Adult Book News
2016 Hugo Awards
The winners of the 2016 Hugo Awards were announced Saturday,
August 20, 2016 at the 74th World Science Fiction Convention, MidAmeriCon II, which was held in Kansas City this year. The Hugos, among the most prestigious of sci-fi awards, honor excellence in science fiction writing annually in several categories.
Author N.K. Jemisin won the Best Novel Hugo for her book, The Fifth Season. Published to glowing reviews, this first volume of an intended trilogy called Broken Earth is set in 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. As another, perhaps final, cataclysm bears down, Essun, a small town school teacher, begins a journey to reunite with her husband, who has murdered their son and fled with their daughter, before the end of the world. Although the storyline sounds grim, The New York Times reviewer concludes, "Yet there is no message of hopelessness here. In Jemisin’s work, nature is not unchangeable or inevitable. The Fifth Season invites us to imagine a dismantling of the earth in both the literal and the metaphorical sense, and suggests the possibility of a richer and more fundamental escape. The end of the world becomes a triumph when the world is monstrous, even if what lies beyond is difficult to conceive for those who are trapped inside it."
Librarian Faves for September 2016
The top ten books published this month that librarians across the country love
This monthly list is created by librarians and library staff to help connect readers to new books and authors. An online community of librarians vote each month on their favorite new books and the results are tallied. "The list is a straightforward calculation: whichever ten books get the most nominations go onto the monthly list. The book with the most nominations becomes the #1 Pick. It’s as simple as that." The list is not meant to be a "best" list - just a list of collective favorites - books librarians loved and want to share.
#1 for September 2016:
Leave Me by Gayle Forman
Almost every woman has, at least once, fantasized about driving past her usual exit on the highway instead of going home to make dinner, or dreamed of boarding a train to a place where no one needs constant attention. Maribeth Klein, a harried working wife and mother of twins, so busy she doesn't even realize she's had a heart attack, actually does it. Surprised to discover that her recuperation seems to be an imposition on those who rely on her, Maribeth does the unthinkable: she packs a bag and leaves. Far from the demands of family and career and with the help of liberating new friendships, Maribeth is able to own up to secrets she has been keeping from herself and those she loves. "Award-winning teen author Forman's (I Was Here, 2015, etc.) adult debut nails the frustrations of working motherhood…. An appealing fairy tale for the exhausted and underappreciated."
Fiction Favorites to Movies
Now (or soon) playing:
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
An under-the-radar hit with fiction fans and book groups, Swedish writer Backman's feel-good novel about an old-ish curmudgeon who is the world's worst neighbor, has now been adapted for the movies. Of course, behind that cranky, get-off-my-lawn exterior, Ove hides a generous heart and a painful story of personal loss, until the new family next door, a couple with two chatty children, forces him out of his shell. It starts when they accidentally drive over Ove's mailbox. The novel was best-seller in Sweden and became sleeper hit here when it was published in English in 2013 to positive reviews. "If there was an award for 'Most Charming Book of the Year,' this first novel by a Swedish blogger-turned-overnight-sensation would win hands down." (Booklist). The movie, made in Sweden, was released there last year; it will open in the U.S., with subtitles, in September.
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
Another book club favorite, The Light Between Oceans, has made it to the silver screen. The 2012 novel tells the story of Tom Sherbourne, who returns to Australia after four harrowing years on the Western Front, and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes only once a season, Tom brings his young wife, Isabel. Years later, after miscarriages and stillbirths, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby. Isabel insists the baby is a “gift from God,” and against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. Only later, when Tom and Isabel return to the mainland, do they realize the consequences of their choice. The film stars Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander, and Rachel Weisz, and opens on September 2.
2 New Book Club Kits
New titles are being added 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.
