Readers Advisor

Readers Advisor

I’m Mary K.–librarian, mom, blogger, reader. I believe there’s no such thing as too many books–if you do, too, you’re in the right place! Browse this page for great finds from across our collection. What will you read next?

Email Mary K.

Book Buzz
Books as Comfort after Tragedy Print Email

Jacket cover of Kenneth Grahame's This Shelf Awareness article about turning to books for comfort in the face of tragedies like the Connecticut school shooting really struck a chord with me.  Sometimes we forget, when reading mostly for pleasure and entertainment, the power that books have to teach, transform, heal, comfort and inspire.  Pulling out The Wind in the Willows or Winnie the Pooh to evoke happy places can be a respite when the harsh realities of our world seem too much to bear.  The Tale of Despereaux and Bridge to Terabithia are two recommended children's books that help combat fear and process loss from a safe distance.  For other suggestions, check out Jennifer Brown's excellent Shelf Awareness article.  It's a good reminder about the power of reading - and we have bibliotherapists (reading advisors) at all of our branches who are trained to help you!

More "Best of" Books Print Email

Jacket cover from Mark Binelli's Jacket cover of Publishers Weekly has posted their "best of" list for 2012 which includes a bit of everything - literary fiction, cookbooks, nonfiction, graphic novels, history, romance, gardening, knitting ... (you've got to love the inclusion of Knit Your Own Cat!)  For a shorter list to choose from, try their list of Top 10 in 2012.  I couldn't put down Detroit City is the Place to Be which read like half-thriller, half-futuristic scifi novel - hopeful and heartbreaking at the same time, this account of the "afterlife of an American metropolis" provokes questions about race, class, art, cultural identity, politics, and transformation.  Highly recommended.

Ken Jennings and Parental Warnings Print Email

Cover of Ken Jennings' Ken Jennings is known by many for his lengthy winning streak on Jeopardy! and here in Whatcom County we have a more intimate connection with Ken for his regular guest appearances as a lifeline for the annual Whatcom Literacy Council trivia bee.  The author of several trivia-based books (Brainiac and Maphead), Ken's newly published Because I Said So! explores the "myths, tales, and warnings every generation passes down to its kids."  Do you really need to wait an hour to swim before eating?  Are poinsettia leaves really poisonous or can you eat them?  If you run with a lollipop in your mouth and fall down, can it really puncture the back of your throat and go straight into your brain?  Ken explores the science behind these parental syllogisms with his trademark sense of humor. 

Read an interview with Ken (and see a really cute picture of him as a little tyke) here.

GoodReads Choice Awards Print Email

A speech bubble with the words

The annual GoodReads Choice Awards ask users of the literary social network to vote on their favorite books of the year in 20 categories. Here are the titles selected (out of 1,156,852 votes) for the best of 2012 with the categories of recognition annotated. (NOTE: Print version is listed; other versions may also be available. Click on the author to see all listings.)  Representing what booklovers are actually reading and enjoying, this list is probably a better indicator of broad popularity than some of the lists produced by editors and people working within the book business (although I was a little surprised to see that The Casual Vacancy topped the fiction list).  For other reading selections, check out the runners-up.

NYT Best Books of 2012 Print Email

A photo of a tall stack of books, the one one top laying open, against the background of library shelves full of books

Each year, the New York Times identifies the top books published during the year - just in time for holiday shopping - and, from that list, the top ten créme de la créme.  (The library does not own one of the ten due to its format - Building Stories by Chris Ware is a box containing 14 “easily misplaced elements”  like pamphlets, books, foldout pages - sounds interesting, though!)  The "best books" list includes fiction, nonfiction and poetry from publishers large and small, representing big name authors like Barbara Kingsolver or John Irving as well as first-timers like David Abrams or Wiley Cash.  If you're looking for a good read over the holidays, it would be hard to go wrong with one of these titles. Or check out previous year's lists:  2011 & 2010

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