BWW's TOP TEN BOOKS Of 2013

Just in time for Christmas, whether you're shopping online or in a brick-and-mortar bookstore - yes, some places still boast such things - we bring you Broadway World's book shopping list for everyone. It's the traditional Top Ten list, with just a few added books for those just-in-case-they-got-it-for-their-birthday gift recipients. Whether you order online or buy it printed on paper, or you get the e-book edition, these books should keep the season bright for the book lovers on your list.

Best Mystery: SPEAKING FROM AMONG THE BONES by Alan Bradley. The current installment of the delightful Flavia de Luce mysteries. The eleven-year-old answer to Miss Marple boasts her own chemistry laboratory, awful sisters, and a knack for irritating adults on a regular basis. That corpses show up for her to investigate is almost a bonus. This time, it's the church organist. On an ancient tomb. Wearing a gas mask. Mystery fans have never had it so good.

Best Young Adult Book: BETTER NATE THAN EVER by Tim Federle. Yes, it's more middle-grade than YA, but it's delightful. A wonderful story about being different, and that it just might be great. Nate, who lives in a small town, yearns to be on stage... on Broadway. When "E.T.: The Musical" issues a casting call, how does a guy who lives where show tunes aren't cool get a crack at an audition? While the plot seems simple, it's a tale about taking risks, getting a second chance, and dealing with the pains of growing up.

Best Political Book: COLLISION 2012 by Dan Balz and James Silberman. The man who brought you Collision: 2008 and his collaborator look at Obama, Romney, and America's political and cultural shifts since the last book. Strong research, strong opinions, and an important topic.

Best Science Fiction: THE SHINING GIRLS by Lauren Beukes. The South African science fiction author, winner of the 2011 Arthur C. Clarke Award, brings on a tale of time travel and other journeying. This is what science fiction is supposed to be.

Best Music Book (TIE): VERVE: THE SOUND OF AMERICA by Richard Havers, and BEDSIT DISCO QUEEN: HOW I GREW UP AND TRIED TO BECOME A POP STAR by Tracey Thorn. Both UK imprints, one about America's great jazz label, the other about the heyday of disco and the vagaries of the British pop scene. Thorn's book, lightweight as it sounds, is a critical darling in England, the US, and elsewhere - possibly better than her musical work she's half of Everything But the Girl and part of Marine Girls). Havers documents and illustrates the history of one of our finest record labels. Don't just buy these for gifts.




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Marakay Rogers America's most uncoordinated childhood ballet and tap student before discovering that her talents were music and writing, Marakay Rogers finally traded in her violin for law school when she realized that she might make more money in law than she did performing with the Potomac Symphony and in orchestra pits around the mid-Atlantic.

A graduate of Wilson College (PA) with additional studies in drama and literature from Open University (UK), Marakay is also a writer, film reviewer and interviewer for the Wilkes-Barre (PA) Independent Gazette, science-fiction publications, and other news outlets, and is listed in Marquis' "Who's Who in America". As of 2014, she serves as Vice-Chair of the Advisory Board of the Beaux Arts Society, Inc. of New York. Marakay is senior theatre critic for Central Pennsylvania and a senior editor for BWWBooksWorld as well as a classical music reviewer. In her free time, Marakay practices law and often gets it right.



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