Adult Book News
Looking for a frightfully good book?
Ready for Halloween? If not, here are a few spooky reading suggestions to get you in the proper mood. BookPage's Book Case Blog has thoughtfully supplied its list, The Year's Best Halloween Reads, to help you summon the right sinister spirit. After sampling one of these, you may want to hide under the covers and sleep with the lights on. Check out the blog for more creepy titles.
The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley
When the remains of a young child are discovered on a stretch of the desolate Lancashire coastline known as the Loney, Tonto Smith is forced to confront the terrifying and mysterious events that occurred forty years earlier when he visited the place as a boy. At that time, his devoutly Catholic mother was determined to find healing for Hanny, his disabled older brother. And so the family embarked on an Easter pilgrimage to an ancient shrine. But not all of the locals were pleased to see visitors in the area. And when the two brothers found their lives entangling with a glamorous couple staying at a nearby house, they became involved in more troubling rites. "This eerily atmospheric and engrossing novel will captivate readers who like their fiction with a touch of the gothic." (Library Journal)
Mr. Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt
Ruth and Nat are orphans, packed into a house full of abandoned children run by a religious fanatic. To entertain their fellow orphans, they pretend to channel the spirits of all the dead parents, until overheard by a con man named Mr. Bell who persuades them to leave the orphanage to work as professional mediums. But during one of their seances, they dicover something darker. Decades later, Ruth's niece, Cora, finds herself accidentally pregnant. After years of absence, Aunt Ruth appears, mute and full of intention. She is on a mysterious mission, leading Cora on an odyssey across the entire state of New York on foot. Where is Ruth taking them? Where has she been? And who -- or what -- has she hidden in the woods at the end of the road? "Hints of what's in store for readers include a cult of Etherists, a noseless man, a pile of lost money, and a scar-like pattern of meteorite landings. This spellbinder is storytelling at its best." (Publishers Weekly)
My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix
A dark and heartwarming story of friendship and demonic possession. The year is 1988. High school sophomores Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fourth grade. But after an evening of skinny-dipping goes disastrously wrong, Gretchen begins to act...different. She's moody. She's irritable. And bizarre incidents keep happening whenever she's nearby. Abby's investigation leads her to some startling discoveries--and by the time their story reaches its terrifying conclusion, the fate of Abby and Gretchen will be determined by a single question: Is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil? "Hendrix (Horrorstör) brings his blend of dark humor and horror back in this perfect balance of teenage dread and supernatural thrills. Readers who lived through high school in the 1980s may dredge up old memories of big hair and stirrup pants, which will be frightening in itself." (Library Journal)
"You can breathe, you can blink, you can cry..."
Season 7 of the hit AMC drama about the zombie apocalypse and the ordeals of the human survivors starts Sunday, October 23. Last season ended with the ultimate cliff-hanger: one of our favorite characters was apparently killed by the new villain, Negan, wielding his signature barbed-wire-covered bat, Lucille. Clever camera angles obscured the victim, so viewers will have to tune in Sunday night at 9pm to find out who died. Speculation has been rampant, with handicappers figuring the odds on each character's life. The showrunners and cast, while keeping the victim's identity secret, promise a heartbreaking episode; executive producer Greg Nicotero's advice: "I recommend watching the episode with lots of Kleenex..."
Fans of the show know that the story is adapted from the hugely popular graphic novels of Robert Kirkman. What many may not know is that Kirkman, with co-author Jay Bonansinga, has written several adult science fiction novels set in the same zombified world, following different sets of survivors and their struggles. Bonansinga has continued the series, adding more titles, the most recent, Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead: Search and Destroy, was released on October 18.
More Books to Movies - October
Now (or soon) playing:
Jack Reacher: Never go Back/Never Go Back by Lee Child
A sequel to the 2012 film, Jack Reacher, starring Tom Cruise, this installment in the franchise is based on the 2013 book, Never Go Back, which takes Reacher, the very independent ex-military policeman, back to the headquarters of his old unit near Washington, D.C. to meet Major Susan Turner. When he arrives, he is hit with shocking news: Turner is under investigation for conspiracy and Reacher is facing arrest and forced re-enlistment. Obviously, Reacher must break out, spring Turner, and go on the run to clear both their names. "As usual, head-busting physicality and analytical problem solving play key roles in Reacher's fight to prove his innocence and expose his enemies. Manhunts on both coasts, a link to corruption in Afghanistan in the wake of the U.S. military drawdown, and the possibility for romance between Reacher and Turner make this entry one of the best in the series." (Publishers Weekly). The movie opens on October 21.
