Lists! Lists! Everywhere end of year lists! Newspapers, websites and blogs are awash with enthusiastic declarations of their best books of the year. Wonderful to see familiar books like The Things About December, Station Eleven, H is for Hawk, The Paying Guests and The Blazing World on some lists. Even though I devote a lot of time to reading, I’m always struck with remorse I haven’t got to many of the books that appear on these lists. So I’ve done a survey of these sites to come up with a group of the books I’m most interested in reading but haven’t yet. Which should I read first? Will I get to them all before the ball drops on the 31st? Hmm, probably not. Also, what titles from these lists do you want to read the most?

It’s not surprising that many of the same titles appear repeatedly on these lists meaning lots of small-press titles and worthy unnoticed books have been left off. As such, I’ve also included links below to some author-recommended and alternative sources giving their lists. Do you know of more lists or have you created your own? Please leave a comment and link to them.

I’m going to wait to make my own until the end of December. Yes (I keep telling myself) wait! Seeing these lists I keep itching with a geeky desire to make my own, but I will hold on. Trust me in that it will look very different from some of the lists linked to below.

This is the full list of major publications I’ve looked at:

NPR’s Best Books of 2014 - Their site has a rather fun feature where you can organize their picks by reading subject:

Maureen Corrigan at NPR also gives an audio list of her top 12 books of the year:

Irish Times – Eileen Battersby’s Books of 2014 - Notable for including a lot of translated books!

Electric Literature’s 25 best novels of 2014:

Goodreads 2014 Choice Awards chosen through reader votes:

The Telegraph Best novels and fiction books of 2014:

Publishers Weekly’s best 10 books of 2014:

Huffington Post’s Best Books of 2014:

Stylist’s Gallery of Best Books of 2014:

The Bustle’s The 25 Best Novels of 2014:

The Wall Street Journal’s Best Books of 2014 A Compilation:

The Economist’s Books of the Year Page Turners:

Buzzfeed’s Books We Loved in 2014:

CBC gives a refreshingly Canadian take on the Best Books of 2014:

The Independent’s Books of the year 2014 best fiction:

The New York Times gives an exhausting list of 100 Notable Books of 2014:


Authors recommend their favourite titles of 2014:

Writer Nikesh Shukla gives an entertaining breakdown of his top books of the year.

Excellent & articulate book reviewer William Rycroft's Best Books of 2014

Best Translated Book Award Fiction Longlist by University of Rochester’s Three Percent:

Book blogger Thom chooses his top five from the impressive 121 books he's read over the year:

On Scott Pack’s blog he chooses the “big guns” books which he feels are the year’s biggest failures:

Reviewer John Self lists his 12 books of the year, not all of which he published reviews of:

Bill Gates picks his top books of 2014 in a fun Lego inspired list. Unsurprisingly, many are business/technology books, but it’s a cute video.

Foyles' Jonathan Ruppin makes an impassioned statement about the positive state of fiction and can't choose less than 15 top books:

Anna James at A Case for Books also could pick no less than 15 choices:

Well-read blogger David Hebblethwaite picks his top 12 books of the year:

Can't wait to see what's coming in 2015? Hannah Beckerman highlights some of the most anticipated fiction for the new year:

If you like spending a lot of time longingly looking at covers you may do well in this competition to name books by small details on their jackets. The winner gets book tokens! Enter by Dec 31st!

AuthorEric Karl Anderson