1. THE TITLES CHOSEN BY LJ’s REVIEWS EDITORS AS THE Top Ten of 2013 kept us up late turning the pages and also together form a picture of humanity’s struggle against injustices great and small.

    Tumblarians, what were your Best Books of 2013?

  2. willywaldo:

explore-blog:











Amazon editors select 50 great American love stories, one for every state.
(↬ Page Turner)











This is a cool idea for libraries to promote their collections. I am obsessed with the issue of library handselling, because too often we have received complaints at Library Journal from our readers that the titles we choose as our Best Books of the Year never circulate. They are too “literary” or too “narrow.”  Well, that’s not really LJ’s  fault. Maybe those titles didn’t circulate because those complainers did nothing to promote those books.
With the exception of books that get rave reviews or a big marketing push by their publisher, most new titles don’t automatically fly off the shelves into readers’ hands. Most readers are fairly conservative, reluctant to leave their comfort zones to try sometimes challenging, difficult material. Such books need tender nurturing by booksellers and librarians.
That’s why I applaud innovative and fun efforts like the Maplewood Public Library’s  ”Blind Date with a Book” to encourage readers to be adventurous and try a title they would have never read otherwise. Anywhoo, I have been collecting other great book promotion ideas on LJ’s Pinterest page: http://pinterest.com/libraryjournal/fun-ideas-to-market-your-collection/.
Perhaps I’ll incorporate some of these ideas in our Best Books of 2013 feature!

    willywaldo:

    explore-blog:

    Amazon editors select 50 great American love stories, one for every state.

    ( Page Turner)

    This is a cool idea for libraries to promote their collections. I am obsessed with the issue of library handselling, because too often we have received complaints at Library Journal from our readers that the titles we choose as our Best Books of the Year never circulate. They are too “literary” or too “narrow.”  Well, that’s not really LJ’s  fault. Maybe those titles didn’t circulate because those complainers did nothing to promote those books.

    With the exception of books that get rave reviews or a big marketing push by their publisher, most new titles don’t automatically fly off the shelves into readers’ hands. Most readers are fairly conservative, reluctant to leave their comfort zones to try sometimes challenging, difficult material. Such books need tender nurturing by booksellers and librarians.

    imageThat’s why I applaud innovative and fun efforts like the Maplewood Public Library’s  ”Blind Date with a Book” to encourage readers to be adventurous and try a title they would have never read otherwise. Anywhoo, I have been collecting other great book promotion ideas on LJ’s Pinterest page: http://pinterest.com/libraryjournal/fun-ideas-to-market-your-collection/.

    Perhaps I’ll incorporate some of these ideas in our Best Books of 2013 feature!

    (Source: )

  3. Ladles and germs: Library Journal's Top Ten Books of 2012.

  4. 


Strayed, Cheryl. Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from “Dear Sugar.” Vintage: Random. ISBN 9780307949332. pap. $14.95; ebk. ISBN 9780307949325. SELF-HELP
Strayed has made a career out of touching her readers’ lives with stories of her own. This collection of her “Dear Sugar” columns, which originally appeared on The Rumpus, may at first glance look like a nontraditional Best Book pick. Instead, Strayed’s columns transcend the genre that made Ann Landers famous. This is a book for readers who want to cry their eyes out but emerge feeling, somehow, stronger. (LJ 5/15/12)—Molly McArdle



See all of Library Journal's Best Books 2012: Top Ten

    Strayed, Cheryl. Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from “Dear Sugar.” Vintage: Random. ISBN 9780307949332. pap. $14.95; ebk. ISBN 9780307949325. SELF-HELP

    Strayed has made a career out of touching her readers’ lives with stories of her own. This collection of her “Dear Sugar” columns, which originally appeared on The Rumpus, may at first glance look like a nontraditional Best Book pick. Instead, Strayed’s columns transcend the genre that made Ann Landers famous. This is a book for readers who want to cry their eyes out but emerge feeling, somehow, stronger. (LJ 5/15/12)—Molly McArdle

    See all of Library Journal's Best Books 2012: Top Ten

  5. 

