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Adult Book News

National Book Award for Fiction - The Friend by Sigrid Nunez

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friendOn November 14, at the annual banquet in New York, the National Book Foundation bestowed the 69th National Book Awards on the writers of outstanding fiction, nonfiction, poetry and young people's fiction. Author Sigrid Nunez won the fiction award for her novel, The Friend, a poignant story of love, friendship, grief, healing, and the magical bond between a woman and her dog. When the un-named narrator unexpectedly loses her lifelong best friend and mentor, she finds herself burdened with the unwanted dog he has left behind. Her own battle against grief is intensified by the mute suffering of the dog, a huge Great Dane named Apollo, who is traumatized by the inexplicable disappearance of its master, and by the threat of their eviction: dogs are prohibited in her apartment building. While others worry that grief has made her a victim of magical thinking, the woman refuses to be separated from the dog except for brief periods of time. Isolated from the rest of the world, increasingly obsessed with the dog's care, determined to read its mind and fathom its heart, she comes dangerously close to unraveling. But while troubles abound, rich and surprising rewards lie in store for both of them.

Rviews of the novel have been stellar. Adjectives like "riveting," "elegant," "often-hilarious, always-penetrating, "charming," "exquisitely written and deeply humane," abound. As the Vox reviewer put it: "The Friend, which is full of literary references and beautiful prose, is also a tribute to the potential power of humans’ relationships with their pets. The dog in this story becomes so significant, so important to its protagonist’s journey, that he remains the only named character in the entire book. It’s also a sad story, one about loss and mourning. But if you believe in the power of animals to help heal, don’t miss it."

 

 

 


 

Jewish Book Month (November 2 - December 2) began in 1925
in a library in Boston where a librarian set up a jewishcouncildisplay of Jewish-themed books. Other communities across the county adopted the custom in what was known as Jewish Book Week. In 1943, the celebration was extended to a month-long observance each year in the month before Hanukkah as a way of promoting Jewish books nationwide. Jewish Book Month is a program sponsored by the Jewish Book Council which serves as the coordinating body of Jewish literary activity in North America in both general and Jewish venues.

The Jewish Book Council provides readers with resources through its National Jewish Book Club, with booklists, discussion guides and other materials available for book clubs. Each year, Jewish Book Council selects 16 titles, both fiction and non-fiction, from the breadth of Jewish literature. The books—current, classic, and everything in between—are carefully selected for their quality, their potential for interesting conversation, and the variety that they represent.

From the 2018-19 National Jewish Book Club List:

weightofinkThe Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish

Set in London of the 1660s and of the early twenty-first century, The Weight of Ink is the interwoven tale of two women of remarkable intellect: Ester Velasquez, an emigrant from Amsterdam who is permitted to scribe for a blind rabbi, just before the plague hits the city; and Helen Watt, an ailing historian with a love of Jewish history. As the novel opens, Helen has been summoned by a former student to view a cache of seventeenth-century Jewish documents newly discovered in his home during a renovation. Enlisting the help of Aaron Levy, an American graduate student as impatient as he is charming, and in a race with another fast-moving team of historians, Helen embarks on one last project: to determine the identity of the documents' scribe, the elusive "Aleph." The Weight of Ink is a sophisticated work of historical fiction about women separated by centuries, and the choices and sacrifices they must make in order to reconcile the life of the heart and mind. " Kadish has fashioned a suspenseful literary tale that serves as a compelling tribute to women across the centuries committed to living, breathing, and celebrating the life of the mind." (Booklist)

 

 

 


 

 

 

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bringoutthedogBring Out the Dog: Stories by Will Mackin

The eleven stories in Will Mackin’s mesmerizing debut collection draw from his many deployments with a special operations task force in Iraq and Afghanistan. They began as notes he jotted on the inside of his forearm in grease pencil and, later, as bullet points on the torn-off flap of an MRE kit. Whenever possible he incorporated those notes into his journals. Years later, he used those journals to write this book. Together, the stories in Bring Out the Dog offer a remarkable portrait of the absurdity and poetry that define life in the most elite, clandestine circles of modern warfare. It is a world of intense bonds, ancient credos, and surprising compassion—of success, failure, and their elusive definitions. Moving between settings at home and abroad, in vivid language that reflects the wonder and discontent of war, Mackin draws the reader into a series of surreal, unsettling, and deeply human episodes.

Mackin is a 23-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. After earning a degree in English from the University of Colorado, he flew jets for the Navy, wrote speeches for the Vice Chief of Naval Operations, and spent 6 years as a Joint Terminal Attack Controller with a SEAL Team before retiring in 2014. Mackin's military decorations include the Bronze Star, the Joint Commendation Medal (with valor), the Combat Action Ribbon, and five Strike/Flight Air Medals.

 

 

 


 

On November 11, 1918, at 11 a.m. Paris time, ("the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month") world leaders signed the Armistice ending World War I and its four years of bloody conflict. Also called First World War or Great War, the international conflict embroiled most of the nations of Europe along with Russia, the United States, the Middle East, and other regions from 1914-1918. The war was virtually unprecedented in the slaughter, carnage, and destruction it caused.

Leran more through recent fiction:

wintersoldierThe Winter Soldier by Daniel Mason
Vienna, 1914. Lucius is a twenty-two-year-old medical student when World War I explodes across Europe. Enraptured by romantic tales of battlefield surgery, he enlists, expecting a position at a well-organized field hospital. But when he arrives, at a commandeered church tucked away high in a remote valley of the Carpathian Mountains, he finds a freezing outpost ravaged by typhus. The other doctors have fled, and only a single, mysterious nurse named Sister Margarete remains. As the war rages across the winter landscape, he finds himself falling in love with the woman from whom he must learn a brutal, makeshift medicine. Then one day, an unconscious soldier is brought in from the snow, his uniform stuffed with strange drawings. He seems beyond rescue, until Lucius makes a fateful decision that will change the lives of doctor, patient, and nurse forever.

 

 

 

 

parisdarkParis in the Dark by Robert Olen Butler
Autumn 1915. World War I is raging across Europe but Woodrow Wilson has kept Americans out of the trenches--though that hasn't stopped young men and women from crossing the Atlantic to volunteer at the front. Christopher "Kit" Cobb, a Chicago reporter with a second job as undercover agent for the U.S. government, is officially in Paris doing a story on American ambulance drivers, but his intelligence handler, James Polk Trask, soon broadens his mission. City-dwelling civilians are meeting death by dynamite in a new string of bombings, and the German-speaking Kit seems just the man to figure out who is behind them--possibly a German operative who has snuck in with the waves of refugees coming in from the provinces and across the border in Belgium. But there are elements in this pursuit that will test Kit Cobb, in all his roles, to the very limits of his principles, wits, and talents for survival.

 

 

 

 

a duty to the dead charles toddA Duty to the Dead (Bess Crawford series) by Charles Todd
England, 1916. Independent-minded Bess Crawford's upbringing was far different from that of the usual upper-middle class British gentlewoman. Growing up in India, she learned the importance of responsibility, honor, and duty from her officer father. At the outbreak of World War I, Bess volunteered for the nursing corps, serving from the battlefields of France to the doomed hospital ship Britannic. Todd's series has grown to ten books, detailing Bess Crawford's service throughout the war. The most recent, A Forgotten Place, follows Bess as the war ends and she is assigned to to a clinic for amputees, where her Welsh patients worry her. She does her best to help them, but it’s clear that they have nothing to go home to, in a valley where only the fit can work in the coal pits. When they are released, she fears that peace will do what war couldn’t—take their lives.

 

 

 

 


 

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The winners of the 2018 World Fantasy Awards were announced this past weekend at the awards ceremony held during the  World Fantasy Convention in Baltimore, MD.  This year's theme was a  “Port in a Storm,” and the convention included a celebration of the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. To be eligible for a prize, all nominated material must have been published in 2017 or have a 2017 cover date. The first World Fantasy Convention (WFC) was held in 1975 in Providence, Rhode Island and it has continued as an annual gathering and reunion of professionals, collectors, and others interested in the field of light and dark fantasy art and literature.

Best Fantasy Novel: (Tie) Jade City by Fonda Lee and The Changeling by Victor LaValle

 

jadecity

Jade is the lifeblood of the island of Kekon. It has been mined, traded, stolen, and killed for -- and for centuries, honorable Green Bone warriors like the Kaul family have used it to enhance their magical abilities and defend the island from foreign invasion. Now, the war is over and a new generation of Kauls vies for control of Kekon's bustling capital city. They care about nothing but protecting their own, cornering the jade market, and defending the districts under their protection. Ancient tradition has little place in this rapidly changing nation. When a powerful new drug emerges that lets anyone -- even foreigners -- wield jade, the simmering tension between the Kauls and the rival Ayt family erupts into open violence. The outcome of this clan war will determine the fate of all Green Bones.

 

 

 

 

changeling

When Apollo Kagwa's father disappeared, all he left his son were strange recurring dreams and a box of books stamped with the word IMPROBABILIA. Now Apollo is a father himself--and as he and his wife, Emma, are settling into their new lives as parents, exhaustion and anxiety start to take their toll. Apollo's old dreams return and Emma begins acting odd. Irritable and disconnected from their new baby boy, at first Emma seems to be exhibiting signs of postpartum depression, but it quickly becomes clear that her troubles go even deeper. Before Apollo can do anything to help, Emma commits a horrific act--beyond any parent's comprehension--and vanishes, seemingly into thin air. Thus begins Apollo's odyssey through a world he only thought he understood, to find a wife and child who are nothing like he'd imagined. His quest, which begins when he meets a mysterious stranger who claims to have information about Emma's whereabouts, takes him to a forgotten island, a graveyard full of secrets, a forest where immigrant legends still live, and finally back to a place he thought he had lost forever.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 


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November is Native American Heritage Month

Since 1990, each President has designated November as the month to honor "the significant contributions the first Americans made to the establishment and growth of the U.S." According to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the effort to gain recognition of the value of Native American culture started in the 1900's with various states and organizations declaring certain days as American Indian Days. This month not only honors the diverse traditions, cultures, and histories of Native Americans, but also serves to educate the general public about the challenges Native peoples faced in the past and continue to face in the present.

Contemporary Native American writers continue to enrich our national discourse by sharing the histories, traditions and beliefs of Native Americans through diverse novels that explore the modern Native American experience.

therethereThere There by Tommy Orange

The story of twelve unforgettable characters, urban Indians living in Oakland, California, who converge and collide on one fateful day, the Big Oakland Powwow. Jacquie Red Feather is newly sober and trying to make it back to the family she left behind in shame. Dene Oxendene is pulling his life back together after his uncle's death and has come to work at the powwow to honor his uncle's memory. Opal Viola Victoria Bear Shield has come to watch her nephew Orvil, who has taught himself traditional Indian dance through YouTube videos and will to perform in public for the very first time. Tony Loneman is a young Native American boy whose future seems destined to be as bleak as his past, and he has come to the Powwow with darker intentions--intentions that will destroy the lives of everyone in his path. "While bearing witness to history (his piercing preface fiercely encapsulates a half-millennium of Native experiences), Orange commands urgent, immediate attention in this masterly montage of voices, lives, visions, tragedies, and dreams." (Library Journal)

 

 


 

200th Anniversary of Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley

frankensteinHalloween seems a good time to acknowlege Mary Shelley's huge contribution to the gothic/horror genre of literature. 8x10 BorisKarloff BrideofFrankenstein01bPublished anonymously in 1818, the saga of the man-made monster had its birth during the gloomy summer of 1816 when Mary Shelley, her husband, poet Percy Shelley, and poet Lord Byron, were staying at a lakeside villa in Switzerland and passed the time by inventing ghost stories. The novel grabbed the popular imagination immediately and the monster has become a a literary, film, and popular culture icon. The underlying message, of uncontrolled scientific hubris, embodied by Dr. Frankenstein's efforts to animate a patched-together collection of human body parts, has become an ethical and cautionary tale applied to any innovation or technology that humans can't control. The book has been adapted, spoofed, mashed, re-imagined, etc. in almost any and every medium that exsits. Most of us are familiar with the Boris Karloff films where the monster is portrayed as a green skinned, bolt-in-the-neck, almost mute giant who roams the countryside creating havoc.

One way to commemorate Shelley's achievement is to livestream the Frankenreads project, a free,public reading of the full text of Frankenstein in Washington, DC on Halloween, Wednesday, October 31st, 2018, beginning at 9:00am in the main Reading Room at the Library of Congress’s Jefferson Building. The full text will take approximately 9 to 10 hours to read aloud in 10-minute increments by a slate of chosen readers. Attendees may drop in at any time, stay the whole day, or watch part or all of the livestream, available at http://www.youtube.com/LibraryOfCongress.

 

 


 

carnegie-fic-medal photo web2019 Andrew Carnegie Awards

On October 24, the American Library Association announced the 2019 shortlist for the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in fiction and non-fiction. The awards, established in 2012, recognize the best in fiction and non-fiction for adult readers published in the U.S. during the last year. The Medals are funded through a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and co-sponsored by ALA's Booklist magazine and the Reference and User Services division of ALA. Winning authors, who receive a $5,000 cash award, are picked by library professionals. The 2019 Carnegie Medal winners will be announced at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Seattle on January 27.

 

 

Fiction Finalists:

washingtonblackWashington Black by Esi Edugyan

George Washington Black, or "Wash," an eleven-year-old field slave on a Barbados sugar plantation, is terrified to be chosen by his master's brother as his manservant. To his surprise, the eccentric Christopher Wilde turns out to be a naturalist, explorer, inventor, and abolitionist. Soon Wash is initiated into a world where a flying machine can carry a man across the sky, where even a boy born in chains may embrace a life of dignity and meaning--and where two people, separated by an impossible divide, can begin to see each other as human. But when a man is killed and a bounty is placed on Wash's head, Christopher and Wash must abandon everything. What follows is their flight along the eastern coast of America, and, finally, to a remote outpost in the Arctic. What brings Christopher and Wash together will tear them apart, propelling Wash even further across the globe in search of his true self.

 

 

 

 

greatbelieversThe Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai

In 1985, Yale Tishman, the development director for an art gallery in Chicago, is about to pull off an amazing coup, bringing in an extraordinary collection of 1920s paintings as a gift to the gallery. Yet as his career begins to flourish, the carnage of the AIDS epidemic grows around him. One by one, his friends are dying and after his friend Nico's funeral, the virus circles closer and closer to Yale himself. Soon the only person he has left is Fiona, Nico's little sister. Thirty years later, Fiona is in Paris tracking down her estranged daughter who disappeared into a cult. While staying with an old friend, a famous photographer who documented the Chicago crisis, she finds herself finally grappling with the devastating ways AIDS affected her life and her relationship with her daughter.

 

 

 

 

therethereThere There by Tommy Orange

The story of twelve unforgettable characters, urban Indians living in Oakland, California, who converge and collide on one fateful day, the Big Oakland Powwow. Jacquie Red Feather is newly sober and trying to make it back to the family she left behind in shame. Dene Oxendene is pulling his life back together after his uncle's death and has come to work at the powwow to honor his uncle's memory. Opal Viola Victoria Bear Shield has come to watch her nephew Orvil, who has taught himself traditional Indian dance through YouTube videos and will to perform in public for the very first time. Tony Loneman is a young Native American boy whose future seems destined to be as bleak as his past, and he has come to the Powwow with darker intentions--intentions that will destroy the lives of everyone in his path.

 

 

 

 


 

 

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tokillamockingbirdOn Tuesday, October 23, the Grand Finale of The Great American Read on PBS celebrated each of the 100 titles on the list of America's best-loved books and featured stories about passionate readers and voters who made this immensely popular campaign a nationwide success. Hosted by Meredith Vieira, and filmed live at the Grand Lodge of the Masonic Hall in New York City before an audience of more than 300 celebrity guests, authors, literary experts, and book fans from around the country, the show unveiled the winning title that Americans selected as their #1 best-loved novel. Harper Lee's now-classic coming of age story set in the Jim Crow South, To Kill a Mockingbird, emerged from the voting as the hands-down favorite.

 

 

 


 

Barnes and Noble Book Club Featuring An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green

B&N's recently launched, brand new, in real-time, book club will hold its third meeting on Wednesday, October 24 at 7pm, with hosted book discussions at all 630 stores in all 50 states.The book club is free and open to the public, and the third selection is Hank Green's debut novel, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing. The B&N Cafés will be sampling food and beverages during the event and one signed copy of the book will be given away at all locations. Our local store at 17111 Haggerty Rd. Northville, MI 48168 (248-348-0696) is participating.

