Best Sellers

Friday, December 28, 2012

Compilation of Best Books of 2012 Lists

It is the season for lists of the best books published in 2012. There are at least a dozen sources for them. One of the sites I read weekly has done a compilation of the 'Best" lists. It is interesting and not what I might have chosen but many did so I thought you might find it interesting also. All are available at the library. See if you agree.

The Top Ten in Fiction

The winner with mention on 8 lists
#1 - Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain

3 titles won mention on 7 lists
#2 - This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz
#3 - Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
#4 - The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers

4 titles won mention on 6 lists
#5 - Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon
#6 - A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers
#7 - Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
#8 - Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

2 titles were mentioned on 5 lists
#9 - The Round House by Louise Erdrich
#10 - Dear Life by Alice Munro

The Top Ten in Nonfiction

The overall winner with mention on 9 different lists
#1 - Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo

1 title was mentioned on 7 lists
#2 - Iron Curtain by Anne Applebaum

1 title was mentioned on 6 lists
#3 - The Passage of Power by Robert A. Caro

2 titles were mentioned on 5 lists
#4 - Far From the Tree by Andrew Solomon
#5 - Wild by Cheryl Strayed

5 titles were mentioned on 4 lists
#6 - Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel
#7 - Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon Meacham
#8 - People Who Eat Darkness by Richard Lloyd Parry
#9 - Spillover by David Quammen
#10 - House of Stone by Anthony Shadid

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Have a Great Holiday!

I pondered for a few days on what this last post of 2012 would contain. Finally decided that I would go ahead and just list all the must reads in January. It will give you some plans for the new year. Don't expect a lot of discussion on each one as there are so many of them. Here is a list of mostly fiction with a few nonfiction thrown in, to get you ready for 2013.

Ian Rankin comes out with Standing in Another Man's Grave on January 15th. It is a thriller that features a decade old string of disappearing teens.

James Rollins writes with Rebecca Cantrell, The Blood Gospel: The Order of the Sanguines Series which comes out on January 8th. It is a thriller which is described as Dan Brown meets Anne Rice's vampires. Sanguines by the way are the Vatican's Vampires who battle evil.

Brad Taylor gives us Enemy of Mine on January 15th. Another thriller featuring Delta Force officer Pike Logan.

Stuart Wood's next Stone Barrington title, Collateral Damage, is out on January 8th. It you read Woods, you kind of know the plot already.

The One I Left Behind by Jennifer McMahon is out on January 2nd. Yet another thriller which features a teenaged girl whose mother is supposedly killed by a serial killer and years later is found alive.

Dave Barry offers another humorous view of the problems existing in Florida (i.e. riots; Russian gangsters; pimps; and a huge snake) in Insane City on January 29th. You can't help but laugh but you wonder why he lives there.

Susanna Sonnenberg investigates the power of female friendships and relationships in She Matters which comes out on January 8th. Reported as a mesmerizing works.

Nicholas Christopher comes out with Tiger Rag on January 1st. It covers a wife whose husband has left her for a younger woman and whose daughter is just out of rehab as they venture from Key Biscayne to snowy New York in search of a recording.

Some of you may had read Adam Mansbach hysterical Go the F**k to Sleep. I did and having had 2 children, I laughed and laughed. On January 10th, he is publishing Rage is Back. The story of the son of a renowned graffiti writer is said to be have a refreshing edginess.

Tracy Chevalier takes her historical fiction to the United States in The Last Runaway which comes out on January 8th.

Bernard Cornwell chooses another war for his focus in 1356: Go with God, but Fight Like the Devil which arrives on January 8th. It covers the Battle of Poitiers on September 19, 1356.

For all you Downton Abbey fans out there, Elizabeth Wilhide offers historical fiction in Ashenden on January 8th. A tale of two and a half centuries in a Victorian manor house.

Finally, a nonfiction work by Christopher S. Stewart for all you adventure lovers. Jungleland: A True Story of Adventure, Obsession, and the Deadly Search for the Lost White City comes out on January 8th. Billed as a real life Indiana Jones story.

