Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Holiday Post 2013: On Books and Reading

We continue our series of holiday posts for 2013. Today we are going over books and things stuff about reading. As a librarian, I am always interested in books and the reading life even at a time when some librarians think it beneath them to actually read. At any rate, today I am sharing some reading lists so my four readers can get some ideas of things to read in 2014.

On a side note, stay tuned for our holiday post on what the heck happened in 2013 coming shortly after the new year. It's been quite a year, so let's go down memory lane. You may also be interested in coming back for my end of year reading summary. In the meantime, let's see what's good to read out there.

Some Big Book Lists

  • Largehearted Boy blog does much of the work in his "Best of 2013" book lists. You can find just about any list for any taste here. Like bird books? There is a list for that. Have a look. You are bound to find something, or you are not trying hard enough. 
  • Amazon has their 2013 Best Books lists here, if you are interested. 

Some more book lists

The lists below are ones that I personally found interesting. Some of them may be a bit less mainstream. Others may be a bit unique in my humble estimation. I hope you can find some good reading ideas here. Maybe you will try out something new in the coming year.

  •  The Electronic Frontier Foundation has a reading list for 2013. They write, "we don't endorse all of their arguments, but we find they've added some valuable insight to the conversation around the areas and issues on which we work." If you are interested in topics like copyright, Internet freedom and neutrality, and freedom of speech, this list may be of interest. 
  • Joshua Kim, at Inside Higher Ed, asks his readers what did they read in 2013 and offers his list of books he read in 2013. From his list I read The Last Policeman (link to my review).  
  • If alcohol and spirits are a subjects of interest, Drinkhacker has their 2013 Best Books guide
  • If you need some food to go with the alcohol and spirits, Powell's has a list of good all-around cookbooks
  • Crooks and Liars has a holiday book gift guide. Given the blog's coverage, I was expecting stuff in current affairs and politics. Instead, they have a small sampling of different things, including some nice science fiction selections. From this list, I have a copy of Princesses Behaving Badly, and The Geek's Guide to Dating, which I will be reviewing soon. The Chuck Norris: Longer and Harder is a compilation of previous books collecting Chuck Norris facts. I have not read this one, but I have read two of the books that make up this larger collection: The Truth About Chuck Norris and Chuck Norris vs. Mr. T. If you like the meme, you will probably like the books, although they are books to borrow rather than buy. 
  • Unfortunately not all books are good. I've read my share of bad books, or at times, attempted to read them before I dropped them and moved on to something better. There are other readers out there who face bad books too. For example, Steve Donoghue at Stevereads presents his "Worst Books of 2013: Fiction!" If you are curious and brave, feel free to have a look. Personally, I try not to write negative reviews, but I will if I think my four readers really need to stay away from something or a particular book simply did not meet high expectations I may have had. 
  • Manga is one of the formats I enjoy reading, so I always try to offer suggestions on this to my four readers. The Manga Report has their 2013 manga gift guide out for those interested. 

Finally, some other book items

  • It seems 2013 was not a good year for book challenges. The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) reports that book challenges were on the rise this year. 
  • 2013 also continued the "fine tradition" of people whining that print is dead, and e-books will take over, blah blah blah. It is a fine tradition even some librarians love to embrace. Let's leave that aside and admire that there are still some fine print books out there to admire and enjoy and read. Via BuzzFeed, here are "19 Awesomely Designed Books From 2013 That Prove Print Isn't Dead."

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