January is rife with lists. A natural time of reflection, you’ll see lists from every source of the year’s top books, movies, restaurants, TV shows, athletes, albums... you name it. You'll even see our list, below, of the Best Books of 2017.
At RJ Julia, we judge our Best Books of the Year list very seriously. Harshly, if necessary, because this is for posterity. We want to be sure that we are truly giving you the best of the best from the year past.
Without further ado, please peruse below our Best Fiction, Non-Fiction, and Children’s Books of 2017. Questions and comments are encouraged, as long as they are passionate.
Sometimes I wish I could find a space in the world — somewhere between this moment and the next, a place where the outside noise and distraction and the inside, my brain noise, cease.
You or I might have thought this yearning is new, brought on by the onslaught of media and technology. Yet, in reading a new book, Silence In the Age of Noise, the author Erling Kagge quotes a 17th century philosopher Blaise Pascal: “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”
When I am here in Maine—where it is currently a tundra-like -2 degrees!—it is the enormity, proximity, and beauty of the big starry sky and the undulating, mysterious ocean that lead me to a state of silence and hence, a state of joy and wonder.
Kagge’s book, through a series of 33 brief observations and a scattering of mesmerizing photographs, reminds me that we can in fact create these moments of silence anywhere and anytime. Further, he reinforces the need we all have to experience and search for this silence.
This year has been one of chaos and noise at a level many of us have not ever experienced. If we are to preserve the kind of goodwill and civility that we presumably cherish, it will start from within us.
I do possess a general optimism and belief that kindness begets kindness, that compassion begets compassion, and this lovely little book can act as a way for us to begin the process of creating the space that allows kindness and compassion to flourish.
My wish for you in this new year is to find that space and silence that recreates a sense of joy.
We’ve all done it and we all regret it. I print a recipe from online and three frustrating hours later I realize that it is a UK recipe and the measurements are in metric. Still with no edible gingerbread, I try to find another recipe online, but wonder as to its origin. Then I call my mother who opens up one of her baking books.
With all the changes in the world coming thick and fast, there is still a huge need for good cookbooks in your personal library. They are full of reference, inspiration, and experience from a trusted source - all in one place.
R.J. Julia Booksellers News
Since the best cookbooks arrive in stores at this time of year, and include some of the most stunning photography in the book industry, they also make great gifts. This year’s holiday catalog selections cover a range of experience levels and interests; there is even a cheese book for people like me who barely qualify as “cooks” at all!
Celebrate your favorite teachers this holiday season!
We've chosen a few of our favorite things and packaged them with care. Now you can check "teacher gift" off your list!
Below are a few examples of our unique gift bundles which may include deliciously-scented Spiced Mug Mats, fun holiday pens, colorful Book Thongs to hold their place in any book, and a set of four holiday wreath coasters.
Each bundle comes with an RJ Julia Booksellers gift card, wrapped and ready to give!
From the American wolf and the wild Mustang to famous trees and gorgeous birds, several books in this year's holiday catalog highlight our country's love for the natural world.
Science, politics, history, culture, and poetry weave in and out of these nature books. The winter doldrums can be a tough time of year for the outdoors type; below you’ll find perfect gifts to keep loved ones excited for spring.
There's nothing worse than a naked coffee table (at least us booklovers think so), and fortunately more coffee table books have been released this year than any other in recent memory - including former White House photographer Pete Souza’s book Obama: An Intimate Portrait.
Below, you’ll find additional large format books perfect for your coffee table, all from our holiday catalog. Whether your interest is movies, animals, graphic novels, or The New York Times, these art books are sure to be revisited for years to come.
During the holiday season, we tend to celebrate the big things in our lives: family, friends, country, and home. When the American populace can seem divided, it is particularly important to focus on the things that bring us together. That is not to say that I don’t argue with my family and friends, because political and social “discussions” with my brother and uncle are as eagerly awaited as the stuffing.
Togetherness at Thanksgiving is about trust, respect, and recognizing the many bounties in our lives. We have a beautiful country that guarantees our freedoms as well as anywhere on earth. We have a home, if only a metaphoric one, held up not by concrete and wood, but the relationships that keep us safe and happy.
In this newsletter, you’ll find books that highlight an area where we should always be giving thanks, not just at the end of November.
Awards season is in full swing! On October 17th, George Saunders received the Man Booker Prize for his wildly inventive first novel Lincoln in the Bardo, becoming the second consecutive American to take home this award.
A few days earlier, Kazuo Ishiguro was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for his highly acclaimed body of work, which includes two of my most beloved favorites: The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go.
Of course, awards season wouldn’t be complete without the National Book Awards, the recipients of which will be announced on November 14th. Among the nominated authors are several familiar names, including Jennifer Egan, Jesmyn Ward, and David Grann, but we also want to share under-the-radar authors and awards season dark horses.
Peruse the books highlighted below and be sure to add one or two to your to-read pile.
October might be my favorite month of the year. Maybe I say that because I’m trying to deny the onset of winter as summer fades in the rearview mirror. Possibly it is the temperate weather that makes for great hikes, apple picking, and postseason baseball. But no. If you peer behind the area of my brain that enjoys leaves, pumpkins, and mulled cider, you will see a dark, sinister shadow, and the shambling, laughing, tooth-filled "monsters" that live there.
Since I was a child these monsters have hidden under my bed, in my closet, and, later in life, in the back seat of my car and down dark city alleys. Along with keeping me on my toes, these creatures have kept me warm because I also love them.
Before holiday cheer fills you up to your eye teeth, let your own little monster out for a bit to read a book. Every once in a while, we all need some magic, uncertainty, dread, or amazement to remind us that yes, there is a creature - friendly or not - that lives in our minds, and it can be as powerful as anything that walks the earth.