Best Sellers

Friday, September 27, 2013

November Titles (alot of them)

This month has rushed past and I have too many titles left to talk about. What to do....what to do.... Well, some could be left over for next month as December is sometimes a slow month in publishing. In this post, however, I will try to cover as many as possible.

Cookbooks - November is a popular month for cookbooks as everyone gets ready for the holidays. There are several which are coming out at the end of October - November that will be in demand.

Giada De Laurentiis gives us Giada's Feel Good Food on November 5th. This will probably give us recipes for those days in between the holidays since it's suppose to cover healthy recipes.

Ree Drummond comes out with The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Holidays! on October 29th.

Emeril Lagasse gives us Emeril's Cooking with Power on October 22nd. This one has a lot of slow cooker recipes.

On to a more religious series:

On November 12th, A Prayer Journal is being published. This is a recently discovered devotional journal by Flannery O'Connor. She kept this journal while she was at the Iowa Writers' Workshop from 1946-47.

On November 19th, Timothy Keller, the pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York, publishes Encounters with Jesus: Unexpected Answers to Life's Biggest Questions.. Keller's work has been popular in the past.

One more nonfiction work which has been getting a lot of interest is Wil S. Hylton's Vanished: The Sixty-Year Search for the Missing Men of World War II. More than 56,000 men are still missing from WWII. I had no idea. This title highlights the search of the crew of one American bomber lost on September 1, 1944.

While we are on the subject of war, Anita Shreve's new title, Stella Bain, comes out on November 12th. An American woman is found shell-shocked in a garden and is taken in by a family. She had been a nurse's aide at the front but has no memory whatever of anything before being wounded.

Some perennial bestselling authors with titles coming in November are:

Mitch Albom with The First Phone Call From Heaven on November 12th. People in Coldwater Michigan are receiving calls from their dearly departed. Sully Harding who has been imprisoned for a crime he might not have committed is worried about his young son who starts carrying around a cellphone hoping his deceased mother will call.

David Baldacci with King and Maxwell on November 19th. The sixth book in the series that the television series is based on.

Lincoln Child & Douglas Preston with White Fire on November 12th. Confusing plot line for me but one of the noted things is it's literary references. Apparently, Arthur Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde meet up in the book and in contemporary times, a new Sherlock Holmes story has been discovered (this was written by Child and Preston.)

OK - I am going to save some of these for next week. Enjoy reading!!!!

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Longlist for the National Book Award - Fiction

Yesterday, the National Book Award Committee posted the long list of nominees for the Fiction Book Award. All titles are or will be available at the library. Take a look and see if any of them appeal to you.

Thomas Pynchon's title Bleeding Edge. This takes place in the early 2000 in New York. After the bust and in the beginning of the Internet rush. In many ways you could call this a crime thriller. But then again, it is Thomas Pynchon.

George Saunders's The Tenth of December. This title has been out for a while. It is a series of short stories that the New York Times reviewer called "the best book you will read this year."

Jhunpa Lahiri's The Lowland. I've discussed this one the last two weeks. It seems to be making every award nomination list. She qualified for the Mann Booker because she was born in England but she moved to the USA when she was two years old so she qualifies for the National Book Award too. The story of two brothers born in India.

Alice McDermott's Someone. This one has also been out for a while. It is the story of a woman's life from childhood to old age. What McDermott does well is create the characterization of an entire life in vignettes.

James McBride's The Good Lord Bird. A more recent publication that follows the tale of a young male slave who leaves town with John Brown disguised as a girl.

Rachel Kushner's The Flame Throwers. This title has some exceptionally strong reviews and some not very good reviews. It follows 'Reno', a young female artist who goes to New York in the 1970's to demonstrate her combination of speed, motorcycles and art.

Elizabeth Graver's The End of the Point. A family saga that takes place in Buzzard's Bay, Massachusetts during the events of the 1970's.

Anthony Marra's A Constellation of Vital Phenomena. A very dark and beautifully written tale of the effects of war on Chechnya and the people who live there.

Joan Silver's Fools. These are interconnected tales relating to winners and losers and how everyone is foolish at some time.

Finally, Tom Drury's Pacific. The story of a brother and sister. One goes to Los Angels to live with the mother who abandoned them and the other stays in the Midwest. Both are restless and both fight their fears.

See if you can pick the winner.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

LibraryReads for October

It's that time of month again and the second LibraryReads list is out. There are actually only 2 or 3 titles on it this month that I am excited about but obviously, all librarians do not have the same taste. These are books that come out at the end of September or in October. All will be available at the library. The number one vote magnet this month is The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. A brilliant scientist thinks the only way to find a woman is by having her fill out his six page, double sided questionnaire. A barmaid tries to get him to loosen up and the adventure begins. A real feel good story.

