December 15, 2008
Contact:
Anna Christopher, NPR
Danielle Deabler, NPR


   

AT YEAR’S END, NPR PICKS THE BEST MUSIC AND BOOKS OF 2008

ALL SONGS CONSIDERED ANNOUNCES “BEST ALBUMS” TODAY,
NPR MUSIC OFFERS DAILY TOP 10 ALBUM LISTS,
NPR CRITICS’ MUST- READS OF THE YEAR

AVAILABLE TO LISTEN, LOOK AND DOWNLOAD AT NPR.ORG/HOLIDAYS




December 15, 2008; Washington, D.C. – NPR Music’s much-anticipated year-end lists of the best albums have a partner this year in NPR Books, which for the first time is unwrapping its own lists of 2008’s must-reads. Daily top 10 lists, in both areas, are gathering throughout the month at www.NPR.org/holiday, as well as NPR holiday classics like Tinsel Tales and a “Car Talk Carol,” Click and Clack’s take on the Dickens’ classic.

Today at 4:00PM (ET), NPR Music – www.NPR.org/music – will announce the winners of the fourth annual All Songs Considered “Best Albums” poll, as voted on by listeners of the top-rated weekly program and members of the NPR online community. All Song Considered will count down “The Best Albums of 2008” in a special edition of the show; NPR Music’s Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton will also host a live chat to discuss the winners (and losers) tomorrow at 2:00PM (ET). NPR Music users will be able to listen to a featured song from each of the top albums or download the All Songs Considered podcast of the entire list.

Throughout December, NPR Music has daily top 10 lists of the year’s best music from every genre, with the opportunity to listen to featured songs from listeners’ and critics’ best picks. NPR Music will feature a different list every day, as chosen by public radio tastemakers. Selections include: KUT Austin’s “Top 10 ‘Smart Rock’ Albums,” “World Café Picks 2008’s Top 10 CDs” and WDUQ Pittsburgh’s “Best Jazz.” Continuing the top ten theme, NPR Music introduces “Jingle Jams,” six hours of holiday music compiled from 10 public radio stations’ own top 10 holiday songs. The music stream features a festive stream of songs, with everyone from Bach to the Ramones to Louis Armstrong.

NPR Books – www.NPR.org/books – starts its own holiday tradition this season with the introduction of “Best Books of 2008,” in which NPR book critics and contributors name their top picks from the year. Lists include John McAlley’s “The Big Pictures: Best Gift Books 2008,” Maureen Coorigan’s “Top Five Crime and Mystery Novels of 2008,” and T. Susan Chang’s “The 10 Best Cookbooks of 2008,” among many more to be announced through the holiday season. In the first week of introducing “Best Books,” more than 100,000 unique visitors accessed NPR Books content.

All music and books lists are aggregated at NPR Holiday 2008 – www.NPR.org/holidays – where there are listeners’ favorite NPR holiday stories from years’ past; holiday recipes; Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s concerts; and tips on how to make your gift giving “Eco-nomical.” NPR Music, having just marked its one year anniversary, features content from NPR and 12 NPR Member public radio stations, as well as original-to-NPR Music features such as live performances, studio sessions, first listens to forthcoming albums, interviews, reviews and blogs. The site presents thousands of features; more than 240 new features are added to the site every month. Similarly, NPR Books has generated nearly 10 million page views in the last six months alone, and is specifically designed to help the busy Web audience find recommendations for great reads. The section combines the best of NPR's radio content -- interviews, news and series with original Web reviews and commentaries from more than 4,500 books.