December 23, 2015
You can read any of these in an evening, or less. They’ll stick in your memory for a long time though.
Suggested by Librarian Ann Thompson:
The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
A beautifully-written novella about the pleasure of reading with Bennett’s inimitable manner of sending up both royalty and commoners but especially commoners around royalty.
The End Of The Alphabet by C. S. Richardson
What would you do if you had only a month to live and you were deeply, hopelessly, in love with your spouse? Sorry, cue the tissue box.
Three Men In A Boat: to say nothing of the dog by Jerome K. Jerome
A classic of English humor unscathed by time.
December 22, 2015
The Staff’s theme this week are titles for busy folks without a lot of time to read. Today’s titles are provided by Librarian Amy Kilkenny.
I am looking forward to reading this character study describing the thoughts and emotions of a quiet woman who moves from Ireland to New York City.
You asked for more…5 Books To Get You Through A Long Winter, this time
by Library Staffer Valerie Grabek:
1)The Darkest Part of the Forest– Holly Black -Warm weather, love, a mystery, and a faerie prince keeps you enthralled in this modern fairy tale.
2) A Court of Thorns And Roses – Sarah J. Maas –
Lovers of Beauty and the Beast rejoice for an epic revision that makes you forget the world around you.
3) Raven Boys Series– Maggie Stievfater –
Steeped in Welsh lore and myths, the series really leaves the reader wondering what will happen next.
4) All Souls Trilogy– Deborah Harkness – So many layers are involved in this series for romance fanatics, supernatural lovers, and historical fiction readers; makes one forget about the raging blizzards!
5) Iron Druid Series– Kevin Hearne – A laugh out loud and inviting universe to escape to, and the best part is there are many in the series to get lost in.
January 7, 2015
If you haven’t heard about it yet, Mark Zuckerberg has started an online book group called A Year Of Books on Facebook as he attempts to read 2 books per month in 2015. We won’t be offended if you join up-we think it’s great but please let us know in the comments below if you’d like us to offer an online book group too.
Click here to see the A Year Of Books page.
If we could touch base with Mr. Zuckerberg, we’d probably ask for a list of the next few titles he’s going to read so we could get some extra copies in for our patrons.
January 11, 2012
The Costa Book Awards is one of the UK’s most prestigious and popular literary prizes and recognises some of the most enjoyable books of the year by writers based in the UK and Ireland.
It’s unique for having five categories: First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book.
The winner in each category receives £5,000, and then one of the five winning books is selected as the overall Costa Book of the Year, receiving a further £30,000, and making a total prize fund of £55,000. The Costa is the only prize which places children’s books alongside adult books in this way.
The Costa Book Awards started life in 1971 as the Whitbread Literary Awards. From 1985 they were known as the Whitbread Book Awards until 2006, when Costa Coffee took over ownership from Whitbread.
The 2011 Category winners were announced earlier this month. The five category winners, each of whom will receive £5,000, were selected from 568 entries. The five successful authors who will now compete for the 2011 Costa Book of the Year are:
Biography: Poet and debut biographer Matthew Hollis for his first work of prose, Now All Roads Leads to France: The Last Years of Edward Thomas.
Novel: Andrew Miller for his sixth novel, Pure.
First Novel: Debut novelist and former Great Ormond Street nurse, Christie Watson for Tiny Sunbirds Far Away.
Poetry: Carol Ann Duffy for The Bees, her first collection since being appointed Poet Laureate in 2009.
Children’s Book: Former opera singer and debut children’s writer, Moira Young for Blood Red Road, currently being adapted for film by Scott Free, Ridley Scott’s production company.
The winner, selected by a panel of judges chaired by Editor of the London Evening Standard, Geordie Greig and
comprising Hugh Dennis, Dervla Kirwan, Mary Nightingale, William Fiennes, Flora Fraser, Patrick Gale,
Jojo Moyes and Eleanor Updale, will be announced on Tuesday 24th January 2012.
