Archive for April, 2008

The Story behind the Short Story
By April 30, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

The Story behind the Short Story

So, for the first time ever, there’s a short story in Booklist. Called “Reading Is My Business,” it’s in the May 1 issue, our Mystery Showcase, and it’s a hard-boiled tale about a boozy book reviewer named . . . Keir Graff. And it’s written by . . . yep, you guessed it, me. What’s going on here? […]

Posted in: Books and Authors
Cassandra at the Wedding

Cassandra at the Wedding

I just finished a book that would be perfect for any group looking for a short, substantive read.  It’s Dorothy Baker’s lost classic, Cassandra at the Wedding. Cassandra and Judith Edwards are twins.  They grew up in an eccentric California home where their father, a retired philosophy professor who spends his days filling his glass […]

Posted in: book groups
Chabon Wins the Nebula
By April 29, 2008 1 Comments Read More →

Chabon Wins the Nebula

I may not always be first, but I do get there eventually. The winners of the 2007 Nebula Awards have been announced. Novel The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, by Michael Chabon Novella “Fountain of Age,” by Nancy Kress Novelette “The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate,” by Ted Chiang Short Story “Always,” by Karen Joy Fowler Script […]

Posted in: book awards, book news
ALA Annual Conference and You
By April 29, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

ALA Annual Conference and You

With the American Library Association’s Annual Conference in Anaheim fast approaching, whiz kid Dan Kraus has put together a handy primer on taking part. (Stars director of membership development John Chrastka, who, rumor has it, was born wearing a tweed blazer with a pipe in the pocket.) Gee willikers! Check out this swell 1950s-style educational […]

Posted in: Libraries
Bad Sourcing, Bad Citing, and Bright Shiny Book Events
By April 29, 2008 1 Comments Read More →

Bad Sourcing, Bad Citing, and Bright Shiny Book Events

Ashes to ashes, pulp to pulp. A forthcoming biography of Madame de Maintenon, Louis XIV’s mistress, written by Veronica Buckley (Christina, Queen of Sweden, 2004) is being recalled due to its reliance on a faulty source (“Hoax diary snares Bloomsbury,” by Claire Armitstead, the Guardian‘s theblogbooks): The problem, it turns out, is with the attribution of a little-known document […]

Posted in: book news
A Book for 5,000 Readers
By April 28, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

A Book for 5,000 Readers

  This autumn all five thousand members of Seattle’s largest reading group will be tucking into a hair-raising true account of illegal Mexican immigration, Luis Alberto Urrea’s The Devil’s Highway. If this compelling book doesn’t engage the minds of the University of Washington’s 2008 Freshman Class with its harrowing, heartbreaking picture of our immigration laws, […]

Posted in: book groups
The L.A. Times Book Prizes: A Terrible Blow for Oscar Wao
By April 28, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

The L.A. Times Book Prizes: A Terrible Blow for Oscar Wao

The 2007 Los Angeles Times Book Prizes have been announced. And there’s one name that’s conspicuously absent. Biography Young Stalin, by Simon Sebag Montefiore (Knopf) Current Interest Soldier’s Heart: Reading Literature through Peace and War at West Point, by Elizabeth D. Samet (Farrar) Fiction Be Near Me, by Andrew O’Hagan (Harcourt) Art Seidenbaum Award for First […]

Posted in: book awards, book news
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO KURT?
By April 28, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO KURT?

At a recent discussion of Kurt Vonnegut’s acclaimed novel, Slaughterhouse-Five, I learned a useful lesson.  The group was talking about some of the more controversial aspects of the book that led to its being questioned as an appropriate reading choice for students at the local high school, and this prompted a number of teachers and […]

Posted in: book groups
The Chapter Narrated by Satan May Be the Funniest Part of the Book

The Chapter Narrated by Satan May Be the Funniest Part of the Book

My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk, translated by Erda M. Göknar, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2001 [original title: Benim Adim Kirmizi]. While we are supposedly reading crime and mystery fiction at my library’s book discussion once a month, I stray a little out of the box when I help the group select our […]

Posted in: book groups, book news
Another Untapped Picture-Book Market
By April 25, 2008 2 Comments Read More →

Another Untapped Picture-Book Market

At Booklist Coffee™ this morning, we were discussing My Beautiful Mommy and one of the youth books editors suggested another potentially untapped market: the very young children of very old celebrities. As some luminaries move on to their third, fourth, and fifth marriages, there does seem to be a growing opportunity here. Should any entrepreneurial types […]