Thursday, December 30, 2010

Top 10 Books of 2010

Michiko Kakutani’s Top 10 Books of 2010
LIFE by Keith Richards with James Fox. Written with uncommon candor, eloquence and humor, this electrifying memoir channels its author’s love of music, even as it creates an indelible portrait of the era when rock ’n’ roll came of age. It’s a book that does a high-def, high-velocity job of conjuring the past, be it the author’s small-town childhood or the madness that was life on the road with the Rolling Stones — a book in which Mr. Richards has magically translated the fierce emotion of his guitar playing to the page. (Little, Brown & Company, $29.99)
CLEOPATRA: A LIFE by Stacy Schiff. In her captivating new biography Ms. Schiff adroitly strips away the accretions of myth that have built up around the Egyptian queen and plucks off the imaginative embroiderings of Shakespeare, Shaw and Elizabeth Taylor. In place of history’s sex kitten Cleopatra stands revealed as a charismatic and capable politician — a historical figure way more complex and compelling than any fictional creation. (Little, Brown & Company, $29.99)
LETTERS by Saul Bellow. Edited by Benjamin Taylor. By turns cranky and charming, ruminative and cocky, Saul Bellow was a gifted and emotionally voluble letter writer. And this absorbing collection of his correspondence creates a sharp-edged self-portrait of the artist as a close spiritual relative of his heroes: a seeker and searcher, vacillating between the emotional poles of exuberance and depression; a self-made writer, adept at spinning his philosophical ideas and romantic ups and downs into fiction. (Viking, $35)
SUPER SAD TRUE LOVE STORY by Gary Shteyngart. This super-sad, super-funny novel not only showcases its author’s super-caffeinated comic gifts, but also uncovers his abilities to write movingly about love and heartbreak. Set in the near future in a toxic New York City, this is a novel that manages to mash up an apocalyptic satire with a tragic romance and make the whole thing wondrously work. (Random House, $26)
FREEDOM by Jonathan Franzen. The author’s most deeply felt novel yet, “Freedom” is both a gripping portrait of a dysfunctional family and a telling, wide-angled snapshot of our troubled times. The book showcases its author’s impressive literary tool kit — all the essential storytelling skills, along with lots of bells and whistles — and his ability to throw open a big, Updikean window on American middle-class life.(Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $28)
FRANK: THE VOICE by James Kaplan. This is a biography that reads like a novel, a portrait of Frank Sinatra that captures his gifts and contradictions: the tough guy known for his tender love songs; the ring-a-ding-ding Vegas sophisticate with an existential outlook on life; the jaunty heartthrob who turned his own heartache over Ava Gardner into classic torch songs. Mr. Kaplan does a nimble, brightly evocative job of tracing the development of Sinatra’s art, and his remarkable rise and fall and rise again before the age of 40. (Doubleday, $35)
CRISIS ECONOMICS: A CRASH COURSE IN THE FUTURE OF FINANCE by Nouriel Roubini and Stephen Mihm. Although Mr. Roubini’s pessimistic forecasts once earned him the sobriquet Dr. Doom, his predictions of fiscal disaster came frighteningly true in 2008, when the global financial system teetered on the edge of the abyss. In “Crisis Economics,” he uses his gifts as a teacher to give the lay reader a lucid and engrossing account of the causes and consequences of that great meltdown.(Penguin Press, $27.95)
THE LOST BOOKS OF THE ODYSSEY by Zachary Mason. This ingenious debut novel performs a series of jazzy, postmodernist variations on “The Odyssey,” imagining alternate fates for Homer’s characters and reinventing his hero’s relationships with his wife, his mistress and his comrades in arms. The book addresses Homer’s original themes — the dangers of pride, the protean nature of identity — while at the same time raising new questions about art and originality and the nature of storytelling. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $24)
YOU ARE NOT A GADGET: A MANIFESTO by Jaron Lanier. A pioneer in the development of virtual reality and a Silicon Valley veteran, Mr. Lanier is a digital-world insider concerned with the effect that online collectivism and the current enshrinement of “the wisdom of the crowd” is having on artists, intellectual property rights and the larger social and cultural landscape. In taking on such issues, he’s written an illuminating book that is as provocative as it is impassioned. (Alfred A. Knopf, $24.95)
THE THOUSAND AUTUMNS OF JACOB DE ZOET by David Mitchell. Best known in the past for his experimental, puzzlelike fiction, Mr. Mitchell has turned his hand, this time, to creating a historical novel set in Edo-era Japan. His suspenseful and meticulously observed story of forbidden love — between a young Dutchman and a Japanese midwife, who is abducted by a mysterious group of monks — unfurls, musically, to become a meditation on East and West, superstition and science, tradition and change. (Random House, $26)

