May 7, 2013
MWA is the premier organization for mystery and crime writers, professionals allied to the crime writing field, aspiring crime writers, and folks who just love to read crime fiction. Each Spring, Mystery Writers of America present the Edgar® Awards, widely acknowledged to be the most prestigious awards in the genre. Click here to see the nominees and winners in every category. Click on the book title to place a hold in the LION catalog.
Best Novel Winner:
Live by Night by Dennis Lehane
Best First Novel Winner:
The Expats by Chris Pavone
Best Fact Crime Winner:
Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America by Gilbert King
More Forensics and Fiction: Crime Writers’ Morbidly Curious Questions Expertly Answered by D.P. Lyle, MD
Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies by Ben Macintyre
The People Who Eat Darkness: The True Story of a Young Woman Who Vanished from the Streets of Tokyo – and the Evil that Swallowed Her Up by Richard Lloyd Parry
April 21, 2013
E.L. Konigsburg (Elaine Lobl), the children’s book author and illustrator passed away April 19th. She was one of only five authors to win two Newbery Medals. Her books From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth were published in 1967; the first won the Newbery Medal and the second took home a Newbery Honor, making Konigsburg the only author to win both in one year. 29 years later she won her second Newbery Medal with A View From Saturday.
“Many of Konigsburg’s stories feature childhood and adolescent struggles that are easy for school-age readers to understand. Often her characters are striving to find the answers to big questions that will help shape their identities. Many of them are based on her own experiences as a child, the observations she made of children while a teacher, and the experiences or observations of her children.” Eighth Book of Junior Authors and Illustrators
Her books are timeless as the characters and situations resonate with every generation of children. They offer terrific opportunities to read with your child and discuss the happenings of their day.
January 15, 2013
The National Book Critics Circle Awards are supported, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts. The Awards promote the finest books in 6 categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Memoir/Autobiography, Biography, and Criticism. Books may be by any author from any country; the only requirement is that they be published in the U.S. within the previous calendar year. The Awards will be announced on February 28th in New York.
This year’s finalists for Fiction:
HHhH by Laurent Binet
Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain
The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson
Magnificence by Lydia Millet
NW by Zadie Smith
Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power by Steve Coll
Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic by David Quammen
Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity by Andrew Solomon
The Distance Between Us by Reyna Grande
My Poets by Maureen N. McLane
House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East by Anthony Shadid
Swimming Studies by Leanne Shapton
In the House of the Interpreter by Ngugi wa Thiong’o
The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson by Robert A. Caro
All We Know: Three Lives by Lisa Cohen
Robert Duncan, The Ambassador from Venus: A Biography by Lisa Jarnot
January 9, 2013
We have posted on the Best Books of 2012; there are many lists that are produced each year by reputable editors and they make for very worthy reading. However, there are generally a few books that slip through the cracks and our conscience is nudging us to present at least a handful of those ‘overlooked’ books. To our astonishment, Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple, What Happened To Sophie Wilder by Christopher Beha and Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead all got overlooked by the Best Of’s list-makers.
The release of Semple’s book in August was a highly anticipated event within the library world and our copy has rarely sat on the shelf for more than a day since its arrival. It deserves a wider readership and perhaps will get one now that the film rights have been bought and the movie will be produced by Nina Jacobson (‘The Hunger Games’) and Megan Ellison (‘Zero Dark Thirty’). Though Beha’s and Shipstead’s books have received less fanfare, they should also merit readers’ attention.
The folks at Flavorwire have put together a list of 25 Notable Books Unfairly Overlooked by ‘The New York Times’ which they describe as “an alternative, or an addendum” to the Times’ list. Take a look and see which others will find their way to your to-be-read pile. Click on the book jacket to place a hold on the book.
December 3, 2012
We’re big fans of Andrew Solomon here at the Library. He has written articulately on disparate subjects for The New York Times, The New Yorker, Artforum and Travel And Leisure. His book, The Noonday Demon, won the 2001 National Book Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. It has provided solace and wisdom to many suffering from depression. Joyce Carol Oates in her review for The New York Times wrote: ”The Noonday Demon” is a considerable accomplishment. It is likely to provoke discussion and controversy, and its generous assortment of voices, from the pathological to the philosophical, makes for rich, variegated reading.” He is also an impassioned advocate of reading. His opinion in The New York Times, The Closing Of The American Book sets out some pretty good arguments for the benefits of reading for pleasure.
Solomon’s latest book– Far From The Tree, released in November, is an exploration of families with children with “horizontal identities”; a term Solomon uses for children who are very different from their parents. Author Julie Myerson writes in her review of the book in The New York Times Book Review: “It contains a spark of real surprise, and it’s probably testament to the warmth and kindness with which he’s explored the stories of so many others that you find yourself catching your breath, suddenly apprehensive for him, as his life appears poised to come undone. To reveal more would spoil something, but suffice it to say that you end this journey through difference and diversity with an even stronger conviction that life is endlessly, heart-stoppingly, fragile and unknowable.” We believe this latest book will be at least as well-received as The Noonday Demon, if not more so.
