If you despair over working your way through all these lists, just take a look at Hayley Munguia’s distillation:
I set about compiling lists of the best books, movies and TV shows of 2014 in prominent national publications.1 My colleague Andrew Flowers helped me run the numbers to see how much critics agreed. Here are the top 20 most frequently cited titles in each category2:
Here you’ll find all the information you need in digestible form.
The incredible Maria Popova (how does she find so much time to read?) of Brain Pickings offers her selections:
How to be alone, wake up from illusion, master the art of asking, fathom your place in the universe, and more.
The opening paragraph contains links to her lists in other categories as well.
In this special year-end edition of Bookends, all 15 columnists share their favorite reading experience of 2014.
Here’s something a bit different:
responses to the annual Bloomberg News survey, which asked CEOs, investors, current and former policy makers, economists and academics to name their favorite reads in 2014.
_ The A.V. Club_ invited our regular books writers to pick their favorite titles released in 2014. Since very few of our contributors read the same list of books each year, a ballot system doesn’t work as well. Here is a list of our 2014 book recommendations, from reviewed favorites to unsung gems.
From the Kansas City Star.
NON-FICTION is at its finest when it shows how diverse it can be. Stuart Kelly picks out some of this year’s books that stayed truest to that principle.
Because there aren’t enough lists devoted exclusively to nonfiction.
From Adam Woog of The Seattle Times, because I’m a big mystery fan.
Includes lists of both fiction and nonfiction.
From The Guardian.
From GrrlScientist, via The Guardian.
From The Atlantic:
In the holiday spirit, now is a moment to mention an array of 2014 books across the non-fiction and fiction spectrum I wish we hadn’t missed—and to ask their authors to pay it forward, and single out a few books themselves. What recent work has caught their expert eye? What book, however old, helped them write the one they’ve been busy promoting?
From Mother Jones:
In what’s become an annual tradition, we invited Mother Jones staffers to write up their favorite books published this year, the ones they’d recommend to friends and relations, and so here they are.
There are also links here for “Best Food Books of 2014” and “The 10 Best Albums of 2014.”
From the book critic for NPR (National Public Radio)
At year’s end, The New York Times’s three daily book critics explain what goes into making our year-end lists. It’s an explanation liable to make heads spin, but it’s born of necessity. We can’t make trustworthy “10 best” lists because none of us reads everything, even though each of us reads quite a lot. So each critic’s list includes only books that the critic reviewed during 2014.
I know we’ve heard a lot from the New York Times, but their explanation of how they compile their best books lists seems relevant.
And how could we not feature the personal favorites of Michiko Kakutani?
Which books took off and which failed to sell? Publishers choose their books of the year, and the ones that slipped through the net
From Britain’s The Guardian.
From the book critic of the Los Angeles Times.
From GrrlScientist, for The Guardian:
Today’s list of “best of” are my choices of books published in 2014 that focus on the topics of human biology, psychology and medicine. This genre always produces a large and (mostly) excellent collection of books, so it was difficult to limit my choices to just “a dozen or so” titles that I think you will enjoy.
At the end of this list you’ll also find links to her other lists: Best Birds Books, Best Nature Books, Best Popular Science Books (Biological sciences) and Best Popular Science Books (Physical sciences).
From James Wood, for The New Yorker.
Both fiction and nonfiction recommendations from the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
These are the voices in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry that kept our eyes glued to the page.
From Arianna Rebolini, for BuzzFeed
Need new book ideas now that your Asian-American Literature class is over? Check out some of the books published by Asian-American authors in 2014. From food to family, comedy to color, these books will be next on your must-read list.
By FRANCES KAI-HWA WANG.
Compiled by Daniel Dalton for BuzzFeed:
Poetry, fiction, and nonfiction that killed it this year. Ranked in no particular order.
And finally, because 2014 is now so passe: