As the holiday season begins in earnest and 2009 winds down, NPR names its picks for the tunes and tomes that deserve to be remembered. From now until the end the of the year, NPR Books and NPR Music will roll out top 10 lists highlighting 2009’s best at www.npr.org/holidays, where classic seasonal fare like Susan Stamberg’s recipe for Cranberry Relish and David Sedaris’ “Santaland Diaries” are also available.
Starting today, All Songs Considered kicks off its fifth annual "Best Albums of the Year" listener poll, asking NPR Music audiences for their picks for 2009's best records. Host Bob Boilen and producer Robin Hilton will announce the top 25 next Monday, December 7, in a special countdown edition of the top-rated weekly show. The list will also be online at www.npr.org/music.
In addition to the annual poll, NPR Music will point to outstanding music in all genres, in lists from critics, public radio tastemakers and NPR Member stations. The lists start today with World Cafe host David Dye’s albums of the year, and keep on a coming – one list each weekday – until December 31. Look for contributions from NPR Music partner stations, such as the best kids’ music this year, from WXPN in Philadelphia; Folk Alley’s folk music picks; KUT Austin’s"10 Albums You Were Too Cool To Hear”; and a 10-song '”album of the year” compilation from Mark Wheat of The Current from Minnesota Public Radio.
For the second time at year’s end, NPR Books presents NPR critics and contributors’ favorite literary selections. “The Best Books of 2009” offers recommendations for everything from toddler tales to memorable memoirs, including Nancy Pearl’s best picture books for kids, Maureen Coorigan’s “Best Crime and Mystery Novels of 2009,” T. Susan Chang’s “The 10 Best Cookbooks of 2009,” Susan Jane Gilman’s best nonfiction books of 2009, NPR books correspondent Lynn Neary’s “Best Books for Book Clubs” and a list of the “Best New Writers” from Granta magazine editor John Freeman.
All music and books lists will be available at www.npr.org/holidays – which gathers favorite NPR holiday stories from years past; holiday recipes; and Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s concerts.
In addition to end of the year coverage, NPR Music’s “The Decade in Music: ‘00s” takes an extensive look back at the sounds and moments that defined the past ten years. NPR Music is a free, multimedia music discovery Web site at www.npr.org/music. The site offers content from NPR and 12 NPR Member public radio stations, including live performances, studio sessions, first listens to new albums, interviews, reviews and blogs. The site's continuously expanding sections are dedicated to rock/pop/folk, classical, jazz/blues, world and urban music. NPR Music culls from NPR's and the stations' extensive music archives to present thousands of features; more than 250 new features are added to the site every month.
NPR Books – www.NPR.org/books – generates nearly 500,000 page views per month and is specifically designed to help a busy audience find great reads. NPR Books combines the best of NPR's radio interviews and news with original Web reviews, commentaries and bestseller lists, and includes popular recurring series such as "What We're Reading," which features NPR staff picks of new titles with candid comments from our reporters, hosts and critics; “You Must Read This,” in which well-known authors share passionate recommendations; and “Three Books,” offering three good reads centered on a common theme.