Inspired by all the “Best Books of 2010” lists, we decided to crunch some numbers ourselves, in particular for biographies. Below are the “best” biographies published in 2010 and ranked according to how often they were checked out from the SCPL during the last 12 months. We were a bit surprised by what made the list – are you?
At the top of the list is The Mystery of Lewis Carroll: Discovering the Whimsical, Thoughtful and Sometimes Lonely Man Who Created Alice in Wonderland by Jenny Woolf (B CARROLL). This is no doubt a result of the popularity of the Alice in Wonderland film by Tim Burton/Walt Disney Pictures which was released earlier this year. We often find spikes in circulation of books that are related what is showing at the theater – always a nice way to enrich the experience of a good movie.
It is less obvious to us why this next book is also at the top of the list: Three Chords for Beauty’s Sake: The Life of Artie Shaw by Tom Nolan (B SHAW). We know our collection of jazz and swing music CDs is well used, so perhaps many of our music lovers found this biography. It also received an in-depth review in The New York Times Sunday Book Review and Library Journal called it “a well-written, highly entertaining, and informative biography.”
These next five titles were all equally popular with patrons, which demonstrates the wide variety of reading interests our patrons enjoy!
Seven Dirty Words: The Life and Crimes of George Carlin by James Sullivan (B CARLIN)
Constantine: Roman Emperor, Christian Victor by Paul Stephenson (B CONSTANTINE)
Betsy Ross and the Making of America by Marla r. Miller (B ROSS)
Sophia Tolstoy: A Biography by Alexandra Popoff (B TOLSTAIA)
Tammy Wynette: Tragic Country Queen by Jimmy McDonough (B WYNETTE)