Mark Twain’s Autobiography, Volume I, is a big hit. I’ve sold ten copies so far, a bestseller for Bookends on Main. At 720 pages, it’s a big read which should take most people through the cabin fever days this winter. The book is physically big, about three inches thick, so you feel like you are getting your money’s worth. Granted, it’s not all Twain–there is a long introduction by the editor and many pages of notes at the end. Some readers will skip those but I’ve always been one who likes notes, often the interesting side comments that don’t quite fit into the book itself. Something that makes this long book an easy read is that it can be read a bit at a time because it is in a series of anecdotes, remembrances and the like.
Cleopatra is the second big book of the year. It’s not long, about a third the length of Twain’s Autobiography, but it’s a big book in terms of content. Cleopatra, an icon for a couple thousand years, has a complex story, and the author makes her live up to her reputation as one of the most fascinating and significant women in history.
Cleopatra and Collins’ Mockingjay have been designated the “Best of the Best” books of 2010. Mockingjay ends the Hunger Games trilogy that has an enormous audience from middle schoolers to middle-aged moms. These books are thrillers about a dystopian world with the battle between good and evil at their core. They are influenced by Classical mythology and Roman history, have many layers of meaning and can be read at many levels. I had the opportunity to hear Collins speak about her books.She impressed me with her personal brilliance and ability to turn that into brilliant books.
No one will be disappointed by taking up any of these three big books!