Category Archives: Book Lists

Audiobooks for Everyone

Booklist audiobook blogger Mary Burkey has posted a list of family-friendly audiobooks perfect for car trips. For older kids and teens, the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association, has also posted its list of Amazing Audiobooks for Teens.

It was a running joke in my family that whenever my husband or one of the kids came in while I was listening to an audiobook in the kitchen, the opening to an off-color scene or an impressive string of swears would invariably issue forth from the speakers before I could reach the remote. These lists of family-friendly audiobooks come too late for me, but may be helpful to others.
A young adult audiobook I have recently listened to and liked was the Full Cast production of Airborn by Kenneth Oppel. It’s a good introduction to the steampunk genre for kids, and a rollicking adventure that adults will also enjoy.

Happy New Year! A Round-Up of 2009’s Best Books

As a persnickety librarian, I must insist on the decade’s not being over till Dec. 31, 2010, but I can still point out three best books of the decade lists that have been posted prematurely:

But what’s the rush to close out the decade? There was a lot of good reading published in 2009 alone, starting with those on The New York Times’ 100 Notable Books of 2009.

Although Publishers Weekly editors came out with their 2009 Top Ten early and was criticized for not choosing any books by women, two of my favorite novels of 2009 are by women — The Children’s Book by A.S. Byatt and A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore. Both books made Library Journal‘s Best Books 2009. A Gate at the Stairs also appears on The New York Times Book Review’s 10 Best Books of 2009 list, as well as The Washington Post Book World’s Ten Best Books of The Year,  the San Francisco Chronicle’s list, and Slate‘s list, Booked for the Holidays. (I think The Children’s Book came out too late in the year to make some of the lists.)

NPR’s Best Books of 2009 includes best cookbooks, best memoirs, best books for a book club, and Librarian Nancy Pearl’s suggestions for “Under-The-Radar Gift Books”, among others. For a list that’s heavy on nonfiction, try The Economist’s list of 2009 Page-Turners.

I didn’t know the online superstore Amazon had editors, but it does, and they have named Colum McCann’s novel Let the Great World Spin book of the year for 2009, part of the Amazon’s Top 100 Editor’s Picks.
One novel that I think may have appeared on every single list mentioned here, is Hilary Mantel’s work of historical fiction, Wolf Hall — the 2009 Man Booker Prize winner. Check for library availability and log in to place your hold from the Brockton Public Library System here, and read an excerpt from the book on The New York Review of Books’ Web site here. Happy Reading!

P.S. If you’re in the mood for a movie instead of a book, check out NPR reviewer Bob Mondello’s list of The Year’s Top Ten. He includes a few family-friendly suggestions.

Same Old Story – Best Books List Snubs Female Writers

>This blog post at Politics Weekly is a good addition to the flap in the blogosphere about the Publisher’s Weekly list of 10 Best Books of 2009 that didn’t include a single book by a woman. The people at PW said it just happened that way…they were as surprised as anyone!
The Women in Letters and Literary Arts have started a wiki where excellent 2009 books by female authors are being listed. You might want to check out some of the suggested titles there, as well as the books on the Publisher’s Weekly list.