The Turner House by Angela Fournoy
A family saga set in Detroit in 2008, just as the economic downturn and foreclosure crisis began to be felt, this debut novel, named a Michigan 2015 Notable Book and shortlisted for the 2015 National Book Award, centers on the Turners, a clan of 13 siblings who grew up in the same eastside house with their strict, no-nonsense parents. The Turners lived on Yarrow Street for over fifty years. The house still stands despite abandoned lots, an embattled city, and the inevitable shift outward to the suburbs. But now, as ailing matriarch Viola finds herself forced to leave her home and move in with her eldest son, the family discovers that the house is worth just a tenth of its mortgage. The Turner children are called home to decide its fate and the future of their family, bringing with them their own perspectives on the past and the way it shapes the present. "Encompassing a multitude of themes, including aging and parenthood, this is a compelling read that is funny and moving in equal measure." (Booklist)
Brooklyn by Colm Toibin
Toibin explores an immigrant's dilemma in the story of a young Irish woman living in 1950's Brooklyn who is torn between her new American life, and love, and the family she left behind. Eilis Lacey came of age in small-town Ireland in the years following World War Two. Though skilled at bookkeeping, she could not find a proper job in the miserable Irish economy and so emigrated to America, leaving her fragile mother and sister. Despite her homesickness, Eilis finds work in a department store on Fulton Street, studies accounting at Brooklyn College, and meets Tony, a blond Italian, who slowly wins her over with his persistent charm. As she gradually adjusts to the opportunities and freedoms of the big city, devastating news arrives from Ireland that threatens the promise of her new life. "Toibin conveys Eilis's transformative struggles with an aching lyricism..." (Library Journal). The the film adaptation, which opened to strong reviews earlier this year, has a screenplay by author Nick Hornsby (About a Boy) and stars Saorise Ronan, of Atonement and Grand Budapest Hotel fame.
Classic Suspense and More
Recently, The New York Times published a special Book Review section, Summer Thrills. highlighting this summer's best thrillers and suspense novels. As a follow-up, the editors asked readers to submit their own favorite thriller and suspense titles to the paper's Facebook page. The responses constitute a list of classic, time-tested novels by big-time authors of the genre, like Arthur Conan Doyle, Frederick Forsythe, Eric Ambler, and some newer classics by Harlan Coben, Tom Clancy, and Vince Flynn. The readers' comments explaining their recommendations make great book blurbs.
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle: "I remember staying up late
reading it when I was 15. Too paralyzed to turn off the light, much less go to the bathroom." — Bonney Cole Petersen
Tell No One by Harlan Coben: "kept me up all night reading, and I like to sleep." — Susan Banning
The Alienist by Caleb Carr: ”For similarly heart-racing intrigue and overall scary strangeness." — BL Jones
An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears: "A whodunit told in four parts by different characters/suspects. At the end of each section you will swear you know the guilty party . . . until you read the next section. Fabulously done. — Mary Jo Groves
WTG Adult Readers!
Adult Summer Reading 2016
330 adult readers earned prizes this summer through the Adult Summer Reading Program - just for reading and using the Library's resources.
Great job and congratulations! Way to pump up your summer!
Thanks to all to for playing Bingo or logging book selections online. We hope you had fun.
Good Reason to Read
Book Lovers Live Longer!
According to a recent study by Yale scientists, published in the journal
Social Science & Medicine, "book readers experienced a 20% reduction in risk of mortality over the 12 years of follow-up compared to non-readers." The researchers used data from a Health and Retirement Study sponsored by the National Insitiute on Aging, and after accounting for other variables, concluded that book readers survived almost 2 years longer than those who did not read books at all. The results don't reveal exactly why this is the case, just that, like diet and exercise, books seem to convey a "significant survival advantage." Newspaper and magazine reading had a similar but smaller effect. The study's authors suggest that the cognitive benefits derived from reading a book may be the cause, but further research would need to be done to establish the specific mechanisms involved.
This is not really news - librarians have always known that books are the elixer of life!
Books to Movies/TV - August 2016
Now (or soon) playing:
Indignation by Philip Roth
Roth's 29th book, published in 2008, is set at a quiet, bucolic college campus in the era of the Korean war amid the social conventions and anxieties of the 1950's. Marcus Messner, a young Jewish student from New Jersey, transfers to a small Midwestern college to escape his overbearing father and finds himself navigating the customs and constrictions of another American world. As he becomes involved with a more sophisticated but troubled coed, he runs afoul of the college administration over the requirement that all students attend chapel services. The conflict comes to a head when Marcus hires another student to attend services for him. The film stars Logan Lerman, Sarah Gadon, and Tracy Letts and opened on July 29.
Chesapeake Shores/The Inn at Eagle Point by Sherryl Woods
The Hallmark Channel is adapting Woods' ten-book multi-generational family saga into a TV series with the early episodes based on the the first novel, The Inn at Eagle Point. Abby O'Brien Winters hasn't been home to Chesapeake Shores in years. The Maryland town her father built has too many sad memories and Abby too few spare moments, thanks to her demanding Wall Street career, the crumbling of her marriage, and her energetic twin daughters. But one panicked phone call from her youngest sister sends her racing back home and brings Abby face to face with her past, including her high school sweetheart Trace, her uncompromising father Mick, and her esteemed grandmother Nell. The series debuts on August 14.
