Here are the best-sellers for the week that ended Sunday, Dec. 14, compiled from data from independent and chain bookstores, book wholesalers and independent distributors nationwide, powered by Nielsen BookScan (c) 2014, The Nielsen Co.
To my surprise, my list of favorite new books this year breaks down the same way my 2013 list did: six fiction, four nonfiction; eight books written by women, two by men. During the past few years, one of my goals has been to make sure at least half of the books I'm reviewing for the Journal Sentinel were written by women.
"There's no evidence at this stage that the great books in our culture can be produced through the Internet right now," says bestselling writer James Patterson. "If the equivalent of 'Ulysses' came along, out it would go on the Internet, it would get like about 12 Fs in a row - 'I couldn't get through the first page,' 'Couldn't get through the first chapter,' F-F-F-F-F, and 'Ulysses' would disappear."
What makes a great mystery? Some would argue that it's the plot, but while that is important, character triumphs. It doesn't matter if characters are likable as long as they are interesting. Characters must engage the reader, force us to care about what is happening to them and how that story will be resolved.
Everyone loves El Sistema, Venezuela's revolutionary music education program - which serves hundreds of thousands of students, many in the barrios - and produced Gustavo Dudamel. Its founder, Jose Antonio Abreu, has been heralded as a national treasure and living saint. The Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra, Sistema's star ensemble, is one of the world's most thrilling orchestras.
Here are the best-sellers for the week that ended Sunday, Dec. 7, compiled from data from independent and chain bookstores, book wholesalers and independent distributors nationwide, powered by Nielsen BookScan (c) 2014, The Nielsen Co.
It's that time of year again, when publishers bring out books that look good under the tree but maybe don't always read so well. The music world seems to produce more than its fair share of these gift doorstops. But here are a half-dozen we think your sister, brother, mother or Aunt Mabel just might like:
Art books offer just the sort of indulgence that makes for a great gift: They're so beautiful, yet people often hesitate to spend that kind of money on themselves. Here are a few standouts for your shopping list.