It’s the time of year when book reviewers and readers compile lists of the “best books”. But one list doesn’t fit all, because every reader has different interests and tastes. So here are some lists to peruse to help you search for your new best book.
The first set of lists pop you straight into the library catalog, making it easy to put items on hold so you can check them out. The second group of recommendations are from the American Library Association and popular publications like the New York Times, NPR, and Time magazine.
Lists in the Library Catalog
Click on Award Winners, a comprehensive list of awards from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom for all ages, in all genres, including the Coretta Scott King Award, Gold Dagger Award, Nebula, Lambda Literary Award, and many more.
Click on The New York Times Notable Books 2020 for a PDF of the entire list, with links to the library catalog. You can download this list to save or share.
The fiction list below includes titles from The New York Times and the Goodreads Choice Awards. The mystery list includes titles from Kirkus Reviews, The New York Times, and Goodreads Choice Awards. The nonfiction list is from The New York Times.
Since 1944, the goal of the Notable Books Council has been to make available to the nation’s readers a list of 25 very good, very readable, and at times very important fiction, nonfiction, and poetry books for the adult reader.
Each year a committee of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) identifies the best of the best in children’s books. According to the Notables Criteria, “notable” is defined as: Worthy of note or notice, important, distinguished, outstanding. This list includes titled for children from birth to age 14.
The memoirs, novels, and poetry that stood out most, from The Atlantic Cultural Desk.
BBC associate editor in the Culture department shares her best picks of the year.
This list includes a variety of genres: horror, mystery, fantasy, as well as young adult and children’s selections.
“Every year, our librarians evaluate the year’s new books and select the very best.”
Another British entry into the best book lists: the Guardian lists also provide genre and children’s selections.
NPR provides over 20 subject filters that you can “mix and match” along with eight years of titles to explore providing nearly 2,500 recommendations from NPR staff and trusted critics.
This list is created by librarians and includes recommendations for children, teens and adults. There are some sub-lists that include the ten best titles in Spanish for children and titles that are in accessible formats.
The Times’s staff critics give their choices of the best fiction and nonfiction works of the year.
The year’s notable fiction, poetry and nonfiction, selected by the editors of The New York Times Book Review.
These Are the best books of 2020, according to O, The Oprah Magazine
“The fiction, non-fiction and poetry that deepened our understanding, ignited our curiosity and helped us escape.”
This list starts with what Post editors consider the 10 most outstanding of many excellent books and scroll down to genre and subject matter lists.
Written by: Linda
Photo Credits: Main photo by Kourosh Qaffari; inset photo by Giancarlo Corti