Friday, September 12, 2014

TBR List (To Be Read)

Many voracious readers keep a TBR list; we never have enough time to read all the books that we want. Whether we keep a list on book-oriented social media sites, in a composition notebook, in a computer file, or by creating lists in our online library accounts, readers tend to accumulate many titles fairly quickly. And with September being a blockbuster month for new releases, my TBR list has recently grown by leaps and bounds!  Here are some September releases that I can't wait to read. They all happen to be adult nonfiction (I have many children's and YA books, as well as adult fiction, that are on my TBR list, but I decided on a change of pace for this week):

I "discovered" Lucy Knisley when Relish: My Life in the Kitchen appeared on several Best of 2013 book lists. My favorite type of graphic novels are graphic memoirs (Persepolis, March: Book One) or realistic stories like The Plain Janes or Smile, so I immediately added her to my "automatic must reads" list of authors. Armchair travelers and gourmands should definitely check this one out; Knisley is a foodie, so her graphic memoirs includes lots and lots of drawings and descriptions of delectable foods. An Age of License covers her travels throughout Europe while attending a Norwegian comics festival.

Cosby: His Life and Times has already received several strong reviews and blurbs from fellow comedians, including Jerry Seinfeld, so I think this will get a lot of attention when it is finally released in a few days, just in time for the 30th anniversary of The Cosby Show.  As beloved as Bill Cosby is by many, he has garnered quite a bit of controversy for revelations about his personal life and for his bluntly presented views on societal issues, so I'm quite interested in how Mark Whitaker deals with those particular areas. (Also really interested in reading perspectives from the former child actors on the show; I think all but Lisa Bonet are still on good terms with him). I grew up watching his version of Picture Pages (Picture pages, picture pages, time to get your picture pages, time to get your crayons and your pencils!) and The Cosby Show, so I'm eager to read this ASAP!

I don't use my Amazon Wish List the way Jeff Bezos probably wants me to use it; I put books on my list and wait to see if they are ordered by our collection development librarian (they usually are; sorry, Amazon). Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King's Final Year has been on my list for some time, with publication dates changing often; I was thrilled when it popped up on Wowbrary recently. You may know Tavis Smiley as a former NPR and current PRI/BET talk show host (and apparently, a contestant on the upcoming Dancing With the Stars season--that was an unexpected find) who usually comments on issues affecting African-American communities. Smiley focuses on Martin Luther King's volatile final year, which was marked with depression over the escalation of the Vietnam War, multiple riots in American cities, and issues with alcohol and marital problems. His increasing involvement with the pro-labor movement and the anti-war movement alienated him from some civil rights leaders, who felt that he should only focus on race-specific issues. We pick certain people to lionize in our society, and King is one of them; in doing so, we forget that they had real problems, real personal struggles, and characteristics that make us uncomfortable, just like every other person. Smiley is, according to the reviews, frank yet not destructive (if anything, a little too informal at times and assumes that he knows what King was thinking at the time). I can't wait to read this.

I'm fascinated by consumer issues (part of my undergraduate degree was focused on consumer issues, but not from a marketing perspective), so any new consumer issues book with a foreward by Paco Underhill, the author of the classic Why We Buy, immediately gets my attention. Underhill's books are still definitely worth reading, but his books were researched and written right before online shopping and online media became a standard part of our lives. I'm intrigued to learn more about Kit Yarrow's research into how we connect with brands and how we shop (in a world in which we are so pressed for time and have advertisements bombarding us online as well as on television and in print media) has changed over the last decade.


Sorry, just had a nerd moment. Star Wars geeks, pay attention! (They're my people, so I can call them that.)  A history of the Star Wars franchise! I haven't dorked out over an upcoming book like this since Jim Henson: The Biography was released last year (and while we're on the subject--Brian Jay Jones is currently working on a biography of George Lucas! He is the IDEAL author for that!) Some reviews say that Chris Taylor includes too much info (NOT POSSIBLE), but praise the writing for being smart and fun. Taylor not only gives the lowdown on the creation of the series, but also chronicles its international success, his experiences visiting the world's largest Star Wars museum, watching one of the movies with a Navajo community (dubbed in Navajo), and the major influence LucasFilms has had on the special effects business. How Star Wars Conquered the Universe seems like a must read for Star Wars fans or those interested film history.

I love everything published by National Geographic, so National Geographic Illustrated Guide to Wildlife  is absolutely on my radar. Last year's Illustrated Guide to Nature is a gorgeous field guide to flowers, rocks, trees, and the weather, so I'm confident that the wildlife edition will be just as amazing.

I also love everything published by DK (both children and adult nonfiction). I am impatiently awaiting Photography: The Definitive Visual History; this collection of famous and/or striking photographs throughout the years (accompanied by essays) will be a browser's delight. Timelines on war photography, fashion photography, and advertising photography are also highlights.

Sorry, but I can't help it:


Oh, my goodness! I don't know if I could ever really live in a tiny house, but I am enthralled by them. I'm not the only one, because this has had a long holds list ever since we received our copies. Tiny House Living: Ideas for Building and Living Well in Less Than 400 Square Feet definitely includes many photographs of this phenomenal movement, but also explains why the movement has caught fire and how to embrace the tiny house living lifestyle, even if you don't plan to actually build and live in a tiny house. Very cool. Now I want a book on tiny libraries. (Awww. I want a tiny library.)

Still need more reading ideas? Look through our most recent editions of Wowbrary.

Jennifer Schultz, Youth Services Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library

To learn more about Fauquier County Public Library's collectionevents, and programs, visit us on FacebookTwitter (Kiddosphere's feed is here), or on our website.

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