Smith, Zadie. NW. Penguin Pr: Penguin Group (USA). ISBN 9781594203978. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101595923. F
Relating the story of four people in North West London, Smith articulates important issues of race and class, but what matters most is her distinctive narrative voice. In numbered, run-on chapters that occasionally turn to aphorism, memo, and even poetry, Smith shows us how to write for the 21st century, when the online environment has changed our way of thinking, that makes other books sound ordinary. An aesthetic and emotional knockout. (LJ 9/15/12)—Barbara Hoffert


See all of Library Journal's Best Books 2012: Top Ten

    Smith, Zadie. NW. Penguin Pr: Penguin Group (USA). ISBN 9781594203978. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101595923. F

    Relating the story of four people in North West London, Smith articulates important issues of race and class, but what matters most is her distinctive narrative voice. In numbered, run-on chapters that occasionally turn to aphorism, memo, and even poetry, Smith shows us how to write for the 21st century, when the online environment has changed our way of thinking, that makes other books sound ordinary. An aesthetic and emotional knockout. (LJ 9/15/12)—Barbara Hoffert

    See all of Library Journal's Best Books 2012: Top Ten

  6. 
O’Connor, Anne-Marie. The Lady in Gold: The Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimt’s Masterpiece, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer. Knopf. ISBN 9780307265647. $32.50; ebk. ISBN 9780307957566. FINE ARTS
This epic story of a painting begins in the late 19th century, as Gustav Klimt becomes the premier painter of the Vienna Secession and Adele Bloch-Bauer, a renowned salon hostess and patron of the arts, and ends at the beginning of the 21st century, as his portrait of her is auctioned for a record-breaking $135 million. In between, the painting is seized by Nazis, renamed to hide its Jewish subject, held by Austria for decades, and finally won back by Bloch-Bauer’s heirs in an agonizing legal battle. (LJ 3/1/12)—Molly McArdle

See all of Library Journal's Best Books 2012: Top Ten

    O’Connor, Anne-Marie. The Lady in Gold: The Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimt’s Masterpiece, Portrait of Adele Bloch-BauerKnopf. ISBN 9780307265647. $32.50; ebk. ISBN 9780307957566. FINE ARTS

    This epic story of a painting begins in the late 19th century, as Gustav Klimt becomes the premier painter of the Vienna Secession and Adele Bloch-Bauer, a renowned salon hostess and patron of the arts, and ends at the beginning of the 21st century, as his portrait of her is auctioned for a record-breaking $135 million. In between, the painting is seized by Nazis, renamed to hide its Jewish subject, held by Austria for decades, and finally won back by Bloch-Bauer’s heirs in an agonizing legal battle. (LJ 3/1/12)—Molly McArdle

    See all of Library Journal's Best Books 2012: Top Ten

  7. 

Miller, Madeline. The Song of Achilles. Ecco: HarperCollins. ISBN 9780062060617. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062060631. F
Patroclus is an awkward, exiled young prince; golden Achilles is the much-admired son of a sea goddess. In telling the story of their intense friendship and love, debut novelist Miller brings Homer’s ancient Greece to glorious life and offers a “masterly vision of the valor, drama, and tragedy of the Trojan War.” Her reinterpretation of The Iliad deservedly won the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction. (LJ11/15/11)—Wilda Williams


See all of Library Journal's Best Books 2012: Top Ten

    Miller, Madeline. The Song of Achilles. Ecco: HarperCollins. ISBN 9780062060617. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062060631. F

    Patroclus is an awkward, exiled young prince; golden Achilles is the much-admired son of a sea goddess. In telling the story of their intense friendship and love, debut novelist Miller brings Homer’s ancient Greece to glorious life and offers a “masterly vision of the valor, drama, and tragedy of the Trojan War.” Her reinterpretation of The Iliad deservedly won the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction. (LJ11/15/11)—Wilda Williams

