Monday, January 9, 2012

Ten books on year-end "Top Ten" and "Best Of" lists!

The end of the year marks the moment when book reviewers closely scrutinize all the books they've reviewed in a year's span, seeking out those titles that rise to the top, that can be lauded "The Best."  We've been excitedly gathering the reviewers' notifications as they've come in over the past several weeks.  Now that 2011 is officially over, we are proud to announce that ten of our books have been honored among 2011's "Top Ten" and "Best Of" lists! 

IF JACK'S IN LOVE by Stephen Wetta

According to The Wall Street Journal, today is "a new Golden Age of crime fiction," a Golden Age which encompasses everything from detective novels to more literary crime novels.  Among the top ten 2011 titles the newspaper highlighted as perfect evidence of such an age is Stephen Wetta's debut novel.  The Wall Street Journal called IF JACK'S IN LOVE "funny and suspenseful, poignant and joyous--a one-of-a-kind work worthy of any Golden Age."  Link here.

IF JACK'S IN LOVE was also featured on in their "Top 10 Books of 2011" list. called IF JACK'S IN LOVE "a debut novel not to miss."  Link here.  The website praised the book glowingly: "IF JACK'S IN LOVE has that spark of a writer who fully invests himself and writes with a startlingly bittersweet humor, infusing his first novel with a tinge of something special...Wetta is an author to watch."

IF JACK'S IN LOVE published in September 2011 by Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam.

A DOUBLE LIFE by Lisa Catherine Harper

The National Book Critics Circle named A DOUBLE LIFE their #4 choice for the year's "Best of the Small Presses"!  The NBCC lauded Harper's memoir as "incredibly rich and enlightening...a clear example of the successful merging of memoir and scientific study."  They added, "[Harper] remains centered...with frequent moments of self-awareness and grace."  Link here.

The memoir came out in March 2011 from University of Nebraska Press.

Lisa Catherine Harper has appeared on another "Best Of" list as well.  Her essay "Poems from My Ex" was named the #5 most read article on  Link here.

THE LAST NUDE by Ellis Avery

This novel was only released yesterday, but it made Library Journal's 2011 list of top 25 books to look forward to in 2012.  In the Library Journal starred review, the novel was called "an evocative, heart-cutting work" and "absorbing, affecting, and agitating...highly recommended."  Link here.  THE LAST NUDE was also named a January 2012 Book Pick from Library Journal

Riverhead published THE LAST NUDE in January 2012.


Library Journal's "Best Of's" don't end with THE LAST NUDE!  The journal also released a list of "Best Books of 2011 in Historical Fiction," on which BEFORE VERSAILLES was featured.  "Lush prose illuminates one of the most powerful and glittering courts in European history," Library Journal wrote in a rave review.  Link here.

Additionally, The Houston Chronicle's book review blog, Bookish, named a list of top 2011 Texas book picks.  Prominent among them was Texan author Karleen Koen's BEFORE VERSAILLES.  Link here.

BEFORE VERSAILLES was released in June 2011 by Crown.


Marilyn Stasio, columnist for The New York Times Book Review, created a list of "Notable Crime Books for 2011."  Featured among these was British author C.J. Sansom's HEARTSTONE.  Link here.  In an earlier review, The New York Times Book Review said "HEARTSTONE may be the best novel in [Sansom's] richly entertaining and reassuringly scholarly series...History never seemed so real."

HEARSTONE appeared in January 2011 from Viking.

BECOMING FAULKNER by Philip Weinstein

This book was actually released in hardcover at the end of 2009 and will appear in paperback in 2012, but it was a big book under consideration in 2011 for the C. Hugh Holman Award.  And win the award it did!  The C. Hugh Holman Award is given by the Society for Southern Literature for the best and most significant book of Southern Literary Studies for the year.  More information about the award can be found here.

BECOMING FAULKNER will soon arrive in paperback, in April 2012, from Oxford University Press.


THE LAND OF PAINTED CAVES hit three top ten bestseller lists of the year!  It was #6 in hardcover fiction for the ABA's "Indie Bestsellers List of 2011," and it was #9 in fiction for the UK's The Sunday Times.  Also in the UK, The Guardian newspaper printed the top 2011 books listed on the Nielsen UK sales charts.  Here, THE LAND OF PAINTED CAVES appeared at #7 in hardcover fiction.

THE LAND OF PAINTED CAVES, the sixth book in Jean M. Auel's bestselling Earth's Children® series, came out in March 2011 from Crown.


Rachel Manwill at named five "Best Books of 2011," and ranking high on her list was THE COFFINS OF LITTLE HOPE.  She lauded the book as having "so many striking elements evocative, that [COFFINS] manages to be the rare book where both the forest AND the trees are perfect."  Link here.

This book has received outrageously phenomenal reviews over the course of the year.  The New York Times called "each of Schaffert's books...a quirky little gem," People praised COFFINS (in no less than a four stars review) as "memorably narrated" and "a witty...profound story," and The Washington Post deemed it "alluringly strange to the very last page."

THE COFFINS OF LITTLE HOPE was released in April 2011 by Unbridled Press.

A SEA IN FLAMES by Carl Safina

A SEA IN FLAMES was named by the Project on Government Oversight as one of "Ten Books That Matter" for 2011.  According to their website, the Project on Government Oversight is "a nonpartisan independent watchdog that champions good government reforms."  Link here.  Elsewhere, A SEA IN FLAMES has been praised as "an illuminating, monitory study" (Kirkus), full of "factual elegance" (The Washington Post), and "a revealing, thoughtful insightful work" (The New York Times Book Review, Editors' Choice).

Crown published A SEA IN FLAMES in April 2011. 


Another book by Carl Safina received acclaim in "Best Of" lists this past year: this time THE VIEW FROM LAZY POINT in Newsday's "Best Books of 2011" list.  In a separate review, Newsday said the following about the nonfiction work: "Before Carl Safina, environmentalists could often be heard wondering where the next Rachel Carson, Aldo Leopold, or Henry Beston might be hiding...[Safina writes] pure sensuous detail, seeing the natural world from a variety of angles."  Link here.

After reviewing this book, the New York Post called Safina "a Thoreau for the 21st century"; The New York Times featured THE VIEW FROM LAZY POINT on a full page feature, named it Editors' Choice, and remarked that "Safina's book soars"; and Huffington Post praised it as "striking," a book "about what it means to be human in a world where the rhythms of life have been thrown askew, indeed, burst asunder."

THE VIEW FROM LAZY POINT appeared in hardcover in January 2011 from Henry Holt, and it arrived in paperback this month from Picador.

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