More favorite books from our bloggers!

small viewLynn votes for The View from Penthouse B by Elinor Lipman. “I love Lipman’s writing style, her characters and the world they inhabit. This time it’s a penthouse in Manhattan, where Gwen and her sister Margot live in genteel poverty. In order to make ends meet, the tenants begin to multiply and become involved in each other’s lives and romances”.

small relishAmanda chooses a non-fiction title. “I have an obsession with cookbooks and graphic novels, and Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley combines the two in an entertaining and informative way. While the novelty of a graphic cookbook is what appealed to me at first, it was Knisley’s hilarious voice and effective story telling that won me over. I’m crossing my fingers that another book is on it’s way”.

small longbournAnn goes with a classic re-imagined. “Longbourn by Jo Baker was my favorite this year. It’s a sly, witty and compassionate interpretation of Austin’s Pride and Prejudice, seen through the eyes of the servants. Usually faceless and unnamed, here they inhabit real lives with complications and joys and heartbreak just as interesting (if not more so) than the homeowners they serve”.

There you have it – an eclectic collection of best books. What about you – what was your favorite book in 2013?

 

Favorite books read in 2013 by our Info Cafe bloggers continues.

small bonesRita is a big fan of audio books and choose one author as her favorite to listen to. “I have read and listened to Kathy Reich’s Temperence Brennan from the beginning, 15 titles and counting. It is a wonderful series about Temperence being a forensic anthropologist holding two positions, one in North Carolina and one in Quebec, Ontario. Her cases are based on real cases in Kathy Reich’s experience as a forensic anthropologist. Temeperence has adventures and misadventures most people wouldn’t live through. What I like best about her writing is that her writing has stayed the finest quality through all 15 books. Some series I read, you can tell when it has become a chore for the writer to continue the series. Her newest book, Bones of the Lost, continues with that quality”.

small hatBill’s favorite (and most read) title is the children’s classic The Hat by Jan Brett. With beautiful illustrations reminiscent of Nordic folk art, Brett weaves a fun and charming story about animals discovering warm winter headgear. This book is especially great when you do different voices for each animal, much to the delight of the littlest reader.

There’s still more to come! Stop back on Monday for our final installment of 2013 favorites!

It’s that time again – the end-of-the-year recap time! Here at Info Cafe we’re going to take a look back at our favorite books of the past year. Not all of these books were published in 2013, but were read and enjoyed in 2013. Enjoy!

small eleanorLexie gets us started with a YA title that several of us liked, Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. “This is a beautiful story of two misfit teens who against all odds find each other and find happiness. their friendship begins over a shared love of comic books and music, and over time is grows very naturally into first love. I’ve read a lot of YA love stories, and I can easily say that this is one of the most realistic I’ve read. It is genuine, moving, and very charming, and I would recommend it to just about anyone”.

small cuckoosAmber’s up next. “Although I may have felt slightly lonely in my praise of J.K. Rowling’s first post-Potter-publication, The Casual Vacancy (compare Maggie’s full review of ithere to my quick end-of-year review here), there is almost universal adoration for Rowling’s second offering, The Cuckoo’ Calling, about a rough detective named Cormoran Strike who tries to prove the suicide of a London It-Girl was really a premeditated murder (Once again, you can see Maggie’s full, eloquent review here). Ms Rowling released The Cuckoo’s Calling under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, and much to her dismay (and my delight) it only took several months for her secret to leak into the press. I have long been a fan of mysteries, but usually of the cozier or historical sort, and I probably would have bypassed The Cuckoo’s Calling due to the gritty, contemporary setting and missed out on Rowling’s amazing storytelling and beautifully crafted characters. According to Robert Galbraith’s website, we can expect another Cormoran Strike mystery in 2014 – Hurrah”!

Check back tomorrow for more of our picks for 2013!

 

Here are more Best Books of 2012 as chosen by our blogging librarians. Be sure to look check yesterdays blog post for other winners!

cold cold groundHere’s Lynn’s pick: “In The Cold, Cold Ground, Detective Sean Duffy is a Catholic cop in a a heavily Protestant town near Belfast during the height of The Troubles. Duffy is an appealingly sarcastic, yet idealistic narrator. Irish author Adrian McKinty grew up in that time and place, and the small details of everyday life during that turbulent time are fascinating and authentic”.

 

twenties girl

 

 

Maggie choose the audiobook of Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella, read by Rosalyn Landor. “A near-perfect audiobook! Compelling and snappy, so you stay interested on your commute, but not so dense that hearing it in short spurts keeps you from enjoying it. Fun characters, saucy dialog and plenty of romance and mystery.” Maggie blogged more about it here.

book thiefThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak is Lexie’s winner. “Death himself narrates the story of a young girl growing up in World War II era Germany with her foster parents, who are hiding a Jewish man in their basement. Zusak’s descriptive writing makes the story come alive; I don’t think I’ve highlighted so many beautifully written passages in one book in a very long time. It feels very fitting that the novel is all about the power of words, because Zusak’s writing had me completely captivated from beginning to end”.