American Pastoral by Philip Roth
Roth's tale of a troubled father-daughter relationship, while set in the turbulent 1960's, still resonates today. Seymour "Swede" Levov - a legendary high school athlete, a devoted family man, a hard worker, the prosperous inheritor of his father's Newark glove factory - comes of age in thriving, triumphant postwar America. He marries a former beauty queen, has a child, and buys a house in the country. But everything he loves is lost when the country begins to run amok during the Vietnam War era. Race riots, Watergate, anti-war protests, and the radicalization of his daughter Merry, who plants a bomb that kills a man, all combine to destroy Swede's comfortable life and his belief in the American dream. The novel won the Pulitzer Prize in 1998 and is considered to be among the greatest works of modern American fiction. Actor Ewan McGregor directs and stars in the film, along with Jennifer Connelly and Dakota Fanning; it opens on October 21.
Inferno by Dan Brown
Another adventure in the career of Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon, hero of The Da Vinci Code, The Lost Symbol, and Angels and Demons, this time based on the first part of The Divine Comedy, the epic poem by Dante Alighieri. It starts when Langdon awakens in a hospital in the middle of the night. Disoriented and suffering from a head wound, he recalls nothing of the last thirty-six hours, including how he got there, or the origin of the macabre object that his doctors discover hidden in his belongings. He realizes that he is in possession of a series of disturbing codes created by a brilliant scientist, a genius whose obsession with the end of the world is matched only by his passion for Dante Alighieri's dark epic poem The Inferno. "Brown delivers an amazing and intense read that arguably is the best Langdon thriller to date. Everything a reader expects from Brown is here, plus a well-written thriller with jaw-dropping twists as well. A high demand for the works of Dante plus a surge in Italian tourism is sure to follow." (Library Journal). The movie stars Tom Hanks as the intrepid Langdon racing through the beautiful cities of Italy; it opens on October 27.
Librarian Faves for November 2016
The top ten books published this month that librarians across the country love
This monthly list is created by librarians and library staff to help connect readers to new books and authors. An online community of librarians vote each month on their favorite new books and the results are tallied. "The list is a straightforward calculation: whichever ten books get the most nominations go onto the monthly list. The book with the most nominations becomes the #1 Pick. It’s as simple as that." The list is not meant to be a "best" list - just a list of collective favorites - books librarians loved and want to share.
#1 for November:
Faithful by Alice Hoffman
Weaving a bit of her signature magic into the story of a young and lost girl, Hoffman creates Shelby Richmond, an ordinary high school senior until an extraordinary tragedy changes her fate. Her best friend's future is destroyed in an accident, while Shelby walks away with the burden of guilt. She spends the next decade struggling to find her way in the world. A fan of Chinese food, dogs, bookstores, and men she should stay away from, Shelby has to fight her way back to her own future. In New York City she finds a circle of lost and found souls--including an angel who's been watching over her ever since that fateful icy night. Slowly, she learns to forgive herself and heal. "Hoffman provides readers as well as her deeply wounded heroine some quirky human anchors to make her journey back to higher functionality more than bearable, even entertaining: e.g., an anonymous Samaritan, apparently male, who sends her hand-drawn postcards bearing get-well messages in the form of visual and verbal riddles.....A novel full of people—flawed, scarred, scared—discovering how to punish themselves less and connect with others more." (Kirkus Reviews)
Fantastical Fiction to TV
Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams
Readers familiar with Douglas Adams' popular and very funny sci-fi tale, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, will have some idea of the type of story to expect from his book Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, and the most recent BBC America television adaptation based on it. Earlier this year, BBC America ordered eight episodes for a series based on the characters in the sci-fi/mystery/detective novel published in 1987 and endorsed by Adams as "a thumping good detective-ghost-horror-who dunnit-time travel-romantic-musical-comedy-epic". The TV series deviates from the book's plot a bit by introducing washed-up rocker Todd Brotzman who stumbles upon the murder scene of a millionaire and meets Dirk Gently, an unconventional detective who believes in the interconnectedness of all things. Dirk is psychic and just knows they’re destined to untangle the peculiar events surrounding the mystery together, whether Todd likes it or not. A collection of wild and dangerous characters’ further infiltrate and complicate their world, each episode landing them a few random steps closer to uncovering the truth. And possibly the secret to the end of life on earth. As Dirk explains: everything is connected - a missing cat, corpses, cops, assassins, ghosts, Pararibulitis, vampires, a lottery ticket, a corgi - and an understanding of this fundamental interconnectedness is necessary to solve the whole crime. The show's first episode airs on October 22 at 9pm and stars Samuel Barnett as Dirk and Elijah Wood as Todd.
