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.

Kate Tuttle: 20 Best Nonfiction Books of 2016

Kate Tuttle: 20 Best Nonfiction Books of 2016 (as published by The Boston Globe)

  • All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation – Rebecca Traister
  • At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails – Sarah Bakewell
  • Black Elk: The Life of an American Visionary – Joe Jackson
  • Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America – Patrick Phillips
  • Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy – Heather Ann Thompson
  • Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City – Matthew Desmond
  • Imbeciles: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics, and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck – Adam Cohen
  • Kill ‘Em and Leave: Searching for James Brown and the American Soul – James McBride
  • Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies – Ross King
  • Moscow Nights: The Van Cliburn Story-How One Man and His Piano Transformed the Cold War – Nigel Cliff
  • On Trails: An Exploration – Robert Moor
  • One of These Things First – Steven Gaines
  • Pit Bull: The Battle over an American Icon – Bronwen Dickey
  • Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life – Ruth Franklin
  • The Song Poet: A Memoir of My Father – Kao Kalia Yang
  • Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America – Ibram X. Kendi
  • Time Travel: A History – James Gleick
  • Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy – Cathy O’Neil
  • White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide – Carol Anderson
  • Writing to Save a Life: The Louis Till File – John Edgar Wideman

John Freeman: 15 Best Fiction Books of 2016

John Freeman: 15 Best Fiction Books of 2016 (as published by The Boston Globe)

  • The Underground Railroad – Colson Whitehead
  • Ema the Captive – César Aira
  • LaRose – Louise Erdrich
  • In the Café of Lost Youth – Patrick Modiano
  • Barkskins – Annie Proulx
  • The Queen of the Night – Alexander Chee
  • The Fox Was Ever the Hunter – Herta Müller
  • The Year of the Runaways – Sunjeev Sahota
  • My Name Is Lucy Barton – Elizabeth Strout
  • The Good Lieutenant – Whitney Terrell
  • Thus Bad Begins – Javier Marias
  • Zero K – Don DeLillo
  • Our Young Man – Edmund White
  • The Story of a Brief Marriage – Anuk Arudpragasam
  • Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets – Svetlana Alexievich

Sonia Saraiya: 20 Best TV Shows of 2016

Sonia Saraiya: 20 Best TV Shows of 2016, as published by Variety

  1. Atlanta
  2. Silicon Valley
  3. The Girlfriend Experience
  4. Halt and Catch Fire
  5. Fleabag
  6. The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
  7. Better Call Saul
  8. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
  9. Insecure
  10. BoJack Horseman
  11. Rectify
  12. Frontline
  13. Black Mirror
  14. The Real O’Neals
  15. Lemonade
  16. Veep
  17. Superstore
  18. The Crown
  19. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
  20. Lady Dynamite

Maureen Ryan: 20 Best TV Shows of 2016

Maureen Ryan: 20 Best TV Shows of 2016, as published by Variety

  1. Jane the Virgin
  2. Rectify
  3. The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
  4. Black-ish
  5. The Americans
  6. One Mississippi
  7. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
  8. Atlanta
  9. Insecure
  10. Better Things
  11. Halt and Catch Fire
  12. Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
  13. Catastrophe
  14. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
  15. O.J.: Made in America
  16. Fleabag
  17. Transparent
  18. Stranger Things
  19. Superstore
  20. Marvel’s Agent Carter

Miriam Bale: Top 14 Films of 2016

Miriam Bale: Top 14 Films of 2016, as submitted to the Village Voice poll and posted to Twitter (14 films in total)

  1. Moonlight – Barry Jenkins
  2. The Love Witch – Anna Biller
  3. Lemonade – Beyoncé Knowles Carter and Kahlil Joseph with Jonas Åkerlund, Melina Matsoukas, Dikayl Rimmasch, Mark Romanek and Tod Tourso
  4. Love & Friendship – Whit Stillman
  5. No Home Movie – Chantal Akerman
  6. Elle – Paul Verhoeven
  7. Certain Women – Kelly Reichardt
  8. Cemetery of Splendour – Apichatpong Weerasethakul
  9. Cameraperson – Kirsten Johnson
  10. Dirty Grandpa – Dan Mazer

