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
Ann Patchett's Personal Journey Print Email

Jacket cover from Ann Patchett's

Award-winning writer Ann Patchett, whose novels includes Bel Canto and State of Wonder, celebrates her 50th birthday on December 2nd.  Though she has never written an autobiography, Patchett traces the trajectory of her life as a writer in a new nonfiction collection, This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage.  These personal stories range from an RV trip across the American West to her serious attempt to enter the L.A. Police Academy.  The essays are selected and arranged to create a cohesive whole, resulting in a book that's an absolute pleasure to read.  The title story of how Patchett found love again after an ill-fated first marriage is well worth the admission price alone, but thankfully this collection offers much more.

 
Publishers Weekly Top Ten Print Email

Jacket covers of four of the top 10 books

Publishers Weekly top ten books of 2013 are evenly divided between fiction and nonfiction, with a decided bent to the literary and geo- and sociopolitical.  Subjects include scientology, the war on terror, and immortality (as well as lives cut short by tragedy), and settings as diverse as Chechnya, Harlem, and Mississippi.  PW was right on in naming The Good Lord Bird to their top ten list, as several weeks later it was also named this year's National Book Award winner for fiction.  Check out the TOP TEN and the more expansive "best of" list that includes many categories.  Happy Reading!

 
National Book Award Winners 2013 Print Email

Jacket covers from The Good Lord Bird and The Unwinding

The National Book Awards were announced last night in a ceremony in New York City.  Congratulations to James McBride, fiction winner for his novel The Good Lord Bird!  Narrated by a 12-year-old Kansas slave who is called "Little Onion," the novel follows the travels of abolitionist John Brown and his renegade band of freedom warriors. McBride was considered to be somewhat of a longshot behind literary giants such as Thomas Pyncheon and Jhumpa Lahiri.  Nonfiction winner The Unwinding by George Packer, tells the story of a country in decline through the lives of several Americans from backgrounds as diverse as son of a tobacco farmer, a Washington D.C. insider, and a Silicon Valley billionaire.  (Check out the shortlist of 2013 National Book Award finalists.)

 
Best Books of the Year Print Email

Jacket covers from three books on this list: A Tale for the Time Being, Frozen in Time, and Parasite.Brought to you by Amazon ... as the "best of 2013" lists commence!  Looking for something great to read?  Sort the list by topic, rating, or tag to help match your interests.  Top ten hits according to Amazon editors are: 

1. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt 
2. And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini 
3. Thank You for Your Service by David Finkel
4. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson 
5. Pilgrim's Wilderness by Tom Kizzia
6. Lawrence in Arabia by Scott Anderson
7. Tenth of December by George Saunders 
8. The Son by Phillipp Meyer
9. A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout 
10. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

 
Remembering JFK Print Email

Jacket cover of

There are literally dozens of new books about John F. Kennedy's presidency and assassination being published this fall for the fiftieth anniversary.  One of them, End of Days by James Swanson, is a meticulously researched account of President Kennedy's murder and the subsequent capture of Lee Harvey Oswald.  Swanson examines the minute-by-minute history of what happened in Dallas and explores how the event continues to permeate American culture and consciousness.  Check out our list of other new Kennedy titles, fiction and nonfiction, as we remember him fifty years later.

 
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