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green

absolutelyremarkableRoaming through New York City at three a.m., twenty-three-year-old April May stumbles across a giant sculpture. Delighted by its appearance and craftsmanship--like a ten-foot-tall Transformer wearing a suit of samurai armor--April and her friend, Andy, nickname it Carl and make a video with it, which Andy uploads to YouTube. The next day, April wakes up to a viral video and a new life. News quickly spreads that there are more Carls in dozens of cities around the world--from Beijing to Buenos Aires--and April, as their first documentarian, finds herself at the center of an intense international media spotlight. Seizing the opportunity to make her mark on the world, April now has to deal with the consequences her new particular brand of fame has on her relationships, her safety, and her own identity. And all eyes are on April to figure out not just what the Carls are, but what they want from us."At once funny, exciting, and a tad terrifying, this exploration of aliens and social-media culture is bound to have wide appeal to readers interested in either theme." (Booklist)

 

 

 


 

November 2018 LibraryReads List

The top ten books published this month that librarians across the country love.

library reads logo websiteThis 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:

My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

"Sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters..."  (Irving Berlin, White Christmas)

mysisterNigerian nurse, Korede, is bitter. How could she not be? Her sister, Ayoola, is many things: the favorite child, the beautiful one, and quite possibly sociopathic. And now Ayoola's third boyfriend in a row is dead. (Ayoola has a very inconvenient habit of killing her boyfriends.)  Korede is her sister's fixer. She knows the best solutions for cleaning blood, the trunk of her car is big enough for a body, and she keeps Ayoola from posting pictures of her dinner to Instagram when she should be mourning her "missing" boyfriend. Not that she gets any credit. Korede has long been in love with a kind, handsome doctor at the hospital where she works. She dreams of the day when he will realize that she's exactly what he needs. But when he asks Korede for Ayoola's phone number, she must reckon with what her sister has become and how far she's willing to go to protect her. "This is a darkly, darkly funny novel ... It strips away the romanticism of the complicated sisterly relationship but perfectly illustrates its complicated contradictions: Korede cannot stand Ayoola, but she would do anything for her." (Booklist

 

 

 


 

Anna Burns wins for Milkman

manbookerwinner2018On October 16, the Booker Foundation announced the winner of this year's Man Booker  Fiction Prize, one  of the most prestigious and lucrative of the literary prizes worldwide. This year's winner, Milkman by Anna Burns, is set in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, the civil strife between Protestants and Catholics that erupted in violence for decades.The story concerns a bookish young woman growing up in a city rife with factions who is pressured by an older, more powerful man with an unsettling interest in her, and tormented by the vicious tongues of her neighbours. It is about the misuse of power and about the pernicious effects of gossip and rumour. Author Burns is the 17th female winner in the prize’s 50-year history and the first Northern Irish writer to win. Although Milkman is her third novel, this is her first major prize. Kwame Anthony Appiah, 2018 Chair of the Judges Committee, comments: "None of us has ever read anything like this before. Anna Burns’ utterly distinctive voice challenges conventional thinking and form in surprising and immersive prose. It is a story of brutality, sexual encroachment and resistance threaded with mordant humour. Set in a society divided against itself, Milkman explores the insidious forms oppression can take in everyday life."

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

haunted house clip art eaceMbpT4On October 12, Netflix premiered a new series based on The Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson's justly famous, definitive haunted house story. The book was a finalist for the National Book Award when it was published in 1959 and has been adapted for film twice. In Netflix's version, a fractured family returns to confront the haunting memories of their old home and the terrifying events that drove them from it years before. If, after bingeing on all ten hours, you are still in need of more haunted house horror, The New York Times has a list for you: 13 chilling novels centered around haunted houses. Horror staples like The Shining, The Amityville Horror, and The Turn of the Screw, are on the list, plus a few more recent titles. You may wish to lock your doors and windows and leave the lights on - all night!

 

 

From the List:

sladehouse2Slade House by David Mitchell
Down the road from a working-class British pub, along the brick wall of a narrow alley, if the conditions are exactly right, you'll find a small black iron door, the entrance to Slade House. A stranger will greet you by name and invite you inside. At first, you won't want to leave. Later, you'll find that you can't. Every nine years, the house's residents--an odd brother and sister--extend a unique invitation to someone who's different or lonely: a precocious teenager, a recently divorced policeman, a shy college student. But what really goes on inside Slade House? For those who find out, it's already too late. . . . "Expect this superb haunted-house tale to be read as a Halloween staple for years to come."(Booklist)

 

 

 


 

 

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we can do it thumbTHE GREAT AMERICAN READ on PBS is an eight-part series that explores and celebrates the power of reading, told through the prism of America’s 100 best-loved novels (as chosen in a national survey).  It investigates how and why writers create their fictional worlds, how we as readers are affected by these stories, and what these 100 different books have to say about our diverse nation and our shared human experience. All summer long, the public has been invited to vote, on The Great American Read website or on social media or using a toll free number, for the ultimate best-loved novel from the original list of 100. Voting ends this week, on October 18 at 11:59pm PT. The Grand Finale will be the October 23 episode (8pm on PBS) when the The Great American Read will celebrate all 100 books on the list, reveal the top voted titles in multiple categories, and unveil the novel that Americans have picked as their #1 best-loved book.

This is your chance to have your voice heard (about books, at least). You can take the quiz and check out the list of favorites - then cast your vote for the country's best loved book.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 Mayor Oliver Wolcott has designated October 19, 2018 as Russell Kirk Day in Plymouth.

russellkirkOn  October 19, at 7 p.m. the Library will mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Russell Kirk (1918-1994) in a special, after-hours event. Born and raised in Plymouth, Kirk was an influential and internationally known writer and speaker on conservative themes, best known for his groundbreaking histories, The Conservative Mind (1953) and The Roots of American Order (1974). In addition to his career as a political theorist, historian, social and literary critic, and conservative author, Kirk wrote fiction, specifically ghost stories. This seems an apppropriate enterprise for an author born in the month of Halloween! 

 

 

surlysullenThe Surley, Sullen Bell, ten stories and sketches, uncanny or uncomfortable, with a note on the Ghostly  Tale  by Russell Kirk

"Along with a brief defence of the art of writing ghost stories, this is an illustrated collection of a number of stories with varied backgrounds (decaying cities, old castles, neglected farms) and the style is old-fashioned, straightforward story telling. Yet there is perhaps too much commonsense reality in these tales for them to be truly terrifying. In the first story, one of the stronger ones, a man finds the girl he once loved the slow poison victim of her husband but is unable to save her. In the several ghost stories, the ghosts generally work for the good to defeat the modern evils of city planners, hoodlums or census takers. In the stories about Mr. Kirk's own really desolate Michigan back country, his concept of ghosts becomes plainer still. Based often on real eccentrics, they represent all that is old, untamed and unnatural in human nature and they return both to torment and to taunt men too civilized to believe in dark powers. This concept, while sound, does not represent the truly supernatural and Mr. Kirk's feelings about ghosts tend to be stronger than the ghosts themselves." (Kirkus Review)

 

 


 

The New Academy Prize in Literature 2018

Earlier this year, the Swedish Academy (the group responsible for naming the Nobel Literature Prize winners each year) postponed the awarding of the 2018 prize due to the turmoil in their ranks following several scandals. In response, a group of Swedish librarians founded The New Academy in order to award one author with the "New Prize," billed as  "the world's greatest literary prize." The New Academy "was founded to warrant that an international literary prize will be awarded in 2018, but also as a reminder that literature should be associated with democracy, openness, empathy and respect." The award selection process included public voting for the shortlist of contenders with the ultimate winner chosen from that list by a panel of judges.

Maryse Conde e1409128735373On October 12, at the Stockholm Public Library, the winner was declared: Guadeloupean author Maryse Condé.The  New storyofthecannibalAcademy announcement explains, "Maryse Condé is a grand storyteller. Her authorship belongs to world literature. In her work, she describes the ravages of colonialism and the postcolonial chaos in a language which is both precise and overwhelming. The magic, the dream and the terror is, as also love, constantly present."  Conde is the author of twenty historical novels, most written in French, many set in the Caribbean. In a statement Conde emphasized that the prize and the recognition are very important, "Winning this prize would mean that our voice, the voice of the Guadeloupeans, is starting to be heard. It would be the beginning of a true Guadeloupean identity.”

 

 

 

 


 

Fiction Shortlist Announced

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This morning, 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 14 at the 69th National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner in New York City. Author Isabel Allende will be recognized that evening with the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

The Shortlist:

A Lucky Man by Jamel Brinkley

Florida by Lauren Groff

Where the Dead Sit Talking by Brandon Hobson

The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai

The Friend  by Sigrid Nunez

 

 


 

sjpIn June 2017, the American Library Association launched a new resource for readers: a website with
all sorts of content for ALA Book Club Central logoboth book clubs and individuals. Called Book Club Central, it features booklists, recommendations, author interviews, discussion questions and tips for book clubs, and other news about books. Celebrity reader, Sarah Jessica Parker, (she played writer Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City) is serving as Honorary Chair. As honorary chair, Parker provides a selection of recommended titles to share her joy of reading and discussing good books with readers everywhere.

 

SJP's Latest Pick:

She Would Be King by Wayetu Moore

shewouldA novel of exhilarating range, magical realism, and history--a dazzling retelling of Liberia's formation

Wayétu Moore's powerful debut novel, She Would Be King , reimagines the dramatic story of Liberia's early years through three unforgettable characters who share an uncommon bond. Gbessa, exiled from the West African village of Lai, is starved, bitten by a viper, and left for dead, but still she survives. June Dey, raised on a plantation in Virginia, hides his unusual strength until a confrontation with the overseer forces him to flee. Norman Aragon, the child of a white British colonizer and a Maroon slave from Jamaica, can fade from sight when the earth calls him. When the three meet in the settlement of Monrovia, their gifts help them salvage the tense relationship between the African American settlers and the indigenous tribes, as a new nation forms around them.

"This novel dazzles with beauty and transcendent, transformative humanity. Through the stories of Gbessa, June Dey, and Norman Aragon, Wayétu Moore illuminates what it means to be of and from places that are both faraway and inescapably familiar. I treasured every moment I spent in the pages of this book, and I’m thrilled to be able share it with all of you.” —Sarah Jessica Parker

 

 


 

SWRDCoverPhoto

The annual celebration of reading               
and a galaxy far, far away...

PDL will again join with libraries, schools and others nationwide to celebrate Star Wars Reads Day on Saturday, October 13, from 11 a.m. – 2 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 books, crafts, face-painting, games, and 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, and May the Force be with You!

 


 

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National Reading Group Month is an initiative of the Women's National Book Association (WNBA). Founded in 1917, the WNBA promotes literacy, a love of reading, and women's leadership 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. Through this initiative the organization aims to foster the values reading groups encourage: camaraderie, enjoyment of shared reading, appreciation of literature, and reading as conduits for transmitting culture and advancing civic engagement.

The Library sponsors several Book Discussion groups for all ages and provides a collection of Book Club Kits for private book groups to use. Each kit contains 10 copies of a book, plus discussion questions and reviews. Titles added to this collection this year include:

Little Fires Everywhere by Celest Ng

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

The Book that Matters Most  by Ann Hood

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

 


 

manbookershortlist182018 Man Booker Finalists:

On September 20th, the shortlist of contenders for the Man Booker Literary Prize was announced in London. The Man Booker Prize is one of the most prestigious prizes for literature, worth 50,000 pounds (about $65,000) and open to writers of any nationality, writing in English and published in the UK and Ireland.This year’s shortlist recognises three writers from the UK, two from the US, and one from Canada.

 

 The 2018 shortlist of six novels:

Author (country/territory)                       Title

Anna Burns (UK)                                       Milkman

Esi Edugyan (Canada)                              Washington Black

Daisy Johnson (UK)                                  Everything Under

Rachel Kushner (USA)                             The Mars Room

Richard Powers (USA)                             The Overstory 

Robin Robertson (UK)                             The Long Take

 


 

 

 

BBW18Poster

September 23 - 28, 2018

Each year, during the last week of September, libraries, booksellers, publishers, teachers, journalists and readers come together to celebrate our right to free and open access to information and the freedom to read what we choose. Banned Books Week serves to remind us of the harms of censorship by focusing on the instances where access to certain books was curtailed. Book challenges occur in communities when private individuals or government bodies seek to remove or restrict access to books in schools or libraries due to their content or language. Over the years, many books have been challenged or banned - some that are now considered classics. And it has happened here! So stand (or sit) for your rights - Read a Banned Book!

Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 This month celebrates both the heritage and important influence of Hispanic and Latino Americans on our nation's experience and culture. Hispanic HHMO Theme 2018 WEB Heritage Month begins each year on September 15, the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua; Mexico, Chile and Belize also celebrate their independence days during this period. The term Hispanic or Latino, refers to Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race.

Explore the experiences of Hispanic Americans through fiction:

Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras

A mesmerizing debut set in Colombia at the height Pablo Escobar's violent reign about a sheltered young girl and afruitofthedrunkentree teenage maid who strike an unlikely friendship that threatens to undo them both

Seven-year-old Chula and her older sister Cassandra enjoy carefree lives thanks to their gated community in Bogotá, but the threat of kidnappings, car bombs, and assassinations hover just outside the neighborhood walls, where the godlike drug lord Pablo Escobar continues to elude authorities and capture the attention of the nation.
When their mother hires Petrona, a live-in-maid from the city's guerrilla-occupied slum, Chula makes it her mission to understand Petrona's mysterious ways. But Petrona's unusual behavior belies more than shyness. She is a young woman crumbling under the burden of providing for her family as the rip tide of first love pulls her in the opposite direction. As both girls' families scramble to maintain stability amidst the rapidly escalating conflict, Petrona and Chula find themselves entangled in a web of secrecy that will force them both to choose between sacrifice and betrayal.

Rojas Contreras was born and raised in Bogota, Columbia before immigrating to the U.S.; she received her MFA from Columbia College Chicago and currently lives in San Francisco.

 

 

 


 

October 2018 LibraryReads List

The top ten books published this month that librarians across the country love.

library reads logo websiteThis 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 October: The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory

TheProposal blog 196x300When freelance writer Nikole Paterson goes to a Dodgers game with her actor boyfriend, his man bun, and his bros, the last thing she expects is a scoreboard proposal. Saying no isn't the hard part--they've only been dating for five months, and he can't even spell her name correctly. The hard part is having to face a stadium full of disappointed fans. At the game with his sister, Carlos Ibarra comes to Nik's rescue and rushes her away from a camera crew. He's even there for her when the video goes viral and Nik's social media blows up--in a bad way. Nik knows that in the wilds of LA, a handsome doctor like Carlos can't be looking for anything serious, so she embarks on an epic rebound with him, filled with food, fun, and fantastic sex. But when their glorified hookups start breaking the rules, one of them has to be smart enough to put on the brakes. "Full of warmth, quick banter, girlfriend group-texts, and food, so much good food! as well as a multicultural cast and a strong L.A. setting, Guillory's follow-up to The Wedding Date (2018) should earn just as much buzz as the first,..." (Booklist)

 

 


 

Actress and producer Reese Witherspoon founded her book club, Reese’s Book Club x Hello Sunshine, in 2016, as a multi-media platform to highlight reesestories by and about women. Hello Sunshine's stated mission is to change the narrative for women by discovering content that celebrates women and puts them at the center of the story. Not only does Witherspoon choose a book each month, she develops and produces related projects to be shared via film, television, audio, website, newsletter, and social and digital channels. Visitors to the website will find book discussions, author interviews, podcasts and more. While not yet the size of Oprah's Book Club, Witherspoon's venture is proving to be an influential media marketing force for books and films like Gone Girl and Big Little Lies.

Reese's September Selection:

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

wherethecrawdadsFor years, rumors of the "Marsh Girl" have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. She's barefoot and wild; unfit for polite society. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark. But Kya is not what they say. Abandoned at age ten, she has survived on her own in the marsh that she calls home. A born naturalist with just one day of school, she takes life lessons from the land, learning the real ways of this world. But while she could have lived in solitude forever, the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. Drawn to two young men from town, who are each intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new and startling world--until the unthinkable happens. "The wildlife scientist Delia Owens has found her voice in Where the Crawdads Sing, a painfully beautiful first novel that is at once a murder mystery, a coming-of-age narrative, and a celebration of nature." (New York Times Book Review)

 

 


 

gar horizontal logo

Searching for America's Best-Loved Novel

we can do it thumbTHE GREAT AMERICAN READ on PBS is an eight-part series that explores and celebrates the power of reading, told through the prism of America’s 100 best-loved novels (as chosen in a national survey).  It investigates how and why writers create their fictional worlds, how we as readers are affected by these stories, and what these 100 different books have to say about our diverse nation and our shared human experience.  

The television series, which launched on Tuesday, May 22, and picks up Tuesday, September 11 at 8pm on PBS features entertaining and informative documentary segments, with compelling testimonials from celebrities, authors, notable Americans and book lovers across the country. It is comprised of a two-hour premiere episode in which the list of 100 books is revealed, five one-hour theme episodes that examine concepts common to groups of books on the list, and a finale, in which the results are announced of a nationwide vote to choose America’s best-loved book.

You can take the quiz and check out the list of favorites - then cast your vote for the country's best loved book.

