The TLS asks a range of authors to list their favorite books of the past 12 months, with brief commentaries. Along with books frequently mentioned on best of the year lists, the predominantly British writers also give many titles not well-known in the United States. The writers range from younger names to longtime favorites like the Oxford classical scholar Mary Beard.
The longstanding feature has been copied recently by other publications, such as the Wall Street Journal's weekend review and the Guardian. The TLS offerings remain the standard.
While longtime readers such as myself were concerned that recently installed new editor Stig Abell would ruin the TLS, he has given the venerable publication new energy. The reviews are tighter and cover a variety of interesting books outside of those that receive widespread attention. Abell has blended the best of the old TLS with new ideas.
Meanwhile, The New York Times has released its popular 100 books of the year online. I will hold off to read the chosen 100 in the Sunday New York Times Book Review's print edition, another annual pleasure. One imagines the feature will soon disappear from the printed pages altogether.