Okay, gang, pay attention: In 2007, according to the National Association of Theatre Owners, the average price of a movie ticket was $6.88. Let's say it goes up to $7.00 in 2008. And say that you and your sweetie buy $10 of snacks (featuring your Uncle Stevie's famous ''heavy'' bag of popcorn). Even leaving out the babysitter and the cost of gas, that's $24 for two hours' entertainment. For that same $24 less, with a discount you can buy a new book and be entertained for days. Plus, your sweetie can read it when you're done (or first, if he or she's the grabby type). My point? Books are still the best bang for your entertainment buck, and 2008 was a great year for reading. Below are my personal best for the last 12 months. (And I've indicated the ones in paperback even cheaper!) My advice is get them all. Immediately.
Thrills, chills, narrative mastery -- our columnist's top picks to replace movie night