Saturday, December 30, 2006

Ricklibrarian's Books That Matter 2006 and Other Awards

As the year ends, many newspapers, magazines, journals, and other media publish their best books lists (Seldovia Public Library links to lists). As I read them, I add books to my library's shopping carts and to my personal wish-to-read list. Some of these are books that I had not noticed when first published. Others are books that I had passed over but now reconsider. I enjoy and benefit much from the end-of-the-year lists.

As you might guess, I am now presenting my own best of 2006 list. I have tried to think of a clever award name (like the Ricky), but that seems a little too silly. So I am going to call them "Books That Matter." Some, but not all, do tend toward the serious side. I am also adding some music, film, library, and web awards, all chosen through personal deliberation.

Not every item chosen is actually from 2006. My encounter with each was in 2006.


Dead Beat: Lost Souls, Lucky Stiffs, and the Perverse Pleasures of Obituaries by Marilyn Johnson

Enrique's Journey: The Story of a Boy's Dangerous Odyssey to Reunite with His Mother by Sonia Nazario

Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade by Ann Fessler

Human Cargo: A Journey Among Refugees by Caroline Moorehead

Impresario: The Life and Times of Ed Sullivan by James Maguire

White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good by William Easterly

Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl by Timothy Egan


Truck: A Love Story by Michael Perry


Beasts of No Nation by Uzodinma Iweala

Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile by Verlyn Klinkenborg

Digging to America by Anne Tyler

Short Stories

Brief Encounters with Che Guevara by Ben Fountain

Man Who Could Fly and Other Stories by Rudolfo Anaya

Stick Out Your Tongue by Jian Ma

Graphic Novel

Mom's Cancer by Brian Fies


Blue Front by Martha Collins

Here, Bullet by Brian Turner

Talking Horse and the Sad Girl and the Village Under the Sea by Mark Haddon

Audio Books

Guitar: An American Life by Tim Brookes

Ordinary Man: An Autobiography by Paul Rusesabagina

Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different by Gordon S. Wood

Music CDs

Just My Heart for You
by Curtis and Loretta

We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Session by Bruce Springsteen




The Queen

A Prairie Home Companion

Little Miss Sunshine

Book for Professional Librarians

Whole Library Handbook 4

Individual Book Review

Nonfiction Readers Anonymous

Library Book Review

Reader's Club at the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County

Google Tool of the Year

Google Custom Search Engine (which runs LISZEN and Librarian's Book Revoogle)

Library Science Search Engine


Library Conference of the Year

American Library Association in New Orleans (this links to a list of bloggers' reports)

Library Science Article

Collaboration as the Norm in Reference Work by Jeffrey Pomerantz

I look forward to 2007. There will more good reading, listening, and viewing. Have a Happy New Year!

Update. Thanks to for the Seldovia link.


David Rothman said...

Hi Rick-

Thanks for mentioning LibWorm! I should mention, though, that LibWorm does NOT use a Google Co-op CSE. Even if they had been availble when we started building LibWorm, they can't do the things we wanted LibWorm to do.

Instead, we selected, categorized, and added about 1500 feed URLs (thus far) to LibWorm. LibWorm then checks and indexes these multiple times daily and makes their contents available for searching. Among the benefits of this is that LibWorm search results can be sorted/ordered by date, and can be outputted via RSS. Neither of these things can be accomplished with a Google Co-Op CSE. (It also allows LibWorm to do fun things like make tag clouds that allow for search and feed creation by folksonomic tags.)


-David Rothman
Co-creator, LibWorm

ricklibrarian said...


Thanks for the info. I am changing the listings.

Nonanon said...

Hello, Rick,
I was just busily thinking about how I was going to get my hands on a copy of the Library Handbook 4 when I scrolled down and saw "Nonfiction Readers Anonymous" on your list. I literally could not be any more honored; let's face it, a lot of titles that have showed up on my blog I found on your blog first, and I love the way you try out and discuss new technologies. Thanks again for your writing, and here's to a new year filled with even more and better books, blogs, and library news of all kinds.

Nonanon said...

Forgot to add, pretty excited to see Michael Perry and "Mom's Cancer" on your list too.

laura said...

Great list--thanks! And I like your new look (which may not be that new, but I haven't looked at the blog except through Bloglines lately).

Happy New Year!