Saturday, December 22, 2012

Holiday Post 2012: On books and reading

We continue the series of end of year posts here at The Itinerant Librarian. As my four readers know, I do these to amuse myself and give my four readers something to be entertained at the end of the year. Being a librarian and an avid reader, books are a big part of my life, so I have to make a post on books and reading to share a few things such as suggested reading lists and other items that may be of interest to readers.

On a side note, do stay tuned and come back around the end of the  year for the last holiday post, on what the heck happened in 2012 (my version of the end of year wrap-up) and also come back for my reading summary, where I look at what I read during the past year. So, here we go.

Book Lists

These are some basic book lists to give you ideas and suggestions on what to read. Find out what you may have missed from 2012 and maybe pick something to read in 2013. As always, if you read something good, feel free to let know. I am always looking for new ideas.

Some more book lists

I would say the items below are a little less mainstream. These are lists that I think are a bit more unique, specific, or even quirky.
  • Via the Anime News Network, report that Da Vinci Magazine has listed its top manga picks for 2012
  • BuzzFeed has put together their list of 15 Best Cookbooks for 2012. The list has a small twist to it: it also suggests a cooking ingredient for each book to give as a gift along with the book.
  • Joshua Kim, writing at Inside Higher Ed, gives his list of "the 11 Best Nonfiction Books of 2012." Susan Cain's book about introverts, Quiet, made the list. My review and book notes on Cain's book are posted at The Gypsy Librarian here for anyone interested. I do recommend the book. Kim's list does have a book or two I need to add to my TBR lists.
  • Papeles Perdidos, the literary blog of El Pais, names its best book of 2012 as voted by their online readers. Blog content is in Spanish. The book is Almudena Grandes's El Lector de Julio Verne. Feel free to visit the blog if interested to learn more about the book and other finalists and choices by genre. 
  • The Literary Saloon blog has a list of "Foreign 'Best of Year" Selections." Because the rest of the world reads too, and it produces literature, and they recognize their good stuff. It's not just about the Anglos and Americans.
  • Book Riot has their list of Top 25 books of 2012 as chosen by their readers. To be honest, the list is mostly books that are not in my reading horizon. Other than Susan Cain's Quiet (which is basically making the rounds, and I already read as noted), I did not see anything I would be interested in (i.e. a lot of literary fiction, which is a category I could not care less about), but I am sure a few readers out there will find it useful to look over. They also have a list of best books as chosen by the contributors of the blog.And if you like boxed sets, well, they have a guide to some of those too. If I had a wish list, I would love The Sandman boxed set. On the other hand, this list they offer I am not too impressed. It's basically the "guys are hard to buy; they all read history books" stereotype. I will have you know a lot of guys, at least those of us who read, often read a variety of things. Last thing I would want is yet another war memoir or gross things book (I did those when I was a little kid, thanks. Some of us have grown up by now). If you want to give a guy a history book, give him a good biography of a political or historical figure he may admire. Give him a good microhistory. If it is history, heck, ask me, I may have a suggestion or two that does not involve some war book. I do read some military history, but I don't go all "gaga" over it. Science fiction and fantasy can be good options as well. We are not as complicated as many think we are (either that, or I am just not as manly as some people think I should be, haha!).
  • By the way, guys often like technology stuff. So, maybe get them a tech-related book. BetaBeat offers their lists of "the Best Books to Buy for the Technologist in your Life." And don't worry, if the technologist in your life is a lady, I am sure she would appreciate one of these too. The list features both fiction and nonfiction.
  • Via Entertainment Realm blog, the blogger's favorite nonfiction of 2012. From this list, I did read Agorafabulous, for which I posted my review and note here.
  • Via the blog Band of Thebes, "The Best LGBT Books of 2012: 87 Authors Select Their Favorites." From this list I read Bechdel's Are You My Mother? which I did find a bit disappointing. I posted my review in my GoodReads profile here.
  • The Arabic Literature (in English) blog as a list of "10 Holiday Gift Suggestions: New in 2012"
  • The editor at Bookgasm blog has some recommendations of books that would make good gifts
  • The ladies of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books have put together their holiday gift guides. Sure, they feature books, but also other gifts for the romance reading lady in your life. Find Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5 in the links.
  • Want more romance reading? The folks of Book Riot offer a list of "7 Super Weird Holiday Romance Novels." Go ahead, try to tell people you are reading Christmas Rum Balls with a straight face.

Other things about reading

What the subtitle says: Other stuff about reading that has a holiday theme that may be of interest.

Photo credit: From Flickr user retrokatz, used by terms of Creative Commons license.

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