January 4, 2011

We're going to start out the new year with an exclusive Weekly Top 2 interview with none other than The Year 2011 herself!

KB: Congratulations on your appointment as The Year 2011 and Happy New Year!
The Year 2010: Happy New Year to you Kenny!
KB: It seems that yours will be an important annum as so many counterbalancing forces are at work. People are more mindful of community than ever, and yet there is also a rise in digital culture and technologies such as ebooks which push against traditional norms of community. Can you give us any insights into how these issues will play out during your term?
The Year 2010: Certainly. Have you considered that Years have been around for quite some time now?
KB: I hadn't thought of it that way before.
The Year 2010: Yes. Humanity, by imposing intervals in time, gave birth to years, a great gift to us, and The Advisory  Council Of Years is mindful of the well being of humanity for that cause. Were you aware that Years vary in opacity?
KB: I wasn't! What causes some Years to be less clear than others?
The Year 2010: Lack of historical integrity, confusion of the present and the past, a lack of grounding of history in the physical present. As Sidney Alexander has pointed out, until the Renaissance Orpheus was depicted as a medieval bard. The humanist enterprise to see classical Greeks as people living in a certain historical time and place forcefully separated the past and present, rescuing intellectual enterprise from a kind of temporal miasma. It is precisely this miasma, this unadulterated interpenetration of past and present, which makes the formlessness of digitization such a danger. In the face of the dissolving force of these "cloud" based aggregations of data masquerading as books many people will sense their danger, and be mindful of the power of physical connections, of touching a book from childhood and being transported back in time by that touch. Everyone needs those anchors. Some will continue to find them and create them, yet others will drift and be lost.
KB: Wow, thanks for that insight! Are you able to share any book industry news with us.
The Year 2010: Yes, two books which have been long awaited, and canceled repeatedly, will finally see print. They are  Patrick Rothfuss' second Kingkiller book, The Wise Man's Fear and Jean Auel's sixth Clan of the Cave Bear book, Land of the Painted cave.
KB: Huzzah! I can't wait for the new Rothfuss. Now I don't suppose you can give us a hint regarding the upcoming literary prizes for the year.
The Year 2010: Hmmmn. All right then. First off think for a moment about your Penguin Trade Rep Peter Giannoni.
KB: Peter eh, I've certainly bugged him enough times about the Rothfuss book delays.
The Year 2010: Yes well it may interest you to know that Peter is actually a character in the Kingkiller books who has taken refuge in our world.
KB:You don't say!
The Year 2010: I do say. And if you correctly identify which character he is, and ponder things from there, you will uncover the clue to that which you seek.
KB:Ah ha. Incredible. Thanks so much for taking time with us Year 2011.
The Year 2010: What have I if not time? It was my pleasure!

Here they are! Our weekly picks for the two best: two hardcover, two paperback, and two children's books. The very best new arrivals to leap out of the box and onto our shelves this week. Call or email us if you want more information on any of these titles, or to have us hold you a copy. Or stop in and check them out in person. We'd love to see you. Thanks as always for sharing your reading with us!


The Lake of Dreams

The Lake of Dreams
By Edwards, Kim
2011-01 - Viking Books
9780670022175 - Hardcover
List Price $26.95 - Your Price: $21.56

Available To Order

Big release here as Kim Harrison has released her first novel since Memory Keeper's Daughter. So what's at the bottom of The Lake of Dreams? Click on more for a review by Katherine Wyrick. ...More

Bird Cloud: A Memoir

Bird Cloud: A Memoir
By Proulx, Annie
2011-01 - Scribner Book Company
9780743288804 - Hardcover
List Price $26.00 - Your Price: $20.80

Available To Order

Annie Proulx has written her first major memoir here, an account of her relationship with Bird Cloud, the 640 acre homestead she moved to in Wyoming. The author sought to create a life in which habitat and home were intimately mingled, so it is no surprise that Bird Cloud reads part nature journal and part autobiography. ...More

Lover's Dictionary

Lover's Dictionary
By Levithan, David
2011-01 - Farrar Straus Giroux
9780374193683 - Hardcover
List Price $18.00 - Your Price: $14.40

Available To Order

Inventive author Levithan has upped the ante here, making a series of dictionary entries, in alphabetical order, which work as a narrative thread. The book has sufficient gravity ("I imagine that you saved my life. And then I wonder if I'm just imagining it.") to dispel ("It was the way you said, 'I have something to tell you.' I could feel the magic drain from the room.") any concerns that this experimental book is anything but a success. ...More

Checklist Manifesto

Checklist Manifesto
By Gawande, Atul
2011-01 - Picador USA
9780312430009 - Paperback   See Other Formats
List Price $15.00 - Your Price: $12.00

Available To Order

This is a big paperback release by the author of Complications, though coming out before Christmas should have been on its own checklist, considering its topic of avoidable failure. ...More

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