Adult Book News
Looking for a frightfully good book?
BookPage's Book Case Blog contributor Lily lists the Creepiest Fiction of the Year - guaranteed to get you in the mood for Halloween. After sampling one of these, you may want to sleep with the lights on! Check out the blog for more titles.
Rooms by Lauren Oilver
Estranged patriarch Richard Walker has died, leaving behind a country house full of rooms packed with the detritus of a lifetime. His alienated family have arrived for their inheritance. But the Walkers are not alone. Alice and Sandra, two long-dead and restless ghosts, linger within the house's claustrophobic walls, bound eternally to its physical structure. Jostling for space and memory, they observe the family. Though their voices cannot be heard, Alice and Sandra speak through the house itself--in the hiss of the radiator, a creak in the stairs, the dimming of a lightbulb. Elegantly constructed and brilliantly paced, Rooms is an enticing and imaginative ghost story and a searing family drama that is as haunting as it is resonant.
The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon
West Hall, Vermont, has always been a town of strange disappearances and old legends. The most mysterious is that of Sara Harrison Shea, who, in 1908, was found dead in the field behind her house just months after the tragic death of her daughter, Gertie. Now, in present day, nineteen-year-old Ruthie lives in Sara's farmhouse with her mother, Alice, and her younger sister, Fawn. Alice has always insisted that they live off the grid, a decision that suddenly proves perilous when Ruthie wakes up one morning to find that Alice has vanished without a trace. Searching for clues, she is startled to find a copy of Sara Harrison Shea's diary hidden beneath the floorboards of her mother's bedroom. As Ruthie gets sucked deeper into the mystery of Sara's fate, she discovers that she's not the only person desperately looking for someone that they've lost.
Bird Box by Josh Malerman
Something is out there . . . something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from. Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remain, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, surviving by living in perpetual darkness with blacked-out windows, blindfolding themselves when they venture outside, Malorie dreams of fleeing to a place where her family might be safe. But the journey ahead will be terrifying. And something is following them.
The Quick by Lauren Owen
Victorian London 1892: James Norbury, a shy would-be poet newly down from Oxford, finds lodging with a charming young aristocrat. Through this new friendship, he is introduced to the drawing-rooms of high society and finds love. Then, suddenly, he vanishes without a trace. Alarmed, his sister, Charlotte, sets out from their crumbling country estate determined to find him. In the sinister, labyrinthine London that greets her, she uncovers a hidden, supernatural city populated by unforgettable characters. But the answer to her brother's disappearance ultimately lies within the doors of the exclusive, secretive Aegolius Club, whose predatory members include the most ambitious, and most bloodthirsty, men in England. (You guessed it, vampires.)
New Literary Prize
Lily King wins first-ever Kirkus Fiction Prize
Kirkus, the publisher of an influential reviewing journal, has entered the literary prize arena this year by establishing a new $50,000 prize for fiction. All books published from Nov. 1, 2013 to Oct. 31, 2014 that received a starred review in Kirkus — more than 1,000 titles — were eligible for consideration. At a reception yesterday in Austin, Texas, author Lily King was declared the winner for her book, Euphoria, a historical novel based on an incident in the life of anthropologist Margaret Mead. Euphoria was released in June to positive reivews. Kirkus fiction editor Laurie Muchnik stated that the panel of judges "... wanted to find a book that they could recommend to everybody they knew, one they all loved and that they wanted to press on people.” King's book may also become a movie, the film rights have been acquired and Michael Apted is set to direct.
Adapted for Film
Now (or soon) playing:
The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks
Though they were from opposite sides of the tracks, their love for one another seemed to defy the realities of life in the small town of Oriental, North Carolina. But as the summer of their senior year came to a close, unforeseen events would tear the young couple apart, setting them on radically divergent paths. Now, twenty-five years later, Amanda and Dawson are summoned back to Oriental for the funeral of Tuck Hostetler, the mentor who once gave shelter to their high school romance. Neither has lived the life they imagined. The movie, directed by Michael Hoffman, stars James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan as the grown-up lovers and opened on October 17.
Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James
A PBS/Masterpiece mini-series adaptation of P.D. James' homage to Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice, the story begins six years after the marriage of Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet as they are preparing to host a ball at their Pemberley estate. The unannounced arrival of Elizabeth's wayward sister Lydia, however, brings an abrupt halt to the proceedings when she stumbles out of her coach screaming that her husband Wickham has been murdered. The woods are searched and a body is found (this is P.D. James, after all) but it is not Mr. Wickham. The first episodes airs on October 26 and combines the splendor and emotion of a period drama with the intrigue of a murder mystery.
Before I Go to Sleep by S. J Watson
As the result of a mysterious accident, Christine's memory wipes itself clean every night when she goes to sleep. She wakes up each morning not knowing any of the details of her life: where she lives, what she does, or that she's married to Ben. With the encouragement of her doctor, she begins to keep a journal to help jog her memory. One morning, she opens it and sees that she's written three unexpected and terrifying words: "Don't trust Ben." Suddenly everything her husband has told her falls under suspicion. Library Journal called it "an intriguingly fresh look at the amnesia-focused psychological thriller." The film stars Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth and opens, appropriately, on October 31.
