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Adult Book News

2016 Kirkus Prize Contenders

kirkus prize 2016 2 jpg 250x300 q852016 Kirkus Prize Finalists

The literary journal, Kirkus Reviews, has announced this year's finalists for its book prizes in fiction, nonfiction and children's literature, worth about $50,000 each, which makes them among the most lucrative in the literary world. This is the third year for these prizes which were established to honor "the 81 years of discerning, thoughtful criticism Kirkus Reviews has contributed to both the publishing industry and readers at large." All books published from Nov. 1, 2015 to Oct. 31, 2016 that received a starred review in Kirkus - more than 1,000 titles - are eligible for consideration. The winners will be announced on November 3.

 

Finalists for the Fiction Prize:

Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett

Carousel Court by Joe McGinniss, Jr.

The Sport of Kings by C.E. Morgan

Barkskins by Annie Proulx

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

 

 

The answer, my friend...

Bob Dylan wins Nobel Prize

dylanIn an interesting development, singer/songwriter and American icon, Bob Dylan, has been named the winner of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature by the Swedish Academy. Dylan is the first musician to win the prize and the decision has been met with surprise by most, approval by many, and criticism from some. The choice of Dylan certainly broadens the conventional definition of what constitutes literature.  As the New York Times coverage put it, " ... his selection on Thursday is perhaps the most radical choice in a history stretching back to 1901. In choosing a popular musician for the literary world’s highest honor, the Swedish Academy, which awards the prize, dramatically redefined the boundaries of literature, setting off a debate about whether song lyrics have the same artistic value as poetry or novels." Dylan is the first American to win the prize since 1993 when novelist Toni Morrison was chosen.  Whatever one's views on the literary value of Dylan's work product, the selection of a well-known personality instead of a relatively obscure author is a change in direction for the Academy. Certainly no one can argue that Dylan is not a gifted and innovative writer, composer, and entertainer, one who revolutionized American popular music with complex lyrics and an idiosyncratic singing style. As the Academy's stated, "Dylan has the status of an icon. His influence on contemporary music is profound, and he is the object of a steady stream of secondary literature.”

 

 

Librarian by day...

Aurora Teagarden Mysteries by Charlaine Harris

juliushouseThe Hallmark Channel has adapted this series by Charlaine Harris (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood) about librarian/sleuth Aurora (Roe) Teagarden of Lawrenceton, Georgia as part of its Movies & Mysteries presentations, starting with the first novel, Real Murders. This Sunday, October 16, the fourth installment, The Julius House, based on the fourth novel of the nine book series, airs at 9pm. Having recently married Martin, a charismatic, rich, and somewhat secretive businessman, Roe is settling into the stately house he purchased as her wedding gift. The Julius House comes with a mysterious history: the last family to live there disappeared without a trace six years earlier. Of course, Roe is determined to discover what happened to them. But she finds her newlywed happiness threatened when the secrets she uncovers raise disturbing questions about Martin's past. "Suspense sprouts from tiny seeds planted early on, and the tensions of a new marriage and an old mystery provide much fertilizer. Good reading, augmented by solid characterization and occasional humor." (Library Journal)

Need to catch up? Hallmark will show the first three episodes, Real Murders, A Bone to Pick, and Three Bedrooms, One Corpse starting at 3pm Sunday, for your binge-watching pleasure.

 

 

“Don’t underestimate the Force.”

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Once again, fully armed and operational, Star Wars Reads Day is happening at PDL! Plan to don your Jedi cloak, grab your lightsaber, and put it in hyperdrive as you follow the Force to a Library (not so) far, far away.

