All this week, Biff Bam Pop’s various writers will drop by with their thoughts on the best of the year when it comes to tv, music, movies, comics and more. Monday, we looked at what topped our tv list, Tuesday featured our musical faves, Wednesday was all about comics, Thursday looked at the best in video games, while Friday our writers went to the movies. Today, in our final instalment, we look back at some of the books that highlighted our shelves in 2011.
When it comes to non-fiction, no book could top the brilliant Steve Jobs biography. Written by Walter Issacson with the full cooperation of Jobs, the book delves deep into what drove the man who created and marketed some of the most revolutionary technology of our lifetime. Reading this book is discovering the genius of one of the 20th centuries most important figures. Hugely recommended to anyone who owns a Mac or “i” anything.
As for fiction, the book I enjoyed the most was our friend Jonathan Maberry’s Dead of Night. A zombie novel with heart and soul, that goes to great and entertaining lengths to make a undead apocalypse seem highly plausible. Solid horror. In the meantime, I’ve got Stephen Kings 11/22/63 sitting beside my bedtable, waiting to be read. Hello, 2012!
George R.R. Martin’s A Dance With Dragons – The wait for this fifth novel of seven was worth it. Although as you got to the end you knew you had another long wait ahead. While I enjoyed the book’s twists and turns, I couldn’t help but wonder how Martin was going to wrap up this epic in only two books.
Charlaine Harris’ Dead Reckoning – Guilty pleasure alert! I loathe admitting I read these books; they’re hardly classic literature. What the Sookie Stackhouse series of novels are, however, are terrifically fun and entertaining. Charlaine Harris has effectively re-created the world we live in with a supernatural twist. The Sookie Stackhouse series of books is for fans of fantasy and unpretentious fun. Of course, fans of the show True Blood will love the books as well. The show and novels go in different directions, giving you twice as many adventures with your favourite characters. Dead Reckoning is the 11th book in the series.
Best – Alan Moore: Storyteller – Gary Spencer Millidge’s detailed coffee table biography covers everything that matters to fans of the comic genre’s most controversial creator. It’s all there – details on Moore’s early years, tales about his decision to give writing a full-time try, his early successes, Watchmen, his struggles with publishers, his rejection of Hollywood, the musical career and embracing magic – all in loving detail with plenty of pretty pictures.
Perfect for up & coming writers and fans of the man and his work, Alan Moore: Storyteller is an essential part of any graphic novel lover’s library.
Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef – by Gabrielle Hamilton. I picked up this book pretty much because I’d read that Anthony Bourdain – someone who’s work I follow very closely – called it “The best memoir by a chef – ever.” It’s the quirky life story (so far) of how Gabrielle Hamilton went from unsupervised, druggy child of bohemian parents to head chef of acclaimed New York City restaurant Prune. Hamilton is a skilled writer and her descriptions of food, particularly when describing family trips to rural Italy make the book worth it’s price tag. Delicious!