Enjoy planning your reading plan for next month and have a really good Holiday.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

My Favorite Books of 2012

There are quite a few publications and websites that have come out with their lists of their favorite books for 2012. Although I read many different genres and often find some really effecting literary works, many of mine might now make it on your traditional lists. There is a twitter list in the process #libfavs2012 which made me take a long look at what I read this past year and what I really REALLY loved.
12.     Stephen Kings’s 11-22-63  - I loved this book about a teacher time traveling back to try to stop Kennedy’s assassination.
11.     David Gillham’s City of Women- World War II was not kind to the women of Germany either.
10.     Justin Cronin’s The Twelve  - OK – the first in the series ‘The Passage’ was better but I really care about these characters.
9.       Charlotte Rogan’s The Lifeboat – how far would you go if you were stuck on an overcrowded lifeboat with no rescue in sight?
8.       Barbara Shapiro’s The Art Forger – suspense and the art world – quite a mix.
7.       Louise Erdrich’s The Round House – Erdrich’s titles usually involved Native Americans and in this one, the rape of a mother, profoundly effects her young son.

6.       Ian McEwan’s Sweet Tooth - McEwan wrote ‘Atonement’, a really well received novel, this one is just as good. A young, female Cambridge graduate is recruited to work with the British intelligence service. It brings up some ethical questions for her.
5.       Hilary Mantel’s Bring Up the Bodies - OK - so everyone loves this book. I can lose myself in historical novels that take place in the time of Thomas Cromwell.
4.       Lisa Gardner’s Catch Me - a repeating detective series but you are never really sure who is the victim and who is the criminal until the end. VERY suspenseful!!!!
3.       Rosamund Lupton’s Afterwards - I loved her first one 'Sisters' and I loved this one - told mostly from the point of view of a woman in a coma - can she find out who the arsonist is and can she protect her daughter?
2.       William Landry’s Defending Jacob - A good portion of the action is covered in legal proceedings but can a lawyer protect his son and wife - should he?
1.       Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl - WOW - this one blew me away. Talk about a dysfunctional couple. Suspenseful and brings up the question of whether we really know each other.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Thrillers, Thrillers and More Thrillers

Interesting January titles abound. Some fiction, some nonfiction. I’ll look at the thrillers that are going to be published in January first.
Robert Crais comes out with Suspect on January 22nd. A hardened LA cop, Max Kent, loses his partner in a nighttime assault and is assigned a German Shepherd who has survived 3 tours of duty in the Middle East as a new partner. They are charged with finding Max’s prior partner’s killer. Crais is famous for his Elvis Cole series and writes kind of dark, hardboiled mysteries with flawed heroes.
Stephen Hunter is bringing us his 8th Bob Lee Swagger Novel, The Third Bullet, on January 15th.  Stephen Hunter is a journalist with the Washington Post and his thrillers tend to be well written, compelling, lots of action and violence. His story lines usually deal with military or political concerns. In this title, John F Kennedy’s assassination is revisited with a slight twist. Swagger investigates why the third bullet exploded. Fans of Swagger are getting in line for this title.
Chris Kuzneski, a name you perhaps not heard of yet, gives us The Death Relic on January 10th. Kuzneski writes a series about 2 ex-Special Forces trained friends, Jonathon Payne and David Jones. Payne and Jones trade witty barbs as they investigate cryptic mysteries. In this outing, an  archaeologist in the  Yucatan Peninsula hires them when some of her team goes missing. The suspense in this series is always fast moving and the story lines are well researched. If you haven’t tried this author, give him a chance.

Brad Meltzer also writes fast paced suspense. His though, mostly take place in the legal, financial or political arena. He is publishing The Fifth Assassin on January 15, 2012. There have been 4 successful assassination attempts on US Presidents. Beecher White discovers that someone is enacting the crimes of those 4 assassins. Historians have always thought that the 4 successful assassins were working alone. But what if they are wrong? Really a page turner and the climax – well, what can I say, it is worth the wait.

In an intricately plotted debut novel, Jenny Milchman gives us Cover of Snow on January 15th. Nora Hamilton, happily married to a solid, dependable policeman, lives in the Adirondacks. Life is good until her husband commits suicide and then secrets start to come to the fore. Fast moving with lots of good reviews, if you like to take a chance on first authors, give Milchman a try.