Ben-Hur/Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace
This latest movie is the fourth to be made from the 1880 novel by Lew Wallace. The famous 1959 movie version starring Charlton Heston and featuring the nine-minute chariot race sequence is the most memorable. The story follows a Jewish nobleman, Judah Ben-Hur, whose childhood friend Messala betrays him. Accused of trying to murder the new Roman governor in Jerusalem, Judah is sentenced to the galley ships and vows to seek revenge against the Romans and Messala. But a chance encounter with a carpenter from Nazareth sets Judah on a different path. To conicide with the new movie, the original text has been revised by Wallace's great-great-granddaughter and a new edition of the book has been released. The film opens on August 19.
Books of Brazil
All eyes are now on Rio after the spectacular opening ceremony of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games last night. The parade of athletes, the music and dancing, the Olympic flag, the torch and cauldron, and the triumphant fireworks served notice that city of Rio and the whole country of Brazil are having their moment on the world's stage.
Experience somewhere new, try books set in Brazil:
The Games: A Private Novel by James Patterson
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil--home to beautiful white-sand beaches, gorgeous women, stunning natural beauty, and the world's largest Carnival celebration--knows how to throw a party. So it's a natural choice to host the biggest spectacle in sports--the Olympics. To ensure that the games go off without a hitch, the organizers turn to Jack Morgan, the unflappable head of the renowned international security and consulting firm Private. But before the cauldron is even lit, his clients disappear and bodies turn up. Jack must sprint to the finish line to defuse a threat that could decimate Rio and turn the games from a joyous celebration into a deadly spectacle.
The War of the End of the World by Mario Vargas Llosa
Set in nineteenth century Brazil, and based on a real episode in Brazilian history, this novel is the story of an apocalyptic movement led by the mysterious prophet, Antonio Conselheiro, the Counselor, to establish another republic: Canudos, whose citizens are all the outcasts of the earth, the prostitutes, bandits and beggars who fled to the Brazilian frontier. Conselheiro preached that the end of the world was imminent and that the political chaos that surrounded the collapse of the Empire of Brazil in 1889, and its replacement by a republic, was the work of the devil. Ultimately the army is sent to quell the revolutionary fervor of the settlement, which is destroyed in a violent and tragic battle. A "powerful and haunting historical novel..." (New York Times)
Crow Blue by Adriana Lisboa
Brazilian author Adriana Lisboa creates a coming-of-age story about 13 year-old Vanja whose mother has died and left Vanja without any family or identity. Determined to find her biological father in order to fill the void that has so suddenly appeared in her life, Vanja decides to leave Rio de Janeiro to live in Colorado with her stepfather, a former guerrilla notorious for his violent past. From there she goes in search of her biological father, tracing her mother's footsteps and gradually discovering the truth about herself. Crow Blue is a literary road trip through Brazil and America, and through dark decades of familial and political history.
The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley
Maia and her five sisters gather together at their childhood home, having been told that their beloved father, who adopted them all as babies, has died. Each of them is handed a tantalizing clue to her true heritage--a clue which takes Maia across the world to a crumbling mansion in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Once there, she begins to put together the pieces of her story and its beginnings. Eighty years earlier in Rio's Belle Epoque of the 1920s, Izabela Bonifacio's father has aspirations for his daughter to marry into the aristocracy. Meanwhile, architect Heitor da Silva Costa is devising plans for an enormous statue, to be called Christ the Redeemer. Izabela convinces her father to allow her to accompany the architect and his family to Europe before she is married. There, she meets ambitious young sculptor Laurent Brouilly, and knows at once that her life will never be the same again.
New Oprah Book Choice
This morning, on CBS, Oprah Winfrey announced the next read for her Oprah's Book Club 2016: The Underground Railroad, the latest novel by Colson Whitehead. Originally due to be published in September, some advance copies of the novel have already hit a few bookstores. The book and author will be featured in O, The Oprah Magazine's September issue, available on August 9. The Underground Railroad is Colson's sixth novel, and one of the most highly-anticipated titles for this fall. The novel follows Cora, a young slave in the South, and her desperate flight from state to state to find freedom. Throughout her journey, Cora and her fellow slave, Ceasar, are pursued by the cold-blooded slave catcher, Ridgeway, who is always close behind them. What makes the book so extraordinary is that Whitehead imagines the underground railroad not only as a network of safe houses and individuals opposed to slavery, but as an actual, physical railroad with engineers, conductors, and tracks beneath the ground. Reviewers have been effusive with their praise, Ron Charles of the Washington Post declared it to be an essential novel about America's peculiar institution and a triumph for Whitehead.