As listed on Twitter

  • Moonlight – Barry Jenkins
  • Sully – Clint Eastwood
  • The Love Witch – Anna Biller
  • Lemonade – Beyoncé Knowles Carter and Kahlil Joseph with Jonas Åkerlund, Melina Matsoukas, Dikayl Rimmasch, Mark Romanek and Tod Tourso
  • Personal Shopper – Olivier Assayas
  • Love & Friendship – Whit Stillman
  • Elle – Paul Verhoeven
  • The Dreamed Path – Angela Schanelec
  • No Home Movie – Chantal Akerman
  • The Dreamed Ones – Ruth Beckermann

John Freeman: 10 Best Poetry Books of 2016

John Freeman: 10 Best Poetry Books of 2016 (as published by The Boston Globe)

  • Odes – Sharon Olds
  • Night – Etel Adnan
  • Blue Laws: Selected and Uncollected Poems, 1995-2015 – Kevin Young
  • White Blight – Athena Farrokhzad
  • The Black Maria – Aracelis Girmay
  • House of Lords and Commons – Ishion Hutchinson
  • Olio – Tyehimba Jess
  • The Little Edges – Fred Moten
  • Look – Solmaz Sharif
  • Night Sky With Exit Wounds – Ocean Vuong

Austin Town Hall: Top 50 Albums of 2016

Austin Town Hall: Top 50 Albums of 2016

  1. Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam – I Had A Dream That You Were Mine
  2. Nap Eyes – Thought Rock Fish Scale
  3. Angel Olsen – My Woman
  4. Omni – Deluxe
  5. The Radio Dept. – Running out of Love
  6. The Coathangers – Nosebleed Weekend
  7. DOGBRETH – Second Home
  8. Operators – Blue Wave
  9. Real Numbers – Wordless Wonder
  10. Frankie Cosmos – Next Thing
  11. Chook Race – Around the House
  12. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
  13. The Gotobeds – Blood // Sugar // Secs // Traffic
  14. Holy Esque – At Hope’s Ravine
  15. Lost Animal – You Yang
  16. The Goon Sax – Up to Anything
  17. Teenage Fanclub – Here
  18. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith – EARS
  19. John K. Samson – Winter Wheat
  20. Terry Malts – Lost at the Party
  21. Florist – The Birds Outside Sang
  22. Tycho – Epoch
  23. Ablebody – Adult Contemporaries
  24. Nada Surf – You Know Who You Are
  25. Adult Books – Running from the Blows
  26. Wild Nothing – Life of Pause
  27. Connections – Midnight Run
  28. Cass McCombs – Mangy Love
  29. Black Marble – It’s Immaterial
  30. Fruit Bats – Absolute Loser
  31. Quilt – Plaza
  32. Chris Cohen – As If Apart
  33. AT / ALL – Sun Dog
  34. EZTV – High in Place
  35. Tim Presley – The Wink
  36. Useless Eaters – Relaxing Death
  37. Pete Astor – Spilt Milk
  38. Happy Diving – Electric Soul Unity
  39. I Have A Tribe – Beneath a Yellow Moon
  40. Cool Ghouls – Animal Races
  41. Holy Balm – Activity
  42. Big Wave Riders – Endless Summer
  43. Still Parade – Concrete Vision
  44. Flowers – Everybody’s Dying to Meet You
  45. Steve Adamyk Band – Graceland
  46. So Cow – Lisa Marie Airplane Tour
  47. King Creosote – Astronaut Meets Appleman
  48. Bubblegum Lemonade – The Great Leap Backward
  49. Carter Tanton – Jettison the Valley
  50. Bent Shapes – Wolves of Want

Ben Kenigsberg: 10 Best Films of 2016

Manchester by the Sea - Kenneth Lonergan

Ben Kenigsberg: 10 Best Films of 2016 (as submitted to the Village Voice Film poll, Indiewire poll, and the survey at RogerEbert.com)

  1. Manchester by the Sea – Kenneth Lonergan
  2. Toni Erdmann – Maren Ade
  3. O.J.: Made in America – Ezra Edelman
  4. Silence – Martin Scorsese
  5. Elle – Paul Verhoeven
  6. Hell or High Water – David Mackenzie
  7. Everybody Wants Some!! – Richard Linklater
  8. Kate Plays Christine – Robert Greene
  9. The Other Side – Roberto Minervini
  10. Hogtown – Daniel Nearing