 

 

 

 


 

Now Playing :

the wife 1The Wife by Meg Wolitzer
This is the story of Joan and Joseph Castleman's marriage and the compromises, secrets, and betrayals they've accumulated during their forty years together. Joseph is one of America's preeminent novelists, about to receive a prestigious international award to honor his accomplishments, and Joan, who has spent her married life subjugating her own literary talents to fan the flames of his career, has finally decided to stop. From this gripping opening, Wolitzer flashes back to the 1950s Smith College and Greenwich Village -- the beginning of the Castleman relationship -- and follows the course of the famous marriage that has brought them to this breaking point, culminating in a shocking ending that outs a carefully kept secret.The film stars Glenn Close, in what some are calling the best performance of her career, along with Jonathan Pryce, and Christian Slater.

 

 

 

littlestrangerThe Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
One postwar summer in his home of rural Warwickshire, Dr. Faraday, the son of a maid who has built a life of quiet respectability as a country physician, is called to a patient at lonely Hundreds Hall. Home to the Ayres family for over two centuries, the Georgian house, once impressive and handsome, is now in decline, its masonry crumbling and its gardens choked with weeds. Its owners--a widow, her son, Roderick, and her daughter, Caroline --are struggling to keep pace with a changing society, as well as with conflicts of their own. Faraday sees signs of mental illness in mother and son and refuses to believe, as Roderick does, that a supernatural presence pervades the house. After a devastating incident involving a young neighbor, he finds he has no choice but to commit Roderick to a mental institution. "...but the malevolent force shadowing Hundreds Hall hasn't finished with the Ayers family yet. An eerie ghost story mixed with piercing class commentary, Waters' latest is downright haunting." (Booklist). The film stars Domhnall Gleeson, Ruth Wilson, Will Poulter, and Charlotte Rampling.

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

National Read a Book Day - September 6, 2018

bookshopofyesterdaysA day dedicated to the copious pleasures of a good book - what's not to love? Celebrate by reading alone or with others, in your favorite chair or in a new secluded spot, by hosting a book exchange or going to a different bookstore or library, by downloadiing an ebook, or trying a meal or restaurant based on a book - the possibilities are endless. Reading is a good way to learn about other times, other places, and many things - it also improves memory and relieves stress.

Make some time in your life to enjoy the written word. Reading is a great way to spend a day.

Consider a book about books!

The Bookshop of Yesterdays by Amy Meyerson

Miranda Brooks grew up in the stacks of her eccentric Uncle Billy's bookstore, solving the inventive scavenger hunts he created just for her. But on Miranda's twelfth birthday, Billy has a mysterious falling-out with her mother and suddenly disappears from Miranda's life. She doesn't hear from him again until sixteen years later when she receives unexpected news: Billy has died and left her Prospero Books, which is teetering on bankruptcy--and one final scavenger hunt. When Miranda returns home to Los Angeles and to Prospero Books--now as its owner--she finds clues that Billy has hidden for her inside novels on the store's shelves, in locked drawers of his apartment upstairs, in the name of the store itself. Miranda becomes determined to save Prospero Books and to solve Billy's last scavenger hunt. She soon finds herself drawn into a journey where she meets people from Billy's past, people whose stories reveal a history that Miranda's mother has kept hidden--and the terrible secret that tore her family apart. "Filled with quotes from and allusions to The Tempest, The Wizard of Oz, and Jane Eyre, Meyerson's evocative novel is a fun homage to book lovers and the eclectic spirit of L.A." (Publishers Weekly).

 

 

 


 

metroauthor

Metro Detroit Book and Author Luncheon - Monday, October 15, 2018

The 93rd Metro Detroit Book and Author Society Luncheon will be held on Monday, October 15 at the Burton Manor in Livonia. Ticket sales began on September 4, by phone at 586-685-5750, ext. 102 or online at www.bookandauthor.info. Tickets sales will end on October 12. Featured authors this spring are Dr. Rana Awdish, Anna Clark, Anne Ford, Mark Leibovich, and Lisa Unger.

The Metro-Detroit Book & Author Society was created for the sole purpose of presenting a luncheon featuring major national authors. The Society strives to present top national authors in a comfortable, casual setting, with an opportunity to buy signed books and meet the authors. Guest authors have included Bonnie Jo Campbell, David Maraniss, Stephen King, James Patterson, Mary Higgins Clark, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Michael Connelly, Greg Isles, Kathy Reich, Erik Larson, C.J. Box, Randy Wayne White, Claire Messud, Chris Bohjalian, and Debbie Macomber. The Metro-Detroit Book & Author luncheons are considered one of the largest and best one-day author events in the country.

 

 


 

2018 142x25018th Library of Congress National Book Festival

Saturday, September 1, 2018 — More than 100 Authors and Presenters

The 18th annual Library of Congress National Book Festival will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, in Washington D.C., on Saturday, Sept.1 from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. The Festival is an annual literary event that brings together best-selling authors and thousands of book fans for author talks, panel discussions, book signings and other activities. Former first lady Laura Bush founded the festival in 2000, when it was held on the National Mall. Over its 16-year history, the National Book Festival has become one of the pre-eminent literary events in the United States. History, science, food, graphic novels, mysteries, thrillers, biographies, and children's and teen literature are among the genres to be showcased. E. Annie Proulx, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Shipping News”and the short story Brokeback Mountain, will receive the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction during this year’s National Book Festival.

Can't attend? You can view videos and listen to podcasts of the events at the Festival website.

 

 

 

 


 

During the waning days of summer we need something to amuse and intrigue us. Corinne Sullivan of Popsugar.com has just the thing - a list of books guaranteed to keep you glued to the pages until the very end. As Sullivan puts it, "Here are just 12 of 2018's best mystery novels so far — and believe us when we say that every time you think you've got it figured out, you're probably wrong."

From the List:

Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

sometimesilieThe story is narrated by Amber Reynolds who has just awakened in a hospital bed. She can't move. She can't speak. She can't open her eyes. She can hear everyone around her, but her husband and family have no idea. Amber doesn't remember what happened, but she has a suspicion her husband had something to do with it. Alternating between her paralyzed present, the week before her accident, and a series of childhood diaries from twenty years ago, the secrets and schemes of her life are revealed one by one.

She begins her tale this way:
My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me:
1. I'm in a coma.
2. My husband doesn't love me anymore.
3. Sometimes I lie.

"In pieces and fragments, the story slowly comes together, only to change as soon as readers think they have a handle on what is true and what isn't. ...A fun thriller with a terrifically twisted ending that fans of Gone Girl and Girl on a Train will love." (Library Journal)

 

 


 

 hugoawardThe winners of the 2018 Hugo Awards were announced Sunday, August 19, 2018 at the 76th World Science Fiction Convention, which was held in San Jose, California this year. The Hugos, among the most prestigious of sci-fi awards, honor excellence in science fiction writing annually in several categories.        

 

Best Novel: The Stone Sky by N. K. Jemisin  

 

This is the shattering conclusion to the post-apocalyptic and highly acclaimed bestselling trilogy that began with The Fifth Season, winner of the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2016, and was followed by The Obelisk Gate, winner of the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2017.

steonskyThe story is set in Broken Earth, a world beset by violent geological upheaval. Each new catastrophic occurrence, whether volcanic or seismic, is called a Season, and the constant disruption has rendered the civilization there equally turbulent. A caste system oppresses the populace and science and magic both are employed to make sense of the continuing devastation. In The Fifth Season, Essun, a small town school teacher with special powers, began a journey to reunite with her husband, who has murdered their son and fled with their daughter, before the end of the world. As the trilogy continues, Essun has found relative safety but not her daughter. Instead she has encountered her old mentor, Alabaster, who asks her aid in saving their civilization. While Essun and Alabaster struggle to save the world, Essun's daughter, Nassun, travels with her father and begins to demonstrate her own powers to influence the world's geologic instability. 

In The Stone Sky, Essun has inherited the power of Alabaster Tenring. With it, she still hopes to find her daughter and forge a world in which every orogene child (a child with special powers) can grow up safe. For Nassun, her mother's mastery of the Obelisk Gate comes too late. She has seen the evil of the world, and accepted what her mother will not admit: that sometimes what is corrupt cannot be cleansed, only destroyed. The Moon will soon return. Whether this heralds the destruction of humankind or something worse will depend on these two women.

"Jemisin draws Essun and Nassun perfectly, capturing a mother's guilt and pride and a daughter's determination to survive on her own terms. ... Vivid characters, a tautly constructed plot, and outstanding worldbuilding meld into an impressive and timely story of abused, grieving survivors fighting to fix themselves and save the remnants of their shattered home." (Publishers Weekly)

 

 


                                   

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

crazyrichasiansThe first in Kwan's best-selling trilogy about modern Chinese millionaires (Rich China Girlfriend, Rich People Problems) to be adapted for film, Crazy Rich Asians is the first big Hollywood studio movie in 25 years with a majority Asian cast and Asian actors in all leading roles.The movie opens today, August 15, and the initial reviews have been favorable; Rotten Tomatoes give the film a 96% rating. The story follows the usual rom-com formula: a young couple in love faces and overcomes various obstacles to their eventual happiness. Kwan's books are funny, over-the top sagas about three super-rich, pedigreed Chinese families and the gossip, backbiting, and scheming that occurs when the heir to one of the most massive fortunes in Asia brings home his ABC (American-born Chinese) girlfriend to the wedding of the season. When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she has no idea that that Nick's family home happens to look like a palace, that she'll ride in more private planes than cars, and that with one of Asia's most eligible bachelors on her arm, Rachel might as well have a target on her back. And one of the people aiming for her is Nick's formidable mother, a woman who has very strong feelings about who her son should--and should not--marry. Kwan presents an insider's look at the Asian JetSet; a  depiction of the clash between old money and new money; and between Overseas Chinese and Mainland Chinese, in an entertaining novel about what it means to be young, in love, and gloriously, crazily rich. "From its delightful opening scene onward, this sleek social satire offers up more than a few hilarious moments as it skewers the crafty, rich schemers who populate its pages." (Booklist)

 

 


 

 
September 2018 LibraryReads List

The top ten books published this month that librarians across the country love.

library reads logo websiteThis 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 September: The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
                               by Stuart Turton

evelynhardcastleblog 196x300Evelyn Hardcastle will die. Every day until Aiden Bishop can identify her killer and break the cycle. But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up in the body of a different guest. And some of his hosts are more helpful than others... Becky Bowen, the LibraryReads reviewer sums it up this way: "Imagine the movie Groundhog Day, except this time Aiden Bishop wakes up each day in a deteriorating manor house, as a different person, and must work out who he is and how he relates to everyone else at the party commemorating the long ago death of a child. If he can’t solve the murder that occurs at the party, he is doomed to continue the loop every eight days. A riveting page turner.”  The Booklist reviewer is equally impressed, "... Turton masterfully creates a natural flow while jumping through different characters on different days. There are certainly echoes of Agatha Christie here, but it's Christie ramped up several notches, thanks to the malevolent twist on the Groundhog Day theme. Readers may be scratching their heads in delicious befuddlement as they work their way through this novel, but one thing will be absolutely clear: Stuart Turton is an author to remember." (Booklist).

 

 

 


 

Barnes and Noble Book Club Featuring Clock Dance by Anne Tyler

B&N's recently launched, brand new, in real-time, book club will hold its second meeting tonight, August 8 at 7pm, with hosted book discussions at all 630 stores in all 50 states.The book club is free and open to the public, and the second selection is Anne Tyler's new book, Clock Dance. The B&N Cafés will be sampling food and beverages during the event and one signed copy of the book will be given away at all locations. Our local store at 17111 Haggerty Rd. Northville, MI 48168 (248-348-0696) is participating.

Clock Dance by Anne Tyler

clockdanceWilla Drake can count on one hand the defining moments of her life. In 1967, she is a schoolgirl coping with her mother's sudden disappearance. In 1977, she is a college coed considering a marriage proposal. In 1997, she is a young widow trying to piece her life back together. And in 2017, she yearns to be a grandmother but isn't sure she ever will be. Then, one day, Willa receives a startling phone call from a stranger. Without fully understanding why, she flies across the country to Baltimore to look after a young woman she's never met, her nine-year-old daughter, and their dog, Airplane. This impulsive decision will lead Willa into uncharted territory--surrounded by eccentric neighbors who treat each other like family, she finds solace and fulfillment in unexpected places."Tyler's bedazzling yet fathoms-deep feel-good novel is wrought with nimble humor, intricate understanding of emotions and family, place, and community, and bounteous pleasure in quirkiness, discovery, and renewal. Quintessential Tyler, this brilliant, charming, and book-club-ready novel of quiet transformation will be heralded with a major promotional campaign." (Booklist

(And so it should!)

 

 

 


 

11 New Science Fiction Books To Read If You've Never Tried Sci-Fi Before - Bustle.com 

alien peace kids shirts kids t shirtMany readers avoid the science fiction genre - "I don't read sci fi," they'll announce. Maybe it's the spaceships, distant planets, and weird aliens or the elaborate world-building with so many characters and family trees to keep track of. Or it could be the perceived cultish nature of sci fi culture - all those costumes at all those comic-cons.Charlotte Ahlin of Bustle.com points out that sci fi is a huge genre not confined to the stereotypical space opera or dragon fantasy: "But there's also comedic sci-fi and romantic sci-fi and historical sci-fi and pretty much every other kind of sci-fi that a reader could possibly want." To prove it she's posted a list of new sci fi books (or if one prefers, speculative fiction), to read "if you've never tried sci-fi before, because the genre has got something in it for you."

 

 

From the List: Tell the Machine Goodnight by Katie Williams

tellthemachinePearl's job is to make people happy. As a technician for the Apricity Corporation, with its patented happiness machine, she provides customers with personalized recommendations for greater contentment. She's good at her job, her office manager tells her, successful.  Meanwhile, there's Pearl's teenage son, Rhett. A sensitive kid who has forged an unconventional path through adolescence, Rhett seems to find greater satisfaction in being unhappy . The very rejection of joy is his own kind of "pursuit of happiness." As his mother, Pearl wants nothing more than to help Rhett--but is it for his sake or for hers? Certainly it would make Pearl happier. Regardless, her son is one person whose emotional life does not fall under the parameters of her job--not as happiness technician, and not as mother, either. Ahlin concludes,"Tell the Machine Goodnight is smart speculative fiction without a whole mess of wormholes or intergalactic wars, so it's an excellent place to start if you're looking for a lighter science fiction touch." Booklist's reviewer concurs, "Daring, inventive, and moving, Williams' novel deftly illustrates that when it comes to happiness, there are no easy answers."

 

 


 

betweendevildukeOn July 19, the Romance Writers of America, the trade association for aspiring and published romance fiction authors, announced the winners of the 2018 RITA Awards. Named after Rita Clay Estrada, the first president of the RWA, the awards are given each year to promote excellence in the romance genre by recognizing outstanding published romance novels and novellas. Winners are named in several different categories and presented with a golden statuette. This year's list of honorees includes Kelly Bowen, who was the winner in the Historical Romance:Long category, for her novel, Between the Devil and the Duke.  Bowen's novel sets up a sizzling confrontation between a card-counting beauty and the club owner who catches her. Angelique Archer was desperate, and Alexander Lavoie's club offered a surefire way to make quick money - until she got caught. Instead of throwing her out, the devil offers her a deal: come work for him. Refusing him means facing starvation, but with a man so sinfully handsome and fiercely protective, keeping things professional might prove impossible . . . "From there the fun, intrigue, and romance crescendo in a whopping plot twist. Bowen's Regency romances are always delightful, and this is one of her best yet." (Publishers Weekly)

 

 

 


 

11 Thriller Novels That Could Be The Next Sharp Objects TV Show - Bustle.com

sharpobjectsHBO's eight episode adaptation of Sharp Objects, the first novel of Gillian Flynn (of Gone Girl fame), has been one of the most widely reviewed of the summer shows. Critics have lavished paise on the production and on Amy Adams who stars as Camille, an emotionally troubled reporter who returns to her hometown to cover the murders of two young girls. The assignment gives her the opportunity to finally connect with her teenage half-sister, Amma, but places her again under the critical eye of her overbearing mother, Adora. As Camille works to uncover the truth about the murders, she must confront the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to survive her homecoming.

Anticipating the television-viewing void after the series is over, Bustle.com writer, Kristian Wilson, has posted a list of 11 books, any of which could work as the next thriller adaptation. Check out her list to see if you agree.

 

 

From the list:

headfullA Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay

The lives of the Barretts, a normal suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia. To her parents' despair, the doctors are unable to stop Marjorie's descent into madness. As their stable home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help. Father Wanderly suggests an exorcism; he believes the vulnerable teenager is the victim of demonic possession. He also contacts a production company that is eager to document the Barretts' plight. The family agrees to be filmed, and soon find themselves the unwitting stars of The Possession, a hit reality television show. When events in the Barrett household explode in tragedy, the show and the shocking incidents it captures become the stuff of urban legend. Fifteen years later, a bestselling writer interviews Marjorie's younger sister, Merry. As she recalls those long ago events that took place when she was just eight years old, long-buried secrets and painful memories that clash with what was broadcast on television begin to surface.

 


 

PWlogoThe Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2018

Yes, it's still July, with plenty of summer left, but the publishing world marches on. Publishers Weekly just posted their review editors' picks of "the most notable books publishing in Fall 2018." The list covers general fiction, mysteries, science fiction, romance, graphic novels, memoirs, biographies, history, poetry, politics, music science and religion - something for every reader to anticipate!

