Showing posts with label Best of 2008. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Best of 2008. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Introducing the 2010 Megalist: All the Best Books of the Year in One Spreadsheet


If you are looking for a good book to read, check out the megalists posted and created by Williamsburg Regional Library. It lists in three big spreadsheets all the best books of the year from 2010, 2009 and 2008.

It even classifies them by popular genres - general fiction, mysteries, YA Fiction, non-fiction, etc.

It's fun and very complete!

Introducing the 2010 Megalist: All the Best Books of the Year in One Spreadsheet

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Olive Kitteridge to HBO

I always get a little excited when I see that one of my favorite books is making the move to film. Of course, it's always excitement tinged with a dose of experience, because most good books don't turn into good films.

However, I am excited without any reservations that actress and producer Frances McDormand, is developing a series adaptation of Elizabeth Strout's 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Olive Kitteridge at HBO.
You can read the exclusive article about this and her other projects (including film adaptations of mystery writer Laura Lippman's books) at Deadline New York.

McDormand will play the title character, and I can't imagine a better actress for this role.

Let's hope it actually makes it to the screen!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Perfectly Delightful - Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society

This past week, I just finished listening to The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.

A number of people told me it was a good book; but it wasn't until one of my best friends insisted that I read it that I finally checked it out. Up until now, I have to admit that I was put off a little by the title, and by the format of the book. (It's a series of letters.)

Now I can happily report that if you haven't read it yet, you really must consider doing so. It tells the story of a writer who finds her inspiration for a new book in telling the story of Guernsey, and how this little island was occupied by the Nazis during World War II.

It is a a wonderful testament to the power of books to transform each person's life into something a little more special. It has humor, sadness, and some really delightful parts. I highly recommend it.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Pulitzer Prize Winner is a Winner

Normally, I'm not a big fan of short stories, but I am a huge fan of this year's Pulitzer Prize winner, Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout, a novel told in thirteen short stories.
The novel tells the story of Olive, a retired school teacher, and the people who surround her in a small coastal Maine town. Her story along with the stories of her husband, a lounge singer haunted by a past love, her Olive's own resentful son.
Kirkus Reviews (February 1, 2008) said it is:
A perfectly balanced portrait of the human condition, encompassing plenty of anger, cruelty and loss without ever losing sight of the equally powerful presences of tenderness, shared pursuits and lifelong loyalty.
I listened to the book and enjoyed the narrator, Sandra Burr, tremendously. She really made Olive's character come alive. I will remember Olive's voice for a long time.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Multiplying Like Rabbits: Best Book Lists for 2008

Best book lists for 2008 are multiplying like rabbits now.

I now have 20 best book links posted on the right hand side of my blog -- everything from fiction, non-fiction, children's books, and a few genre-specific, like Business Week's Best Business Books.

The latest that I added today was from Salon. I like how they characterize their picks: "the 10 most pleasurable fiction and nonfiction reading experiences of the year."

So many of these lists seem to try and impress you with books that aren't fun to read...books that are actually more like work to slog through. The books on Salon's list nearly all seem to be things that I'd like to make time to read.

And, once again, I'm a little sad about just how few of these titles I've read.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Need Holiday Shopping Help? 10 Lists for 2008

Need a little holiday shopping help? Or, just want to find a good book to read?

Well, the Best Books lists are popping up everywhere. I've listed 10 on my blog (right hand side navigation bar).

My favorites that have the most intriguing titles thus far are from Janet Maslin and Michiko Kakutani of The New York Times.

I'll be adding more as I learn of them.

What are your favorite books of 2008?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Roadside Reviews on NPR

I've long been a fan of audio books; and judging by our circulation numbers, a lot of our library card members are too. Last year over 257,000 audio books were borrowed from the Cumberland County Library System.

Now, National Public Radio has started a summer series called "Roadside Reviews" where truckers offer their recommendations of the best and worst books for listening. The first trucker interviewed loves murder-mysteries by Kathy Reichs and Patricia Cornwell. The only problem is, he is renting them from truck stops. He could make his diesel money go a little further if he borrowed them from his local library!

Three of my own personal favorites from the past six months or so are:
  • Lush Life by Richard Price, narrated by Bobby Cannavale -- This will definitely be on my list of Best Books for 2008. Richard Price's use of language and Bobby Cannavale's narration make this police procedural superb.
  • Rhett Butler's People by Donald McCaig, narrated by John Bedford Lloyd -- For anyone who has ever read and loved Gone with the Wind, this is a wonderful re-telling of the story we all know, but from Rhett Butler's perspective. McCaig makes it possible, even in this day and age, to fall in love with Rhett Butler all over again.
  • Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo, narrated by Arthur Morey -- This rich, complex story of life in a small town in upstate New York is one that I simultaneously read and listened to...a technique I recommend for getting through big books in time for your next book club meeting!...It will also be on my Best of Books of 2008 list.