A top ten list satisfies on so many levels. It offers a shortcut: Discover what your favorite critics thought was worth seeing or reading—and use that as a starting point for your own moviegoing or book purchasing. It fulfills our need to fit in: Quickly review what everyone else is clicking on, reading, or viewing—and be ready for that cocktail party conversation.
But the world has enough top ten lists. So rather than add to the chaos, I offer instead a Top Ten List of Top Ten Lists.
Here, in no particular order, are ten lists I have
stumbled across painstakingly researched, highlighting many of the random diverse topics that interest me. There’s something here for readers, writers, movie buffs, techies, and foodies. The rest of you… well, what else is there?
- Jane Friedman’s favorite digital tools – I’ve subscribed to Jane’s blog for several years. She offers trenchant observations and her guest bloggers offer insights for writers of all stripes, but especially self- and independently published types. Her collection of digital tools is helpful to writers or anyone who works digitally.
- Write to Done Top 10 Blog contest – I’m not sure how I stumbled across this, but this writing site is having a contest to come up with the Top 10 writing blogs. Timing alert: the deadline for submitting your favorite is December 24, so get over there right away if you want to nominate. Or come back later to see the results.
For geeks, techies, and science buffs
- MakeUseOf – I never thought of myself as particularly geeky but I must harbor some inner geekiness. I really like this site. Every day they offer five, ten, or more tech articles in plain English with a how-to bent. In the spirit of the season, they also have a best-of list.
- Science Magazine – Miraculous things have been going on in space and in the labs.
- Nature – I couldn’t resist this one. Who doesn’t like a cute animal? And these picks from Nature offer more than your average cat video.
- Google searches reveal trends – In the best tradition of watching us watching ourselves, Google lists the top trends of 2014 based on trillions of Google searches.
For readers and moviegoers
- Maureen Corrigan’s top twelve books – In the great tradition of getting all my news from NPR (as my kids are constantly teasing me I do), I like to listen to NPR book reviewer Maureen Corrigan. She bucks the top-ten trend this year by putting forth twelve favorite titles.
- Metacritic’s best movies for 2014 – This may be getting a little too meta. Not only does Metacritic list the best movies of 2014 according to critics, it offers links to 95 individual critics’ top ten list. Helpful or overwhelming? You decide.
- Goodreads readers’ choice awards: Best nonfiction of 2014 – What do other readers of non-fiction recommend? 134,872 have spoken at Goodreads.
- Alltop site aggregation – Alltop is like a list of lists; they gather the top stories from a collection of online sites like the New York Times, Techcrunch, and Lifehacker, and put them all together for you.
Bonus – for foodies
- Food Curated – I stumbled across this blog/video site in my search for top tens. It doesn’t have a top ten per se, but here’s a link to the blog roll. And the videos are worth checking out, too, like the one below on a small yogurt company.
Personal writing news
1) The fifth edition of the Fault Zone anthology, Diverge, has just been published by Sand Hill Review Press. It’s edited by yours truly and contains some great stories, essays, and poems by local bay area writers. It makes a great holiday gift!
2) I just created a book landing page for Dance of Souls using Booklaunch, which I discovered through a Webinar hosted by another favorite blogger, Joel Friedlander (a.k.a. The Book Designer). Booklaunch is a pretty slick and easy to use tool. I’ll definitely be enlisting it in 2015 to promote my next novel. Check out the page here.
Your top ten?
What floated to the top of your list in 2014? Books, movies, food–I’d love to hear.