Read the Force:

The Star Wars franchise has generated thousands of related items, from books, movies, cartoons, video games, comics, costumes, action figures, Lego toys, mugs, and memorabilia etc. There's enough Star Wars fiction to keep the most devoted fans traveling throughout the galaxy for a long, long time.

stwlifedebtWhile you're waiting to celebrate all things Star Wars, you can catch up on another of the new books in Lucasfilm's "Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens" publishing series. Book two in Chuck Wendig's trilogy, after last year's Star Wars Aftermath, is Star Wars Aftermath: Life Debt which follows some of our favorite characters in the aftermath of the destruction of the second Death Star and the defeat of the Emperor and Darth Vader. Han Solo and Chewbacca are on a mission to liberate the Wookiee's homeworld of Kashyyyk while, freedom fighter Norra Wexley and her band of Imperial hunters pursue the Empire's remaining leadership across the galaxy, bringing them to justice. Wexley has to abandon her official mission when she receives news that Chewie has been captured and Han has disappeared. Norra and her crew race toward the Millennium Falcon's last known location, but they can't anticipate the true depth of the danger that awaits them or the ruthlessness of the enemy drawing them into his crosshairs. Maybe, as Admiral Ackbar would say, " IT'S A TRAP!"

 

 

And then there were five...

2016 National Book Awards Finalists Announced

fiction finalists book jackets

On October 6, The National Book Foundation released the shortlist of five finalists for this year's National Book Award for Fiction (winnowed from the longlist of ten). The winner will be announced on November 16.

Finalists:

Chris Bachelder, The Throwback Special

Paulette Jiles, News of the World

Karan Mahajan, The Association of Small Bombs

Colson Whitehead, The Underground Railroad

Jacqueline Woodson, Another Brooklyn

 

World Zombie Day 2016

ZWalkDrencenWorld Zombie Day is an international annual event that grew from Pittsburgh’s first Zombie Walk at Monroeville Mall in 2006 – the site where George Romero filmed Dawn of the Dead - and continues 11 years later to encourage all fans of zombie culture to come together in an international effort to relieve hunger and homelessness. As many as 50 cities worldwide participate in the festivities on various dates in October, including London (Oct.8) and Detroit, which sponsors a Zombie Day Walk Against Hunger, on Oct 9 this year.

 Can't shamble over to the Walk? You can immerse blacktiderisingyourself in the zombie apocalypse by sampling a bite of non-stop zombie action set in the world of John Ringo's Black Tide Rising series. This 2016 collection of short stories, Black Tide Rising (bk.5) edited by Ringo and Gary Poole, contains selections by a host of great science fiction writers like Eric Flint, John Scalzi, Sarah A. Hoyt, Michael Z. Williamson, and Ringo himself, that explore the many and varied human responses to the raging zombie threat. "This anthology broadens Ringo's Black Tide world, serving up doses of humanity amid the ravenous afflicted. Comedy has a place in this harsh reality, and these stories stir adventure and emotion at a frantic clip throughout. Zombie fiction fans will be thrilled." (Library Journal)

National Book Award Winner

Gloria Naylor (1950-2016)

womenofbrewsterGloria Naylor, whose best-selling debut novel, The Women of naylorBrewster Place, won the National Book Award for First Novel in 1983, passed away on September 28 at her home in the Virgin Islands at the age of 66. Her books explored issues of poverty, race, sexism, and sexual orientation through the experiences of urban African American women, and sometimes, men, and earned her acclaim as an African American feminist author. Naylor's first and best known book consisted of the interlocking narratives of seven women living in a run-down housing project in an unnamed North American city who struggle to hold their families together despite their bleak circumstances and lack of opportunities. The Women of Brewster Place was adapted as a successful TV movie in 1989 by Oprah Winfrey, who starred along with Cicely Tyson and Mary Alice.  "I wanted to write a book that would reflect the diversity and the richness of the black female experience in America -- and no one woman could do that for me, and no one geographical location could do that for me," she said in an interview with the National Book Foundation. "That's when the idea got born that Brewster Place would be a microcosm of American society, that on that street would come all of these different women, and what they would share would be that wall." Naylor wrote several other novels, including, in 1998,  a companion piece called The Men of Brewster Place, which focused on the male characters introduced in the earlier book.