 

 

From the List:

Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver

unshelteredKingsolver's latest novel, due in October, explores themes of human resilience and compassion during times of great turmoil. Willa Knox has always prided herself on being the embodiment of responsibility for her family. Which is why it's so unnerving that she's arrived at middle age with nothing to show for her hard work and dedication but a stack of unpaid bills and an inherited brick home in Vineland, New Jersey, that is literally falling apart. The magazine where she worked has folded, and the college where her husband had tenure has closed. The dilapidated house is also home to her ailing and cantankerous Greek father-in-law and her two grown children, neither of whom is self-sufficient. In an act of desperation, Willa begins to investigate the history of her home, hoping that the local historical preservation society might take an interest and provide funding for its direly needed repairs. Through her research into Vineland's past and its creation as a Utopian community, she discovers a kindred spirit from the 1880s, Thatcher Greenwood. A science teacher with a lifelong passion for honest investigation, Thatcher found himself under siege in his community for championing the exciting new theory recently published by Charles Darwin. Greenwood was in hot water with everyone; the most powerful men in town and his new wife and mother-in-law. "Containing both a rich story and a provocative depiction of times that shake the shelter of familiar beliefs, this novel shows Kingsolver at the top of her game." (Publishers Weekly)

 

 


 

MBP Longlist FullStack202

Today, the longlist of contenders for the Man Booker Literary Prize was announced in London. The Man Booker Prize is one of the most prestigious prizes for literature, worth 50,000 pounds (about $65,000) and open to writers of any nationality, writing in English and published in the UK and Ireland. This is the first year that novels published in Ireland are eligible for the prize, following a change in rules announced at the start of 2018 that recognized the special relationship between the UK and Irish publishing markets. The list was chosen from 171 submissions – the highest number of titles put forward in the prize’s 50 year history - and includes a graphic novel (Sabrina) for the first time. The shortlist of six books will be announced on Thursday, September 20 and the 2018 winner will then be announced on Tuesday, October 16.

The 2018 longlist, or Man Booker ‘Dozen’, of 13 novels, is:

Author (country/territory)          Title (imprint)
Belinda Bauer (UK)                      Snap 

Anna Burns (UK)                          Milkman

Nick Drnaso (USA)                       Sabrina

Esi Edugyan (Canada)                 Washington Black

Guy Gunaratne (UK)                    In Our Mad And Furious City

Daisy Johnson (UK)                     Everything Under

Rachel Kushner (USA)                The Mars Room

Sophie Mackintosh (UK)              The Water Cure

Michael Ondaatje (Canada)         Warlight

Richard Powers (USA)                 The Overstory 

Robin Robertson (UK)                  The Long Take

Sally Rooney (Ireland)                  Normal People

Donal Ryan (Ireland)                    From A Low And Quiet Sea

 

 


 

booktrophyThe New Academy

Earlier this year, the Swedish Academy (the group responsible for naming the Nobel Literature Prize winners each year) postponed the awarding of the 2018 prize due to the turmoil in their ranks following several scandals. In response, a group of Swedish librarians have founded The New Academy in order to award one author with the "New Prize," billed as  "the world's greatest literary prize." The New Academy "was founded to warrant that an international literary prize will be awarded in 2018, but also as a reminder that literature should be associated with democracy, openness, empathy and respect." The public is invited to vote on the longlist of authors recently nominated by The New Academy; voting runs till August 14. After the public voting ends, four authors will be chosen for the final judging by the expert jury. The public votes will select three out of four authors. The fourth author will enter the final judging based on the initial nomination round. The final winner will be announced on October 14th. Thirteen U.S. authors are on the longlist, along with many of the usual literary notables suggested for the Nobel prize. The New Academy intends to dissolve on December 11 - after their job is done!Academy will be dissolved December 11th.

 


 

August 2018 LibraryReads List

The top ten books published this month that librarians across the country love.

library reads logo websiteThis 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 August: Vox by Christina Dalcher

voxSet in a United States in which half the population has been silenced, Vox is the harrowing, unforgettable story of what one woman will do to protect herself and her daughter. On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed more than one hundred words per day, Dr. Jean McClellan, a linguist, is in denial. This can't happen here. Not in America. Not to her. This is just the beginning... Soon women are not permitted to hold jobs. Girls are not taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words each day, but now women have only one hundred to make themselves heard. For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean vows to reclaim her voice."Dalcher's narrative raises questions about the links between language and authority; most chilling is the specter of young girls being starved of language and, consequently, the capacity to think critically. ... Dalcher's novel carries an undeniably powerful message." (Publishers Weekly)

 

 

 


 

 

thrillerfestXIII

ThrillerFest XIII

Recently, the International Thriller Writers held their annual conference in New York to celebrate thriller books, the authors who write them, and the fans who read them. Dubbed "Thrillerfest XIII",  the 13th conference ran from July 10-14, with author panels, speeches, and presentations. Among the attendees were this year's ThrillerMaster, George R.R. Martin, along with 2018 Spotlight Guests Lisa Gardner, Lee Child, Megan Abbott, and James Rollins. During the Banquet on Saturday, July 14, the winners of the coveted Thriller Awards were announced. These awards are given each year for the best thriller books in hardcover, paperback original, first novel, and other categories.

Among the thrilling winners:

Best Hardcover Novel: Final Girls by Riley Sager

finalgirlsTen years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horrible massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to--a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout's knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods from Pine Cottage to escape the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them and, with that, one another. Despite the media's attempts, they never meet. Now, Quincy is doing well - that is until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit; and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy's doorstep. Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa's death come to light, Quincy's life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam's truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most importantly, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage ten years ago. "This brilliant horror/psychological thriller will fly off the shelves" (LIbrary Journal).

 

 


 

July is National Ice Cream Month

It's mid-summer and the temperatures are steamy - what better time to consider ice cream?

The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street by Susan Jane Gilman

icecreamqueenIn 1913, little Malka Treynovsky flees Russia with her family. Bedazzled by tales of gold and movie stardom, she tricks them into buying tickets for America. Yet no sooner do they land on the squalid Lower East Side of Manhattan, than Malka is crippled and abandoned in the street. Taken in by a tough-loving Italian ices peddler, she manages to survive through cunning and inventiveness. As she learns the secrets of his trade, she begins to shape her own destiny. She falls in love with a gorgeous, illiterate radical named Albert, and they set off across America in an ice cream truck. Slowly, she transforms herself into Lillian Dunkle, "The Ice Cream Queen" -- matriarch of an empire of ice cream franchises and a celebrated television personality. Lillian's rise to fame and fortune spans seventy years and is inextricably linked to the course of American history itself, from Prohibition to the disco days of Studio 54. Yet Lillian Dunkle is nothing like the whimsical motherly persona she crafts for herself in the media. Conniving, profane, and irreverent, she is a supremely complex woman who prefers a good stiff drink to an ice cream cone . And when her past begins to catch up with her, everything she has spent her life building is at stake. " (Author) Gilman's numerous strengths are showcased, such as character-driven narrative, a ready sense of wit, and a rich historical canvas, in this case based on the unlikely subject of the 20th-century American ice cream industry." (Publishers Weekly).

 

 


 

Forever and a Day by Anthony Horowitz

foreverandadayAnthony Horowitz, with the authorization of Ian Fleming's estate, has written his second James Bond novel, a prequel to the very first Bond adventure, Casino Royale (1952) which introduced the charismatic character. Bond, the ever-cool spy, has outlasted all that Cold War espionage and now confronts global terrorism and other threats to the civilized world. Fleming's novels, eleven written between 1952 and 1966, were very successful and the character of Bond has become part of our popular culture. (We all know how he likes his martinis.) After Fleming's death his estate contracted with other writers to continue the franchise. Raymond Benson, John Gardner, Kingsley Amis, Sebastian Faulks, Jeffrey Deaverr, and William Boyd have all written James Bond novels. Horowitz's first James Bond novel, Trigger Mortis, was published in 2015. In the new novel, Horowitz invents "what might have been Bond's first mission," and explores " some of the forces that might have turned him into the iconic figure that the whole world knows."

 

 


 

And the Winner is .... The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje

 

55574 v1 197xThis special one-off award to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Man Booker Literary Prize in 2018 crowns the best work of fiction from the last five decades of the prize, as chosen by five judges and then voted for by the public.The winner was announced at the Man Booker 50 Festival in Royal Festival Hall at Southbank Centre in London this past weekend. All 51 books that have received a Man Booker Prize were considered by the judges, each of whom chose a specific book to represent one of the past five decades, before a month-long public vote on the Man Booker website was held to pick the winning novel. Baroness Helena Kennedy, chair of the Booker Prize Foundation described The English Patient, the story of an injured, anonymous English WWII pilot and his Italian nurse, as “a compelling work of fiction—both poetic and philosophical—and is a worthy winner of the Golden Man Booker.” Kennedy noted that all 51 Man Booker Prize winners remain in print, adding, “ I’m confident that this special book, chosen by the public, will continue to stand the test of time and delight new readers for many more years to come.”

 

 

 

 


 

Actress and producer Reese Witherspoon founded her book club, Reese’s Book Club x Hello Sunshine, in 2016, as a multi-media platform to highlight reesestories by and about women. Hello Sunshine's stated mission is to change the narrative for women by discovering content that celebrates women and puts them at the center of the story. Not only does Witherspoon choose a book each month for her followers to read, she develops and produces projects to be shared via film, television, audio, website, newsletter, and social and digital channels - whichever platform she and her Hello Sunshine production partners  think best honors the story being told. Visitors to the website will find book discussions, author interviews, podcasts and more. While not yet the size of Oprah's Book Club, Witherspoon's venture is proving to be an influential media marketing force for books and films like Gone Girl and Big Little Lies.

Reese's July Book PIck: Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton

nextyearCleeton, the daughter of Cuban immingrants, drew on her own family's history of the exodus from Cuba after the revolution. The story centers on two women, decades apart, both drawn to the beauty of Cuba. In 1958 Havana, nineteen-year-old Elisa Perez is the daughter of a sugar baron and part of Cuba's high society, where she is largely sheltered from the country's growing political unrest - until she embarks on a clandestine affair with a passionate revolutionary. Years later, in Miami, writer Marisol Ferrera relishes the romantic stories of Cuba told by her grandmother Elisa, who was forced to flee with her family during the revolution. After Elisa's death, Marisol attempts to honor her grandmothers' last wish: that her ashes be scattered in the country of her birth. "Parallel tales of passion and romance crash against rigid family expectations, wartime violence, and political barriers. These two women, pampered Elisa and independent Marisol, tell their stories of star-crossed love with genuine emotional intensity." (Booklist). "It’s a beautiful novel that’s full of forbidden passions, family secrets and a lot of courage and sacrifice,” Witherspoon adds.

 

 


 

 

 

Harlan Ellison (1934-2018)

bloodsaroverProlific and provocative science fiction author Harlan Ellison passed away Thursday at the age of 84. While recognized and LDN L ELLISONrevered for his writing chops, which included over 50 novels and more than 1,700 short stories, as well as scripts for classic television shows like The Outer Limits and Star Trek, and movie adaptations like A Boy and His Dog, he was also known for his pugnacious personality (he described himself as "bellicose"). Ellison took on publishers, Hollywood studios and directors, TV producers, and even his agents and editors, all in the defense and protection of his artistic vision and share of the profits. His many feuds and lawsuits forced the entertainment industry to acknowledge the contributions of writers to their projects. His science fiction writing pushed the boundaries of the genre, using the framework of space and technology to explore dark moral themes. He was rewarded with multiple literary awards: 8 Hugo Awards, 4 Nebula Awards, 5 Bram Stoker Awards, 2 Edgar Awards, 2 World Fantasy Awards.The Science Fiction Writers of America named him its 23rd Grand Master of fantasy and science fiction in 2006 and he ws inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2011. HIs latest book, Blood's A Rover will be released on June 30. As Stephen King tweeted yesterday: "Harlan Ellison: There was no one quite like him in American letters, and never will be. Angry, funny, eloquent, hugely talented. If there's an afterlife, Harlan is already kicking ass and taking down names."

 

 


 

 

 

 

BookClubKitNew titles have been added recently to the Book Club Kit Collection. Each kit contains 10 copies of a book, plus discussion questions, author interviews, and other literary commentary to enhance your book discussions. The kits can be checked out for 8 weeks and you can reserve a kit ahead of time to fit into your group's meeting schedule. A complete list of available Kits can be found on the Library webpage under Services/Book Clubs. 

 

 

Our newest Kits:

beforewewereyoursBefore We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family's Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge--until strangers arrive in force. Taken from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children's Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents--but they quickly realize the dark truth. At the mercy of the facility's cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together in a world of danger and uncertainty. The novel is based on one of America's most notorious real-life scandals--in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country.

 

 

 

 

oursoulsatnightOur Souls at Night by Kent Haruf
In the familiar setting of Holt, Colorado, home to all of Kent Haruf's poignant fiction, Addie Moore pays an unexpected visit to a neighbor, Louis Waters. Her husband died years ago, as did his wife, and in such a small town they naturally have known of each other for decades; in fact, Addie was quite fond of Louis's wife. His daughter lives hours away in Colorado Springs, her son even farther away in Grand Junction, and Addie and Louis have long been living alone in houses now empty of family, the nights so terribly lonely, especially with no one to talk with. Addie presents Louis with an unusual  proposition: a   second chance of sorts for companionship and love in the twilight of their lives.

 

 

 

 

510xUSTE02L SX336 BO1204203200 A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline
To Christina Olson, the entire world was her family's remote farm in the small coastal town of Cushing, Maine. Born in the home her family had lived in for generations, and increasingly incapacitated by illness, Christina seemed destined for a small life. Instead, for more than twenty years, she was host and inspiration for the artist Andrew Wyeth, and became the subject of one of the best known American paintings of the twentieth century, Wyeth's Christina's World. Kline interweaves fact and fiction to bring into focus the flesh and blood woman behind the portrait, a smart, determined personality with a complicated relationship to her family and her past, who forges a special bond with one of America's greatest modern artists.

 

 

 


 

 

nancypearl

On June 21, Nancy Pearl, librarian extraordinaire (with her own action figure), shared a list of summer reads with NPR's Steve Inskeep on that station's Morning Edition broadcast. Great choices for vacation time!

 

 

Among her suggestions:

 

The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon

troublewithgoatsIn a small village in England in 1976, Mrs. Creasy has gone missing and the neighborhood is alive with whispers. The neighbors blame her sudden disappearance on the heat wave, but ten-year-olds Grace and Tilly aren't convinced. As the summer shimmers endlessly on, the girls decide to take matters into their own hands to discover what happened to her. Spunky, spirited Grace and quiet, thoughtful Tilly go door to door in search of clues. The cul-de-sac starts to give up its secrets, and the amateur detectives uncover much more than ever imagined. As they try to make sense of what they've seen and heard, a complicated history of deception begins to emerge. Everyone on the block has something to hide. Nancy explains,"So this is a little bit of a mystery — what happened to Mrs. Creasy — but more it's an examination of a group of people all with secrets of their own and the fear that some of those secrets are going to come out because of the girls' inquisitiveness. But it's laced with wonderful, wonderful touches of humor, including an absolutely priceless scene where Tilly and Grace make one of their regular trips to the library and are looking for something good to read. I loved this book. It's one of those books that you just want to give to everybody."

 

 


 

July 2018 LibraryReads List

The top ten books published this month that librarians across the country love.

library reads logo websiteThis 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 July 2018:

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

spinningsilver“A wonderful reimagining of the Rumpelstiltskin story. A tale of love, family, magic, and destiny, told from the perspective of three strong female characters.”  Melanie Liechty, Logan Library, Logan, UT

Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders, but her father's inability to collect his debts has left his family on the edge of poverty--until Miryem takes matters into her own hands. Hardening her heart, the young woman sets out to claim what is owed and soon gains a reputation for being able to turn silver into gold. When an ill-advised boast draws the attention of the king of a neighboring realm, Miryem's fate, and that of two kingdoms, will be forever altered. Set an impossible challenge by the nameless king, Miryem unwittingly spins a web that draws in a peasant girl, Wanda, and Irina, the unhappy daughter of a local lord who plots to wed his child to a dashing young tsar. But Tsar Mirnatius is not what he seems. And the secret he hides threatens to consume both lands. Torn between deadly choices, Miryem and her two unlikely allies embark on a desperate quest that will take them to the limits of sacrifice, power, and love. "Readers will be impressed by the way Novik ties the myriad threads of her story together by the end, and, despite the book's length, they will be sad to walk away from its deeply immersive setting. This is the kind of book that one might wish to inhabit forever." (Publishers Weekly).

 

 


 

MB 50th rgb h Logo

This year, 2018, marks the 50th anniversary of the Man Booker Prize, one of the leading literary awards in the English speaking world. Each year, the prize is awarded to what is, in the opinion of the judges, the best novel of the year written in English and published in the U.K.;  the winner receives £50,000 (about $66,000). To celebrate this anniversary, The Booker Prize Foundation has launched the Golden Man Booker Prize, a special one-off award that will crown the best work of fiction from the last five decades. Five novels, chosen by the judges from among the 51 previous winners, will vie for the special award. The public is invited to vote on the Man Booker Prize website until June 25 to decide the overall winner, to be announced at the Man Booker 50 Festival on July 8, 2018.

