24 May 2011

Armchair BEA: Best of 2011

While hundreds of librarians, book bloggers, and other bibliophiles are wandering the convention floor, those of us participating in ABEA are either hosting some special giveaways or taking a look at the Best of 2011. Unfortunately my first giveaway will not be ready until next month (knitters and readers take note!), so today I get to explore some of the best books that I have read or are expecting to read this year.

Some of my five-star-must-read titles this year include:

Sheepish: Two Women, Fifty Sheep and Enough Wool to Save the Planet by Catherine Friend. I loved this book just a smidge less than its predecesor, Hit By A Farm. Friend takes us to her Minnesota farm and all the exploits of rediscovering her love for it. Not only is it a great "farm tale", but a wonderful look at the passion, devotion and humor that a woman can bring into a life she wasn't expecting to be living. Plus all of us fiber fanatics will completely empathize with the author and her growing obsession with wool.

Shalador's Lady and Twilight's Dawn (Black Jewels series, #8 & #9) by Anne Bishop. One of my all-time favorite authors and series. Set in a magical world of women and men whose magic is based on their blood and their jewels, revolving around a blond haired Queen and Healer named Janelle - the living Myth. Bishop is a master (mistress?) at world-building, and beyond the nine actual books in this series, there are some short stories in anthologies floating out there. 

One title I am definitely looking forward to is Deadline (Newsflesh, #2) by Mira Grant. If you enjoy zombie stories, post-apocalyptic stories, or even sibling stories - GO. BUY. NOW! The first in this series, Feed, is available and this one is pre-ordered and waiting for Nook download. (I may have even hit the load button once or twice or thirty times *cough* to see if I could get hold of it.) I was completely sucked into Feed from the first few pages, and I am excited to see the continuation of this story.

If I could live my dream of being at BEA this year, I would be scoping out (and scooping up) some of these titles:

Modern Homestead: Grow, Raise, Create by Renee Wilkinson. I am all for the homesteading books and looking for new, or not so new, ways to make my life more sustainable.

Urban Farming: Sustainable Living in Your Backyard, in Your Community, and in the World by Thomas J. Fox. See above!

Season To Taste: How I Lost My Sense of Smell and Found My Way by Molly Birnbaum. I was fortunate to actually pick up a galley of this at the Massachusetts Library Association Conference. I know how much the sense of smell is an integral part of cooking, and the story of losing it while in culinary school is one I am interested in.

I am sure there are lots of titles I am missing, but discovering them is part of fun! What you are looking forward to this year?