Best of 2011: easy on the eyes

Our final list makes it easier for all of us to enjoy great books. Great titles in different formats. Enjoy!

For Readers of Large Print

33 Men: inside the miraculous survival and dramatic rescue of the Chilean miners, by Jonathan Franklin Based on the author’s interviews of families and workers, the book reads like a thriller, toggling between the dramatic chaos below ground and the desperate rescue efforts aboveground.

The Saturday big tent wedding party, by Alexander McCall-Smith Hoping to reclaim a van that was featured in a prophetic dream, Precious and Grace find themselves helping an apprentice of Phuti Radiphuti, investigating a cattle poisoning, and considering Grace’s possible marriage to Phuti.

Smokin’ Seventeen, by Janet Evanovich The bail bonds office has burned to the ground, and bodies are turning up in the empty construction lot. Stephanie Plum, bounty hunter, is working out of a motor home she shares with a dancing bear…and just when she decides it might be time to choose between the two men in her life, Morelli and Ranger, a third man from Stephanie’s past moves back to Trenton…

The Girls of Murder City: Fame, Lust and the Beautiful Killers who Inspired Chicago, by Douglas Perry Newspaperwomen Maurine Watkins made “Stylish Belva” Gaertner and “Beautiful Beulah” Annan—both of whom had murdered their lovers—the talk of the town. Soon more than a dozen women preened and strutted on “Murderesses’ Row” as they awaited trial.

Sing You Home, by Jodi Picoult When a stillborn baby ends Max and Zoe’s marriage, Max leaves Zoe and turns to drinking. Zoe marries Vanessa. Max finds help for his drinking problem through his brother’s church. When Vanessa offers to carry one of Zoe and Max’s fertilized embryos, Max’s new found religious fervor leads him to sue Zoe for custody.

Audio Books

State of Wonder, by Ann Patchett and read by Hope Davis Researcher Marina Singh journeys into the heart of the Amazonian delta to check on a field team that has been silent for two years—a dangerous assignment that forces Marina to confront the ghosts of her past.

The Hypnotist, by Lars Kepler and read by Mark Bramhall A triple homicide attracts the interest of Swedish Detective Inspector Joona Linna. The only surviving witness, a boy whose family was killed before his eyes, is in a state of shock. Desperate for information, Linna decides to use hypnotism, hoping to discover the killer through his eyes.

And Furthermore, by Judi Dench and read by Samantha Bond This book is much more than a career record. Her marriage to Michael Williams, who died in 2001, their daughter, and her impish sense of humour contribute vividly to her account of more than half a century as Britain’s best-loved actress.

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