Since the introduction of the Book of the Year award in 1985, it has been won nine times by a novel, four
times by a first novel, five times by a biography, seven times by a collection of poetry and once by a
children’s book. The 2010 Costa Book of the Year was Of Mutability by Jo Shapcott.
June 28, 2010
We’re at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. and having a great time. Without exception, the programs we’ve attended have been inspiring and full of good ideas to be put to use when we return to Essex. We had the opportunity to attend a publishing book blast on Friday afternoon and heard about a handful of favorites from their publishers. We especially enjoyed the presentation by Ina Stern from Algonquin Books for West Of Here by Jonathan Evison (not to be released until Feb. 2011–such a long time to wait!) A brief synopsis of the plot:
An epic western adventure wrapped in the history of one small town, from the rugged mudflats of the northwestern frontier, to a rusting strip mall cornucopia, West of Here is a conversation between two epochs, one rushing blindly toward the future, and the other struggling to undo the damage of the past.
Ina also spoke passionately about the upcoming release, certain to be a bestseller, by Brock Clarke who also wrote An Arsonist’s Guide To Writer’s Homes In New England. Exley (to be released in October, 2010), is a terrific follow-up for a writer who has been compared with John Irving and Richard Ford. The plot:
For nine-year-old Miller, who lives with his mother in Watertown, New York, life has become a struggle to make sense of his father’s disappearance, for which he blames himself. Then, when he becomes convinced that he has found his father lying comatose in the local VA hospital, a victim of the war in Iraq, Miller begins a search for the one person he believes can save him, the famously reclusive — and, unfortunately, dead — Frederick Exley, a Watertown native and the author of his father’s favorite book, the “fictional memoir” A Fan’s Notes. The story of Miller’s search, told by both Miller himself and his somewhat flaky therapist, ultimately becomes an exploration of the difference between what we believe to be real and what is in fact real, and how challenging it can be to reconcile the two.
We heard an eloquent and moving description of Sir Salman Rushdie’s forthcoming book, Luka And The Fire Of Life, a fairy tale, written for his son Milan, to be enjoyed by children and adults alike. After hearing Sir Salman himself speak on Saturday afternoon about the book, we’re convinced it’s going to become a well-loved classic. It’s a companion book to Haroun And The Sea Of Stories. You’ll want to go read that while you wait for the release of Luka (November, 2010). The plot:
The adventure begins one beautiful starry night in the land of Alifbay, where a terrible thing happens: Luka’s father, Rashid, the legendary storyteller of Kahani, falls suddenly and inexplicably into a sleep so deep that nothing and no one can rouse him. To save him from slipping away entirely, Luka must embark on a journey through the world of magic with his loyal companions, Bear the dog and Dog the bear, as they encounter a slew of fantastical creatures, strange allies, and challenging obstacles along the way—all in the hopes of stealing the Fire of Life, a seemingly impossible and exceedingly treacherous task.
June 14, 2010
The New Yorker editors have announced their picks of the best 20 writers under 40. This is the magazine’s first such list since 1999, when it identified several future literary successes including Junot Díaz and Jhumpa Lahiri. Stories by the authors will be featured in upcoming issues of the magazine. The list is evenly divided between women and men. Some titles of novels by the author follow his/her name.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, — Half Of A Yellow Sun; The Thing Around Your Neck
Chris Adrian, — The Children’s Hospital; Gob’s Grief
Daniel Alarcón, — Lost City Radio; The Secret Miracle: The Novelist’s Handbook
David Bezmozgis, — Natasha And Other Stories
Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, — Ms. Hempel Chronicles; Madeleine Is Sleeping
Joshua Ferris, — The Unnamed; Then We Came To The End
Jonathan Safran Foer, — Eating Animals; Everything Is Illuminated
Nell Freudenberger, — The Dissident; Lucky Girls
Rivka Galchen, — Atmospheric Disturbances
Nicole Krauss, — Great House (due out in October); The History Of Love
Krauss is married to another author on the list– Jonathan Safron Foer.