 

large GMB shortlist image

 


 

 

 

A Place for Us by Fatima Faheen Mirza

placeforusActress and bibliophile Sarah Jessica Parker of Sex and the City fame has entered into an editorial arrangement with Hogarth SJP20Book20Club20Centralbooks, part of the Penguin Random House organization, to develop her own imprint, SJP for Hogarth. This week Parker's imprint released its first book, A Place for Us by Fatima Faheen Mirza. The novel tells the story of an Indian family and their estranged brother, all reunited at a wedding. As the Indian wedding gathers a family back together, parents Rafiq and Layla must reckon with the choices their children have made. There is Hadia: their headstrong, eldest daughter, whose marriage is a match of love and not tradition. Huda, the middle child, determined to follow in her sister's footsteps. And lastly, their estranged son, Amar, who returns to the family fold for the first time in three years to take his place as brother of the bride.

Parker's press notes state, "Ms. Mirza painstakingly details the life of an Indian Muslim family in America and their children’s search to feel whole, fulfilled, and content. She captures your mind and heart with an urgency that defies you to stop reading. I guarantee you will be different when you close the book.”

The critics agree;  The Washington Post's book editor Ron Charles declares, "And it is absolutely gorgeous. ... Mirza writes about family life with the wisdom, insight, and patience you would expect from a mature novelist adding a final masterpiece to her canon, but this is, fortunately, just the start of an extraordinary career."

 


 

rainbow clip art rainbow clip art fLGBTQ Books for Adult Readers

At the American Library Association's Midwinter Meeting in February, the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table released their 2018 Over the Rainbow List composed of fiction and non-fiction books for adults that are recognized for their authentic expression of the LGBTQ experience. This year’s list includes 39 fiction and 42 nonfiction titles published between July 1, 2016 and Dec. 31, 2017. Each year, the Over the Rainbow Project releases this annotated bibliography to aid librarians and patrons in selecting quality books released over the prior 18 months.

 

From the List:

 

thisis how

This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel

Detailed exploration of what it means to have a gender non-conforming child. A story of a couple deeply in love, blessed with  5 sons, though Claude, their youngest, doesn’t see herself that way. He's five years old, the youngest of the brothers, and loves peanut butter sandwiches. He also loves wearing a dress, and dreams of being a princess. When he grows up, Claude says, he wants to be a girl. Parents,Rosie and Penn, want Claude to be whoever Claude wants to be. They're just not sure they're ready to share that with the world. Soon the entire family is keeping Claude's secret. Until one day it explodes. Through loving family relationships and ordinary challenges of growing up, Claude is able to develop into the person they are. This is how children change...and then change the world.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

201607 oprahs book club orange logo promo 600x2501The Sun Does Shine: How I found Life and Freedom on Death Row
by Anthony Ray Hinton

sundoesshineYesterday, Oprah Winfrey selected her next book club title, a memoir of a man wrongfully imprisoned for nearly 30 years in Alabama. Anthony Ray Hinton was convicted of two murders in 1985 and spent decades on death row until his conviction was overturned by the Supreme Court in 2014; the Court unanimously ruled that he had been denied a fair trial. In her press release yesterday, Oprah noted that most of her book club picks have been fiction but that this memoir makes great reading. “This story reads like an epic novel and it is all true,” Winfrey said. “You will, throughout the book, try to imagine yourself — falsely accused, and in a 5-by-7 cell for 30 years. He is a remarkable storyteller and when you read it you’ll be swept away.”

 

 

 

 

 


 

iStock SummerReading XSmall73 Books to Read While the Sun Is Out and the Days Are Long -
New York Times Book Review

Last Sunday's New York Times Book Review section focused on summer reading with lists and reviews of all kinds of recent books: thrillers, travel sagas, cookbooks, true crime stories, romance novels, books about music, nature tales, chronicles of the TV & movie industry, and sports stories. With titles like Our Kind of CrueltyThe Kiss Quotient, and Too Wilde to Wed, there's a beach read for everyone.

 

 

 


USA Today  - 10 Hot Books for Summer

Now that the weather is warm enough - 10 new books for your beach reading pleasure. This list contains thrillers like The President is Missing by James Patterson and Bill Clinton (yes, that Bill Clinton); a new book by Ruth Ware, author of The Woman in Cabin 10; and a new family drama by Anne Tyler. There are also non-fiction titles: a biography of Arthur Ashe and a memoir by Todd Fisher about his mother, Debbie Reynolds, and sister, Carrie Fisher.

presidentismissingThe List:

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware
The President is Missing by Bill Clinton and James Patterson
A People's History of the Vampire Uprising by Raymond A. Villreal
How Hard Can It Be? by Allison Pearson
My Girls: A Lifetime with Carrie and Debbie by Todd Fisher
Lincoln's Last Trial by Dan Abrams and David Fisher
A Place for Us by Fatima Mirza
Clock Dance by Anne Tyler
The Other Woman by Daniel Silva
Arthur Ashe: A Life by Raymond Arsenault

 

 

 


 

 

Philip Roth (1933-2018)

goodbyecolumbusAuthor Philip Roth (85) passed away Tuesday night in a Manhattan hospital from congestive heart failure. Obituaries, like the one in The New York Times, are using as many superlatives as possible (and justifiably) to describe and praise Roth as a writer and the numerous books he produced. "Mr. Roth was the last of the great white males: the triumvirate of writers — Saul Bellow and John Updike were the others — who towered over American letters in the second half of the 20th century." (New York Times). "Seminal American Novelist...American litereary icon... (New Yorker). "   the - the  - great American post-war novelist." (Slate.com).

Roth's career has spanned 53 years- his first book was written in 1959- and he received continued critical success thereafter. Roth was one of the most honored authors of his generation: his books have twice been awarded the National Book Award, twice the National Book Critics Circle Award,  three times the PEN/Faulkner Award and he received the Pulitzer Prize in 1998. He was also a perennial contender for the Nobel Prize in Literature. Well known for titles such as Goodbye Columbus, Portnoy's Complaint, Amercan Pastoral, The Human Stain and The Plot Against America, his 31st and last book, Nemesis was published in 2010. Four of his works have been adapted for film. In any survey of contemporary literature, Roth is considered one of the most gifted writers in recent history. In 2005 he became only the third living writer (after Bellow and Eudora Welty) to have his books enshrined in the Library of America. "In the course of a very long career, Mr. Roth took on many guises — mainly versions of himself — in the exploration of what it means to be an American, a Jew, a writer, a man." (New York Times)

 

 

 


 

Beach Reads and More...

whenlife

 The Memorial Day weekend kicks off summer every year, and like cookouts, graduations, and weddings, summer reading lists and recommendations pop up as the weather warms. Media outlets, whether print, online, blog, or broadcast, create lists of best summer reads filled with non-fiction, fiction, beach reads and how-to books. The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, BuzzFeed, Esquire, Good Housekeeping, Parade, and more have all weighed in with selections for your summer reading pleasure. Time to kick back and read!

 

 

 


 

Star Wars Last Shot by Daniel Jose Older and Solo: A Star Wars Story

last shotThis weekend, on May 25, a new Star Wars anthology film will be released. Set before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope,solologo Solo introduces the back-story of one of the franchise's favorite characters, Han Solo (played by Harrison Ford in most of the movies and Alden Ehrenreich in Solo). The action-adventure movie follows the young Han Solo, a smuggler navigating the dark criminal underworld, who meets his future copilot Chewbacca and encounters notorious gambler Lando Calrissian years before joining the Rebellion. Last Shot is a canon novel that serves as a tie-in to the movie. Han Solo and Lando Calrissian are reunited on the Millennium Falcon in a galaxy-spanning tale set ten years after their attempts to find a mysterious transmitter with unknown power and a reward for its discovery. However, the device's creator, the volatile criminal Fyzen Gor, wasn't interested in sharing. When Lando turns up at Han's doorstep in the middle of the night, it's Fyzen's assassins that he's running from. And without Han's help, Lando--and all life on Cloud City--will be annihilated. The two most notorious scoundrels in the New Republic are working together once more. They'll have to journey across the stars--and into the past--before Gor uses the device's power to reshape the galaxy.

 

 


 

 52nd Annual Nebula Awards

nebulaawardlogo

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America recently announced the winners  of the 2017 Nebula Awards for science fiction and fantasy writing. Nominees are named in the best novel, novella, novelette, short story, dramatic presentation, and young adult categories, and the voting takes place throughout March. The winners were honored at the annual SFWA Nebula Conference in Pittsburgh on May 19th.

 

 

Best Novel:

The Stone Sky by N. K. Jemisin

steonskyThe shattering conclusion t o the post-apocalyptic and highly acclaimed bestselling trilogy that began with The Fifth Season , winner of the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2016, and The Obelisk Gate , winner of the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2017.

The Moon will soon return. Whether this heralds the destruction of humankind or something worse will depend on two women.
Essun has inherited the power of Alabaster Tenring. With it, she hopes to find her daughter Nassun and forge a world in which every orogene child (a child with special powers) can grow up safe. For Nassun, her mother's mastery of the Obelisk Gate comes too late. She has seen the evil of the world, and accepted what her mother will not admit: that sometimes what is corrupt cannot be cleansed, only destroyed. "Vivid characters, a tautly constructed plot, and outstanding worldbuilding meld into an impressive and timely story of abused, grieving survivors fighting to fix themselves and save the remnants of their shattered home." (Publishers Weekly)

 

 

 


 

 

bookclubmovieBook Club - the movie

Opening May 18, a movie about a book club comprised of four friends and the books they read. Diane (Diane Keaton) is recently widowed after 40 years of marriage, Vivian (Jane Fonda) enjoys her men with no strings attached, Sharon (Candice Bergen) is still working through her decades-old divorce, and Carol's (Mary Steenburgen) marriage is in a slump after 35 years. The lives of these four lifelong friends are turned upside down after reading the infamous 50 Shades of Grey, catapulting them into a series of outrageous life choices. As the New York Times review points out, "There is an element of fantasy in this, of course, and also a great deal of reality left out of the picture." No matter, as the reviewer for Vox.com puts it, "Book Club is not the flashiest movie of the year. But it's one of the sweetest." He concludes, "But the movie is sneakily great, too. Holderman and Simms’s screenplay is thoughtful and surprisingly moving in places, especially when you consider that its base premise is “a book club of women in their later years decide to read Fifty Shades of Grey." If you're interested to find out what other books the group reads, EW.com has you covered with "Your summer reading list, courtesy of the movie Book Club."

 

 

 


 

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How many of the 100 books have you read?

THE GREAT AMERICAN READ on PBS is an eight-part series that explores and celebrates the power of reading, told through the prism of America’s 100 best-loved novels (as chosen in a national survey).  It investigates how and why writers create their fictional worlds, how we as readers are affected by these stories, and what these 100 different books have to say about our diverse nation and our shared human experience.  

The television series, which starts on Tuesday, May 22, at 8pm ,features entertaining and informative documentary segments, with compelling testimonials from celebrities, authors, notable Americans and book lovers across the country. It is comprised of a two-hour launch episode in which the list of 100 books is revealed, five one-hour theme episodes that examine concepts common to groups of books on the list, and a finale, in which the results are announced of a nationwide vote to choose America’s best-loved book. 

You can take the quiz and check out the list of favorites - then cast your vote for the country's best loved book. Voting will open online and on social media with the launch of the two-hour premiere episode and continue throughout the summer, leading up to the finale in October 2018. Over the summer, viewers can vote online and through hashtag voting via Facebook and Twitter. In the fall, viewers will also be able to cast their votes by using SMS and toll-free voting.

 

 


 

 

2018ASRPbanner

Adult Summer Reading Program 2018

 Adult Summer Reading 2018 begins  June 1

Start reading for fun and prizes.

 

 


 

Tom Wolfe (1930-2018)

twolfecolorTom Wolfe, a superstar of the 1960's, 70's, and 80's  literary world, died Monday, May 14 in Manhattan. He was 88. An influential bonfirereporter and essayist, he is credited with the creation of the writing style, New Journalism, which he described as, "writing nonfiction, from newspaper stories to books, using basic reporting to gather the material but techniques ordinarily associated with fiction, such as scene-by-scene construction, to narrate it.”  During the 60's and 70's, Wolfe wrote well-received columns and essays for newspapers and magazines, but his non-fiction books, like The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and The Right Stuff (which won the National Book Award) established his position as a literary star. His talent was undeniable, with "an extravagant and inventive style" and "creative use of pop language and explosive punctuation." (NYTimes). In 1987 he published his best-known novel, Bonfire of the Vanities, a satire of the excesses and greed of 1980's New York. Both The Right Stuff and Bonfire of the Vanities were adapted as films. Wolfe went on to write several other novels, inlcuding A Man in Full (1998), I am Charlotte Simmons (2004), and Back to Blood (2012). A thorough sophisticate, Wolfe was also known for his dapper outfits - white, bespoke suits, vests and ties, pin-striped silk shirts, pocket handkerchiefs and spats - a look he called, “Neo-pretentious.”

 

 

 


 

June 2018 LibraryReads List

The top ten books published this month that librarians across the country love.

library reads logo websiteThis 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 June 2018:

Bring Me Back by B. A. Paris

By the author of Behind Closed Doors, a new twisted, psychological must-read.

Bring Me Back blog 196x300Finn and Layla are young, in love, and on vacation. They're driving along the highway when Finn decides to stop at a service station to use the restroom. He hops out of the car, locks the doors behind him, and goes inside. When he returns Layla is gone--never to be seen again. That is the story Finn told to the police. But it is not the whole story. Ten years later Finn is engaged to Layla's sister, Ellen. Their shared grief over what happened to Layla drew them close and now they intend to remain together. Still, there's something about Ellen that Finn has never fully understood. His heart wants to believe that she is the one for him...even though a sixth sense tells him not to trust her. Then, not long before he and Ellen are to be married, Finn gets a phone call. Someone from his past has seen Layla--hiding in plain sight. There are other odd occurrences: Long-lost items from Layla's past that keep turning up around Finn and Ellen's house. Emails from strangers who seem to know too much. Secret messages, clues, warnings. If Layla is alive--and on Finn's trail--what does she want? And how much does she know? "Paris (Behind Closed Doors; The Breakdown) once again proves her suspense chops with this can't-put-down psychological thriller." (Library Journal)

 

 

 


 

Nobel Prize in Literature Postponed Until 2019

nobel x 050418Due to turmoil caused by scandals at the Swedish Academy responsible for naming the Nobel Literature Prize winners each year, the Academy has postponed the prize with the intention of awarding it next year. Many members of the group have resigned and left it with only 10 active members, too few to conduct their mission or elect new members. The Nobel Foundation, which is ultimately responsible for fulfilling the terms of Alfred Nobel's will, supports the move and hopes that the Academy can move forward to reform its procedures and restore its credibility. This decision does not affect the other prize categores like medicine, chemistry, or physics.

 

 


 

May the 4th Be with You!

Today is the celebration of all things Star Wars and, as is well known, the Force continues to be strong indeed. The Star Wars franchise has generated thousands and thousands of devoted fans - and related items beyond counting, like movies, cartoons, video games, comics, books, blogs, toys, costumes, and memorabilia etc. There's enough Star Wars fiction to keep the most devoted geek traveling throughout the galaxies (near and far, far away) for a long, long time. And later this month, on May 25, a new Star Wars anthology film will be released. Set before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope, Solo introduces the back-story of one of the franchise's favorite characters, Han Solo (played by Harrison Ford in most of the movies and Alden Ehrenreich in Solo). The action/adventure movie introduces the young Han Solo, a smuggler navigating the dark criminal underworld, who meets his future copilot Chewbacca and encounters notorious gambler Lando Calrissian years before joining the Rebellion.

lastjediWhile you're waiting to board the Millennuim Falcon again, you can journey to that galaxy far, far away with Star Wars:The Last Jedi,  the expanded novelization by Jason Fry released in March. According to science fiction website, i09.gizmodo.com, "The Last Jedi’s novelization,... is unique because it’s the first of these novelizations that has been released long after the launch of the film. What that means is, not only is the book based on what we actually saw in theaters (rather than an earlier draft), but to keep it relevant, it’s also been expanded with input from The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson—adding, clarifying, and enhancing several important moments in the film’s story."

 

 

 

 


 

Agatha Awards 2017/18

agathabanner home

The Agatha Awards, named for the genre’s legendary practitioner, Agatha Christie, are sponsored by Malice Domestic, a nonprofit organization dedicated to celebrating traditional mysteries. The group’s Web site defines these books as “mysteries which contain no explicit sex or excessive gore or violence. Materials generally classified as "hard-boiled" are not appropriate." To be eligible, a mystery novel must have been published by a living author during the calender year of 2017. Prizes were awarded on April 28, 2018 during the organization's annual convention in Bethesda, Maryland.

