – Daniel Borzutzky
  • Falling Awake – Alice Oswald
  • Let Them Eat Chaos – Kate Tempest
  • Bestiary – Donika Kelly
  • American Anger: An Evidentiary – H.L. Hix
  • Rapture – Sjohnna McCray
  • Sunshine – Melissa Lee-Houghton
  • Violet Energy Ingots – Hoa Nguyen
  • The Remedies – Katharine Towers

Nictate: Top 11 Films of 2016

Cameraperson - Kirsten Johnson

Nictate: Top 11 Films of 2016 (as posted to Letterboxd)

  1. Cameraperson – Kirsten Johnson
  2. The Lobster – Yorgos Lanthimos
  3. Certain Women – Kelly Reichardt
  4. Things to Come – Mia Hansen-Løve
  5. Knight of Cups – Terrence Malick
  6. A Bigger Splash – Luca Guadagnino
  7. Moonlight – Barry Jenkins
  8. Café Society – Woody Allen
  9. Manchester by the Sea – Kenneth Lonergan
  10. The Handmaiden – Park Chan-wook
  11. Elle – Paul Verhoeven