2011 has not been kind to many of us. Most of us have lots jobs in the bookselling industry, and many have lost their homes. Many of us have had to supplement our meager incomes by raiding our retirement savings. Let's face it: 2011 sucked.
But not in the publishing industry. My fellow book bloggers and I have been extremely fortunate to have read new works by talented authors; some have deep backlists, others are new to the publishing game. I honestly don't care if an author is established. All I know is that we have been graced with some tremendous stories.
And the world will always need more stories.
I have searched websites and found hundreds of 'Top 100 Books of 2011' lists. When I open my newspaper (yes, a real newspaper) on the last day of a year, I always head for the 'Top' lists. Top movies, top music. But I am most eager to read reviewer's choices for Top Books. I don't always agree with their picks, but I respect the fact that any little mention of a book is invaluable for the industry and the author.
I have not listed my favorite books of 2011. Each story is so different that putting them on a list seems almost disrespectful. It reminds me of the Academy Awards; how can one pick a 'top' actor when each performance is so unique to its setting?
So, I say to you all, read on. Pick up a book and give it a chance. The author has spent countless hours composing a story that might reach the hardest of hearts. I, myself, have received books that I thought I might not like. But once I open the book and start reading, I am transported to a different place.
And that's what storytelling is all about. Transporting us. Enlightening us. And most of all, sharing our experience. No matter which way you read a book (i.e., digital or 'real'), no matter where you read a book (i.e., bath tub. My favorite place), just read.
When a book blogger suggests you try reading a book by a new author, just read.
Every writer got his/her start somewhere, and the new author you discover just might turn out to be your very favorite.
Happy New Year to all! Be safe, be healthy...and happy reading!