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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Books Into Movies

As a film buff I look forward to the Academy Awards each year and I’ll definitely be settled in front of my TV for a couple of hours this Sunday. Also, as a book lover I’m always pleased when a good book has made it into film. This year four of the best picture nominees have books as their starting points. They include “True Grit” based on the Charles Portis novel of the same name; “The Social Network” based on The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich; “127 Hours” based on Between a Rock and a Hard Place by rock climber Aron Ralston; and “Winter’s Bone,” based on a novel Daniel Woodrell.

While my best picture favorite, “The King’s Speech,” is not based on a book, it’s screenwriter, David Seidler, has been nominated for best screenplay, a testament to the art of the well-written film.

Good books continue to make good movies. Here’s a few more that will be released or made into movies in 2011:

Water for Elephants by Sarah Gruen

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

One for the Money by Janet Evanovich

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

One Day by David Nicholls

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Best Books on George and Abe

With the Presidents Day holiday fast approaching (called George Washington’s Day in Virginia), history buffs may want to read more about the two Chief Executives born in February – George Washington (Feb. 22, 1732) and Abraham Lincoln (Feb. 12, 1809).

Here are a few recent books on our first president:

Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow

The Ascent of George Washington by John Ferling

The Unexpected George Washington by Harlow Unger

The Wall Street Journal recently offered a list of books on Lincoln in its “Five Best Books” column. Here is a sampling:

Honor’s Voice by Douglas Wilson

Lincoln’s Melancholy by Joshua Wolf Shenk

Herndon’s Lincoln by William Henry Herndon

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

eBook Bestseller Lists

It had to happen sooner or later. The New York Times will post its first weekly eBook bestseller list online this Friday and publish it in the print edition on Sunday, according to Library Journal (“New York Times Ready to Release Its First eBook Best Sellers List,” Feb. 7, 2011). No. 1 on the fiction list is Tick Tock by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand tops the nonfiction list.

The Times staff said the lists will be "compiled from weekly data from publishers, chain bookstores, independent booksellers and online retailers, among other sources." They will also use a Web-based software that tracks and aggregates sales data for publishers to validate data, the Library Journal reports.

While the merging of old and new media bestseller lists may be a first for the New York Times, Overdrive, which distributes eBooks to public libraries, including the Fairfax County Public Library, has been publishing its "Most Downloaded Books From the Library" list for more than a year. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo tops its Feb. 1 fiction list and George W. Bush’s Decision Points is no. 1 on the nonfiction list.

If you’ve have never borrowed an eBook or other eMedia from the library, you can find all the information you need on our Web site or pick up instructions at your local branch.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Social Media Sites for Book Lovers

Those of us who love to read know what a pleasure it is to find a good book and share it with relatives, friends, colleagues and others. I’ve just been browsing book blogs and several social media sites are mentioned frequently as favorite places to discuss reading favorites online. They include:

LibraryThing boasts 1.2 million members. LibraryThing helps you create a library-quality catalog of books (up to 200 are free): books you own, books you've read, books you'd like to read, books you've lent out ... whatever grouping you'd like.

Shelfari allows you to set up a virtual shelf of your favorite books, share with friends, see what the most popular books are and what are the top books in your favorite genre.

goodreads has such features as most books read this week, popular books published in January 2011, popular lists such as Best Books Ever and even quizzes such as Guess the First Sentence.

BookCrossing is a unique social networking site. In addition to a bookshelf where you can add books in any language, you can create a code and tag a physical book, place it anywhere and follow it as it is “captured” by other BookCrossing members. The San Francisco Chronicle referred to it as “a modern-day message in a bottle.”