Apple announced its best e-books of the year Thursday. The company has come up with a best-of list at years' end since the launch of the iBookstore in 2010.
This year marks the debut of the interactive category "Best Multi-Touch Book," specifically for e-books designed using the iBooks Author tool. The interactive e-book Apple selected as the best of 2012 is "Fashion" by DK Publishing, created in conjunction with the Smithsonian. Apple cites the "photos, videos and virtual style tours" exploring 3,000 years of fashion history as what makes the e-book outstanding. In print, it's a hefty 480 pages long.
Other books the editors singled out are Katherine Boo's "Behind the Beautiful Forevers," which won the National Book Award, and popular YA author John Green's "The Fault in Our Stars." In fiction, Peter Heller's "The Dog Stars," a bestseller, was the editor's favorite selection of the year.
Apple has posted its top 10 books in each category beside its bestsellers; while there is some overlap, it's interesting to see that there are also gaps. In fiction, E.L. James holds the top three bestselling spots, with "Fifty Shades of Grey" at No. 1, "Fifty Shades Darker" at No. 2 and "Fifty Shades Freed" at No. 3. The first book not by E.L. James on the list is Gillian Flynn's "Gone Girl," a top 10 editorial choice in Mysteries and Thrillers.
Another interesting aspect of Apple's year-end highlight are its top free downloads. The Beatles' "Yellow Submarine" was the most-downloaded of the year (and yes, it looks fantastic). While the top 10 is peppered with instruction manuals and self-help books, there are also some classics: Charles Dickens' "Great Expectations" and "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" by Arthur Conan Doyle.
In addition to its top books of the year, Apple has announced its top apps, music, podcasts and movies of the year, in case you do something other than read books.
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