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2010 Year-End Roundup, and a Call for Ideas

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Here are all the books I read (that I know of) in 2010, in crude alphabetical order. This doesn't include children's picture books, cookbooks, single-issue comics, magazines, or uh, the Internet. My own personal Best of the Year are highlighted in bold. And thanks to the superquick book search on greenlightbookstore.com (where, ahem, you can purchase any and all of these titles), you get pictures! The call for ideas is at the end. A. D.: New Orleans After the Deluge by Jo sh Neufeld ( reviewed ) Agents of Atlas by Jeff Parker and Leonard Kirk ( reviewed ) Air, Volume 2: Flying Machine by G. Willow Wilson & M.K. Parker (reviewed) Arrow Pointing Nowhere by Elizabeth Daly (reviewed) Batwoman: Elegy by Greg Rucka, J. H. Williams, and Dave Stewart (reviewed) The Box of Delights by John Masefield: A Christmas book, quintessentially English in a Narnia kind of way, dreamy and eccentric and magical and stiff-upper-lip. Practically perfect. Co wboy Ninja Vik

All the Rest of the Books I Read This Year

Okay, so perhaps I was slightly overambitious, or just unorganized, thinking I would write about every book I read this year in order. Even though I felt like I didn't read nearly as much as I wanted to / ought to this year, the pile of read books grew much faster than my time to write about them (or inspiration to do so). So here's what I didn't get to write about before, but did read -- I can't remember any longer which order they went in, and the shortness that this last-minute approach will require does a disservice to some truly wonderful works, but there you go. To save time and space, instead of including pictures I've added links to the book detail page on greenlightbookstore.com whenever available, if you want to see a picture or read more about the book. Before the end of this month, I'll post the complete list of what I read this year, highlighting my own personal best-ofs, with links to where I wrote about them. Here goes the last round! A. D.

BBC Top 100

Aw, thanks, Russel. Now obviously the ALP and I had to test our mettle against this list. Next, I hope to post a list of this year's books. Instructions: Copy this into your NOTES. Bold those books you've read in their entirety, italicize the ones you started but didn't finish or read an excerpt. Tag other book nerds. Tag me as well so I can see your responses... 1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen JSB, MJB 2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien JSB 3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte/b> JSB, MJB 4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling (all) 5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee JSB, MJB 6 The Bible JSB (MJB) 7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte MJB 8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell JSB, MJB 9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman JSB 10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens JSB, MJB 11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott JSB 12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy 13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller MJB 14 Complete Works of Shakespeare JSB, MJB 15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier

Hey, Joe.

Joe Drabyak died on Friday . Long live Joe Drabyak. I'm having a hard time getting my head around this. I sat next to Joe at a dinner in April. We compared notes on the appetizer. Everyone said he looked a little skinny but he brushed it off. That was only four months ago. Forgive the maudlin bits for a moment. I can hear exactly how Joe said the phrase "Noir Bar." I can hear the way he would start a sentence hesitantly, as though it was just coming to him, and then deliver an idea so fluid and articulate it was clear he'd either just rehearsed the whole thing in his head, or he'd known exactly what he thought for a long time. He presided over the meetings of the NAIBA board in a manner that was truly presidential: that is, he listened to everybody else. He was the voice of reason when things got heated. He wasn't afraid of new ideas, but he was a great respecter of everyone's concerns. One of the ideas he supported was Emerging Leaders. He wa

A Pitch to Booksellers: The Fall Conference

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We interrupt our sporadically scheduled book reviews to bring you this highly personal pitch, from me (Jessica/Book Nerd) to the booksellers of New York City and the mid-Atlantic region. I have to advocate for things I am passionate about -- if you're a bookseller you can probably sympathize. I wanted to make sure that you know all about the Fall Conference , this September 21 and 22, hosted by the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association (NAIBA) . Like a mini-BEA or Winter Institute, the conference brings together booksellers and publishers from the mid-Atlantic region for professional education, networking, and book buzz to prepare us for the fall season in our stores. The cost is membership in NAIBA, which is $100 per store for a year, plus meals and hotel; discounted hotel rates are available (the conference is in Atlantic city, a cheap bus ride away). You can get all of the details about the conference here . I went to my first NAIBA conference when

