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May 15, 2018 BOOKLIST
Find more Top of the List
Every January, Booklist publishes Editors’ Choice lists of the best books, databases, video/DVDs, and audiobooks of the past year. From these lists, we further select what we call the Top of the List: the single best title in eight categories—Adult Fiction, Adult Nonfiction, Youth Fiction, Youth Nonfiction, Youth Picture Book, Video, Audio, and Reference Source.
Too Much Happiness, by Alice Munro (Knopf)
“Munro’s famous evenhanded yet astonishingly acute psychological depictions of ordinary mothers, fathers, lovers, and neighbors—primarily natives of her native rural and small-town Ontario—display her supreme mastery of the short story form.” —Brad Hooper, Booklist, August 2009
Cheever, by Blake Bailey (Knopf)
“Perhaps a Cheever renaissance will result from this magnificently understanding and understandable biography based on copious research and destined to be the definitive life treatment for many years to come. . . . Riveting from page one, this is the literary biography of the season, and will be talked about for years to come.” —Brad Hooper, Booklist, November 1, 2008
The Storm in the Barn, by Matt Phelan (Candlewick)
“In this superb graphic-novel evocation of childhood’s yearning and triumphs, Phelan turns every panel of this little masterpiece into a spare and melancholy window into another era, capturing an unmistakable sense of time and place . . . even as he takes full, masterful advantage of the medium’s strengths by using fantasy elements to enrich the deep, genuine emotional content.” —Jesse Karp, Booklist, August 2009
You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?! by Jonah Winter and illustrated by André Carrilho (Random/Schwartz & Wade)
“Winter starts out this captivating mini bio nearly sputtering with incredulity . . . [and] proceeds to relate the story of arguably the greatest left-handed pitcher in baseball history as if he were an unnamed teammate along for the ride. . . . Carrilho’s digitally enhanced graphite artwork, which resembles highly expressionistic cartoons, emphasizes movement, particularly the violent-graceful curve of pitching, with touches of deep gold and swift strokes of red against Dodger blue.” —Ian Chipman, Booklist, December 15, 2008
Youth Picture Book
It’s a Secret! by John Burningham (Candlewick)
“In counterpoint to the simple, delightfully deadpan text is the wonderful whirl of Burningham’s fabulous art, featuring mixed-media illustrations that are among his best work. . . . The focus is on cats—some dressed in costume, others au naturel—all having fun. As will readers, who will love being allowed into this special, secret world.” —Ilene Cooper, Booklist, June 1 & 15, 2009
Louisa May Alcott: The Woman behind Little Women (Nancy Porter Productions)
“Louisa May Alcott . . . was every bit as spirited and opinionated as autobiographical character Jo in Little Women. . . . Using dialogue crafted from ‘writings and firsthand accounts,’ the film recounts Alcott’s poor but intellectually stimulating childhood (family friends included Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau), Civil War nurse duties, and unexpected success as a children’s author.” —Candace Smith, Booklist, November 15, 2009
Marcelo in the Real World, by Francisco Stork; read by Lincoln Hoppe (Listening Library)
“[Hoppe] skillfully captures the vocal cadence of an obsessive young man with pervasive and narrow interests in religion, horses, and music. He presents with flat yet increasingly intense tones the thoughts and words of this complex and bright teenager, who accepts challenges and learns to function.” —Lolly Gepson, Booklist, June 1 & 15, 2009
Grzimek’s Animal Life (Gale)
“It’s a definite pleasure to see this classic resource in its latest incarnation. The periodical articles, videos, and other added content enrich the Grzimek’s text, and the site can be used by researchers at many levels in high-school, public, and academic libraries. Among the planned enhancements are curriculum correlations and coverage of topics such as biomes and prehistoric animals.” —Mary Ellen Quinn, Booklist, December 15, 2009
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