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year end lists

Dec 28 2012

The Year in Pictures

by Jimmy L

Sometimes it’s hard to look back and remember everything that happened in the past year. But The Guardian has posted 19 beautiful photographs that sum it up pretty nicely, from the athletic feats at the Olympics to the election night moments in November. And this one, taken in Hoboken, New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy wrought its destruction:

Floods in Hoboken

A similar collection of iconic 2012 photographs is also up at the World Press Photo site. Dedicated to understanding the world through photojournalism, the site holds a yearly contest in several different categories including General News, People, Sports, Daily Life, Portraits, and many more. The following photo was the winner in the Nature category, and shows a desperate polar bear who has climbed up on a cliff face, trying (unsuccessfully) to feed on eggs from the nests of guillemots, in late July.

Cliff-climbing polar bear attempting to eat seabird eggs

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Dec 21 2011

2011 Favorites

by Joseph M

As this will be my last post in 2011, I thought it would be appropriate to take a look back and mention some of the books that I enjoyed this year.

I may have mentioned before that I keep a book list, which tracks all the books I read over the course of a year.  I don’t include magazines, newspapers, or blogs, but I do count audiobooks and graphic novels.  After I finish each book I try to include a little blurb describing how I felt about the reading experience.  Looking back over my list for 2011, I’m a bit hard-pressed to decide on a single favorite; I read a lot of good stuff!  Even so, I’ll try to limit myself to just a handful of worthies to namedrop.

First off, I read a great short story collection entitled Delicate Edible Birds and Other Stories by Lauren Groff.  It was recommended by a friend and did not disappoint.  In fact, it is one of the best short story collections I’ve ever read by a single author.  As it happens, I’m currently reading another short story collection, Karen Russell’s St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, which is also quite good.

I read several great nonfiction works, but the one that really stands out is Just Kids, Patti Smith’s memoir about her time with Robert Mapplethorpe in New York City during the late 60s and early 70s.

I eagerly devoured A Dance With Dragons, the latest installment of George R. R. Martin’s masterful fantasy epic Song of Ice & Fire.  I can hardly wait for the next one!

Later in the year I finally took the advice of the many people who had been recommending it and read The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins’ gripping work about a dystopian future.  I really enjoyed it and will definitely be checking out the other two books in the trilogy.

Finally, I have to talk about the Scott Pilgrim series by Bryan Lee O’Malley, one of the best graphic novels I’ve read in a long time.  I saw the movie and really liked it, so I figured I would probably like the comic it was adapted from as well.  I was not wrong!  Luckily, DCPL has all six awesome volumes.

Was there a particular book, movie, or CD that you enjoyed this year which deserves mention?  I’ll happily take recommendations for 2012!

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