Yiyun Li, — Vagrants; A Thousand Years Of Good Prayers
Dinaw Mengestu, — How to Read The Air (due out in October); The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears
Philipp Meyer, — American Rust
C.E. Morgan, — All the Living
Tea Obreht, — her first novel is due out in 2011
ZZ Packer, — Drinking Coffee Elsewhere
Karen Russell, — St. Lucy’s Home For Girls Raised By Wolves
Salvatore Scibona, — The End
Gary Shteyngart, — Super Sad True Love Story (due out in July); The Russian Debutante’s Handbook; Absurdistan.
Wells Tower, — Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned
April 12, 2009
The 2009 Golden Kite Awards, sponsored by the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, is the only award for children’s book authors and artists judged by their peers. This year’s winners (for books published in 2008) are:
Nonfiction: A Life in the Wild: George Schaller’s Struggle to Save the Last Great Beasts by Pamela S. Turner
Nonfiction Honor Recipient: The Mysterious Universe: Supernovae, Dark Energy, And Black Holes by Ellen Jackson
Picture Book Text: A Visitor for Bear by Bonny Becker, illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton
Picture Book Text Honor Recipient: Before John Was A Jazz Giant by Carole Weatherford
Joe Nocera is The New York Times’ Talking Business columnist. He also writes a business-oriented blog at The Times called Executive Suite. A few years ago he asked his regular readers for suggestions for the best business fiction books. Unable to come up with a sufficient list of fiction, he turned his eye toward non-fiction books; narrative non-fiction, that is, and consulted a few other business-minded authorities for their advice. They agreed on the following list as the very best business books. If you have a title you feel has been unfairly excluded, you can let him know at the original blog post.
“Barbarians At The Gate by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar ~~ a rollicking account of KKR’s leveraged buyout of RJR Nabisco.
Liar’s Poker by Michael Lewis ~~ (even though I’ve since become convinced that the anecdote that gives the book its title never happened).
The Devil’s Candy by Julie Salamon ~~ (Greatest dissection of the movie business ever written.)
The Box by Marc Levinson ~~ (Hard to believe you can write a great book about the rise and importance of the shipping container, but he pulled it off.)
Indecent Exposure by David McClintick. (Published in 1982, it single-handedly created the business narrative genre).
The Go-Go Years by John Brooks ~~ (The best book by the most elegant writer to ever make business his subject.)
The Kingdom and the Power by Gay Talese ~~ (Yes, the subject is The New York Times, but how can you leave it off any list of great business books?)
Titan by Ron Chernow ~~ (Chernow’s magisterial biography of John D. Rockefeller.)
Do You Sincerely Want To Be Rich by Godfrey Hodgson, Bruce Page and Charles Raw ~~ (Hard to believe that this committee of authors could write a sensational narrative about the rise and fall of Bernard Cornfeld, but that they did.)
Disney War by James Stewart ~~ (”Best corporate psychoanalysis I’ve ever read,” says John Huey.)
The Informant by Kurt Eichenwald ~~ (Forget his Enron book, “Conspiracy of Fools.” This book, about the strange saga of Mark Whitacre and Archer Daniels Midland, is his masterpiece.)
Father, Son and Co.: My Life at IBM and Beyond by Thomas J. Watson and Peter Petre ~~ (The only great ghost-written C.E.O. autobiography ever written. No one else — not even Lee Iacocca or Jack Welch — even comes close.)
When Genius Failed by Roger Lowenstein ~~ (Another one of those “how-did-he-do-it?” books: this account of the fall of Long Term Capital Management, which by all rights should be a tough slog, is crackling good read.)
Greed and Glory on Wall Street by Ken Auletta ~~ (This book, about the crack up of Lehman Brothers, has a great cast of characters, starting with Steve Schwartzman.)
The Smartest Guys in the Room by Peter Elkind and Bethany McLean ~~ (O.K., O.K., they are former colleagues of mine, and I was deeply involved in editing this book — but I have to say, I think it turned out pretty well!)”