Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Read the Book First

In 2012 film adaptions of both bestsellers and classics will feature all-star casts and well-known directors, reports The Huffington Post ("The 10 Most Anticipated Book Adaptations of 2012," Jan. 21, 2012). Ralph Fiennes will star in “Great Expectations.” Keira Knightly will play Anna Karenina. Baz Luhrmann is directing “The Great Gatsby” in 3D with Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby, Toby McGuire as Nick and Carey Mulligan as Daisy. Director Ang Lee is at the helm for a 3D “Life of Pi.”

So, get ready for this year’s crop of literary flicks and read the books first. Here are a few more book-to-film titles in 2012:

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Cosmopolis by Don DeLillo

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Nordic Noir

Thanks to the popularity of Steig Larsson’s dark thrillers, Nordic noir is thriving, writes USA Today staffer Carol Memmott ("Chill with the Season's New Nordic Noir," Jan. 16, 2012). Appropriate to the season, she offers recommendations for several new thrillers set in wintry Scandinavian landscapes. Our staff offers a few older titles others to try.

1222: A Hanne Wilhelmsen Novel by Anne Holt

Cell 8 by Anders Roslund and Borge Hellstrom

Night Rounds: An Inspector Irene Huss Investigation by Helene Tursten (coming soon; place a hold)

The Leopard by Jo Nesbo

Missing by Karin Alvtegen

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

To shake the post-holiday blahs, libraries in Great Britain are promoting books to lift the spirits, reports The Guardian ("Glad Tidings of Mood-Boosting Reading," Jan. 10, 2012). According to The Reading Group, which organized the promotion, some research “shows reading improves mental well-being and reduces stress by over two-thirds.” Chosen by reading groups in the United Kingdom and endorsed by a British mental health professional, the entire list of recommendations is available at LibraryThing. In the meantime, here is a sampling:

The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde

The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford

Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani

Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Wednesday, January 04, 2012


It’s that time of year. Resolutions abound. We want to lose weight, exercise more, spend less and become better people in general. Recently, Stanford psychologist Kelly McGonigal, writing in The Huffington Post, offered some suggested books to help us achieve our 2012 goals. She believes that the best reading may not be in self-help books, but that “sometimes the most life-changing ideas and advice are found in the science section.” Scientific studies often offer “ah ha” moments for changing behaviors, McGonigal believes. Here are a few of her recommendations:

Looking for more help? Check out some of our staff choices on our website at Our Staff Recommends: Books for a New You.