There’s one more book in our list of Best Books of 2012 – read all about it tomorrow!

It’s that time again – the end-of-the-year recap time! Here at Info Cafe we’re going to take a look back at our favorite books of the past year. Not all of these books were published in 2012, but were read and enjoyed in 2012. Enjoy!

casual vacancyAmber starts us off with a controversial pick: The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling. “Although several of my fellow staff members may disagree with me, I found J.K. Rowling’s newest novel to be absolutely compelling and I can think of no other book that I have read this year that has affected me as much. Although the novel has mostly been discussed for its depiction of politics and social issues set against a backdrop of the idyllic English country village, I found the interactions between teens, technology and their community to be the most explosive”. Maggie had a different view of this book which she blogs about here. Which side of the debate do you fall on?

Beautiful MysteryMichelle’s favorite book was Louise Penny’s latest Chief Inspector Gamache book, The Beautiful Mystery. “Entirely set in the closed walls of a monastery, Gamache methodically interrogates each of the 23 monks trying to determine who murdered Frere Matthieu (the monaastery’s choirmaster) and what would drive a monk to murder.” Michelle tells us more about it here.

state of wonder2State of Wonder by Ann Patchett was Ann’s pick. “Patchett is one of my favorite authors and she did not disappoint, creating interesting, complex characters and placing them in unusual situations and regions (in this case, remote Amazon River) and making them relate-able and memorable. I was surprised at how tense and action packed this title was, yet manages to be thoughtful and heartbreaking too. It’s the kind of book you think about again and again, long after finishing it”. Michelle liked this book too and blogged about it here.

Check back tomorrow for more favorites from our blogging librarians!

Here’s the last entry in our Best Books of 2011 from our blogging librarians.

Maggie says “My favorite of 2011 is Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood. It’s a dense, relatable, beautifully written book by my favorite author. It’s also the most moving book I read this year. P.S. very hard to pick just one….”

And here’s Ann’s choice. “2011 wasn’t a particularly “good” reading year for me; I read several entertaining books, but nothing that knocked my socks off. However, there was one book from this year that will always be a stand-out for me – Rick Steve’s Paris 2011. With the huge number of travel books available, Rick Steves is a great choice for the first-time traveler, showing you the basics yet encouraging you to get off the beaten tourist path. You can be sure that all of his recommendations have been personally vetted (and they have never steered me wrong) And yes, the trip was fantastic!”

Now it’s your turn – what was your favorite book that you read in 2011? Let us know in the comments!

Best wishes for a Happy New Year in 2012 – may it be overflowing with great books!

Here’s the final installment of personal Best Books from our Blogging Librarians.

Amber loved The Agency: A Spy in the House and The Agency: The Body at the Tower by YS Lee : “This YA mystery series follows Mary Quinn on her path from the gutters and gallows to a member of the secret detective organization of Victorian ladies called the Agency. I could not pull myself away from these books full of smart, determined females, little bits of saucy romance, and lots of fascinating tidbits about the Victorians!”

Ann’s favorite for 2010 was City of Thieves by David Benioff : “In the midst of the worst possible circumstances, the true character of people is revealed, good and bad. Despite horrific images (starvation, torture, war), what I remember most about this book is the light – friendship, loyalty, laughter, finding something to celebrate even when the world seems to be ending. It’s a testament to the best of the human spirit.” Ann blogged about it here.

There you have it – an eclectic, wide-ranging variety of the Best Books of 2010. Now it’s your turn – what was your favorite book that you read this year and why?

Whoosh! That’s the sound of 2010 racing past. With 2011 nearly here, let’s take some time to remember our favorite books of the past year. Follow us this week as our Blogging Librarians once again give us their personal Best Book and why. These books weren’t necessarily written in 2010, just read this year. You’re sure to find some great titles to add to your list!

Lynn gets things started with her favorite : “The last (sadly) book in the Izzy Spellman series is The Spellmans Strike Again by Lisa Lutz. All the members of the Spellman family are eccentric, and uniquely eccentric. They pursue their own ends aggressively and obsessively but ultimately act in the best interests of the family and the family-owned private investigation business. It’s one of those books that is truly hard to put down once you start.” Read Lynn’s full description here.

Tana‘s pick is one of the biggest books of 2010 : “My favorite book for the year was The Help by Kathryn Stockett. (Ann blogged about this book here) I thought the author did an excellent job of evoking time and place, ie, Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960’s. I think I also enjoyed it from a personal perspective. Since I still have aunts who live in the South, I have memories of visiting them when they all had “help” of their own.”