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.

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