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
An HBO mini-series based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel that tells the stories of life in a small town in Maine over 25 years from the perspective of Olive Kitteridge, a local teacher. Olive, whose caustic wit and prickly demeanor hide a warm but troubled heart, witnesses the predicaments of her neighbors and experiences the joys and sorrows that life brings with a unsentimental stoicism that you may not like but you must admire. The mini-series stars Frances McDormand as Olive and Richard Jenkins as her long-suffering husband Henry, with Bill Murray as a local widower. The four part series airs on November 2 and 3, with two episodes each night.
Librarian Faves for November 2014
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: Us: A Novel by David Nicholls
Douglas Petersen may be mild-mannered, but his sense of humor, against all odds, seduced beautiful Connie into a second date - and eventually into marriage. Now, almost three decades after their relationship first blossomed in London, they live more or less happily in the suburbs with their moody seventeen year-old son, Albie. Then Connie tells him she thinks she wants a divorce. The timing couldn't be worse. Hoping to encourage her son's artistic interests, Connie has planned a month-long tour of European capitals, a chance to experience the world's greatest works of art as a family, and she can't bring herself to cancel. And maybe going ahead with the original plan is for the best anyway? Douglas is privately convinced that this landmark trip will rekindle the romance in the marriage, and might even help him to bond with Albie. Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, David Nicholls brings the wit and intelligence that graced his enormously popular bestseller, One Day, (also a movie) to a compellingly human, deftly funny new novel about what holds marriages and families together.
Continuing a theme...
2014 National Book Award Finalists
The National Book Foundation has 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 19.
Rabih Alameddine, An Unnecessary Woman
Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See
Phil Klay, Redeployment
Emily St. John Mandel, Station Eleven
Marianne Robinson, Lila
Literary Awards Season
Richard Flanagan wins 2014 Man Booker Fiction Prize
One week after the Nobel Prize in Literature announcement comes the Man Booker award presentation. In the first year that authors outside the British Commonwealth were eligible, the presence of American authors in contention for Britain's most prestigious literary prize didn't matter in the end - the award went to Australian author, Richard Flanagan for his novel, The Narrow Road to the Deep North. He is the third Australian to win. His book, called "a magnificent novel of love and war," tells the brutal story of Allied prisoners of war forced to work by the Japanese on the infamous Burma railway. Flanagan had source material close at hand, his father was one of the prisoners who survived the construction of the railroad. Unhappily, his father passed away on the day the book was finished.
2014 Nobel Prize in Literature
French Author Patrick Modiano wins Nobel Prize
Last week the Swedish Academy named Patrick Modiano the winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature, calling him "a Marcel Proust of our time" whose works are "“always variations of the same thing, about memory, about loss, about identity, about seeking.” Modiano, a celebrated author in France, with over 30 novels, children's books and screenplays, is not widely known outside his own country, but this honor should change that. Many of his books are set in Paris during World War II and chronicle the occupation of the country by the Germans. His first book, La Place de l'Etoile, published in 1968, about a Jewish collaborator, has been hailed as a major Post-Holocaust work. The New York Times notes "His most famous works include Missing Person, an existential thriller about a man who travels the world trying to piece together his identity; Dora Bruder, which investigates the disappearance of a Jewish girl in 1941; and Out of the Dark, a hallucinatory novel narrated by a middle-aged writer reflecting on an affair with a young drifter." American readers will have a chance to discover Modiano's books soon, as publishers are now rushing English translations to press and reprinting those already available.
World Zombie Day 2014
October 12 - Walk like a Zombie!
World Zombie Day, the celebration of all things zombie,
is scheduled for October 11 this year. World Zombie Day is an international annual event that grew from Pittsburgh’s first Zombie Walk at Monroeville Mall in 2006 – the site where George Romero filmed Dawn of the Dead - and encourages all fans of zombie culture to come together in an international effort to relieve hunger and homelessness. As many as 50 cities worldwide participate in the festivities, including Detroit which sponsors a Zombie Walk Against Hunger downtown on Oct 12. On a related note, the TV series, The Walking Dead, starts its fifth season this Sunday on AMC. (Those who arrive, survive?) Try a bite of zombie fun at the Library with titles like Ship of the Dead, Zombie Island, Dead Mann Running, and The Walking Dead: Fall of the Governor, Part two.
Use the Force, Luke!
Oct. 11 is Star Wars Reads Day at the Library
Join us as the Plymouth District Library celebrates Star Wars Reads Day on Saturday, October 11, from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. The entire building will be filled with Star Wars collectibles, posters, decorations and more. Dress up as your favorite SW character and enjoy the wide variety of activities for all ages, including music, crafts, books, trivia and costume contests, a movie, photo booth, and, of course, Star Wars-themed refreshments! So, don your Jedi cloak, grab your lightsaber, and put it in hyperdrive as your follow the Force to a Library (not so) far, far away.
October is National Reading Group Month
Read and Discuss!
National Reading Group Month is an initiative of the Women's National Book Association (WNBA). Founded in 1917, WNBA promotes literacy, a love of reading, and women's roles in the community of the book. The mission of National Reading Group Month is to celebrate book discussion groups and increase public awareness of the joy and value of shared reading.
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty