The start of the new year means another annual Small Pond feature: a look at my favorite books and movies from the previous year.
As always, we start with numbers. 2012 saw new highs for both books read (96) and movies seen (43). June and December tied for most books read, with each at 13. December was my movie-watching month at 11 movies.
In no particular order, here’s what I liked last year. Check out the links and think about adding these books and movies to your 2013 to-read and to-watch lists.
The Next Best Thing
$26.99, hardback, 400 pages (also available as an ebook – $12.99)
Release date: July 3, 2012
Fans of Jennifer Weiner won’t be disappointed by her new book, The Next Best Thing. And the book won’t disappoint readers intrigued by seeing Weiner’s name on bestseller lists or her other books displayed as staff picks at their local bookstores.
The story follows Ruthie Saunders as she brings her idea for a sitcom focusing on a young woman and her grandmother to life. The sitcom loosely follows Ruthie’s own story: a young woman trying to succeed in a male-dominated world while living with her grandmother. In real life, Ruthie was raised by her grandmother after her parents’ death. The two moved to Los Angeles so Ruthie could pursue her dream of writing for television. Continue reading
Star Trek FAQ: Everything Left to Know About the First Voyages of the Starship Enterprise
Hal Leonard Books
$19.99, paperback, 414 pages
Release date: June 12, 2012
Chances are, even if you’re not a fan of Star Trek (in any of its incarnations), you can reference Captain Kirk, “live long and prosper,” and “beam me up, Scottie” in conversation. Casual fans may remember the episode with the tribbles or visiting Vulcan. True fans know “beam me up, Scottie” was never uttered on screen.
Mark Clark’s Star Trek FAQ: Everything Left to Know About the Voyages of the First Starship Enterprise serves all three classes of fans. Continue reading
Between You and Me
Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
$25.00, hardback, 272 pages (also available as an ebook – $11.99)
Release date: June 12, 2012
In Between You and Me, Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus turn their focus from the world of New York nannies to the fast-paced world of Hollywood personal assistants. Logan Wade leaves her boring Wall Street job to work for her cousin, Kelsey. Will Logan maintain her own identity while navigating her new world of paparazzi, helicopter parents and family secrets? Continue reading
$25.95, hardback, 192 pages (also available as an ebook)
Release date: Jan. 19, 2012
Any introduction to writing or literature class will include the theory that most (if not all) books follow a pattern of escalating peaks that reach a climax before drifting off into a denouement. In a line graph, the crux of the book, regardless of the genre, would stand above everything else. The pattern of plot denotes a clear beginning, middle and end.
But what if a book chooses to disregard this tried-and-true formula? What if the book chops off the traditional beginning and end? What if the middle the book portrays would be more of a flat line in a traditional book’s graph?
If the book is The Odds by Stewart O’Nan, you’re in luck. Continue reading