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Take a moment and breathe in the essence of life. Sitting down or lounging (whichever you prefer) to read a book is one of life's greatest pleasures for those who lead hectic lives - like so many of us do. Regardless of whether you're reading from an e-reader or traditional paper, books still invoke strong reactions from their audience.
Books transform our world into much the same way snow globes do, encasing beauty, peril, adventure and so much more. They are the great common equalizer, while somehow allowing everyone to feel as if they have experienced something personal and unique. The words themselves do not change for each individual, however, their sweet intangible influences make a mockery of the simplicity of their letters.
No matter what genre you're looking to delve into, there are more than a few fantastic options that have been added to bookshelves (virtual or not) this past year. From serious works of art to the flirty delight of simple performances, 2011 brought a multitude of grand tales to experience. An Amazon.com promotion code can save you 20 percent discount on the order and assist in affording the book that may potentially be a favorite in years to come.
The list can go on and although you may disagree with the selections, here are the top rated books of the year according to genre.
Fiction 1Q84 is the next great investigation into the small minute details of life that Haruki Murakami transforms into actions greater and less than we ever think thought possible. The artful enveloping quality of his words spark both fear and indulgence. If 1Q84 makes it under the Christmas tree this year, count yourself more than a little lucky, because Murakami's book is getting mass recognition as one of the greatest literary pieces of art to be produced for some time.
"Murakami is like a magician who explains what he's doing as he performs the trick and still makes you believe he has supernatural powers . . . But while anyone can tell a story that resembles a dream, it's the rare artist, like this one, who can make us feel that we are dreaming it ourselves," wrote the New York Times.
Non fiction The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth: Popularity, Quirk Theory and Why Outsiders Thrive After High School by Alexandra Robbins delves into the cliques, groups and fringe societies commonly found in many American schools. Robbins digs into a high school to determine if the recent nerd-gone-cool craze is trickling down into schools and changing the societal groups.
Essentially, she expressesd the hope that the once-marginalized students who didn't fit the traditional molds of coolness have achieved comfortable statuses, even if they are not the golden athletic stars or perfect cheerleader idols. The dream is that these afflicted majority have found a home amongst a subset of socially acceptable young adults. However, as much as Robbins hopes the traditional groups of ostracized students would find tolerance in this new geek chic culture, as pop culture shows like The Big Bang Theory gain momentous following and support, it's not always the case.
Robbins writes in her novel, "It is unacceptable that the system we rely on to develop children into well-adjusted, learned, cultured adults allows drones to dominate and increasingly devalues freethinkers."
By tracking self-professed geeks, nerds, goths, emos, freaks, punks and weirdos over the course of one school year, Robbins shows readers that the torture is as virulent as ever. Instead of witnessing geek chic or the cease of constant bullying, Robbins finds that students are cracking down on those who do not fit the accepted mold more than ever before.
However, the book positively notes that your mother's advice on being nice to the geek because he might someday be a billionaire like Bill Gates, is holding true in more ways than one. The central message tells us that high school does end in many ways, and that our "increasingly homogenized society ultimately needs and welcomes the cafeteria fringe," according to the New York Times. Geek chic is in and probably will stay, in one way or another, as the traits often associated with outsider status, such as individuality, resilience, intelligence and a passion for something that isn't football, will ultimately lead to benefits as an adult.
Young adult Divergent, by Veronica Roth, is a complex, delving tale that stays genre specific by exploring the traditional characters who, no matter how outrageous or fantastical the situation, remain relatable to middle school students.
The main character engages both female and male readers by drawing on a neutral palette of experience, spicing it up with a rich plot that absorbs the reader into a fantasy experience.
"In a novel that takes on the problem of conformity and questions the certainty of narrow-minded ideologues, such circuit-breaking is nonetheless useful, forcing the reader to pause and think in the middle of that dauntless break for the plot’s conclusion," said the New York Times.
Adults looking to promote healthy reading habits in their pre-teens should consider looking into purchasing Roth's tale. You may watch as a love of fantasy and science fiction grows into a lifelong habit, regardless of what medium the future make take the book industry into.
Fantasy A Dance with Dragons, George R. R. Martin's book that claimed the title of Best Fantasy for 2011, strikes down the competition in true Westeros and Seven Kingdoms fashion. The intrigue and conflict marking the fictional kingdom bespeaks a hard life of plot twists and danger, drawing parallels between both the real and fictional worlds. It crosses genres and enthralls readers like a drug as they wait with baited breath for the next twist.
Martin's characters fight the battle waged through circumstance and their own making. In the power of the young, the in-charge, the old and the forces of plotting personalities, more than a few characters make their own beds and are forced to lie in it them. Others are merely pawns in the great Game of Thrones.
"With the arrival of A Dance With Dragons... it's high time we drove a stake through the heart of J. R. R. Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings. Like its predecessors, Dance has its share of flagons 'n' dragons, and swords 'n' sorcerers, but that doesn’t make Mr. Martin the American Tolkien, as some would have it. He’s much better than that," said the New York Times.
Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson, stormed the New York Times Bestseller list for weeks on end following the businessman's unfortunate demise. The biography is based on more than 40 interviews with Jobs, friends, family, business colleagues and competitors, all conducted over the course of two years. It is potentially the greatest record of one of America's most successful moguls who instilled a brand as unique as the man.
Isaacson threw his entire self into creating the written concentration of a piece that weaves the essence of Jobs with animated details about his life and work. The novel gives a penetrating review of the man and his creative passion for perfection, which bordered on obsessive compulsiveness as he handled every aspect of his business, including computers, smartphones, music players, tablets, publishing, graphics, branding and animated movies.
In less than a month, Steve Jobs became Amazon's top-selling book for 2011. Entrepreneurs, tech enthusiasts and more are all looking for the secret to his ferocious drive and unequivocal genius. Readers may find the secrets to building an international brand empire within the pages of Isaacson's investigation into the great man, however, they will they're more likely to find an inspiring tale of unmatched passion.
These are just a few of the grand literary additions to the publishing industry. Try a few, try none or try all of them. If cost is a concern, save a little cash and look for discounts from retailers, such as a Bookscloseouts.com promotion code. Books offer a unique experience of literary satisfaction and no one should be denied their influence. Turn off the television and stretch your brain while relaxing after completing the millions of responsibilities that life provides. There are so many books to chose from that you will never be disappointed for long!