Book Patrol’s Favorite Books of 2014: Part 2 December 3, 2014 – Posted in: Content, Of Interest: Featured Books / Reviews – Tags: best books 2014
Part 2 of Book Patrol’s favorite bookish books of 2014 has arrived.
Let’s start Part 2 by breaking some rules. Books! by Murray McCain and illustrated by John Alcorn was first published in 1962 and then re-issued by AMMO Books at the end of 2013. It is both a reprint and a book published in 2013 but it is too cool to let go by and since I missed it when it came it what better time than now to share it.
The new larger edition is stunning and it is one of the few picture books that is all about the celebration of “the book”.
Sure, picture books and book imagery go hand in hand and books have have always played a significant role in the genre but this one is a book about books for the younger set.
From the dust jacket flaps:
This is a one-of-a-kind: A wonderful book for children and grownups about Books, how books are made, what they do, what people do with them.
It is called Books! Flip through it and you will see why it is likely to turn children into book lovers and parents into Books! lovers. Get Books! Keep Books! Give Books!
The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon
Sometimes the word is the thing. The bridge. Sometimes we only know what we feel once it’s been said. Words may be the daughters of the earth instead of heaven. but they’re not dim. And even in the faintest shimmer, there is light. – Anana Johnson
Alena Graedon’s debut novel is a powerful harbinger of the dangers of turning too much of our lives over to technology and the barons who control it. Called “a dystopian novel for the digital age,” the book grapples with the immense toll technology is taking on our language, our thoughts and our ability to communicate.
The book is also steeped in the literary with Lewis Carroll and Samuel Johnson (the father of the dictionary) references throughout and the novel culminates in Oxford (the home of the English Dictionary).
The Writer’s Garden: How gardens inspired our best-loved authors by Jackie Bennett with photographs by Richard Hanson.
What was the role of the garden in the work of some of Britain’s most popular writers? Bennett explores how they derived a creative spirit from their private garden, how they tended and enjoyed their gardens, and how they managed their outdoor space. Austen, Ruskin, Agatha Christie, Beatrix Potter, Dickens, Wordsworth and many others are covered.
Why I Read: The Serious Pleasure of Books by Wendy Lesser
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
contains an Afterword: The Book as Physical Object and a list of a hundred books to read for pleasure.
“Reading can result in boredom or transcendence, rage or enthusiasm, depression or hilarity, empathy or contempt, depending on who you are and what the book is and how your life is shaping up at the moment you encounter it.”
We are not quite novels.
We are not quite short stories.
In the end, we are collected works.
The Storied Life of A.J Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin.
Published by Algonquin Books. “A. J. Fikry, the irascible owner of Island Books, has recently endured some tough years: his wife has died, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and his prized possession—a rare edition of Poe poems—has been stolen. Over time, he has given up on people, and even the books in his store, instead of offering solace, are yet another reminder of a world that is changing too rapidly” – Wait, a bookseller who is a curmudgeon, what a surprise and boy can I relate.
It does end well.
The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books by Azar Nafisi
What do Mark Twain, Sinclair Lewis, Carson McCullers and James Baldwin have in common? Each writer had played a pivotal role in providing Azar Nafasi’s her first tastes of America. An America that now “demonstrates little empathy for people’s well-being, that dismisses imagination and thought, branding passion for knowledge as irrelevant.”
Nafisi, whose Reading Lolita in Tehran was a runaway bestseller, imagines a new territory and invites readers everywhere “to join her as citizens of the Republic of Imagination, a country with no borders and few restrictions”
Published by Viking
Alice’s Wonderland: A Visual Journey through Lewis Carroll’s Mad, Mad World by Catherine Nichols.
A lushly illustrated book that explores the profound influence and far reach of Lewis Carroll’s creation. 2015 marks the 150th anniversary of the first appearance of Alice in printed form with celebrations being planned all year long on both sides of the pond.
2015 will be the year of Alice and we end our look at 2014 with what will surely be the first of many book salutes to Lewis Carroll’s enduring creation.
Published by Race Point Publishing.