Thursday, June 26, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
In this month's issue of Atlantic Magazine, Nicholas Carr has written an article called "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" which suggests another possibility. Maybe it's not a reading funk, but perhaps the way in which I read has changed. Carr writes that he has always been a voracious reader, spending hours reading lengthy articles or books. But lately he, too, has noticed his concentration starting to drift after a few pages. Reading lengthy works has become increasingly difficult for him. He has heard about similar troubles from other readers as well. He proposes that the Internet has changed the way we read. When we use the Internet, we are in a constant state of motion: reading and writing e-mails, scanning headlines and blogs, watching videos and surfing from site to site. Most people skim sites and typically read no more than one or two pages of an article. The style of reading promoted by the Internet focuses on immediate, fast results. This scatters our attention and may be weakening our capacity for concentration and deep reading. This makes a lot of sense to me. I do spend my days skimming quite a lot of information online-news, blogs, book reviews, etc. I find myself unable or unwilling to read through lengthier articles. I even noticed that when I do want to read a lengthier article, such as this one, I just don't have the ability to concentrate long enough to read it online, so I print it out. Is it possible that I have just become so accustomed to fast, quick bites of information that my brain now has more difficulty concentrating for longer periods of time? Could this be why I am having more difficulty getting into books? That is seriously scary.
Monday, June 23, 2008
I believe that Lancaster is working on another book and I'm hoping we will get to hear about her move to the suburbs. She has always been a city girl ("Give me Libertyville or give me death? I choose death."). But her husband has been trying to convince her that living in the suburbs will be much cheaper than the city. At the end of Such a Pretty Fat, she tells her husband that he wins-they will move to the suburbs. I have a feeling that will make for another hilarious adventure!
Friday, June 20, 2008
Most of the people in the discussion group seemed to like this novel better than I did. The majority of the novel is told by the six-year-old Lizzy. Then we have brief glimpses of Lizzy's life when she is in college and again when she is married with her own child. But I felt their were huge gaps, and I thought it would have been more interesting to follow Salamina and Moliseng's lives. But the novel does have wonderful descriptions of South Africa, and the story made for a great discussion.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Awards were recently announced. The winner is DeNiro's Game by Rawi Hage. The award, which is managed by the Dublin City Public Library, is given to a work with high literary merit and nominations are made by libraries around the world.
Denis Johnson, winner of the 2007 National Book Award for his novel Tree of Smoke, will be publishing his next novel called Nobody Move in four installments in Playboy magazine. The installments will begin in the July issue and run through the October issue.
Oprah recently gave the commencement address to the graduates of Yale University. Because Oprah loves to give out free stuff, all the graduates were given copies of her latest pick, Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth and another of her favorites: A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink. I bet those graduates were thinking "what about the free car?"
Debbie Macomber, best-selling fiction author, has signed a deal to write 2 nonfiction inspirational titles. The first will be called Fishes and Loaves: Living in a Spirit of Generosity.
Stephen King and his son Joe Hill will publish their first collaboration, a novella titled Throttle, due out in early 2009. Movie rights have been optioned.
A great vacation for the die-hard Austen fan.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Cookbook of the Year: The River Cottage Meat Book by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Cookbook Hall of Fame: Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco by Paula Wolfert
Asian Cooking: My Bombay Kitchen: Traditional and Modern Parsi Home Cooking by Niloufer Ichaporia King
Baking and Dessert: Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads: New Techniques, Extraordinary Flavor by Peter Reinhart
Cooking from a Professional Point of View: The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Cuisine by The French Culinary Institute with Judith Choate
Entertaining: Dish Entertains by Trish Magwood
Americana: A Love Affair with Southern Cooking by Jean Anderson
General: Cooking by James Peterson
Healthy Focus: The EatingWell Diet by Jean Harvey-Berino with Joyce Hendley and the Editors of EatingWell
International: The Country Cooking of France by Anne Willan
Reference: A Geography of Oysters: The Connoisseur's Guide to Oyster Eating in North America by Rowan Jacobsen
Single Subject: The River Cottage Meat Book by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Wine and Spirits: Imbibe!: From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash, a Salute in Stories and Drinks to "Professor" Jerry Thomas, Pioneer of the American Bar by David Wondrich
Writing on Food: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver
Photography: The Country Cooking of France by Anne Willan; Photographer: France Ruffenach
Monday, June 16, 2008
Friday, June 13, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Each year the Audio Publisher's Association presents the Audie Awards for best audiobooks of the year. The 2008 awards were recently announced. Tallgrass by Sandra Dallas won for best fiction. Tree of Smoke by Denis Johnson won for best literary fiction. Tin Roof Blowdown by James Lee Burke won for best mystery. Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips won for best romance. Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill won for best thriller. Garrison Keillor's Pontoon won for best narration by an author. Walter Isaacson's Einstein won best biography. Stephen Colbert's I Am America (And So Can You!) won the humor award.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Monday, June 2, 2008
John Connolly will be at Borders in Oak Brook on June 3 at 7:30pm to read from his latest novel The Reapers.
Robert Olmstead will be at the Book Stall in Winnetka on June 4 at 7:00pm to sign Coal Black Horse, his critically acclaimed novel about a 14-year-old boy sent out by his mother to find his father on Civil War battlefield.
Ed Park will be at the Book Cellar in Chicago on June 5 at 7:00pm to sign Personal Days.
Joseph Arpaia will be at Borders in Deerfield on June 6 at 7:30pm to read from Real Meditation in Minutes a Day: Enhancing Your Performance, Relationships, Spirituality, and Health.
My friends at the Warren Newport Public Library will be having two exciting author events this month. Jonathan Santlofer will be visiting on June 7th at 2pm to sign his newest book, The Murder Notebook. Lee Child will be visiting on June 11th at 1pm to discuss his latest book, Nothing to Loose.
Katie Hickman will be at the Book Stall in Winnetka on June 9 at 12:00pm to sign her novel The Aviary Gate, about a researcher who discovers a story locked away for four centuries of a British sea captain’s daughter held captive in a sultan’s harem.
David Sedaris will be at Borders in Evanston on June 11 at 7:00pm to promote his latest book, When You Are Engulfed in Flames.
Alan Furst will be at the Book Stall in Winnetka on June 11 at 7:00pm to sign his novel The Spies of Warsaw, an intrigue set in pre-World War II Warsaw and featuring French, Polish, and German intelligence officers.
Rebecca Stott will be at the Book Stall in Winnetka on June 16 at 7:00pm to sign Ghostwalk, a novel centered on a real historical mystery filled with evocative descriptions of Cambridge, past and present, of 17-century glass making, alchemy, the Great Plague, and Isaac Newton’s scientific theories.
Karen Abbott, author of Sin in the Second City: Madams, Ministers, Playboys and the Battle for America's Soul, will be discussing and signing her book at 57th Street Books in Chicago on June 18th at 6pm and at the Book Cellar on June 19th at 7pm.
Booker Prize winner and international bestselling author Salman Rushdie will read from and discuss his new work, The Enchantress of Florence on Thursday, July 10th at 6pm at the Harold Washington Library in Chicago. This reading is free of charge and open to the public. Mr. Rushdie will personalize the new book and sign copies of his backlist (please, no more than 2 books per person).