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
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

Top 10 First Novels Print Email

Jacket covers from three books on this list - The Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, That's Not a Feeling, and When Captain Flint was still a good man

Something about the heart-and-soul process of writing a first novel tends to produce some of the most exciting, pitch-perfect reading experiences.  This list of the top ten first novels of 2012 (selected by Booklist magazine) is no exception and provides plenty to fall in love with - from shy June who is devasted by her dear uncle Finn's death from AIDS to retiree Harold Fry who walks 600 miles across England to deliver a letter to an old love who is dying.  Reviews include words such as harrowing, haunting, cosmic, stunning, and soulful.  Try one out!

If you like the flavor of first novels, here is a list of some other first novels from 2012, ranked in order of popularity.  Enjoy!

Buzzing for Book Keeping Print Email

Logo for Book Keeping - image of a pile of books, all yellow, and stack to look like a bee skepBook lovers who are also avid Facebook users might want to "like" Book Keeping, a new reader's community page created by publishers Farrar, Straus and Giroux and Sarah Crichton Books.  Containing lots of trivia about books and links out to interesting book-related content, you'll also find author essays and q&as, polls, quizzes, sweepstakes, sneak peeks at covers, event announcements and more.  While you're at it, make sure you've also "liked" the library Facebook page!

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