As 2014 begins, mass media inundates readers and viewers with their top lists of things you might have missed and/or loved, too.
This year, we bring you a local perspective from four Sequim individuals and their picks. Most stuck with books to read in print or digitally with a few CDs and movies included for good measure.
Vickie Maples, owner Pacific Mist Books
Maples said the five best sellers at her story in 2013 are as follows:
• “Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown
• “I Could Pee on This: And Other Poems by Cats” by Francesco Marciuliano
• “The Orchardist” by Amanda Coplin
• “Sequim Yesterday” by Doug McInnes
• “Three Bears of the Pacific Northwest” by Marcia & Richard Lee Vaughan
Maples said she had a busy slate in 2013 and hopes to read the following this year (in no particular order):
• “Leni Rieffenstahl, A Memoir” (not a new book but Rieffenstahl was referenced frequently in “Boys in the Boat” so that intrigues me)
• “Thomas Jefferson, The Art of Power” by Jon Meachum
• “The End of Your Life Book Club” by Will Schwalbe
• “The Astronaut Wives Club” by Lily Koppel
• “Secret Keeper” by Kate Morton
• “David & Goliath” by Malcom Gladwell
• “Things that Matter” by Charles Krauthammer
• “Crash of 2016” by Thom Harmann
Paula Barnes, executive director of the North Olympic Library System:
• This past year I totally loved, laughed and wept over “We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves” by Karen Joy Fowler. This book is a total winner. Narrator Rosemary Cooke is a college student who reminisces about her idyllic childhood with her beloved twin sister, the jarring loss of that sister and the painful family disintegration that followed. This is an unforgettable book about a unique family that could be any family. Have I made myself clear? Read this book!
• “Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems” by Billy Collins. Yeah, he’s a two-time poet laureate, and yeah, his work regularly appears in stuffy literary magazines, but Billy Collins’ plain-language poetry is irresistible:
“But my heart is always propped up/in a field on its tripod/ready for the next arrow.”
Collins describes his poems as an eye chart – sharp and clear at the top, but you have to squint by the time you get to the bottom. And writer Alice Fulton says “Billy Collins puts the ‘fun’ back into profundity.”
• Before she became the hauntingly unhinged Miss Havisham in Dickens’ “Great Expectations,” she was Catherine, the doted-upon daughter of a wealthy brewery-owner. Ronald Frame’s “Havisham” is an absorbing prequel, explaining how her own tragic choices caused her to end up alone and bitter in Satis House. If you like Victorian novels, you’ll definitely like this one.
• “The Square” directed by Jehane Noujaim follows a small group of people and the solidarity they share while occupying Cairo’s Tahrir Square between the winter of 2011, when people gathered to demand the removal of Hosni Mubarak, and the summer of 2013, when the army ousted his successor, Mohamed Morsi. Their initial idealistic passion turns into confusion, disappointment and betrayal in this stunning behind-the-headlines film.
• “Book of Ages: The Life And Opinions of Jane Franklin” by Jill Lepore. This is the story of Jane Franklin Mecom, Benjamin Franklin’s favorite sister, told through the siblings’ letters to each other, and illuminating the startling contrast between the many opportunities and privileges afforded to men and the much more limited ones available to women in the Age of Enlightenment.
• “Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal” contains more weird human biology from gifted science writer Mary Roach.
• “The Jazz Age” by Bryan Ferry Orchestra. OK, I’m showing my age by giving a shout out to Bryan Ferry of the 1970’s band Roxy Music, but this wonderful CD re-recording of some of his best compositions in the style of 1920’s jazz (think “Great Gatsby”) is truly timeless.
John and Samantha Mangiameli, owners of The Good Book and Joyful Noise Music Center
• “FarmStrong: Live in Dungeness – The Summer Sessions (CD)” “It’s local and sounds organic,” John said.
• “The Kind of Western I’d Like to Read” (book series) by Dwight “Buc” Keene. “He tends to end everything on a cliffhanger, but I don’t mind,” John said.
• “Ender’s Game” (Book) by Orson Scott Card and the film of the same name.
“The book was definitely something else and the movie was just kind of OK,” John said. “That’s how it is most of the time with books and movies though.”
• “Divergent (first in a book series) Veronica Roth.
“It kept me on my toes and few books keep me on my toes,” Samantha said. “It’s a young adult book but I prefer that because there’s not as much sketchy stuff in it.”
• Gungor (CDs). “I’ve been listening a lot to his “Ghosts Upon the Earth” CD (2011),” John said. Gungor also released “I Am Mountain” in 2013.