Best Contemporary Novel:

Glass Houses by Louise Penny

glasshousesIn Penny's 13th book in her popular series about Quebec's Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, the town of Three Rivers is threatened by a mysterious masked figure who stands watch on the village green. Gamache, now Chief Superintendent of the Surete du Quebec, suspects the creature has deep roots and a dark purpose. Yet he does nothing. But when the figure vanishes overnight and a body is discovered, it falls to Gamache to discover if a debt has been paid or levied. Months later, Gamache continues to struggle with actions set in motion that bitter November, from which there is no going back.  Gamache's own conscience is standing in judgment.

 

 

 

 Best Historical Novel:

In Farleigh Field by Rhys Bowen

infarleighfieldWorld War II comes to Farleigh Place, the stately home of Lord Westerham and his five daughters, when a soldier with a failed parachute falls to his death on the estate. After his uniform and possessions raise suspicions, MI5 operative and family friend Ben Cresswell is covertly tasked with determining if the man is a German spy. The assignment also offers Ben the chance to be near Lord Westerham's middle daughter, Pamela, whom he furtively loves. But Pamela has her own secret: she has taken a job at Bletchley Park, the British code-breaking facility. As Ben follows a trail of spies and traitors, which may include another member of Pamela's family, he discovers that some within the realm have an appalling, history-altering agenda.

 

 

 

 Best First Novel:

Hollywood Homicide byKellye Garrett

hollywoodhomicideDayna Anderson didn't set out to solve a murder. All the semifamous, mega-broke actress wanted was to help her parents keep their house. So after witnessing a deadly hit-and-run, she pursues the fifteen grand reward. But Dayna soon finds herself doing a full-on investigation, wanting more than just money--she wants justice for the victim. She chases down leads at paparazzi hot spots, celeb homes, and movie premieres, loving every second of it--until someone tries to kill her. And there are no second takes in real life.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

edgarallanpoe

2018 Edgar Awards

On April 26, at their 72nd annual banquet in New York, The Mystery Writers of America presented the Edgar Allan Poe Awards honoring the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction and television published or produced in 2017.

 

Best Novel:

Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke

bluebirdWhen it comes to law and order, East Texas plays by its own rules--a fact that Darren Mathews, a black Texas Ranger, knows all too well. Deeply ambivalent about growing up black in the lone star state, he was the first in his family to get as far away from Texas as he could. Until duty called him home. When his allegiance to his roots puts his job in jeopardy, he travels up Highway 59 to the small town of Lark, where two murders--a black lawyer from Chicago and a local white woman--have stirred up a hornet's nest of resentment. Darren must solve the crimes--and save himself in the process--before Lark's long-simmering racial fault lines erupt. "Locke, winner of the 2016 Harper Lee Prize for legal fiction (Pleasantville) and a writer and producer of the show Empire, has woven an atmospheric, convoluted mystery seasoned with racial tension and family loyalty." (Library Journal). The FX cable channel has purchased the rights to develop a series based on the book, to be called Highway 59.

 

 

 

 Best First Novel:

She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper

sheridesshotgunEleven-year-old Polly McClusky is timid child when she is unexpectedly reunited with her father, Nate, fresh out of jail and driving a stolen car. He takes her from the front of her school into a world of robbery, violence, and the constant threat of death. And he does it to save her life. Nate made dangerous enemies in prison--a gang called Aryan Steel has put out a bounty on his head, counting on its members on the outside to finish him off. They've already murdered his ex-wife, Polly's mother. And Polly is their next target. Nate and Polly's lives soon become a series of narrow misses, of evading the bad guys and the police, of sleepless nights in motels. On the lam, Polly is forced to grow up early: with barely any time to mourn her mother, she must learn how to take a punch and pull off a drug-house heist. She finds herself transforming from a shy little girl into a true fighter. Nate, in turn, learns what it's like to love fiercely and unconditionally. "Expert pacing and well-developed characters lift this above the thriller pack." (Publishers Weekly)

 

 


 

May 2018 LibraryReads List

The top ten books published this month that librarians across the country love.

library reads logo websiteThis 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 May 2018:

Furyborn by Claire Legrand

Furyborn blog 196x300This first novel of a fantasy trilogy follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world...or doom it.

When assassins ambush her best friend, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing herself as one of a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light, and a queen of blood. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven elemental magic trials. If she fails, she will be executed...unless the trials kill her first. One thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a fairy tale to Eliana Ferracora. A bounty hunter for the Undying Empire, Eliana believes herself untouchable--until her mother vanishes. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain and discovers that the evil at the empire's heart is more terrible than she ever imagined. As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world--and of each other. "Legrand excels at world building, deftly integrating the religion and history of this imaginary world into a dark yet rousing adventure story that combines passion and danger at every turn." (Booklist)

 

 

 


 

Barnes & Noble Book Club Featuring The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer

B&N has recently announced the launch of a brand new, in real-time, book club. The Barnes & Noble Book Club's first meeting will be on May 2 at 6pm with hosted book discussions at all 630 stores in all 50 states. The book club is free and open to the public, and the first selection is Meg Wolitzer's new book, The Female Persuasion. One signed copy of the book will be given away at all locations. Our local store at 17111 Haggerty Rd. Northville, MI 48168 (248-348-0696) is participating.

femalepersuasionThe  Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer
Greer Kadetsky is a shy college freshman when she meets the woman she hopes will change her life. Faith Frank, dazzlingly persuasive and elegant at sixty-three, has been a central pillar of the women's movement for decades, a figure who inspires others to influence the world. Upon hearing Faith speak for the first time, Greer- madly in love with her boyfriend, Cory, but still full of longing for an ambition that she can't quite place- feels her inner world light up. And then, astonishingly, Faith invites Greer to make something out of that sense of purpose, leading Greer down the most exciting path of her life  and away from her meant-to-be love story with Cory and the future she'd always imagined. Greer is thrilled to land a job with Frank’s foundation—but when her new life begins to crumble around her, Greer finds herself reevaluating her entire worldview, including her understanding of Frank and of what it means to be a feminist in the modern age. "Sweeping yet intimate, Wolitzer's timely saga places her characters at the heart of a new wave of feminism, one clinging to the old paradigms of protest while encompassing current politics of personal responsibility. In a complex web of friends, lovers, mentors, and rivals, Wolitzer compassionately and artfully discerns the subtle strengths at the core of these essential connections." (Booklist)

 

 

 


 

guernseyThe Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

After a long gestation, the movie version of this popular 2008 book by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, finally hits the screen today, April 20. This charming story with surprising depth is set in 1946 England in the aftermath of World War II and is written in the epistolary style, composed of letters from one character to another. Writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. She finds it in a letter from a man she's never met, a native of the Channel island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb. As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends--and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society--born as a spur-of-the-moment cover when its members were discovered breaking curfew during the German occupation of their island--boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all. Ashton also learns that Elizabeth McKenna, the beloved founder of the Society, was arrested and sent to a prison in France by the Germans and has yet to return home. The members of the Society are raising her child, Kit, among themselves until Elizabeth returns. Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society's members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.

Although the book's authors are American, the movie is a British production and stars a host of British actors known for British historical dramas: Lily James (Downton Abbey) as Juliet and Jessica Brown Findlay (Downtown Abbey) as Elizabeth, with other Downton Abbey alums, Matthew Goode (The Crown), and Penelope Wilton (Best Exotic Marigold Hotel).

 

 


 

Less by Andrew Sean Greer

Yesterday, April 16, 2018, the 102nd class of Pulitzer Prize winners was announced. The first prizes honoring excellence in journalism and the arts were pulitzer2untitledawarded in 1917 for work done in 1916; the prizes were established by publisher Joseph Pulitzer through a bequest in his will. The Prizes are for more than just journalists - it is also one of the most coveted awards in the literary world (and Kendrick Lamar just won the Pulitzer Prize for Music).

 

lessWho says you can't run away from your problems? You are a failed novelist about to turn fifty. A wedding invitation arrives in the mail: your boyfriend of the past nine years is engaged to someone else. You can't say yes--it would be too awkward--and you can't say no--it would look like defeat. On your desk are a series of invitations to half-baked literary events around the world. One way to skip town? You accept them all. What would possibly go wrong? Arthur Less will almost fall in love in Paris, almost fall to his death in Berlin, barely escape to a Moroccan ski chalet from a Saharan sandstorm, accidentally book himself as the (only) writer-in-residence at a Christian Retreat Center in Southern India, and encounter, on a desert island in the Arabian Sea, the last person on Earth he wants to face. Somewhere in there: he will turn fifty. Through it all, there is his first love. And there is his last. Because, despite all these mishaps, missteps, misunderstandings and mistakes, Less is, above all, a love story. "Less is a wondrous achievement, deserving an even larger audience than Greer's best-selling The Confessions of Max Tivoli." (Booklist)

 

 


 

metroauthor

Metro Detroit Book and Author Luncheon - Monday, May 21, 2018

The 92nd Metro Detroit Book and Author Society Luncheon will be held on Monday, May 21 at the Burton Manor in Livonia. Ticket sales began on April 2, by phone at 586-685-5750, ext. 102 or online at www.bookandauthor.info. Tickets sales will end on May 18. Featured authors this spring are Michael Hodges, Jessica Knoll, Tiya Miles, and Dani Shapiro.

The Metro-Detroit Book & Author Society was created for the sole purpose of presenting a luncheon featuring major national authors. The Society strives to present top national authors in a comfortable, casual setting, with an opportunity to buy signed books and meet the authors. Guest authors have included Bonnie Jo Campbell, David Maraniss, Stephen King, James Patterson, Mary Higgins Clark, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Michael Connelly, Greg Isles, Kathy Reich, Erik Larson, C.J. Box, Randy Wayne White, and Debbie Macomber. The Metro-Detroit Book & Author luncheons are considered one of the largest and best one-day author events in the country.

 

 


 

This year, Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Yom Ha Shoah in Hebrew, marks the 75th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was the 1943 act of Jewish resistance that arose within the Warsaw Ghetto in German-occupied Poland during World War II, opposing Nazi Germany's final effort to transport the remaining Ghetto population to the Treblinka concentration camp. Holocaust Remembrance Day will be officially observed in the United States on Thursday, April 12, which corresponds to the  27th day of Nisan on the Hebrew calendar. 2018 also marks the 25th anniversary of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. The Museum was established as the result of a commission created in 1978 by President Jimmy Carter and led by Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, as a “living memorial” that would honor the memory of the victims by teaching the lessons of the Holocaust to new generations.

Recognize the importance of remembrance:

boyinwinterA Boy in Winter by Rachel Sieffert
A startling portrait of the Nazis' arrival in Ukraine as they move to implement the final solution. Otto Pohl, an engineer overseeing construction of a German road in Ukraine, awakens to the unexpected sight of SS men herding hundreds of Jews into an old brick factory. Inside the factory, Ephraim anxiously scans the growing crowd, looking for his two sons. He can't quell the suspicion that it would be just like his oldest son, Yankel, to hole up somewhere instead of lining up for the Germans, and just like his youngest to follow. Yasia, a farmer's daughter who has come into town to sell produce, sees two young boys slinking through the shadows of the deserted streets and decides to offer them shelter. Yankel, with young Momik in tow, is determined to survive this. But to do so, he must throw in his lot with strangers. As their stories mesh, each of the characters comes to know the compromises demanded by survival, the oppressive power of fear, and the possibility of courage in the face of terror.

 

 

 


 

Outstanding Genre Fiction

rusareadinglistSince 2007, the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA, a division of the American Library Association) has assembled The Reading List in order to highlight outstanding genre fiction. The list was announced during the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting, held February 9-13. A committee of twelve librarians selects one book to represent the best in each of 8 different categories. They also include read-alike suggestions and display the short lists of titles considered for each category. The categories include adrenaline (including suspense, thriller and adventure), fantasy, historical fiction, horror, mystery, romance, science fiction and women’s fiction.

 

Winners:

 

halfdrownedAdrenaline
Fierce Kingdom
by Gin Phillips                                                                             

Fantasy
Down among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

Historical Fiction
The Half-Drowned King by Linnea Hartsuyker

Horror
Kill Creek by Scott Thomas

Mystery
The Dime
by Kathleen Kent

Romance
An Extraordinary Union
by Alyssa Cole

Science Fiction
The Collapsing Empire
by John Scalzi

Women’s Fiction
The Almost Sisters
by Joshilyn Jackson

 

 


 

 

mlk50Commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, the prominent clergyman and civil rights leader/activist, was shot at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968. He was rushed to St. Joseph's Hospital, and was pronounced dead about an hour later. It was a devastating day for the black community and the nation as a whole. Drawing inspiration from both his Christian faith and the peaceful teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. King led a nonviolent movement in the late 1950’s and ‘60s to achieve legal equality for African-Americans in the United States.He is widely regarded as America’s pre-eminent advocate of nonviolence for social change; in 1964, at 35 years old, Dr.King, became the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Individuals and organizations here (Metro Detroit Events list)  and around the country will honor Dr. King on April 4, 2018 and throughout the year. 2018 also marks the 50th Anniversary of the founding of The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (The King Center).

 Discover a new perspective:

 iseethepromisedland I See the Promised Land: A Life of Martin Luther King Jr. by Arthur R. Flowers
Presents in graphic novel format the life of the Baptist minister and Noble Peace Prize winner who became the leader and orator of the African American civil rights movement before his assassination in 1968. "...a standout both as a distinctive graphic narrative that combines two world storytelling traditions and as an examination of King's life and its enduring legacy across the globe." (Booklist)

 

 

 

 


 

Anita Shreve (1946 - 2018)

starsarefireBest-selling author Anita Shreve died on March 29 at her home in New Hampshire, following a battle with cancer. She was the shreveauthor of 19 novels, including The Pilot's Wife, Resistance and The Weight of Water, which were all made into movies. Her novels often explored domestic themes, usually with a woman and her family in crisis. Discussing The Weight of Water she quoted a line from the book,"‘If you push a woman to the edge, how will she behave?" and went on to say, "And that, to me, is a fascinating question.” She began writing in the 1970's after a few years of teaching in the Boston area, but did not write fiction until the late 1980's. Her first book, Eden Close, was published in 1989. In 1999, Oprah selected Shreve's 7th novel, The Pilot's Wife, about a woman whose pilot husband dies in a plane crash, for the Oprah Book Club, giving Shreve a huge career boost. She wrote 12 more novels after that, about one every year and a half. Her most recent book, The Stars are Fire, based on the Great Fire of 1947 in Maine, and about a young wife and mother's recovery from its devastation, was published in 2017. "Based on the harrowing true story of the largest fire to ravage the coast of Maine, this is sure to be a best seller. Shreve's prose mirrors the action of the fire, with popping embers of action, licks of blazing rage, and the slow burn of lyrical character development. Absolutely stunning." (Library Journal)

 

 


 

grouchonoseApril is National Humor Month                              

According to www.humormonth.com, "National Humor Month was conceived as a means to heighten public awareness of the therapeutic value of humor. Laughter and joy - the benchmarks of humor - lead to improved well-being, boosted morale, increased communication skills, and an enriched quality of life."

Who doesn't need a laugh these days? A book to enjoy as swimsuit season draws near:

 

fitnessjunkieFitness Junkie by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza

When Janey Sweet, CEO of a couture wedding dress company, is photographed in the front row of a fashion show eating a bruffin--the delicious lovechild of a brioche and a muffin--her best friend and business partner, Beau, gives her an ultimatum: Lose thirty pounds or lose your job. Sure, Janey has gained some weight since her divorce, so she throws herself headlong into the world of the fitness revolution, signing up for a shockingly expensive workout pass, baring it all for Free the Nipple yoga, sweating through boot camp classes run by Sri Lankan militants, spinning to the screams of a Lycra-clad instructor with rage issues, dumpster diving on a first date, and other shenanigans As Janey eschews delicious carbs, pays thousands of dollars to charlatans, and is harassed by her very own fitness bracelet, she can't help but wonder: Did she really need to lose weight in the first place? "A timely satire of current healing crazes of the rich and famous (eating clay is a thing), with a hint of corporate espionage. Folks who read Sykes and Piazza's debut, The Knockoff (2015), will be expecting some thinly disguised name-dropping, and the authors do not disappoint. There's a reason their books come out in the summer; this one is a lot of fun." (Booklist)

 

 


 

A new season for the Detroit Tigers                                                                    talesdugout

For, lo, the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone;

The flowers appear on the earth;
The time of the singing of birds is come,
And the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.

Every year until his retirement in 2002, legendary sports broadcaster Ernie Harwell (the Voice of the Tigers) would read this selection, The Voice of the Turtle, from the Song of Solomon, to begin the new season and celebrate spring and the rebirth of hope. So, let's go, Tigers - play ball!

