WLT Staff Picks: The Best of 2010 Part 2

As a first- time expectant mother, I spent most of 2010 reading every parenting and pregnancy book I could get my hands on. I also, to my horror, realized that my days of endless hours to read for pleasure were quickly dwindling! With this realization, I was determined to make 2010 my year of “Greatest Hits.” I read some classics that I hadn’t gotten to during my college days and re-read a handful of my all-time favorite books. My top 3 picks for 2010 will hopefully inspire you to go back to your bookshelves and pull down some of those treasures from your past.

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

As I was perusing our bookshelves, I came across a beautiful leather bound copy of Alice in Wonderland that my mother had given to me on my ninth birthday. At the age of nine, Alice’s world was a bit too upside down for me and I never got past page ten. At age thirty, I was able to read the book in its entirety in one sitting. Carroll’s world is fabulously lush and surprisingly adult. I can’t wait to hand it down to our little girl.

The Hours by Michael Cunningham

The Hours has long been on my personal list of  favorite books. I couldn’t resist pulling it off the shelf to re-read it one more time! Cunningham deservedly won the Pulitzer for his gorgeously crafted tribute to Virgina Woolf . Although dark at times, the story is so tightly and intricately woven that you somehow force yourself to forsake the pain and instead concentrate on the beauty of it all.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

I like to re-read To Kill a Mockingbird at least every other year, and of course, it made my 2010 greatest hits round-up. As a young child, I would watch the VHS tape of the movie starring Gregory Peck over and over and over again. By the time I was old enough to actually read the book, I knew the story so well that it was already a part of me. Each time I read it, I appreciate Lee’s prose and perfection more and more. It’s a novel so great, so deserving of all of its accolades, that even its own author could never quite figure out how to follow it.

Happy New Year!

–Jan Baumer

Friday Filler: Nov. 5 Edition

Here’s our weekly roundup of publishing news, resources, contests, and whatever else struck our fancy this week!

Publishing News

Top 10 Lists: For the first time ever, Library Journal has posted a Top 10 books of the year list, complete with  Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom, Michael Cunningham’s By Nightfall, and the one that has Cyndi jumping up and down, Justin Cronin’s The Passage.

Publishers Weekly announced its own top 10 of 2010, with Franzen (naturally), Michael Lewis’s The Big Short, and Jennifer Egan’s A Visit From the Goon Squad — but we were tickled to see Patti Smith’s Just Kids and Lauren Hillenbrand’s Unbroken on the list too. The full list of 100 books comes out in Monday’s issue of PW.

Why E-Books Aren’t Scary: Stephen King weighs in on ebooks in this interview with the Wall Street Journal. Best quote: “I wonder if one or two atom bombs went off, Continue reading