Best Year-End Lists from the Alternative Press

Yep, we’ve gone meta. Here’s our list of the best decade- and year-end lists (and just some plain-old-list lists) we’ve spotted in the alternative press. Enjoy!

Top Ten Astronomy Pictures of 2009

Phil Plait, who writes the Bad Astronomy blog for Discover, offers up his fourth annual round-up of breathtaking astronomy photos. Seriously: You have to go look at these. For a second helping of awesome, peruse the blog and then read one of our favorite essays of the year: “Obscene Astronomy,” which appeared in our Sept.-Oct. 2009 issue.

Top Ten Worst Christmas Gifts

Grist, which also has “The Top Green Stories of the ’00s,”recounts the second annual list of worst–as in “profligate, unnecessary,” and guilty of “tasteless energy use”–Christmas gifts, courtesy of the Jamaica Plain Green House, a rehab project chronicled on its website. Warning: There is a thong-clad butt at #9, but if you can scoot past it, a jaw-dropping cupcake car (#10) awaits you.

Greenest Colleges and Universities

OK, so this isn’t a year- or decade-end list, but Sierra‘s third annual “Cool Schools” ranking, published in the magazine’s September-October 2009 issue, deserves a shout out for equipping prospective students with an environmental metric. Note the link to Sierra lifestyle editor Avital Binshtok discussing how and why they do the ranking.

50 Best Movies of the Decade and 50 Best Albums of the Decade

Cinephiles and music lovers, this couplet of comprehensive lists from Paste are just for you–complete with trailers and streaming songs. I dare you to click through them and not compulsively begin adding things to your personal “must see” and “must hear” lists.

Top 100 Singles of the Decade

More music fun than you can shake a stick at: “Lifelong pop culture junkie” Ryan McNutt lists his top 100 and top 10 singles of the decade for Maisonneuve online (also published on his blog McNutt Against the Music).

Books of the Year 2009

Canada’s Quill & Quire is celebrating the end of the year with a feast of reading lists, including overlooked books, covers of the year, and a nice twist on the best-of genre: “The 15 Books that Mattered,” subdivided into lists of fiction, nonfiction, and books for young people.

Top Ten Stories Not Reported by the Mainstream Press

A yearly classic: North Carolina’s Independent Weekly publishes a recap of Project Censored’s annual list of stories that the organization says failed to get the attention they deserved.

The Vegetarian Stories of the Decade

Considering making a dietary New Year’s resolution? VegNews chronicles the significant legislature, important books, and other milestones in a decade of significant progress for the vegetarian-vegan movement.

The Best of Columbia Journalism Review

The venerable Columbia Journalism Review‘s hardworking editors and writers, including Clint Hendler, Megan Garber, and Dean Starkman, revisit their top stories of 2009.

Top Online Stories from Next American City

Next American City expanded its website this year, including adding city-specific homepages and regular columns, and to celebrate deputy editor Julia Ramey picks out some of the best urban-minded reports, interviews, slideshows. NAC online also flexes its network of urban thinkers with a three-part series “Predictions for 2010.”

Sources:Discover, Grist, Sierra, Paste, Maisonneuve, Quill & Quire, Independent Weekly, VegNews, Columbia Journalism Review, Next American City

In-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.