The remaining top 10 are listed below:

Longbourn by Jo Baker is a look at Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice from the servant's side of life. People who loved Pride and Prejudice have loved this and those who didn't love Pride and Prejudice have loved it too. It's romance and mystery and alot of hard work on the part of the major characters. You get a new vision of what life was like then.

The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri. This was one of USA Today's Cool Books for fall also. This story of two brothers from India - one who comes to the United States and prospers and one who stays in India and becomes a revolutionary. Really well written and highly reviewed. Could become THE book for book clubs.

Cartwheel by Jennifer duBois. This is the story of an American exchange student, Lily Hayes, studying in Buenos Aires. She becomes the prime suspect when her roommate, another American, ends up dead. The author lets us view Lily Hayes through the eyes of those who love her and the eyes of those who believe she is a murderer. Who is Lily Hayes?

Hawthorn&Child by Keith Ridgway. Even though this is a story of two London policeman, is is not a mystery. You are dropped in a series of events, no explanations, no big crime to solve. It is more a story of how people don't really understand themselves. Very very dark in spots.

We Are Water by Wally Lamb. Lamb is an Oprah favorite. This is the story of a middle aged artist, wife and mother who after 27 years of marriage decides to divorce and marry a female New York art dealer. It really delves into the reactions of her husband and children.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt also mentioned as one of USA Today's Cool Books for fall. A 13 year old boy survives abandonment by his dead mother and wandering father by submerging himself into art.

The Tilted World by Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennell. Tom Franklin wrote the very popular Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter and Beth Ann Fennell is his wife and an award winning poet. This title is the story of murder and moonshine during the historic Mississippi River flood of 1927. With two such authors, how could this not be a great read.

Now, 2 nonfiction titles. One was a surprise for me.

The Stop: How the Fight for Good Food Transformed a Community and Inspired a Movement by Nick Saul and Andrea Curtis. The Stop is a community food center in Toronto, Ontario and Saul was it's director. This is the story about the effort to change his own neighborhood.

Hunting Season: Immigration and Murder in an All-American Town by Mirta Ojito. A former NY Times reporter discusses the events that lead up to the 2008 murder of an undocumented Ecuadorian immigrant on Long Island by a group of teenagers.

Certainly there must be one or two that catch your interest in this months LibraryReads list.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

USA Today's Coolest Books for the Fall

At the end of the week, the USA Today came out with a list of the fall's 30 coolest books. Some were children's titles that I won't cover but most were ones that are going to be talked about by many. Some of these are the big names and I will just mention those, but others are ones you might not think to read unless you realized that the USA Today thought they were cool.

Big Names:
Lee Child's Never Go Back
Sue Grafton's W is for Wasted
Terry McMillan's Who Asked You
Stephen King's Doctor Sleep
Bill O'Reilly's Killing Jesus
Scott Turow's Identical
Wally Lamb's We Are Water
John Grisham's Sycamore Row
Pat Conroy's The Death of Santini - okay - so this one might be a surprise. It is a memoir of his relationship with his father who was the model for the character in the book "The Great Santini"
Amy Tan's The Valley of Amazement.

Big Nonfiction Names:
A. Scott Berg's Wilson
Bill Bryson's One Summer
Malcolm Galdwell's David and Goliath
Nora Ephron's The Most of Nora Ephron
Ann Patchett's This Is A Story of A Happy Marriage
Doris Kearns Goodwin The Bully Pulpit

Now for some surprises:
Jamie Ford's Songs of Willow Frost - the story of a 12 year old Chinese boy living in an orphanage in Seattle who thinks he sees his mother in a movie. Ford is the author of the very popular Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.

Allan Gurganus's Local Souls - Gurganus has not come out with a novel in a decade. This popular author of The Oldest Living Confederate Wido returns to Falls, North Carolina to take a look at today's South.

Jhumpa Lahiri's The Lowland- Lahir is perhaps the least known Pulitizer Prize winning author. Her newest book tells the story of 2 brothers born just 15 months apart and the very divergent paths. One remains in India and one comes to the U.S. One prospers and one is martyred.

Elizabeth Gilbert's The Signature of All Things - Spanning much of 2 centuries, this is the story of the Whittaker family and especially Alma Whittaker - a botanist who falls in love with an artist. Peopled by extraordinary characters, places and times.

Lastly,of the ones I am going to cover is Donna Tartt. Anyone who has read herThe Secret History has been waiting for her next book for a very long time. In The Goldfinch a 13 year old boy in New York survives an accident that kills his mother. His father abandons him and leaves him in the care of a wealthy Park Ave. family. Theo withdraws from the real world into art. This title is also peopled with wonderful characters.

Enjoy these 'cool' titles.