From: New York Times:

Congrats to our Friends in Deed~

Congratulations to Rosenberg Library’s Friends in Deed.  Nominees for this award are selected on the basis of their outstanding volunteer service to our cherished Rosenberg Library during the past year. 

 Honorees may choose a specific title and author or request library staff to select a book in a particular subject area.  Please contact Poom Taylor, Department Head in Technical Services, at or call her at (409) 763-8854, ext. 140 regarding your selection.

Please comment on blog and add initials to the title selections. I will be posting more sources for titles and subjects on this blog.

Former Book Selections


Campoy, F. Isabel

Tales our abuelitas told

Natl. Geographic

Natl. Geo. Enc. Of Animals
Rombauer, Irma von Starkloff

Joy of Cooking

May, Gerald G.
Wisdom of wilderness:…
Hanks, Reuel R.

Central Asia

Wilson, Derek


Bearss, Edwin G.

Fields of Honor

Kagan, Robert

Dangerous Nation

Burnett, John F.
Uncivilized Beasts..
Hornsfischer, James D.
Ship of ghosts: the story of the USS…

Kuskin, Karla

Moon, have you met my mother?

Ibadi, Shirin

Iran Awakening:…

Forster, Jane

Window gardens

Benjamin, Sandra

Sicily: 3000 years of human history

Balcombe, Jonathan

Pleasurable Kingdom

Scotti, R. A.


Watson, Peter

Medici Conspiracy

Carter, Jimmy

Palestine: Peace not apartheid

Montville, Leigh

Big Bam: Life & Times of Babe Ruth

Wynne, Frank

I Was Vermeer

Gottlieb, Roger S.

A Greener Faith

Barrett, Wayne

Grand Illusion

Kurtz, Michael L.

JFK Assassination debates:…

Iles, Greg

True evil

Palmer, Alan

The Baltic

Mark Twain: The complete interviews

Rich, Graham

All in one garden

Baquedano, Elizabeth

Aztec, Inca, & Maya

Lowell, Waverly B.

Architectural records: managing

Birdlife of Houston, Galveston, and the Upper Texas Coast

Gonzalez, Jovita

Life along the border

Camden, Laura L.

Mennonites in Texas

Payne, Richard

Texas Towns & the art of architecture

Kimmel, Jim

San Marcos: A River’s story

Best American Poetry 2006

Curley, Stephen

Aggies by the sea

Jordan, Chris

In Katrina’s Wake

Baggett, Nancy

All-American Cookie Book

Zimmerman, Jean

Women of the House

Sherr, Lynn

Outside the Box

King, Joyce

Forgotten Hurricane

Reynold, Barbara

Dante: the poet, the political thinker, the man

Baker James A., III

Work hard, study…and keep out of politics

Hibbert, Christopher

Disraeli: the Victorian Dandy who became Prime Minister

Barnes, Hugh

Stolen Prince

Houpt, Simon

Museum of the Missing

Kelly, Ian

Beau Brummell: The Ultimate man of style

Lovell, Julia

The Great Wall: China against the world

Richardson, Robert D.

William James: In the Maelstrom of American …

Malgieri, Nick

Perfect light desserts

Burger, Joanna

Birds: A Visual guide

Crosby, Molly Caldwell

The American Plague: …

Ferguson, Niall

War of the World

Feelings, Tom

Middle Passage:..