Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Janet’s Five January Dream Picks

Did you ever notice how some people complain no matter what the weather?  And, if it is a perfect blue sky, floating white clouds, light sweater day, their comment will be, “Won't last long in Philadelphia” or “Thunderstorms predicted for tomorrow”.  As for me, I have always thought it easier to warm up than to try to cool off especially the summer that I was nine months pregnant in August when several times a day I went outside and turned the hose on over my head.  Besides, true exhilaration is being caught at the top of the expert’s slope your first time skiing and finding out that all the beginner’s trails are closed due to ice conditions.  Enough about me... here are five wintry picks to help you dream away your frosty toes:

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost, illustrated by Susan Jeffers (Penguin, $16.99)

Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner (Chronicle, $16.99)

Art of the Snowflake by Kenneth Libbrecht (Voyageur Press, $30.00)

Flower Fairies of the Winter by Cicely Mary Baker (Penguin, $6.99)

Fraser's Penguins by Fen Montaigne (Henry Holt and Company, $26.00)

January 2012, Janet Elfant

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Bookstore Bestsellers 2011

Happy New Year! It's time for the annual list of Big Blue Marble bestsellers -- top 20 books for the past year and top 20 overall.

Top 20 Bestsellers at Big Blue Marble in 2011:

1) Just Kids by Patti Smith
2) The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (selected as companion book for the 2011 One Book, One Philadelphia program)
3) Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
4) Foremost Good Fortune by Susan Conley
5) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
6) The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
7) The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
8) Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
9) The First 1000 Days by Nikki McClure
10) The Help by Kathryn Stockett
11) The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan
12) Cleaning Nabokov's House by Leslie Daniels (onetime local author)
13) Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
14) Global Babies by the Global Fund for Children
15) The Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney
16) Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson
17) Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
18) Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman
19) Civilized World by Susi Wyss
And tied for spot 20 (really!):
a) Bossypants by Tina Fey (onetime local author)
b) Players by Sunn Byrd
c) State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
d) Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Top 20 Bestsellers at Big Blue Marble to Date:

1) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
2) Body Trace by D.H. Dublin (local author)
3) Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (local author)
4) Good Night Philadelphia by Adam Gamble and Cooper Kelly (local setting)
5) Philadelphia Chickens by Sandra Boynton (onetime local author)
6) The Daring Book for Girls by Miriam Peskowitz (local author) and Andrea Buchanan
7) The First 1000 Days by Nikki McClure
8) Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama
9) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
10) The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (selected as companion book for the 2011 One Book, One Philadelphia program)
11) Blood Poison by D.H. Dublin (local author)
12) Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathman
13) Flotsam by David Wiesner (local author)
14) Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson
15) The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
16) Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
17) Green Jobs Philly by Paul Glover (local author)
18) The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan
19) The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
And tied for spot 20:
a) The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch
b) Mount Airy by Elizabeth Jarvis (local author)