    See all of Library Journal's Best Books 2012: Top Ten

  8. Joyce, Graham. Some Kind of Fairy Tale. Doubleday. ISBN 9780385535786. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385535847. FANTASY
When Tara Martin shows up at her parents’ home on Christmas Day 20 years after she had disappeared, a bit bedraggled but not looking much older, her bewildered family struggle to make sense of her story. Was Tara really kidnapped by fairies, or is she lying or insane? A haunting blend of fantasy and reality by a modern master of fantasy. (LJ 6/1/12)—Wilda Williams

See all of Library Journal's Best Books 2012: Top Ten

    Joyce, Graham. Some Kind of Fairy Tale. Doubleday. ISBN 9780385535786. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385535847. FANTASY

    When Tara Martin shows up at her parents’ home on Christmas Day 20 years after she had disappeared, a bit bedraggled but not looking much older, her bewildered family struggle to make sense of her story. Was Tara really kidnapped by fairies, or is she lying or insane? A haunting blend of fantasy and reality by a modern master of fantasy. (LJ 6/1/12)—Wilda Williams

    See all of Library Journal's Best Books 2012: Top Ten

  9. Boo, Katherine. Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity. Random. ISBN 9781400067558. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780679643951. SOC SCI
India may have a thriving economy and expansive future, but Boo shows us the lives excluded from those attainments as she follows members of a ragged Mumbai slum improvised on the edge of the city’s 21st-century expansion. With character studies so eloquent that readers may forget these are realities, Boo charts how Abdul, Fatima, Kalu, and others assert power and hope in the midst of their calamitous existence. (LJ 2/15/12)—Margaret Heilbrun

See all of Library Journal's Best Books 2012: Top Ten

    Boo, Katherine. Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity. Random. ISBN 9781400067558. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780679643951. SOC SCI

    India may have a thriving economy and expansive future, but Boo shows us the lives excluded from those attainments as she follows members of a ragged Mumbai slum improvised on the edge of the city’s 21st-century expansion. With character studies so eloquent that readers may forget these are realities, Boo charts how Abdul, Fatima, Kalu, and others assert power and hope in the midst of their calamitous existence. (LJ 2/15/12)—Margaret Heilbrun

    See all of Library Journal's Best Books 2012: Top Ten

  10. 

Frank, Katherine. Crusoe: Daniel Defoe, Robert Knox, and the Creation of a Myth. Pegasus. ISBN 9781605983349. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9781453249178. LIT
A man approaching age 60, an indefatigable writer of essays and polemics, tries his hand at fiction. He is Daniel Defoe in 1719. The book: Robinson Crusoe. Frank alternately explores Defoe’s life of astonishing intellectual activity and that of East India Company sea captain Robert Knox, who, decades before Defoe’s novel, was taken prisoner on the island of Ceylon where he remained for over 20 years before escaping and writing of it. These two men’s journeys  will capture you. (LJ 2/15/12)—Margaret Heilbrun


See all of Library Journal's Best Books 2012: Top Ten

    Frank, Katherine. Crusoe: Daniel Defoe, Robert Knox, and the Creation of a MythPegasus. ISBN 9781605983349. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9781453249178. LIT

    A man approaching age 60, an indefatigable writer of essays and polemics, tries his hand at fiction. He is Daniel Defoe in 1719. The book: Robinson Crusoe. Frank alternately explores Defoe’s life of astonishing intellectual activity and that of East India Company sea captain Robert Knox, who, decades before Defoe’s novel, was taken prisoner on the island of Ceylon where he remained for over 20 years before escaping and writing of it. These two men’s journeys  will capture you. (LJ 2/15/12)—Margaret Heilbrun

    See all of Library Journal's Best Books 2012: Top Ten

  11. 
Fountain, Ben. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. Ecco: HarperCollins. ISBN 9780060885595. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062096821. F
A member of Bravo Squad, whose fiercely fought battle in Iraq was caught on tape by an embedded Fox News crew, Billy Lynn is on a victory tour of sorts with the survivors. In a compacted but unrushed time frame, Fountain effectively captures both the transformative experiences of one young man and the horrific impact of war. As he ponders life choices, Billy makes a surprising decision, bringing to a conclusion a perfect read. (LJ 5/15/12)—Barbara Hoffert