Dennis Cooper: 52 Favorite Books of 2016

Dennis Cooper: 52 Favorite Books of 2016 (“in no order”)

Fiction

  • Suite for Barbara Loden – Nathalie Leger
  • Dodge Rose – Jack Cox
  • Ninety-Nine Stories of God – Joy Williams
  • Transitory – Tobias Carroll
  • Patricide – D. Foy
  • Experimental Animals (A Reality Fiction) – Thalia Field
  • The Orchid Stories – Kenward Elmslie
  • A Bestiary – Lily Hoang
  • The Knack of Doing – Jeremy M. Davies
  • Flamingos – Grant Maierhofer
  • Dreamlives of Debris – Lance Olsen
  • In Their Arms – Thomas Moore
  • The Map of the System of Human Knowledge – James Tadd Adcox
  • Novi Sad – Jeff Jackson
  • Thank You – Zachary German
  • A Collapse of Horses – Brian Evenson
  • I Hate the Internet – Jarett Kobek
  • Soft Split – Szilvia Molnar
  • Falter Kingdom – Michael J. Seidlinger
  • Tiny Fish that Only Want to Kiss – Gary Indiana
  • Margaret the First – Danielle Dutton
  • Weed Monks – Chris Dankland
  • Black Lavender Milk – Black Lavender Milk
  • The Sleep Garden – Jim Krusoe
  • You With Your Memory Are Dead – Gary J Shipley
  • Marigold – Troy James Weaver
  • Abahn Sabana David – Marguerite Duras
  • The In-Betweens – Matthew Simmons
  • Sex and Death – Ben Tanzer
  • Don’t Leave Me – Stig Sæterbakken
  • WAVES – Lucy K Shaw
  • A Tree or a Person or a Wall – Matt Bell

Nonfiction

  • Communal Nude: Collected Essays – Robert Glück
  • Bresson on Bresson: Interviews, 1943-1983 – Robert Bresson
  • I/O: A Memoir – Brian Oliu
  • AUTOMANIAS – Sara Tuss Erick
  • So Sad Today: Personal Essays – Melissa Broder
  • Girlfriends, Ghosts, and Other Stories – Robert Walser
  • Bandit: A Daughter’s Memoir – Molly Brodak
  • The Sky Isn’t Blue – Janice Lee
  • Super Mario Bros. 3 – Alyse Knorr
  • The Narco-Imaginary: Essays Under the Influence – Ramsey Scott
  • The Complete Madame Realism and Other Stories – Lynne Tillman
  • Into the Maelstrom: Music, Improvisation and the Dream of Freedom: Before 1970 – David Toop
  • My Damage: The Story of a Punk Rock Survivor – Keith Morris and Jim Ruland
  • hatefuck the reader – Penny Goring
  • WASTELAND – New Juche
  • Say Bye to Reason and Hi to Everything – Andrew Durbin, Dodie Bellamy, Cecilia Corrigan, Amy De’Ath, Lynne Tillman, and Jackie Wang
  • A Barbarian in Asia – Henri Michaux
  • Loud Idiots – Sarah Jean Alexander
  • An Individual Note Of Music, Sound And Electronics – Daphne Oram
  • Shock and Awe: Glam Rock and Its Legacy, from the Seventies to the Twenty-first Century – Simon Reynolds

Uproxx: 20 Best Films of 2016

Uproxx: 20 Best Films of 2016

  1. La La Land – Damien Chazelle
  2. Moonlight – Barry Jenkins
  3. Manchester by the Sea – Kenneth Lonergan
  4. Everybody Wants Some!! – Richard Linklater
  5. Toni Erdmann – Maren Ade
  6. 20th Century Women – Mike Mills
  7. Jackie – Pablo Larraín
  8. O.J.: Made in America – Ezra Edelman
  9. Zootopia – Byron Howard and Rich Moore
  10. Paterson – Jim Jarmusch
  11. Don’t Think Twice – Mike Birbiglia
  12. Arrival – Denis Villeneuve
  13. Sing Street – John Carney
  14. American Honey – Andrea Arnold
  15. Hunt for the Wilderpeople – Taika Waititi
  16. Weiner – Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg
  17. Silence – Martin Scorsese
  18. Hidden Figures – Theodore Melfi
  19. Little Men – Ira Sachs
  20. Rogue One – Gareth Edwards