 


 

Philip Kerr (1956 - 2018)

greeksPhilip Kerr, the author of numerous popular crime novels, passed away last week. Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, Kerr's family 27kerr1 blog427moved to England when he was a teen and he studied law at the University of Birmingham from 1974 to 1980, eventually gaining a master's degree. Kerr worked as an advertising copywriter before becoming a full-time writer in 1989. A writer of both adult fiction and non-fiction, he was known for the Bernie Gunther series of thrillers set during the Weimar Republic, World War II and the Cold War. Starting in 1989 with March Violets, he created police investigator Bernie Gunther, a sardonic German detective with a hard-boiled style who hates Hitler's regime and quits his job when the Nazis come to power. The series spans thirteen novels, taking Gunther through World War II as a private gumshoe and into post-war intrigues during the Cold War years. Kerr's writing and Gunther's personality drew comparisons to Raymond Chandler's noir dectective, Philip Marlowe. By setting his novels in Hitler's Germany, Kerr "found fertile turf for years of complex storytelling. Nazis, he said, were far worse than any “dodgy” district attorney or “corrupt” mayor (Raymond Chandler's) Marlowe had encountered."(New York Times). Kerr's latest Gunther novel, Greeks Bearing Gifts, will be published in April. He also wrote children's books under the name P.B. Kerr, including the Children of the Lamp series.

 

 


 

Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff by Sean Penn

bobhoneyActor/activist Sean Penn has written a novel, released today - and what a novel it is. The plot follows Bob Honey, a modern American man, entrepreneur, and part-time assassin. Bob has a hard time connecting with other people, especially since his divorce. He's tired of being marketed to every moment, sick of a world filled with social media oversharing. A paragon of old-fashioned American entrepreneurship, Bob sells septic tanks to Jehovah's Witnesses and arranges pyrotechnic displays for foreign dictators. He's also a contract killer for an off-the-books program run by a branch of US intelligence that targets the elderly, the infirm, and others who drain our consumption-driven society of its resources. When a nosy journalist starts asking questions, Bob can't decide if it's a chance to form some sort of new friendship or the beginning of the end for him. With treason on everyone's lips, terrorism in everyone's sights, and American political life sinking to ever-lower standards, Bob decides it's time to make a change--if he doesn't get killed by his mysterious controllers or exposed in the rapacious media first.


The publisher's blurb calls the book "a scorching, darkly funny novel." Other reviewers have differing reactions. USA Today concludes, "If all that sounds strange, it is. The narrative structure involves random lines of poetry, dystopian fever dreams and episodes featuring Bob Honey's mad adventures...There's also a strong satirical streak here, in which Penn is rather unsubtle with his commentary on American politics, culture and society." The Washington Post reviewer's take is "...“Bob Honey” is best appreciated as the fever dream of a boomer who watches the news, cannot make sense of it, but cannot contain his fury at it anyhow." Kirkus Review is somewhat kinder: "Noted actor and director Penn tries his hand at fiction and pulls it off reasonably well....A provocative debut. Not entirely successful, but James Franco and B.J. Novak better watch their backs."

 

 


 

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

readyplayeroneAccording to a March 6 post on BuzzFeed by Jarry Lee, the deputy books editor, Ready Player One was the state of Michigan's most popular book in ebook or audio format from March 2017 to March 2018. This conclusion was based on the the statistics of the ebook and audio subscription service Scribd. Of course, the print version has been very popular too, with the film adaptation ready for release on March 29. Directed by Steven Spielberg with a screenplay writen by Zak Penn and Ernest Cline, the sci fi, adventure film has been eagerly anticipated by fans.

The novel is set in the year 2045, and the real world is an ugly place. Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune--and remarkable power--to whoever can unlock them. For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday's riddles are based in the pop culture he loved--that of the late twentieth century. And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle. Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt--among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win.

 

Join the Library's Ready Player One Celebration

Saturday, April 7, 1-4 p.m.
Come Celebrate all things retro and geek out at the Library with arcade and console games, virtual reality, 80's board games, music, snacks, neon-colored drinks, and more! Registration required.

 

 


 

 shamrock symbol jonadab 01Erin Go Bragh!

March 17th is the day to celebrate all things Irish and green - green shamrocks, green clothes, green beads and, of course, green beer!

Transport yourself to the Emerald Isle with a book.

 

Murder in an Irish Churchyard by Carlene O'Connor


murderirishchurchThe third book in O'Connor's series, set in the town of Kilbane, County Cork, Ireland, sees Siobhán O'Sullivan promoted to garda (officer) in the national police force of Ireland. Her brothers now run the family business, Naomi's Bistro, as Siobahn takes up her duties to keep her town and its citizens safe. Of course, Kilbane is pretty quiet compared to a place like Dublin, but one night the local priest summons her to the church cemetery. There's a dead man in the graveyard--aboveground. He lies shot on a blanket of freshly fallen snow, hand stretched out toward a nearby headstone. He's a stranger, but the priest has heard talk of an American tourist in town, searching for his Irish ancestor. A detective sergeant is dispatched from Dublin to assist with the case, and as fate would have it, it's Siobhan's ex-boyfriend, Macdara. After his parting, things are awkward between them, but they have to work together. They learn the victim was from Dublin--Dublin, Ohio, that is. And when his family members are located and told of his murder, the plot thickens.As long-buried family secrets are unearthed, she and Macdara will need to stay two steps ahead of the killer or end up with more than one foot in the grave. "Fans of light mysteries with an Irish flavor will look forward to Siobhan and Macdara's further adventures." (Publishers Wekly)

 

 

 


 

April 2018 LibraryReads List

The top ten books published this month that librarians across the country love.

library reads logo websiteThis 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 April 2018:

Circe by Madeline Miller

circeWorking from myths and history, Miller tells the story of legendary sorceress, Circe. The daughter of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans,  Circe is a strange child--not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power--the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves. Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus. But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love. "Weaving together Homer's tale with other sources, Miller crafts a classic story of female empowerment. She paints an uncompromising portrait of a superheroine who learns to wield divine power while coming to understand what it means to be mortal." (Publishers Weekly). Or as the LibraryReads reviewer, McKelle George, put it, "For readers of historical and mythological drama or anyone who loves a strong female lead."

 

 

 


 

horrorwriters

 

2017 Bram Stoker Awards

The Horror Writers Association, an organization of writers and publishers of horror and dark fantasy,"dedicated to promoting dark literature and the interests of those who write it," recently announced the 2017 winners of the Bram Stoker Awards. Named for the author of Dracula, the awards are presented annually for superior writing in several categories of this genre. The awards were presented during the third annual StokerCon, held March 1-3, at the historic Biltmore Hotel in Providence, Rhode Island.

 

Superior Achievement in a Novel:

Ararat by Christopher Golden

araratThe heart-pounding tale of an adventure that goes wrong...on a biblical scale. When an earthquake reveals a secret cave hidden inside Mount Ararat in Turkey, a daring, newly-engaged couple are determined to be the first ones inside...and what they discover will change everything. The cave is actually an ancient, buried ship that many quickly come to believe is really Noah's Ark. When a team of scholars, archaeologists, and filmmakers make it inside the ark, they discover an elaborate coffin in its recesses. Inside the coffin they find an ugly, misshapen cadaver--not the holy man they expected, but a hideous creature with horns. Shock and fear turn to horror when a massive blizzard blows in, trapping them thousands of meters up the side of a remote mountain. All they can do is pray for safety. But something wicked is listening to their prayers...and it wants to answer. "Those who dare to read this novel will enjoy a spine--tingling tale with rich imagery and a buoyant cast of characters." (Library Journal)

 

 


 

2017 Nebula Award Finalists Announced

nebulaawardlogoThe Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America recently announced the finalists for the 2017 Nebula Awards for science fiction and fantasy writing. Nominees are named in the best novel, novella, novelette, short story, dramatic presentation, and young adult categories, and the voting takes place throughout March. The winners will receive their prizes during the 52nd Nebula Awards Weekend in Pittsburgh on May 19.

Best Novel Nominees:

Amberlough, Lara Elena Donnelly

The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter, Theodora Goss

Spoonbenders, Daryl Gregory

The Stone Sky, N.K. Jemisin

Six Wakes, Mur Lafferty

Jade City, Fonda Lee

Autonomous, Annalee Newitz

 

(SFWA® and Nebula Awards® are registered trademarks of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc.)

 

 


 

oscarThe Oscars

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Honoring movies released in 2017

 
Book-to-movie adaptations are a big hit with film audiences, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences too. On Sunday, March 4, Hollywood royalty will be parading on the red carpet just before the awards show which will bestow honors on such films, and the actors and personnel who created them.
 
And the books/nominees are:
 
All the Money in the World - based on Painfully Rich by John Pearson
 
Beauty and the Beast by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont
 
Blade Runner 2049 - based on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
 
The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis
 
Call Me by Your Name by Andre Aciman
 
Ferdinand - based on The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf
 
Mudbound by Hillary Jordan
 
Wonder by R. J. Palacio
 
The Boss Baby by Marla Frazee
 
The Disaster Artist by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell
 
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 -  based on Marvel Comics series by Dan Abnett and Andy Lansing
 
Molly's Game - based on Molly's Game  by Molly Bloom
 
 
 

 
 

March is Women's History Month

NWHP-Logo-small

 

Women's History Month had its origins as a national celebration in 1981 when Congress requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as "Women's History Week." In 1987 after being petitioned by the National Women's History Project, Congress designated the month of March as "Women's History Month" in perpetuity to highlight the achievements of women and their contributions to intellectual and social progress throughout human history.

(Historical content and image courtesy of the National Women's History Project and the Library of Congress.)

 



Discover some persistent women:

elizaI, Eliza Hamilton by Susan Holloway Scott
As anyone who has seen the Broadway hit, Hamilton, knows, Eliza Schuyler was the daughter of a respected New York general, and accustomed to socializing with dignitaries and soldiers. But no visitor to her parents' home affected her so strongly as Alexander Hamilton, a charismatic, ambitious aide to George Washington. They married quickly, and despite the tumult of the American Revolution, Eliza wasconfident in her brilliant husband and in her role as his helpmate. But it is in the aftermath of war, as Hamilton became one of the country's most important figures, that she truly came into her own.Behind closed doors, she astutely managed their expanding household, and assisted her husband with his political writings.Through public scandal, betrayal, personal heartbreak, and tragedy, she was tested again and again. In the end, it was Eliza's indomitable strength that made her not only Hamilton's most crucial ally in life, but also his most loyal advocate after his death.Two years later, she, along with several other women founded the New York Orphan Asylum Society, a social service for children. In 1821, she was named first directress, and served for twenty-seven years in this role. Eliza died in 1854, fifty years after her husband, at the age of 97.

 

 

 

isadoraIsadora by Amelia Gray
Grays' novel is based on the tumultuous, unconventional life of the innovative American dancer and choreographer, Isadora Duncan. Born in San Franciso in 1877, Duncan began dancing and teaching at an early age, eventually moving to New York and then Europe as she developed her philosophy of naturalistic movement. Duncan's style was controversial for its time, as it defied what she viewed as the constricting conventions of ballet, placing major emphasis on the human female form and free-flowing moves. Her achievements and artistic vision would lead her to be called the "Mother of Modern Dance." Duncan defied social customs in other ways and was viewed as an early feminist, declaring that she wouldn't marry. In 1913 she was known as much for her stunning dance performances as for her eccentric and salacious personal life -- her lovers included poets, directors, and the heir to the Singer sewing machine fortune. But when her two children drowned in Paris, she found herself bereft. Traveling to Greece and Italy in an effort to get over her grief, she battled physical illness and mental collapse."As Isadora plunges into near madness, then slowly reclaims her artistic powers, Gray, performing her own extraordinary artistic leap, explores the nexus between body and mind, loss and creativity, love and ambition, and birth and death.The spellbinding result is a mythic, fiercely insightful, mordantly funny, and profoundly revelatory portrait of an intrepid and indelible artist." (Booklist)

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews

redsparrowOn March 2, the film adaptation of ex-CIA officer Matthews' 2013 novel about contemporary Russian spies hits the multiplex. Matthews spent 33 years with the CIA and has since penned several spy thrillers; Red Sparrow is the first in a trilogy which includes Palace of Treason and The Kremlin's Candidate. The plot follows Russian intelligence officer, and former ballerina, Dominika Egorova as she struggles to survive in the post-Soviet intelligence jungle. Ordered against her will to become a "Sparrow," a trained seductress, Dominika is assigned to operate against Nathaniel Nash, a young CIA officer who handles the Agency's most important Russian mole. As the action careens between Russia, Finland, Greece, Italy, and the United States, Dominika and Nate soon collide in a duel of wills, tradecraft, and--inevitably--forbidden passion that threatens not just their lives but those of others as well. As secret allegiances are made and broken, Dominika and Nate's game reaches a deadly crossroads. Soon one of them begins a dangerous double existence in a life-and-death operation that consumes intelligence agencies from Moscow to Washington, DC. "An intense descent into a vortex of carnal passion, career brutality, and smart tradecraft, this thriller evokes the great Cold War era of espionage and adds startling touches such as recipes and a main character with synesthesia. Readers of bloodthirsty spy and suspense will welcome this debut from a writer who supersizes his spies."(LIbrary Journal)

The film stars an ensemble cast made up of Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Matthias Schoenaerts, Charlotte Rampling, Mary-Louise Parker, and Jeremy Irons.

 

 


 

annihilationAnnihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

Today, February 23, Paramount Pictures is releasing the film adaptation of VanderMeer's 2014 Nebula Award-winning sci fi saga. Annihilation is the first in the Southern Reach trilogy, about a strange uninhabited area known as Area X, located in a U.S. National Park swamp. The story, set in the near-future, imagines Area X as a region cut off from human occupation and reclaimed by nature. Several expeditions that journeyed there ended in catastrophe; now another group, made up of four women: an anthropologist, a surveyor, a psychologist, and a biologist, is set to go. Their mission is to map the terrain, record all observations of their surroundings and of one another, and, above all, avoid being contaminated by Area X itself. The film, which stars Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, Tuva Novotny, and Oscar Isaac, refers to the area as "The Shimmer," a mysterious quarantined zone that is full of mutating landscapes and creatures. Library Journal's review of the book concluded, "...this short work packs a big punch, as the author has rare skills for building tension and making the reader feel the claustrophobic dread of his characters. Readers will be unsettled, intrigued, and eager for the next volume in this new trilogy." At this point, it should be mentioned that the book also won the 2014 Shirley Jackson Award  for best novel, an award "established for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic."

 


 

carnegieOn Sunday, February 11, at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver, the American Library Association announced the winner of the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. The award, established in 2012, recognizes the best in fiction for adult readers published in the U.S. during the last year. The Medals are funded through a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and co-sponsored by ALA's Booklist magazine and the Reference and User Services division of ALA. Winning authors, who receive a $5,000 cash award, are picked by library professionals.

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

The latest novel from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Visit from the Goon Squad, centers on Anna Kerrigan, nearly twelve years old, who accompanies her father to visit Dexter Styles, a man who, she gleans, is crucial to the survival of her father and her family. She is mesmerized by the sea beyond his house and by some charged mystery between the two men. Years later, her father has disappeared and the country is at war. Anna works at the Brooklyn Naval Yard, where women are allowed to hold jobs that once belonged to men, now soldiers abroad. She becomes the first female diver, the most dangerous and exclusive of occupations, repairing the ships that will help America win the war. One evening at a nightclub, she meets Dexter Styles again, and begins to understand the complexity of her father's life, the reasons he might have vanished. With the atmosphere of a noir thriller, Egan's first historical novel follows Anna and Styles into a world populated by gangsters, sailors, divers, bankers, and union men in a propulsive exploration of a transformative moment in the lives and identities of women and men, of America, and the world.

 

 


 

A little mystery with that chocolate heart!                   heart

 Addressed to Kill (A Postmistress Mystery) by Jean Flowers


addressedLove is in the air for postmaster Cassie Miller and the residents of North Ashcot, Massachusetts. Valentine's Day is right around the corner, and the town is gearing up for a special dinner dance at the senior center. With the local musical group performing at the dance displaced from their regular practice location, Cassie is all too happy to host them during off-hours at the post office. But not everything is coming up roses. When one of the musicians, Dennis Somerville, is found shot in his home, rumors swirl over who might have wanted him dead. Cassie must determine if there is a link between a string of recent break-ins and Dennis's murder before another victim winds up with more than a broken heart.

 

 

 


 

 

 

March 2018 LibraryReads List

The top ten books published this month that librarians across the country love.

library reads logo websiteThis 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 March:

Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh

letmelieThe stunning new novel from Clare Mackintosh, the international bestselling author of I Let You Go and I See You. The police say it was suicide. Anna says it was murder. They're both wrong. Last year, Tom and Caroline Johnson chose to end their lives, one seemingly unable to live without the other. Their daughter, Anna, is struggling to come to terms with her parents' deaths, unwilling to accept the verdict of suicide. Now with a baby herself, Anna feels her mother's absence keenly and is determined to find out what really happened to her parents. But as she digs up the past, someone is trying to stop her. Sometimes it's safer to let things lie.... "Mackintosh cleverly subverts readers' expectations while capitalizing on the complicated nature of parent-child relationships. Shocking twists share the page with meditations on love, loss, marriage, and mental illness, and though not every revelation feels earned, the overall story amply satisfies." (Publishers Weekly).