July comics roundup

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There is a disturbingly large and teetering pile of books on a chair in my kitchen. They are books that I have read in the last couple of months, that I hope to one day get around to writing up for this blog. Many of them deserve lots of thought, ideally before I forget the reading experience. Also, maybe 50% of the pile is comics -- because I read them faster than straight prose, or because my reading is getting decadently image-dependent, or because it's summer and comics are my beach reading, I don't know. Anyway, despite the fact that several of these are serious books that could totally justify their own post, I'm throwing them together in a roundup, in the interest of getting them off the stack and saving the legs of my kitchen chair. Superman: For Tomorrow Volume 1 and Volume 2 By Brian Azzarello (writer), Jim Lee, and Scott Williams (artists) The ALP, a much more serious comics reader than I, is of the opinion that this one-shot Superman story is about

June YA Roundup

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If I wrote these things more often I wouldn't have to cram multiples into one post, but my blogging is falling so far behind my reading I need to diminish the stack a bit. And I realize I've had a number of great YA reading experiences lately -- it's a category I don't read super-often, but that I tend to enjoy (if perhaps with an occasional smirk of superiority/relief that I am no longer a teen.) Folly by Marthe Jocelyn (Wendy Lamb Books, May 2010) This book and the following one I read "on assignment" -- I was asked to take part in a YA brainstorming conference call by our inimitable Random House children's book rep Lillian Penchansky, and these two books were our homework for the call. It was kind of a delight to plunge into something that I could read in a day, and the two works, while both historical fiction, were very different. Marthe Jocelyn's Folly was the better of the two -- the story of a 19th century British servant girl who gets

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

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A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan (Knopf, June 9, 2010) Shop Indie Bookstores Reading this book was a little like starting a conversation out of general politeness, and discovering that you're talking to someone you passionately want for a best friend. Jennifer Egan -- full disclosure -- is a friend and customer of Greenlight Bookstore. I'd hosted her before for events at other stores, and chatted with her and her kids at Greenlight, but to my own detriment I had never actually read any of her fiction. (Even though, as often seems to happen, it seems in retrospect like obviously the sort of thing I would like: the smart but not overtly political feminism of Look At Me , the Gothic nested stories of The Keep , etc. -- good storytelling in the service of big ideas, or vice versa, without sacrificing the one for the other.) It seemed like now would be the time to pick her up, though, since we're hosting her launch party for the book on Wednesday . So I op

The Singer's Gun by Emily St. John Mandel

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The Singer's Gun by Emily St. John Mandel (Unbridled Books, May 2010) Full disclosure: Emily St. John Mandel lives in Brooklyn and I often run into her at literary events; she is an extremely likeable person and has been wonderfully supportive of Greenlight. And Unbridled Books is, in my opinion, one of the best of the crop of new independent publishers who are figuring out the best way to make this old-fashioned book thing work in a new economy, on a sustainable scale, building on the relationships between customers, booksellers, and publishers. So I was predisposed to like Emily's second novel, especially given the embarrassment of riches of bookseller quotes included in my galley. And perhaps unsurprisingly, like it I did -- but that doesn't mean the book itself is not an astonishing surprise. I read it one day when I was so sick I actually did have to spend most of the day in bed, so my memory of the reading experience is a little like a fever dream -- though th

April Comics Post

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Tomorrow is Free Comic Book Day , when fine comic shops nationwide will be giving out samples of the good stuff to all comers. In its honor, today's post is a flying tour of the comics/graphic novels I've been reading in the last few weeks and months. Y: The Last Man, Volume 7: Paper Dolls by Brian K. Vaughan (writer) and Pia Guerra (artist) I've been working my way through Vaughan's magnum opus slowly for a while now. By Volume 7 the plague that killed (almost) every male mammal on earth is old news, and the implications of a women-only society are playing out in unpredictable ways, while Our Hero Yorick Brown tries to find his girlfriend and help find out how to bring back the other half of the species. Despite the occasionally annoying fact that in an all-women world the hero of the comic is still a dude, Vaughan's writing and Guerra's art always make for good adventure storytelling, and a bit of food for thought afterward. Imagine the implications fo