"What Are You Reading?" book lists
December 22, 2016 11:31 AM   Subscribe

Today's release of the UofC Law Faculty's annual What Are We Reading? list reminded me that one of the many (many, many, oh god so many) things I'm going to miss about the Obama administration is the President's Summer Reading List. Do you know of any similar annual lists?

I know there are a million "Best [X] Books of the Year" or "Best [Y] Books Ever" lists put out by various publications/reviewers, particularly at this time of year, but I think some features that I like about these examples is that 1) they're not limited or sorted by genre, 2) they're not limited to books that came out this year, just whatever the source people happened to be reading/thinking about, and 3) they're not coming from people or publications who review/recommend books regularly, but rather sources who spend some time reading but mostly have other things they're focused on.

I know this is kind of vague, but googling for variations on "recommended book list" turned up a million things that weren't quite right, so I'm wondering if anyone knows of anything similar to these examples or even just something with the same vibe. Thanks in advance!
posted by colbeagle to Media & Arts (9 answers total) 36 users marked this as a favorite
Try the Brain Pickings email. She writes about specific writers or books and what information/enlightenment they bring to bear. Recent books, older books, children's books, etc. She points me to books I wouldn't otherwise know about.

Also, check out Five Books. They find someone knowledgable about a subject or a genre and then asks them to choose the five best books of that field/genre and explain their choices. I've learned about a LOT of really great books and writers from them.
posted by janey47 at 11:44 AM on December 22, 2016

bill gates has a list.
posted by andrewcooke at 12:03 PM on December 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'm really really hoping he keeps posting his list. I have a feeling you and I are not the only ones, so I am hopeful of that at least.
posted by bearwife at 12:43 PM on December 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

Well, each December The Millions asks a bunch of interesting folks (mostly, but not exclusively, other writers) to talk about their "Year in Reading." The result is a wide-ranging and surprising peak inside the minds and obsessions of smart people who love books. I look forward to it fervently every year.
posted by minervous at 1:25 PM on December 22, 2016 [3 favorites]

Alison Green of AskAManager.org gives a weekly (non-work-related) book recommendation, and she compiles them all at the end of the year. Her 2016 and 2015 lists.
posted by jouir at 1:33 PM on December 22, 2016

There was one on MetaTalk last summer. It's a different season now, so I suspect posting a new thread there would work out.
posted by Wobbuffet at 1:34 PM on December 22, 2016

Another Round had a great collection in an episode a couple months back. Since they're a Buzzfeed podcast, this list is appropriately ridiculous looking, but I put many of the books on my personal to-read list.
posted by freezer cake at 1:34 PM on December 22, 2016

Another thought is, of course, goodreads. I am "friends" on there with a woman whose interests closely align with mine, ao I watch with interest what she reads and what she marks as tbr. I sometimes feel a bit stalkery but then I remember that she accepted my friend invitation and her profile is public so she must be okay with this. I don't know whete she's finding these often somewhat obscure books, but it's like she's doing all the work for me.
posted by janey47 at 2:39 AM on December 23, 2016

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