 

 

 


 

anamericanmarriageAn American Marriage by Tayari Jones

201607 oprahs book club orange logo promo 600x2501Yesterday on CBS This Morning, Oprah Winfrey announced her latest book club selection, An American Marriage, calling it "intriguing" and explaining that "It's a love story that also has a huge layer of suspense..."  The announcement coincided with the release date of the novel, which has also been named People Magazines' Book of the Week. The plot follows a professional African-American couple living in Atlanta. Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn't commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy's time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy's conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together. But can they find their way back to the people they once were and the realtionship they had? "Jones (Silver Sparrow, 2011) crafts an affecting tale that explores marriage, family, regret, and other feelings made all the more resonant by her well-drawn characters and their intricate conflicts of heart and mind. (Booklist)

Visit Oprah.com/BookClub for more information.

 

 


 

The Edgar Awards

MWAlogo Each spring, Mystery Writers of America present the Edgar® Awards, widely acknowledged to be the most prestigious awards in the mystery genre.  Check out this year's nominees for Best Novel, and check back on April 26th to find out who wins!

 

 

 

                          Best Novel Nominees:

The Dime by Kathleen Kent
Prussian Blue by Philip Kerr
Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke
A Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee
The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti
 
 
 

 
 

superbowllogo

Tomorrow is the national holiday known as Super Bowl Sunday; this is the 52nd (LII in Roman numerals) grand football extravaganza that captures most of the nation's attention, enthusiam, and money.. There will be parties, with great food and drink, wagers, exuberant behavior, cheers and celebrations for the winners, and tears and heartbreak for the losers. But what happens to the participants after the party is over? For your consideration, a book about an ex-football player who winds up in Kalkaska, MI long after his college football days are over. A pretty loose connection to the NFL, the Super Bowl, and Tom Brady, but entertaining nonetheless.

 

repomanThe Midnight Plan of the Repo Man by W. Bruce Cameron
Ruddy McCann, former college football star, has experienced a seismic drop in popularity; he is now Kalkaska, Michigan's full-time repo man and part-time bar bouncer. His best friend is his low-energy Basset hound Jake, with whom he shares a simple life of stealing cars. Simple, that is, until Ruddy starts hearing a voice in his head. (Maybe the result of too many concussions?) The voice introduces himself as Alan Lottner, a dead realtor. Ruddy isn't sure if Alan is real, or if he's losing his mind (the dreaded Repo Madness). To complicate matters, it turns out Katie, the girl he's fallen for, is Alan's daughter. When Alan demands Ruddy find his murderers, Ruddy decides a voice in your head seeking vengeance is best ignored. When Alan also demands he clean up his act, and apartment, Ruddy tells him to back off, but where can a voice in your head go? Ruddy reluctantly concludes that the only way to clear his head is to find out why Alan was murdered. It couldn't be much worse than the repo business, right? "Cameron (A Dog's Purpose; A Dog's Journey) has delivered a highly engaging and funny novel that is reminiscent of the early works of Carl Hiaasen (Skin Tight) and Christopher Moore (Practical Demonkeeping). It's so easy to get wrapped up in Ruddy's misadventures that readers may well finish the novel and only then realize that they've read it in one sitting." (Library Journal)

 

 


 

 

February is African American History Month

Initially started in 1926 as Negro History Week, the commemoration of the struggles and achievements of African Americans in America was expanded to a month-long celebration in 1976. President Gerald R. Ford urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” Every president since has proclaimed February as African American History Month in order to honor the importance of contributions made by African American citizens to our society.

Literature is one way to examine the African American experience; African American authors have made major contributions to our collective culture and national discourse. Two recently reissued 20th-century classics by two authors of the Harlem Renaissance period, Nella Larsen and George S. Schuyler, explore themes of racial identity, belonging, and freedom that are still relevant today.

 

passingPassing by Nella Larsen
Clare Kendry leads a dangerous life. Fair, elegant, and ambitious, she is passing, married to a white man unaware of her African American heritage, and has severed all ties to her past. Clare's childhood friend, Irene Redfield, just as light-skinned, has chosen to remain within the African American community, but refuses to acknowledge the racism that continues to constrict her family's happiness. A chance encounter forces both women to confront the lies they have told others -- and the secret fears they have buried within themselves. First published in 1929, Passing is a remarkably candid exploration of shifting racial and sexual boundaries. The novel is "curious about what it means to feel, as well as be, truly free, and how freedom and safety might be at odds." (New York Times)

 

 

 

 

blacknomoreBlack No More by George S. Schuyler
The landmark 1931 comic satire that asks, "What would happen if all black people in America turned white?" It's New Year's Day 1933 in New York City, and Max Disher, a young black man, has just found out that a certain Dr. Junius Crookman has discovered a mysterious process that allows people to bleach their skin white--a new way to "solve the American race problem." Max leaps at the opportunity, and after a brief stay at the Crookman Sanitarium, he becomes Matthew Fisher, a white man who's able to attain everything he's ever wanted: money, power, good liquor, and the white woman who rejected him when he was black. Lampooning myths of white supremacy and racial purity and caricaturing prominent African American leaders like W. E. B. Du Bois, Madam C. J. Walker, and Marcus Garvey, Black No More is a masterwork of speculative fiction and a hilarious satire of America's obsession with race. "Each page unleashes a fusillade of gags and comic sequences, careening from slapstick to blood bath and back again.....the plot twists get "more complicated than a flapper's past" - and about as fun." (New York Times)

 

 


 

   loanstars black     Our library neighbors to the north also issue a monthly list of newly released books similar to our monthly LibraryReads list. They call theirs LOANSTARS and bill the titles as "The 10 hottest books published monthly, as voted by library staff across Canada." The Canadian February 2018 list contains 10 forthcoming fiction and nonfiction titles - and only two choices show up on both country's lists: The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah andSurprise Me by Sophie Kinsella. Both lists score The Great Alone as the number one pick and the LOANSTAR list awards the number two spot to Surprise Me. So, another country heard from!

 

 

 

surprisemeSurprise Me by Sopie Kinsella

After ten years together, Sylvie and Dan have a comfortable home, fulfilling jobs, and beautiful twin girls, and they communicate so seamlessly they finish each other's sentences. They have a happy marriage and believe they know everything there is to know about each other. Until it's casually mentioned to them that they could be together for another sixty-eight years . . . and panic sets in. They decide to bring surprises into their marriage to keep it fresh and fun. But in their pursuit of Project Surprise Me--from unexpected gifts to restaurant dates to sexy photo shoots--mishaps arise, with disastrous and comical results. Gradually, surprises turn to shocking truths. And when a scandal from the past is uncovered, they begin to wonder if they ever really knew each other at all. With a colorful cast of eccentric characters, razor-sharp observations, and her signature wit and charm, Sophie Kinsella presents a humorous yet moving portrait of a marriage--its intricacies, comforts, and complications.

 




 

 


                       

PW's The Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2018

Is it too early to think about spring? Not according to book publishers and sellers - and, of course, readers. Publishers Weekly has compiled a smaller list of notable upcoming books drawn from their voluminous (14,000+ titles) Spring Announcement issue. There's something for everyone, fiction and nonfiction, if we can only wait. Something to look forward to - like warmer weather.

warlightWarlight by Michael Ondaatje
Ondaatje's (The English Patient) first novel since 2011 will be released on May 8. In Britain just after World War II, fourteen-year-old Nathaniel, and his older sister, Rachel stay behind in London when their parents move to Singapore, leaving them in the care of a mysterious figure named The Moth. They suspect he might be a criminal, and they grow both more convinced and less concerned as they come to know his eccentric crew of friends: men and women joined by a shared history of unspecified service during the war, all of whom seem, in some way, determined now to protect, and educate Rachel and Nathaniel. But are they really what and who they claim to be? And what does it mean when the siblings' mother returns after months of silence without their father, explaining nothing, excusing nothing? A dozen years later, Nathaniel begins to uncover all that he didn't know and understand in that time, and it is this journey--through facts, recollection, and imagination--that he narrates in this tale that  Library Journal describes as "mysterious and dramatic."

 

 


circeCirce by Madeline Miller
In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child--not powerful, like her father, nor alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power--the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, especially the wily Odysseus. But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love. Miller's follow-up to the bestselling The Song of Achilles will be available on April 10.

 

 


 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Ursula Le Guin (1929 - 2018)

lefthandofdarknessLiterary icon Ursula Le Guin, winner of scores of science fiction writing awards, one of the few women to be named leguinGrandmaster of Science Fiction, and the recipient of the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters in 2014, has passed away at the age of 88. Le Guin wrote more than 20 novels and novellas, over 100 short stories, seven collections of essays, and 13 books for children over the course of her long writing career. The author of the Earthsea series, The Left Hand of Darkness, and The Lathe of Heaven was among the nation’s most revered writers of science fiction and fantasy. A graduate of Radcliffe and a Fullbright scholar, she imbued her work with emotional depth, lyrical style, superb imagination, and a certain feminist sensibility, elevating her work beyond the gender stereotypes of the genre. At the 2014 National Book Awards Le Guin's acceptance speech stopped the show and brought those assembled to their feet. She delivered a fiery sermon defending science fiction as a worthy genre too long ignored and championing writers in general against profiteers. "... "I’ve had a long career and a good one, in good company, and here, at the end of it, I really don’t want to watch American literature get sold down the river. … The name of our beautiful reward is not profit. Its name is freedom."

 

 


 

Peter Mayle (1939 - 2018)

yearinprovenceBritish writer Peter Mayle passed away on January 18, 2018 in France where he had lived since moving there in 1987. He and his chasingcezannewife bought a farmhouse in Provence that year, expecting that it would be the perfect place for Mayle to write a novel. Instead the house became the focus of major protracted renovations with their attendant headaches, domestic disasters, and distractions.  Making little progress on the house or the book, Mayle shelved the novel and wrote about his experiences during the year spent navigating home repairs in rural France. The humorous and charming A Year in Provence was published in 1989 and became a surprise bestseller, was adapted for a television mini-series, and inspired a sequel, Toujours Provence in 1991The French lifestyle, with its wonderful food and wine, and quaint local customs, became the focus of several of his later books, including French Lessons: Adventures With Knife, Fork and Corkscrew (2001), and Provence A-Z (2006). Mayle also wrote a series of crime caper novels ( The Marseille Caper, Chasing Cezanne), also set France, and a stand-alone novel, A Good Year, about a young British businessman who inherits a dilapidated estate and vineyard in (where else?) Provence.  It was adapted for a 2006 film starring Russell Crowe and Marion Cotillard.

 

 


 

MichiganNotableOn Sunday, January 14, in the Detroit Free Press, The Library of Michigan revealed the list of the 2018 Michigan Notable Books - 20 books that highlight the diversity of Michigan's people, places, issues, and events. The books must have been published during the last year, and be about Michigan or the Great Lakes region, or authored by a Michigan writer. The books are chosen by a committee of librarians, reviewers, booksellers, and authors working with the Library of Michigan's Center for the Book, to showcase the best of our state's literary culture and to raise awareness of the quality of Michiagn authors. The list contains novels, short stories, history, poetry, environmental books, a picture book, biographies, a Zingerman's cookbook and a book about Michigan's craft beer industry. Randy Riley, State Librarian of Michigan, writes, "Every year I am amazed by the variety of subject matter found in the books we review for the program and by the quality of the research and writing... It sounds cliché, but there really is something for everyone."

 

 

One of the novels, a psychological thriller titled The Marsh King's Daughter by Karen Dionne, is set in the marshes marshkingsdaughterof the Upper Peninsula. When the notorious child abductor, “The Marsh King,” escapes from prison, Helena Pelletier is sure she can use the skills she learned as a child to find him. No one is The Marsh King’s equal when it comes to navigating the marshland – except  Helena herself, his daughter.  As their cat and quarry game unfolds, she must use all her wilderness skills to thwart his plan and survive it. "Detailed flashbacks show Helena had an odd but decent childhood. To the world, Jacob was a monster; to Helena, he was just her father, who taught her to fish, hunt, and track, and told involving stories, and was occasionally brutal. Helena's conflicting emotions about her father and her own identity elevate this powerful story." (Publishers Weekly)

 

 

 

 

 


 

February 2018 LibraryReads List

The top ten books published this month that librarians across the country love.

library reads logo websiteThis 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 February:

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

Great Aloneblog 196x300Kristin Hannah, author of the popular World War II novel, The Nightingale, examines the repercusssions of a different war in her new book. Set in 1974, the plot follows the Albrights as they struggle to heal their troubled family. Ernt Allbright, a former POW, came home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: he will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America's last true frontier. Thirteen-year-old Leni, caught in the riptide of her parents' passionate, stormy relationship, dares to hope that a new land will lead to a better future. She is desperate for a place to belong. Her mother, Cora, will do anything and go anywhere for the man she loves, even if means following him into the unknown. At first, Alaska seems to be the answer to their prayers. In a wild, remote corner of the state, they find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the Allbrights' lack of preparation and dwindling resources. But as winter approaches and darkness descends on Alaska, Ernt's fragile mental state deteriorates and the family begins to fracture. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own. In the wild, there is no one to save them but themselves. "Though smaller in scope than her previous blockbuster, in this tightly focused drama, Hannah vividly evokes the natural beauty and danger of Alaska and paints a compelling portrait of a family in crisis and a community on the brink of change." (Booklist)

 

 


 

mlkMonday, January 15, is the day designated for the observance of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the day to commemorate his legacy of non-violent social change and commitment to equal rights and justice for all. Civic organizations, churches, and local governments across the country have programs, services, and other special events planned. In the announcement for this year's observances, The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta, issues this statement." The theme for this year’s commemoration is King: His Voice, His Teachings, His Love for Humanity. This theme underscores Dr. King’s commitment to spreading love and peace amongst all of humanity even through the most trying times. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., "Nonviolence is absolute commitment to the way of love. Love is not emotional sentimentalism. It is the active pouring of one's whole being into the being of another." This year marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. King; he died on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee.

 

 


 

header logowinteroficeWinter of Ice and Iron by Rachel Neumeier

With the Mad King of Emmer in the north and the vicious King of Pohorir in the east, Kehara Raehema knows her country is in a vulnerable position. She never expected to give up everything she loves to save her people, but when the Mad King's fury leaves her land in danger, she has no choice but to try any stratagem that might buy time for her people to prepare for war--no matter the personal cost. Hundreds of miles away, the pitiless Wolf Duke of Pohorir, Innisth Eanete, dreams of breaking his people and his province free of the king he despises. But he has no way to make that happen--until chance unexpectedly leaves Kehara on his doorstep and at his mercy. Yet in a land where immanent spirits inhabit the earth, political disaster is not the greatest peril one can face. Now, as the year rushes toward the dangerous midwinter, Kehera and Innisth find themselves unwilling allies, and their joined strength is all that stands between the peoples of the Four Kingdoms and utter catastrophe. "Top-notch world building and in-depth character development...the dramatic conclusion will satisfy both lovers of romance and political fantasy." (Booklist)

 

 


 

 

 

Sue Grafton (1940 - 2017)

yisforyesterdayOn December 28, 2017, writer Sue Grafton passed away at the age of 77 after a two-year battle with cancer. Last August, Grafton published the 25th book in her popular detective series with the letters of the alphabet in the titles (starting with 1982's A is for Alibi and continuing through Y is for Yesterday) and featuring Kinsey Milhone, one of the first professional female private investigators in mystery fiction. Unfortunately the last book in the series, which would have started with "Z," was never written. As noted by her daughter's announcement, "as far as we in the family are concerned, the alphabet now ends at Y." Grafton had been a successful TV writer and aspiring novelist before her eighth novel, A is for Alibi, launched her best-selling series. She credited cartoonist Edward Gorey and his darkly humorous alphabet book, The Gashlycrumb Tinies for the inspiration for her titles. "I was smitten with all those little Victorian children being dispatched in various ways,” she told The New York Times in 2015. “ ‘A is for Amy who fell down the stairs; B is for Basil assaulted by bears; C is for Clara who wasted away; D is for Desmond thrown out of a sleigh.’ Edward Gorey was deliciously bent.” Gorey, who passed away in 2000, would probably appreciate the compliment.

 

 

 


 

cantobightWhy January 2nd?  It's the birthday of Isaac Asimov (1920-1992), the preeminent and prolific science fiction author and master of "hard science fiction." Best known for his Foundation and Robot (I, Robot) series, Asimov published over 500 books over his long career and won every science fiction award possible. Asimov's work influenced generations of science fiction writers and was instrumental in elevating the genre from the fringe of pulp magazines to the literary mainstream.

Celebrate the day (and satisfy your inner Star Wars nerd) with the latest from that galaxy far, far away. Canto Bight is a glitzy, glittery casino city featured in one of the plots in the new movie,Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Four interconnected novellas (by Saladin Ahmed, Mira Grant, Rae Carson, and John Jackson Miller) explore the lives of high-rollers, desperate gamblers, and other schemers living and working there. In Canto Bight, one is free to revel in excess, untouched from the problems of a galaxy once again descending into chaos and war. Dreams can become reality, but the stakes have never been higher--for there is a darkness obscured by all the glamour and luxury.