I've said many times that I'm not fond of year-end best-of book lists. Year-end lists, so far as I'm concerned, are like junk food: they're enjoyable, but they're probably not worth the time you put into reading (or writing) them. If you're looking for what the Seattle Review of Books believes to be the books of the year, I'd encourage you to look back through our Reviews section. Our co-founder Martin McClellan ingeniously constructed the Reviews pages to be something like browsing a bookstore. You can flip through the pages and browse the covers and see if something looks appealing to you.
But sometimes I have to acknowledge a particularly great year-in-review feature, and that is the case with NPR's Book Concierge. I love it because it's not constructed around the artificial list structure that so many other reviews are. In fact, it's less a review and more a recommendation engine: choose from a selection of filter tabs on the side to help you find a book to suit any interest. Rather than focusing on what some critic believes to be the best book of the year, it's focused on what books you might find interesting. That distinction, to me, makes all the difference. If you haven't, go check it out.