Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Odyssey Staff Picks for 2011, part three

In our ongoing series of year-end favorites, here are the rest of the Odyssey staff picks for best book of 2011:

Sydney Towne  picked Design*Sponge by Grace Bonney for her top book of 2011 because not only did she use it at home, she used the DIY sections to make her Christmas and Channukah presents this year. 

Joan says her pick is Harry Belafonte's  My Song, because it is a remarkable memoir of not only a talented entertainer, but a peace and social justice activist from the Civil Rights movement, through anti-apartheid, right up until today.

Marika McCoola gets to choose two since she's our children's buyer.  Her favorite picture book is The Sniffles for Bear by Bonny Becker because it is a hysterical story that is even better when it is read with all of the different voices.  Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta gets her nod for favorite young adult novel.  

And last but not least, Emily Crowe picks Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus because it is a rare book that allows you to believe in magic and makes you want to dye your hair red to commemorate the experience.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Odyssey Staff Favorites 2011, part deux

Continuing from yesterday, here are the #1 picks from this year's reading from more Odyssey booksellers!

Sheila Heady picks Listen to This by Alex Ross because it's a great collection of music writing and it will give you endless fun facts to drop into conversations. (She should know--she was a music major at UMass.)

Sarah Etelman selected a book by one of her favorite writers: Save Me by Lisa Scottoline because it's a breath-taking roller coaster ride of emotions and suspense.

 Sara Colglazier favorite was also a staff pick for many other Odyssey booksellers: The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson (it's also author Ann Patchett's favorite book of the year!) for Wilson's wonderful use of language and wacky imagination.

Chrysler Szarlan had a hard time deciding, but in the end there can be only one, and thus Geraldine Brooks receives top honors with Caleb's Crossing, the story of the first Native American to graduate from Harvard in 1665 because it is spectacularly imagined historical fiction.

Stay tuned for more year-end picks by the Odyssey staff!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Odyssey Staff Favorites of 2011: Part I

It's that time of year when everybody starts to compile "Best of 2011" lists, and the Odyssey Bookshop staff is no exception.  We've been talking about our favorite books all year long, but here are the books that have earned the #1 position in 2011 for each Odyssey bookseller:

Nieves Ayala: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline because it's one of the best adventure stories I've read in a long time--I didn't want to put it down AND I didn't want it to end, at the same time.

Diana Gurske: The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach because I put the book down months ago and I still think about the characters.

Laurel Rhame: State of Wonder by Ann Patchett because it's not often that your favorite book of the year and the best book of the year are the same book.

Elli Meeropol: Quiet Americans: Stories by Erika Dreifus because these seven stories are bighearted, understated, and full of surprises; they are about generosity and forgiveness as well as atrocity and survival.