Friday, January 1, 2016

Let's Talk About Good Books

It's the time of year when I (we?) think back on what we've read, what we're reading now and what we'd like to read next year, so here's my annual roundup:

I've been busy finishing up Rick Riordan's The Heroes of Olympus series (currently on book 4, The House of Hades). I've always had a thing for mythology, so these books are right up my alley. Oh, and ignore an earlier post where I said that you didn't need to read the first series (Percy Jackson and the Olympians) to like the second. Technically, that's true, but it's so much better (and clearer) if you've read the first books (which is also a great series). Also, if you've seen the movie(s), don't be turned off. The books didn't translate well to the big screen.


On the romance scene, I just received my copy of Loretta Chase's Dukes Prefer Blondes from her Dressmakers series (I'm not overly fond of the title of this book, but I like the series, so...well, I've certainly had my share of awful titles on my own books. There's a reason I changed the title of The Daddy List to The Wish List when I got the rights back and republished it. In other words, don't let a title stop you from buying a book. It's what's inside that counts, and I'm betting that Loretta Chase's latest book will be a winner. She's one of my favorite authors). 
On the nonfiction front, I received two books for Christmas (from my sons) that I'm looking forward to. Both are by Randall Munroe, creator of the xkcs webcomic. I'm sure I'm going to enjoy What If? and Thing Explainer, since I like the comic.



As far as the Best Of...lists that are floating around, here are a few to get you started:

NPR's Best Books of 2015

Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2015

The Goodreads Choice Awards for 2015

All the Best Books of 2015 from The Guardian

The Best Books We Read in 2015 from Vox

WSJ's Best Books of 2015

I find this next list interesting in that the books aren't necessarily new. In The Best Book I Read This Year, from the editors of The Atlantic, you'll find new and old books. I was especially pleased to see Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus on the list. I read it several years ago, and I've been eagerly awaiting a new book by her. .

Business Insider has The 17 Best Books of the Year, According to Readers as well as The 20 Best Fiction Books of the Year.

There are so many more lists out there (google Best Books 2015 and then under sort, limit the results to the last month). There's a list by Bill Gates, specialty lists of comedy books, music books, business books, books for women, crime fiction, academic books, science books, history books, books for teens, sci fi/fantasy, photography, travel books, tech books, nonfiction books, nonfiction books by black authors, food and farm books, graphic design books, crafts/home and garden books, books on Japan, wine books, children's books and more). Wow!

And, of course, there's the Top 100 List of Bestsellers by Barnes & Noble and the Top 20 Lists on Amazon. Lastly, because it's local (sorry) Anderson's Adult Bestsellers.The Anderson's Bookshops list is more of a weekly than an annual list, but you'll find some interesting staff picks there.

Whew! There are so many fantastic books to choose from. I hope you find a few. Best Wishes to all of you on good reading, good times and an especially good year!

Myrna




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