Archive for December, 2012

The Way Back Machine – Best Sellers 1982

Pack up the Trans-Am, KITT, it’s time to drive back to 1982. Think really hard and you might remember:

  • In March, the winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture goes to Chariots of Fire (but doesn’t put an end to the millions of slo-mo re-enactments of people running to its theme song).
  • Prince William is born in June (and thirty years later, looks forward to the birth of his own first child).
  • The Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial is dedicated in November. There was much criticism when it was first revealed, but over time, it has become accepted as a fitting shrine to those who died during the conflict.

But you don’t have to stop there – remember the year that was 1982 by traveling back to the week of December 26 and reading one of the following New York Times Best Sellers. It might have been thirty years ago, but with these books, it could have been just yesterday…



1. Space – James A. Michener

2. 2010: Odyssey Two – Arthur C. Clarke

3. The Valley of Horses – Jean M. Auel

4. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial Storybook – William Kotzwinkle

5. Mistral’s Daughter – Judith Krantz

6. Foundation’s Edge – Isaac Asimov

7. Master of the Game – Sidney Sheldon

8. Life, the Universe and Everything – Douglas Adams

9. Different Seasons – Stephen King

10. Deadeye Dick – Kurt Vonnegut

11. Crossings – Danielle Steel

12. Life Sentences – Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey

13. Goodbye, Mickey Mouse – Len Deighton

14. Second Heaven – Judith Guest

15. The Parsifal Mosaic – Robert Ludlum



1. And More by Andy Rooney – Andrew A. Rooney

2. Jane Fonda’s Workout Book – Jane Fonda

3. Growing Up – Russell Baker

4. Living, Loving & Learning – Leo Buscaglia

5. Megatrends – John Naisbitt

6. A Light in the Attic – Shel Silverstein

7. Keeping Faith – Jimmy Carter

8. When Bad Things Happen to Good People – Harold S. Kushner

9. The Fall of Freddie the Leaf – Leo Buscaglia

10. Life Extension – Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw

11. The One Minute Manager – Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson

12. Atlantic High – William F. Buckley Jr

13. Having It All – Helen Gurley Brown

14. Jane Fonda’s Workout Book for Pregnancy, Birth and Recovery – Femmy Delyser

15. The Path to Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson – Robert Caro

A is for Apocalypse

So – have you picked out the books you want to read before the end of the world tomorrow? Since most of us know the chance of an apocalypse happening is virtually zero (I guess we can’t rule out everything), we’re putting off our end-time reading lists for now. But, just in case you find some extra time to read, check out one of these ten apocalyptic novels. Even if we won’t experience the real thing, we might as well read about it the safety of our bunkers… I mean living rooms!


Apocalypse 2012 – Gary Jennings

  • In ancient Mexico, the End-Time Codex–prophesizing the world’s end in 2012–is entombed. A young Aztec-Mayan slave tells its story in this sweeping historical thriller.

Ashes of the Earth: A Mystery of Post-Apocalyptic America – Eliot Pattison

  • In a post-apocalyptic world, Hadrian Boone, a fallen founder of the colony of Carthage, joins forces with a policewoman to investigate the camps of outcasts in the hopes of discovering who murdered the colony’s leading scientist.

Black Monday – R. Scott Reiss

  • In the wake of a globally disastrous plague involving a microbe that consumes oil while destroying all gas-operated machinery, the survival of the world’s governments and markets falls on the shoulders of a single individual.

The Children of Men – P.D. James

  • The year is 2012. The country is under the absolute rule of the Warden. Then by chance, Theo Faron meets a young woman who seeks to challenge the power of the Warden’s regime.

The Dog Stars – Peter Heller

  • Surviving a pandemic disease that has killed everyone he knows, a pilot establishes a shelter in an abandoned airport hangar before hearing a random radio transmission that compels him to risk his life to seek out other survivors.

Left Behind: A Novel of the Earth’s Last Days – Tim F. Lahaye and Jerry B. Jenkins

  • After millions of people around the world vanish in one moment, in what many claim to be the Rapture, Rayford Steele begins a search for the truth amidst global chaos.

One Second After – William R. Forstchen

  • One man struggles to save his family and his small North Carolina town after America loses a war, in one second, a war based upon an Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) weapon that will send America back to the Dark Ages.

Oryx and Crake – Margaret Atwood

  • A novel of the future explores a world that has been devastated by ecological and scientific disasters.

