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

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Library Journal kicks off this year's lists.


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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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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The Washington Post's roundup includes:

 

The 10 Best Books of 2014

 

The Top 50 Fiction Books of 2014

 

50 Notable Works of Nonfiction

 

Tomorrow's Arts & Style section also has lists for Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Best Romance and Best Audiobooks, but I can't find those online.


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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The New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2014

 

Liv Ullmann!

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Entertainment Weekly's lists have been helpful to me in the past.

 

Here's the nonfiction list, and the fiction list.


Vulture's list is topped by Lila.


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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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.


To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/

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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.


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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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.


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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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.


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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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. 


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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