Note: The editors of The New York Times Book Review have selected Far From The Tree as one of its 10 Best Books of 2012.
December 1, 2012
Every year, editors at The New York Times Book Review select their choices for the year’s notable books in fiction, non-fiction and poetry. For many, this is what becomes the year’s reading list as it contains exceptional debuts, novels from tried-and-true authors and a reliable collection of intellectual curiosity-satisfying non-fiction. All of which are certain to be fodder for urbane cocktail party conversations in the years to come. What did they leave out, in your opinion?
November 28, 2012
Kirkus Reviews has posted their list of Best Fiction of 2012; 100 books that “encompass a range of categories. Debuts, story collections, thrillers, mysteries, translations, science fiction, fantasy, romance, historical fiction—there’s something for every taste.” You’ll find that this list varies from Amazon’s Best Books of 2012 and not only because the Kirkus list is all fiction. The Kirkus team definitely has an eye for fiction that may not garner the widest attention but is deserving of an appreciative reader. You can find the Kirkus list of titles in the Essex Library catalog here.
November 27, 2012
Every November, the Amazon Books editorial team announces their picks for the best 100 books of the year. This list contains adult fiction and non-fiction books with a few Young Adult fiction titles included. There aren’t any surprises here, we think. All of the titles will be familiar to those who watch weekly book reviews during the year. It is a good round-up of books worth reading if you’re looking for your next book. Most, if not all, may be found at the Essex Library. You can search for the title and place a hold in our catalog here.
October 2, 2012
The 2012 Thurber Prize for American Humor was awarded Monday, October 1 to Calvin Trillin for Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin: Forty Years of Funny Stuff. The award was presented at Caroline’s Comedy Club in New York City.
Thurber Prize judge Jennifer Crusie said in a statement: “Calvin Trillin has the comic equivalent of perfect pitch,”. “He addresses everything from sausage to politics with clarity, elegance and a fine dry wit, never missing a note.”
The 2011 Thurber Prize went to David Rakoff for Half Empty, his third collection of essays.
September 11, 2012
Earlier today the Shortlist of the Man Booker Prize nominees was announced. The winner will be announced on Tuesday, October 16th.
The shortlisted books are:
The Garden Of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng
Set during the Japanese occupation, The Garden of Evening Mists follows young law graduate, Yun Ling Teoh, as she seeks solace among the plantations of the Cameron Highlands. Here she discovers Yugiri, the only Japanese garden in Malaya, and its owner and creator, the secretive Aritomo. Aritomo agrees to accept Yun Ling as his apprentice “until the monsoon” so that she can design a garden in memorial to her sister. But over time the jungle starts to reveal secrets of its own… By the author of The Gift of Rain.
Swimming Home by Deborah Levy
Swimming Home explores the devastating effect that depression can have on apparently stable, well-turned-out people. Set in a summer villa, the story is tautly structured, taking place over a single week in which a group of beautiful, flawed tourists in the French Riviera come loose at the seams.
Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel
The year is 1535 and Thomas Cromwell, chief Minister to Henry VIII, must work both to please the king and keep the nation safe. Anne Boleyn, for whose sake Henry has broken with Rome and created his own church, has failed to do what she promised: bear a son to secure the Tudor line. As Henry develops a dangerous attraction to Wolf Hall’s Jane Seymour, Thomas must negotiate a ‘truth’ that will satisfy Henry and secure his own career. But neither minister nor king will emerge undamaged from the bloody theatre of Anne’s final days.
The Lighthouse by Alison Moore
Futh, middle-aged and recently separated, stands on the outer deck of a North Sea ferry. He is heading to Germany for a restorative walking holiday, yet he cannot forget his mother’s abandonment of him as a boy and his first trip to Germany with his newly single father. It was on this first trip that he neglected to do something, and this omission threatens to have devastating repercussions the second time around.
Umbrella by Will Self (to be released in the U.S. in Jan. 2013)
Umbrella sets out to understand the nature of the modern world by going back to the source – the industrial madness of World War One. Set across an entire century, Umbrella follows the complex story of Audrey Death, a feminist who falls victim to the encephalitis lethargica epidemic that rages across Europe, and Dr Zack Busner, who spends a summer waking the post-encephalitic patients under his care using a new and powerful drug.
Narcopolis by Jeet Thayll
Shuklaji Street, in late 1970s Old Bombay. In Rashid’s opium room the air is thick with voices and ghosts: Hindu, Muslim, Christian. Here, people say that you introduce only your worst enemy to opium…