The Passage – Justin Cronin

  • The latest test subject in a covert government experiment, abandoned six-year-old Amy is rescued by an FBI agent who hides them in the Oregon hills, from which Amy emerges a century later to save the human race from a terrifying virus.

World Made by Hand – James Howard Kunstler

  • A powerful tale of love, loss, violence, and desperation, World Made by Hand is also lyrical and tender, a surprising story of a new America struggling to be born–a story more relevant now than ever.


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Staff Favorites 2012

It’s always fun to send out the memos to the staff for their favorite reads of the year – I never know what I’m going to get back. The great thing is that we are pretty diverse in our interests, so hopefully our patrons can always find something they like through one of our recommendations. For this year, may we suggest:


Published in 2012:

Beautiful Ruins – Jess Walter (Jennifer)

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity – Katherine Boo (Nirmala and Jennifer)

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – Deborah Moggach (Kate)

Betrayal – Danielle Steel (Whitney)

Between the Lines – Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer (Aarika)

Darth Vader and Son – Jeffrey Brown (Beth)

Edenbrooke – Julianne Donaldson (Amy)

Force of Nature – C.J. Box (Barbara)

Helen Keller in Love – Rosie Sultan (Susan)

The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln – Stephen L. Carter (Jennifer)

Ironskin – Tina Connoly (Jessica)

Judgment Call – J.A. Jance (Barbara)

Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot – Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard (Josie)

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened – Jenny Lawson (Havilah)

Monday Mornings – Sanjay Gupta (Nirmala)

No Easy Day: The Autobiography of a Navy SEAL – Mark Owen and Kevin Maurer (Adam)

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking – Susan Cain (Cody)

Tiger’s Destiny – Colleen Houck (Amy)

The Trail of the Spellmans – Lisa Lutz (Beth)

Wicked Business – Janet Evanovich (Kathleen)

Your Playlist Can Change Your Life – Galina Mindlin (Kay-Leigh)


Older Books:

365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Change My Life – John Kralik (Susan)

Along for the Ride – Sarah Dessen (Aaricka)

American Assassin – Vince Flynn (Barbara)

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America – Erik Larson (Beth)

The Eighty-Dollar Champion – Elizabeth Letts (Kate and Havilah)

Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope – Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly (Nirmala)

The Hero and the Crown – Robin McKinley (Jessica)

Hunger Games series – Suzanne Collins (Kate)

Junkyard Dogs – Craig Johnson (Barbara)

Life of Pi – Yann Martel (Adam)

Memory Wall – Anthony Doerr (Beth)

The Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times – Jennifer Worth (Kay-Leigh)

Please Look After Mom – Kyung-Suk Shin (Nirmala)

Riddle of the Wren – Charles de Lint (Kathleen)

Riding the Bus with My Sister: A True Life Journey – Rachel Simon (Susan)

Sanibel Flats (and the other Doc Ford novels) – Randy Wayne White (Kate)

Silver Phoenix – Cindy Pon (Whitney)

The Truth About Forever – Sarah Dessen (Amy)

Unbroken: A WWII Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption – Laura Hillenbrand (Havilah)

Wicked: The Life and Ties of the Wicked Witch of the West – Gregory Maguire (Cody)

The World of Downton Abbey – Jessica and Julian Fellowes (Amy)

Your Cat: The Owner’s Manual – Marty Becker (Josie)

Best Books of 2012

Can you believe it’s been another year? 2012 just seemed to fly by – which I suppose shouldn’t be a surprise since it’s been a windy year here in Southern Idaho.

Regardless, here’s our annual wrap-up of Best Books. We chose three lists for three different reasons: The New York Times (which has a literary bent), (with a look at some of the most popular reads), and Publishers Weekly (which pulls from many different genres). As with every year, there were a few titles that overlapped all three lists – the best of the best, you could say. They are listed below (with an * for the ones I enjoyed). With such great recommendations, you’re sure to enjoy one of them!



Beautiful Ruins – Jess Walter*

Bring up the Bodies – Hilary Mantel

Dear Life: Stories – Alice Munro

A Hologram for the King – Dave Eggers

The Round House – Louise Erdrich

This Is How You Lose Her – Junot Diaz

The Yellow Birds – Kevin Powers



Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity – Katherine Boo*

The Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956 – Anne Applebaum

People Who Eat Darkness: The True Story of a Young Woman Who Vanished from the Streets of Tokyo – And the Evil that Swallowed Her Up – Richard Lloyd Parry

Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis – Timothy Egan


Look for Staff Favorites next week!