2016 Kirkus Prize Contenders
The literary journal, Kirkus Reviews, has announced this year's finalists for its book prizes in fiction, nonfiction and children's literature, worth about $50,000 each, which makes them among the most lucrative in the literary world. This is the third year for these prizes which were established to honor "the 81 years of discerning, thoughtful criticism Kirkus Reviews has contributed to both the publishing industry and readers at large." All books published from Nov. 1, 2015 to Oct. 31, 2016 that received a starred review in Kirkus - more than 1,000 titles - are eligible for consideration. The winners will be announced on November 3.
Finalists for the Fiction Prize:
Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett
Carousel Court by Joe McGinniss, Jr.
The Sport of Kings by C.E. Morgan
Barkskins by Annie Proulx
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
The answer, my friend...
Bob Dylan wins Nobel Prize
In an interesting development, singer/songwriter and American icon, Bob Dylan, has been named the winner of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature by the Swedish Academy. Dylan is the first musician to win the prize and the decision has been met with surprise by most, approval by many, and criticism from some. The choice of Dylan certainly broadens the conventional definition of what constitutes literature. As the New York Times coverage put it, " ... his selection on Thursday is perhaps the most radical choice in a history stretching back to 1901. In choosing a popular musician for the literary world’s highest honor, the Swedish Academy, which awards the prize, dramatically redefined the boundaries of literature, setting off a debate about whether song lyrics have the same artistic value as poetry or novels." Dylan is the first American to win the prize since 1993 when novelist Toni Morrison was chosen. Whatever one's views on the literary value of Dylan's work product, the selection of a well-known personality instead of a relatively obscure author is a change in direction for the Academy. Certainly no one can argue that Dylan is not a gifted and innovative writer, composer, and entertainer, one who revolutionized American popular music with complex lyrics and an idiosyncratic singing style. As the Academy's stated, "Dylan has the status of an icon. His influence on contemporary music is profound, and he is the object of a steady stream of secondary literature.”
Librarian by day...
The Hallmark Channel has adapted this series by Charlaine Harris (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood) about librarian/sleuth Aurora (Roe) Teagarden of Lawrenceton, Georgia as part of its Movies & Mysteries presentations, starting with the first novel, Real Murders. This Sunday, October 16, the fourth installment, The Julius House, based on the fourth novel of the nine book series, airs at 9pm. Having recently married Martin, a charismatic, rich, and somewhat secretive businessman, Roe is settling into the stately house he purchased as her wedding gift. The Julius House comes with a mysterious history: the last family to live there disappeared without a trace six years earlier. Of course, Roe is determined to discover what happened to them. But she finds her newlywed happiness threatened when the secrets she uncovers raise disturbing questions about Martin's past. "Suspense sprouts from tiny seeds planted early on, and the tensions of a new marriage and an old mystery provide much fertilizer. Good reading, augmented by solid characterization and occasional humor." (Library Journal)
Need to catch up? Hallmark will show the first three episodes, Real Murders, A Bone to Pick, and Three Bedrooms, One Corpse starting at 3pm Sunday, for your binge-watching pleasure.
“Don’t underestimate the Force.”
Once again, fully armed and operational, Star Wars Reads Day is happening at PDL! Plan to don your Jedi cloak, grab your lightsaber, and put it in hyperdrive as you follow the Force to a Library (not so) far, far away.
Read the Force:
The Star Wars franchise has generated thousands of related items, from books, movies, cartoons, video games, comics, costumes, action figures, Lego toys, mugs, and memorabilia etc. There's enough Star Wars fiction to keep the most devoted fans traveling throughout the galaxy for a long, long time.
While you're waiting to celebrate all things Star Wars, you can catch up on another of the new books in Lucasfilm's "Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens" publishing series. Book two in Chuck Wendig's trilogy, after last year's Star Wars Aftermath, is Star Wars Aftermath: Life Debt which follows some of our favorite characters in the aftermath of the destruction of the second Death Star and the defeat of the Emperor and Darth Vader. Han Solo and Chewbacca are on a mission to liberate the Wookiee's homeworld of Kashyyyk while, freedom fighter Norra Wexley and her band of Imperial hunters pursue the Empire's remaining leadership across the galaxy, bringing them to justice. Wexley has to abandon her official mission when she receives news that Chewie has been captured and Han has disappeared. Norra and her crew race toward the Millennium Falcon's last known location, but they can't anticipate the true depth of the danger that awaits them or the ruthlessness of the enemy drawing them into his crosshairs. Maybe, as Admiral Ackbar would say, " IT'S A TRAP!"
And then there were five...
2016 National Book Awards Finalists Announced
On October 6, The National Book Foundation released the shortlist of five finalists for this year's National Book Award for Fiction (winnowed from the longlist of ten). The winner will be announced on November 16.
Chris Bachelder, The Throwback Special
Paulette Jiles, News of the World
Karan Mahajan, The Association of Small Bombs
Colson Whitehead, The Underground Railroad
Jacqueline Woodson, Another Brooklyn