Check it out: 2013 offered a wealth of options for book lovers

By Jan Johnston, Columbian book reviewer

Published:

 
photoJan Johnston is the Collection Development Coordinator for the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District. Email her at readingforfun@fvrl.org.

The end of 2013 is upon us, and hoo-boy, what a year it has been!

Whether the topic was politics, health care or the latest music/movie/reality television star gone bad, this past year has had some, shall we say, misses.

But there was a lot of good stuff, too, and when it comes to books and reading, authors and publishers gave us another round of engaging titles. In fact, there are so many good books published every year that it would be impossible for me to write about all of them. I wish I could!

There just aren't enough weeks in the year to highlight all of the bibliographic treasures waiting to be read. So, instead of focusing on one title for this final column of 2013, I have decided to provide a brief list of adult and children's titles worth checking out from the library. I suppose a librarian shouldn't have favorites -- after all, librarians wholeheartedly support a reader's freedom of choice -- but if you'll indulge me, I am also including my very favorite titles from the 2013 Check it Out columns.

Now that Christmas has passed, and there is a bit of time before 2014 begins, perhaps a visit to the library (or at least a visit to the library's website and online catalog, www.fvrl.org) will round out your end-of-the-year activities.

Adult Nonfiction Treats

"A Curious Man: The Strange and Brilliant Life of Robert 'Believe it or Not' Ripley" by Neal Thompson.

"The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light" by Paul Bogard.

"Gardening in Miniature: Create Your Own Tiny Living World" by Janit Calvo.

"How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You" by Matthew Inman.

"Lonely Planet's Beautiful World" edited by Lonely Planet Publications.

"Maurice Sendak: A Celebration of the Artist and His Work" by Justin G. Schiller.

Charming Reads for Wee Ones

"Daredevil: The Daring Life of Betty Skelton" by Meghan McCarthy.

"The Day the Crayons Quit" by Drew Daywalt.

"If You Want to See a Whale" by Julie Fogliano.

"Mr. Tiger Goes Wild" by Peter Brown.

"Tap the Magic Tree" by Christie Matheson.

"Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great" by Bob Shea.

My 2013 Check It Out Favorites

"Charley Harper: An Illustrated Life" by Charley Harper.

"Crankee Doodle" by Tom Angleberger.

"A Little Book of Sloth" by Lucy Cooke.

"Maddie on Things: A Super Serious Project About Dogs and Physics" by Theron Humphrey.

"Mr. Wuffles!" by David Wiesner.

"Scripts: Elegant Lettering from Design's Golden Age" by Steven Heller and Louise Fili.

Farewell, 2013! And here's to all of the bibliographic gems waiting to be read in 2014!