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The Magicians by Lev Grossman

#1 The Magicians series by Lev Grossman Oh boy. Here’s a review that has been a long time coming. Almost an entire calendar year coming! I read Lev Grossman’s The Magicians at the tail end of December, just as I was finishing up my end-of-the-year book awards, my Cybils reading, a spate of professional reviews. […]

Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith

#2 Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith Here’s a book I really, really, really don’t need to tell you about. It needs no introduction. No signal boost. I have no information that you haven’t already gathered, either from reading the book yourself or just from existing on the BookInternet for more than a few minutes in […]

Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward

#3 Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward Well, I’m having trouble figuring out how to talk about this book. I came in with few expectations – I haven’t read Salvage the Bones yet, this wasn’t a required read, and it wasn’t a big “buzz book” that I’d heard tons of opinions on. I thought it […]

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

#4 Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh Allow me to direct your attention back to a Best Reads post I wrote way back in 2011 about a little book called Charlotte’s Web. I’m not quite as anti-Western Canon as I used to be in my younger years, probably because A) I’ve liked a lot of […]

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

 #5 The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach Hey! Back to the countdown! Woohoo! Thinking about Chad Harbach’s The Art of Fielding this morning has me yet again questioning what I value in a book; or, more specifically, what I value in a reading experience. There is a difference between the two measures. To me, […]

Best New (to me) Authors of 2014

It’s always great to discover a fantastic new author whose books you just adoorrreeee. What’s better: discovering a fantastic old author with a hefty backlist that you can work your way through. Here are some (already popular and reasonably prolific) authors I was delighted to “discover” in 2014. Meg Wolitzer The Interestings was possibly *the […]

Best Book Covers of (the books I read in) 2014

Librarian Confession: I judge books by their covers. All the time. And I have to say that in the past few years I’ve seen a clear trend emerging – book covers are just getting better and better, across the board. I looked through the books I’ve read this year and plucked out the best of […]

The Circle by Dave Eggers

#6. The Circle by Dave Eggers Longtime readers might recall my fraught relationship with the almighty Dystopia. I used to be in love, I did indeed.  But after the arrival of The Hunger Games,  the world caught onto my secret joy and turned the humble dystopian sub-genre into a sea of romantic trilogies. And that, […]

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

#7: Yes Please by Amy Poehler When it comes to handing out awards for media, Generally Circulating Wisdom says the later a book is released, the more likely it will receive an award. While my experience is just one of many (and as I mentioned yesterday, the only criteria or standards I employ here comes […]

Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour

#8 Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour It’s been a few days since I mentioned this, so I think I will mention it again: this list, these reviews, anything I write on the Internet (anything anyone writes in a list/review/on the Internet) is based solely upon my own whim and whimsy. You, my dear […]