Best Books 2013: Memoir


By Therese Purcell Nielsen & Erin Shea Brosh, Allie. Hyperbole and a Half. Touchstone. ISBN 9781451666175. $17.99; ebk. ISBN 9781451666182. This illustrated memoir features 50 percent never-before-seen stories from Brosch’s popular blog of the same name. She writes about dogs, hot sauce, cake, and more in quirky, self-deprecating fashion. Her two-part blog post “Adventures in […]

Best Books 2013: Consumer Health


Bittman, Mark. VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 To Lose Weight and Restore Your Health…for Good. Clarkson Potter: Crown. ISBN 9780385344746. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780385344753. Upon being diagnosed as prediabetic and with pre–heart disease symptoms, New York Times food writer Bittman custom-made his own diet plan, becoming a part-time vegan. His regimen, which includes exercise, consists […]

Best Books 2013: Spirituality/Religion


Cool, Michel. Francis: A New World Pope. Eerdmans. ISBN 9780802871008. pap. $14. The book for Catholic and non-Catholic readers alike not only to learn about Jorge Maria Bergoglio, the Argentine-born Pope Francis, but to gain from Cool’s shrewd insights into vexing issues facing this new papacy and the church at large. Will Francis prove to […]

Best Books 2013: Sci-Tech


By Margaret Dominy Hirschfeld, Erik & others. The World’s Rarest Birds. Princeton Univ. (WildGuides). ISBN 9780691155968. $45. NAT HIST A landmark volume of unparalleled coverage, with the world’s endangered birds caught in the wild—photographically—thanks to a contest to secure the images, 977 of them. (Some birds were too rare to find, and an illustration must […]

Best Books 2013: Business


By Elizabeth Nelson Berger, Jonah. Contagious: Why Things Catch On. S. & S. ISBN 9781451686579. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781451686593. BUS Berger provides a look at why some things catch on (and others don’t) by examining the six principles—STEPPS—that make something really popular and using a series of stories from different industries, from restaurants to technology, […]

Best Books 2012: More of the Best


After LJ’s editors chose our Top Ten of the year, we still some had titles we felt strongly about. Here are 16 more can’t-miss books from 2012. Cain, Susan. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. Crown. ISBN 9780307352149. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780307452207. PSYCH This book makes me want to […]

Best Books 2012: Consumer Health

Science of Yoga

by Barbara Bibel Broad, William J. (text) & Bobby Clennell (illus.). The Science of Yoga: The Myths and the Rewards. S. & S. ISBN 9781451641424. $26; eISBN 9781451641448. Science writer and yoga practitioner Broad looks at the evidence surrounding the practice and explains what’s good, what’s false, and what can be dangerous about yoga. (LJ […]

Best Books 2012: Business

The Lost Bank

by Elizabeth Nelson Grind, Kirsten. The Lost Bank: The Story of Washington Mutual: The Biggest Bank Failure in American History. S. & S. ISBN 9781451617924. $27; eISBN 9781451617948. With the U.S. economy still struggling from the Great Recession, this story of the history, players, and failure of Washington Mutual (WaMu) is well timed and smartly […]

Best Books 2012: Poetry


Greenbaum, Jessica. The Two Yvonnes. Princeton Univ. (Series of Contemporary Poets). ISBN 9780691156620. $29.95; pap. ISBN 9780691156637. $12.95. While Greenbaum finds it “odd that just one key/ let me in my front door/ and into my life every day,” her fluidly, even propulsively written second collection is itself a splendid key to everyday experience. (LJ 10/1/12) […]

Best Books 2012: Spiritual Living

My Almost Certainly Real Imaginary Jesus

Abdul, Rauf F. Moving the Mountain: Beyond Ground Zero to a New Vision of Islam in America. Free Pr: S. & S. ISBN 9781451656008. $24; eISBN 9781451656022. Moving the Mountain belongs to the class of spirituality titles that are not only growthful for the individual soul but a necessity for the body politic. Abdul, named […]