See all of Library Journal's Best Books 2012: Top Ten

    Fountain, Ben. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. Ecco: HarperCollins. ISBN 9780060885595. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062096821. F

    A member of Bravo Squad, whose fiercely fought battle in Iraq was caught on tape by an embedded Fox News crew, Billy Lynn is on a victory tour of sorts with the survivors. In a compacted but unrushed time frame, Fountain effectively captures both the transformative experiences of one young man and the horrific impact of war. As he ponders life choices, Billy makes a surprising decision, bringing to a conclusion a perfect read. (LJ 5/15/12)—Barbara Hoffert

    See all of Library Journal's Best Books 2012: Top Ten

  12. 

Cash, Wiley. A Land More Kind Than Home. Morrow. ISBN 9780062088147. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062088246. F
Snake-handling preachers and bizarre, dysfunctional families are clichés of Southern fiction, but they can still make a great story. Cash’s debut novel centers on Jess, a boy who keeps his counsel when his mother’s church attempts to cure his disabled brother, unleashing a torrent of sadness and misadventure. The real hero, though, is Adelaide, a quiet activist who is one of the novel’s multiple alternating narrators. (LJ 3/1/12)—Henrietta Thornton-Verma


See all of Library Journal's Best Books 2012: Top Ten

    Cash, Wiley. A Land More Kind Than Home. Morrow. ISBN 9780062088147. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062088246. F

    Snake-handling preachers and bizarre, dysfunctional families are clichés of Southern fiction, but they can still make a great story. Cash’s debut novel centers on Jess, a boy who keeps his counsel when his mother’s church attempts to cure his disabled brother, unleashing a torrent of sadness and misadventure. The real hero, though, is Adelaide, a quiet activist who is one of the novel’s multiple alternating narrators. (LJ 3/1/12)—Henrietta Thornton-Verma

    See all of Library Journal's Best Books 2012: Top Ten

  13. 




Blair, Joe. By the Iowa Sea: A Memoir of Disaster and Love. Scribner. ISBN9781451636055. $24; ebk. ISBN 9781451636079. MEMOIR
A startling, bleak, and thoroughly honest memoir from husband and father Blair, it documents a flood, a marriage in danger, a family in flux, and an inscrutable but mesmerizing boy whose developmental disabilities make his parents’ life a kind of hell but whose lovely, undulating patterns, which he traces in the dirt of their backyard, will stay with readers long after they finish the book. While the midlife-crisis memoir might seem typical, this one isn’t. (LJ 12/11)—Molly McArdle





See all of Library Journal's Best Books 2012: Top Ten

    Blair, Joe. By the Iowa Sea: A Memoir of Disaster and Love. Scribner. ISBN9781451636055. $24; ebk. ISBN 9781451636079. MEMOIR

    A startling, bleak, and thoroughly honest memoir from husband and father Blair, it documents a flood, a marriage in danger, a family in flux, and an inscrutable but mesmerizing boy whose developmental disabilities make his parents’ life a kind of hell but whose lovely, undulating patterns, which he traces in the dirt of their backyard, will stay with readers long after they finish the book. While the midlife-crisis memoir might seem typical, this one isn’t. (LJ 12/11)—Molly McArdle

    See all of Library Journal's Best Books 2012: Top Ten

  14. Is Library Journal's 10 Best Books of 2012 coming out today? Why yes, yes it is. Check out all of our Best Book coverage.

  15. One one week left until LJ reveals its Ten Best Books of 2012. Our cover is made up of the first sentence of all ten books. Can you guess what they are?
Check out all of our Best Books! (Genre fiction and core nonfiction have already been released.)

    One one week left until LJ reveals its Ten Best Books of 2012. Our cover is made up of the first sentence of all ten books. Can you guess what they are?

    Check out all of our Best Books! (Genre fiction and core nonfiction have already been released.)