Friday, January 30, 2009
On February 5th at 7pm at the Warren Newport Public Library in Gurnee, Steve Berry will sign his latest thriller The Charlamagne Pursuit. Berry has had several bestsellers, including The Templar Legacy and The Alexandria Link.
On February 7th at 2pm at the Anderson's Books in Naperville, Susan Elizabeth Phillips will sign her latest romance novel What I Did For Love.
On February 12th at 11:30, the Lake Forest Bookstore will be hosting an English Tea with bestselling author Alison Weir. Weir is well-known for her biographies of the Tudor dynasty, and has recently begun writing historical fiction. Contact the bookstore for pricing and reservations.
On February 17th at noon, the Book Stall will be hosting a lunch in Winnetka with Stephanie Kallos, who will speak about her new novel, Sing Them Home. Contact the Book Stall for pricing and reservations.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
The Chicago Underground Library has opened a permanent location at 2129 N. Rockwell St. in the Congress Theater building. The Library's collection focuses on material produced by small presses or independent publishers in the Chicago area. The collection includes zines, comics, perfect-bound novels, chapbooks, newsletters, art books, magazines and pamphlets. The Library is open on Saturdays from 1-5pm.
The Seattle Public Library offers some suggestions for reading resolutions that I think I'm going to incorporate into my own. Some of their resolutions include:
- Reread a book I loved as a child.
- Read a classic from high school that I've been avoiding.
- Read a book of poetry.
- Read a book written in the year I was born.
- Read a play.
- Read a book written by a non-American.
Library Journal has some suggestions for the year's best teen books for adults:
What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell
Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsBog Child by Shiobhan Dowd
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman
Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Nation by Terry Pratchett
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
The 2008 Costa Book Awards were also announced. Sadie Jones's The Outcast won the first novel award. Sebastian Barry's The Secret Scripture won the novel award. Diana Athill's Somewhere Towards the End won the biography award. Adam Foulds's The Broken Word won the poetry award.
The Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction announced its 2009 nominees: Elizabeth Abbott's Sugar: A Bittersweet History, Tim Cook's Shock Troops: Canadians Fighting the Great War, 1917 – 1918, Volume Two, and Ana Siljak's Angel of Vengeance: The "Girl Assassin," the Governor of St. Petersburg and Russia's Revolutionary World.
The Mystery Writers of America announced the nominees for the 2009 Edgar Awards. The nominees for best novel are: Missing by Karin Alvtegen, Blue Heaven by C.J. Box, Sins of the Assassin by Robert Ferrigno, The Price of Blood by Declan Hughes, The Night Following by Morag Joss, and Curse of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz. You can view the rest of the nominees here.
The nominees for the Dilys Award, given by the Independent Mystery Bookseller's Association, are: Trigger City by Sean Chercover, The Victoria Vanishes by Christopher Fowler, Silent in the Sanctuary by Deanna Raybourn, Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith, and The Dawn Patrol by Don Winslow.
And just to be different, Citizen Reader has announced her picks for the Worst Books of 2008. Included on her list are Thomas Friedman's Hot, Flat and Crowded and Oprah's latest pick, David Wroblewski's The Story of Edgar Sawtelle.
Monday, January 19, 2009
- The average American throws away 4.5 pounds of garbage per person, per day.
- 88% of U.S. products are used once and thrown out.
- 67% of America's household waste stream could be composted.
- The liners that are required for new landfills are only good for about fifty years. And the EPA requires landfill owners to monitor a landfill for only 30 years after its closure.
- Dumps from the Roman Empire are still leaching today.
- The garbage industry in New York was controlled by the Mafia for many years.
While both books share much of the same information, Royte's book is a more personal look at garbage. She spends the year analyzing her own trash, following garbage men (and women), and visiting landfills and recycling centers and she infuses much of the book with personal antidotes. Rogers's book sticks to the facts and does a better job of clearly detailing the history of trash and the current issues. Although both books provide more information than most people will ever want to know about garbage, they are interesting and eye-opening. I can't wait to get started composting.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Friday, January 9, 2009
Last Sunday, January 4th was Part 1 of Tess of D'Urbervilles. Part 2 will air this Sunday, January 11th. Don't worry, if you missed Part 1 you can watch it online.
January 18th and 25th will be Parts 1 and 2 of Wuthering Heights (a new adaptation!).
February 1st and 8th will be a rerun of Sense and Sensibility.
February 15th and 22nd will be Parts 1 and 2 of Oliver Twist.
March 15th and 22nd will be Parts 1 and 2 of David Copperfield.
March 29th and April 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th will be Parts 1 through 5 of Little Dorrit.
May 3rd will be The Old Curiosity Shop.
Sigh...How I love the BBC.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
My impressions? This is simply another mediocre historical fiction novel. As far as accuracy, I know nothing about Aisha or Muhammad or about that time period, so I have no way of judging. But that's why it's historical FICTION. I'm guessing that the number of historical fiction novels that are completely accurate is quite small. If you don't like that, then get a biography of Aisha. Accuracy is a plus in historical fiction, but I don't think it's absolutely necessary. I think the novel is successful when it inspires you to get the facts; read a biography. Was that the case here? Eh. Not so much. As for the novel being a bodice-ripper and soft-core pornography, I'd say that's a bit of an exaggeration. There are some low-key sex scenes, but nothing close to a bodice-ripper. It barely made me blush. As for the lamentable prose, that is, unfortunately, right on. She refers to sex as the "sting of the scorpion's tail" and an embrace with her father as "a coffee-and-cardamom embrace." Ugh. It was a little off-putting. The description of life in Medina, the language, customs, etc. was so-so. But Aisha is an interesting character and the story was engaging and entertaining. Bottom line: entertaining but not exceptional.
Monday, January 5, 2009
Veterinarian Nick Trout, author of Tell Me Where It Hurts: A Day of Humor, Healing and Hope in My Life as an Animal Surgeon, has signed a deal to write two more books, due out in 2010 and 2011.
Augusten Burroughs's (of Running With Scissors fame) mother has decided to get in on the action with a memoir telling her side of the story. A Place To Come Home To will be based on her diaries and will recount her abusive marriage and her descent into psychosis.
Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran, has just published her second book Things I've Been Silent About, a memoir of her childhood in Iran.
Ben Mezrich, author of Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas for Millions, which was made into the popular movie 21 starring Kevin Spacey, will be publishing his next book in the fall of 2009. The book will be about the Harvard students who founded Facebook and Harvard's Final Clubs (I had no idea what Final Clubs were, so here's a nice little Wikipedia description). Kevin Spacey's production company will be adapting the book for film.
David Wroblewski, author of Oprah pick The Story of Edgar Sawtelle has a deal to write the prequel to Edgar Sawtelle, which will detail the history of the Sawtelle family and the history of the fictional breed of dog featured in the book. The prequel will be the second in a planned trilogy.
Laura Bush's memoir will be published by Scribner and is due out in 2010.
James Patterson apparently decided that dominating the fiction bestseller lists was not enough and recently added a nonfiction book to his corpus with Against Medical Advice. He will be publishing another nonfiction book in November titled The Murder of King Tut.