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The Best Books of 2014 - Other Lists (Not Ours)

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I'll give a hearty huzzah for The Martian, which is on the Library Journal list. I never read science fiction, but gave it a try because I for some reason I thought it would be like The Road set in space. It is nothing like that at all, but really fun.  I don't consider likability of the characters as a huge selling point in general for fiction, but the titular Martian is as likable a character as I can ever remember.

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Maybe I shouldn't be surprised, but there's quite a bit of overlap between the NYT and EW lists.  Also, I just finished the #1 novel on the EW list (Station Eleven), and while I'm not convinced it will last as great literature, it was a helluva post-apocalyptic tale. 

 

Unless I've missed it, I'm surprised that Ian McEwan's The Children Act hasn't made any lists.  That was my favorite new novel, and I'm not even a huge fan of McEwan.

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John Wilson's list at Books and Culture includes Donald Westlake's posthumously published nonfiction collection, The Getaway Car. It also has me rethinking my decision to stop reading Stephen Carter's novels, which I've liked -- sometimes very much -- but which had grown to feel too similar in structure and payoff.

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Dwight Garner's list reminds me of this title:

 

I’LL TAKE YOU THERE: Mavis Staples, the Staple Singers, and the March Up Freedom’s Highway by Greg Kot (Scribner). Mr. Kot’s biography of Mavis Staples and the Staple Singers is rich musical and social history. It charts the family’s origins in gospel music; their drift into folk, soul and pop; and the reverberations of their music during the civil rights era. It’s involving from beginning to end, and will send you racing back to listen to the music.

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Salon's What to Read Awards.

 

We know you’re inundated with year-end best books of the year lists–hence our annual tradition in which we reach out to top critics to try to come to some kind of consensus on the best books of the year. We also incorporate lists from some other publications (like the New York Times, Washington Post, The Guardian, AV Club, Slate, and the Chicago Tribune) to come up with our final tally.

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USA Today. I don't know if some of these titles haven't appeared often enough, or at all, on other lists, but I found myself highly engaged by this list much. YMMV, of course. 

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