 

 

Blockbuster Book to Movie

girlonthetrainThe Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

After more than 80 weeks on the bestseller lists, (hardbound, paperback, and ebook) and only 21 months from its original publication date, January 2015, this psychological thriller will open on the big screen on October 7. The novel can truly be described as a literary blockbuster, having sold more than 6 million copies in the U.S. alone.

Hawkins' suspenseful tale of murder in suburbia has not one, but three, unreliable female narrators, but the story focuses most on unhappily-divorced, alcoholic Rachel, who rides the commuter train every day in a drunken fog and watches the people living in the houses that back up to the tracks. She is obsessed with a young married couple she notices, convinced that they have the perfect marriage and life - until the wife disappears. Rachel decides she must go to the police with her "observations" of the couple's relationship. The police are not impressed and refuse to take her seriously, given her gin-addled memory and her history of harassing her ex-husband and his new wife during her alcoholic binges, so Rachel decides to investigate on her own.

Janet Maslin reviewed the book for the New York Times, writing, "Ms. Hawkins keeps all these fibs, threats and innuendoes swirling through her book, to the point where they frighten and undermine each of her characters. None of them really know which of the others can be trusted or believed. And although there’s a lot of Hitchcock to the book’s diabolical plotting, there’s also a strong element of “Gaslight,” the classic story in which a man tries to convince his wife that she is going mad. All three women in the book are candidates for this treatment, and Ms. Hawkins puts it to very good use."

The film stars Emily Blunt as Rachel and is directed by Tate Taylor.

 

 

Star Wars Reads Day 2016

The annual celebration of reading                swrd2015
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 15, from 11 a.m. – 4 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, photo booth, and Star Wars-themed refreshments. May the Force be with you!

 

 

2016 Carol Awards

Best in Christian Fiction

Carol Award Gold - no base transparent backgroundOn August 27, at their 2016 Conference in Nashville, the American Christian Fiction Writers presented the annual Carol Awards to the best in Christian fiction released through traditional publishing houses in the 2015 calendar year. The group's purpose is "to promote Christian Fiction through developing the skills of its authors, educating them in the market, and serving as an advocate in the traditional publishing industry." ACFW has over 2600 members worldwide, consisting of authors, editors, agents, publicists and aspiring writers and was organized in 2000. The awards are named for Bethany House fiction editor, Carol Johnson, who saw the possibility for Christian based stories when she read a manuscript written by Janette Oke in the early '80's.

 

2016 Winners:

Contemporary Novel Category:

artoflosingThe Art of Losing Yourself by Katie Ganshert
Every morning, Carmen Hart pastes on her made-for-TV smile and broadcasts the weather. She's the Florida panhandle's favorite meteorologist, married to everyone's favorite high school football coach. But on the inside, Carmen Hart struggles with doubt. She wonders if she made a mistake when she married her husband. She wonders if God is as powerful as she once believed. Thenl Carmen's half-sister--seventeen year old runaway, Gracie Fisher--steps in and changes everything. Gracie is caught squatting at a boarded-up motel and Carmen has no other option but to take her in. Is it possible for God to use a broken teenager and an abandoned motel to bring a woman's faith and marriage back to life?

 

Historical Novel Category:

secretsshekeptSecrets She Kept by Cathy Gohlke
After her mother's death, Hannah Sterling is determined to unlock the secrets of Lieselotte's mysterious past, and is shocked to discover a grandfather living in Germany. Thirty years earlier, Lieselotte's father was ascending the ranks of the Nazi party, and a proper marriage for his daughter would have helped his career. Lieselotte was in love-but her beloved Lukas was far from an ideal match, as he secretly worked against the Reich. Both Hannah's and Lieselotte's stories unfold as Hannah travels to Germany to meet her grandfather, who is still hiding his wartimes secrets. Longing for connection, yet shaken by all she uncovers, Hannah must decide if she can atone for her family's tragic past.