Friday, December 16, 2005

12 Months of Fine Fiction

12 Months of Fine Fiction
Great Books You Might Otherwise Miss

A Chill Rain in January by L. R. Wright

A Pipe for February by Charles H. Red Corn

March by Geraldine Brooks
* Starred Review * in Publishers Weekly

Waiting for April by Scott M. Morris

Hawk of May by Gillian Bradshaw

The Summer After June by Ashley Warlick

July, July by Tim O’Brien
* Starred Review * in LJ

Snow in August by Pete Hamill

The Last September by Elizabeth Bowen

October Suite by Maxine Clair

A Century of November by W. D. Wetherell

The Warmest December by Bernice L. McFadden

For more booklists, contact Kiera K. Taylor at the Lake Oswego Public Library, 706 4th Street, Lake Oswego, Oregon 97034, 503-697-6581,

A Week of Reading: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday...

Sorry I'm such a lame blogger.

To make up for it, here is a list of cool books you might otherwise miss were I not telling you about them.

You're welcome.

List #1: A Week of Reading:
Great Books You Might Otherwise Miss

Sunday at the Pool in Kigali by Gil Courtemanche
*Starred Review* in Library Journal

Long Day Monday by Peter Turnbull
* Starred Review * in Kirkus Reviews

Confederate Jasmine and the Fat Tuesday Tree by Ann Lewis

Wednesday’s Child by Peter Robinson
*STARRED REVIEW* in Booklist

The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton

Friday Nights at Honeybees by Andrea Smith

The Saturday Morning Murder by Batya Gur

For more booklists, contact Kiera K. Taylor at the Lake Oswego Public Library, 706 4th Street, Lake Oswego, Oregon 97034, 503-697-6581,

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Progress Report: Fiction Allsorts

Eight people at Fiction Allsorts this morning! YES! That's our storytime for adults. Folks who knit or do any kind of handwork come, but so too does anyone who likes to be read to. Today I read a story from If I Had My Life to Live Over Again, I Would Pick More Daisies, Joan Connor's "Broken Vows."

Anyway, we do this every third Thursday morning. 10:30 a.m.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Nancy Pearl, My Hero

Have I mentioned before how I idolize Nancy Pearl? She's the librarian who wrote Book Lust and also was the model for the famous Librarian Action Figure.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Half-Broken Things by Morag Joss

I'm halfway through Half-Broken Things (listening to the CDs in my car and reading the book at home) and it's pretty darn good. I love reading interviews with authors: here's one with Morag Joss.

Coffee! at Your Local Library

Come on down. Starting Friday, November 4, folks from Pacific Coast Coffee and Cookies will be serving up their liquid wares here at Your Local Library. This is a trial run. They'll pay the library a percentage of the profits and folks won't have to leave the premises to buy tasty java.

New Fiction: Mission to America by Walter Kirn

"At 12 years old, while living in Arizona with my patent-attorney father and registered-nurse mother, I answered the front door one afternoon and was confronted by two 18-year-old boys who informed me that they'd been sent by God to counsel, enlighten, and heal my family by converting it to the Mormon religion..." That's Kirn talking. Mission to America is his semi-autobiographical novel based on a fictional religion, the Aboriginal Fulfilled Apostles.

New Thriller from Counterterrorism Guru Richard A. Clarke

Richard A. Clarke, long-time White House counterterrorism chief, says: "Fiction can often tell the truth better than nonfiction. And there is a lot of truth that needs to be told." He's got a novel out now, Scorpion's Gate.

How to Start a Parent/Child Book Club

Step number 1: "Make sure that your child wants to participate. If your child is not really interested and willing, the book club may be a disappointment for you both. "

The Librarian of the Future

Technology-crazed or going the way of the dinosaur? Or...?

(Book With Wings by Anselm Kiefer See it Sept. 25 through Jan. 8, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell St., Fort Worth. 817-738-9215)

Rattawut Lapcharoensap's Sightseeing

"A book of short stories based on Thailand's tourism industry is the only work of fiction to make the shortlist for the Guardian's First Book award. " And lo, it is owned by Your Local Library!

More here about Rattawut Lapcharoensap's debut book of stories.

Book Club Struggling? Invite an Author

"Certainly with the writer in the room, even the worst procrastinator wouldn't be audacious enough to leave a book unfinished."

Don't try to get Maya Angelou, though...did you know she commands $35,000 a speech? Truly.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

On Beyond Google

There are times when using something other than Google might be best.

The James Patterson Page-Turner Awards

For the really big $25,000 award, nominate any person, group, company, or institution that spreads the excitement of books in an effective and original way. For instance:
A librarian, educator or bookseller who's promoted the joy of reading;
Anyone who's publicly highlighted the entertainment value of books;
A philanthropic group that orchestrated a unique event that drew attention to books and reading;
A book group leader, web site operator, or other person that singles out books in an exciting or unusual way.

There are other awards, too. Check it out.

James Patterson, of course, is the fellow who's written a whole string of bestsellers: Along Came a Spider, Kiss the Girls, Pop Goes the Weasel, etc.

NASCAR and Harlequin Books! Of Course!

Uhm, breaking news: here's the press release from the Harlequin romance novel folks on their new line of novels, by some of Harlequin's bestselling authors, which will have plotlines centering on NASCAR and will bear the NASCAR brand on their covers.

Harlequin, you will be stunned to hear, is the first publisher of women's fiction for NASCAR.

Wanna Know What a Librarian's Day is Like?

Check out the blog of the Feel-good Librarian.

The Future of Libraries?

The folks from the Da Vinci Institute have put together a list of ten key trends that are affecting the development of the next generation library.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

What are Home Schoolers Reading?

Mark Oppenheimer of the Wall Street Journal sees "a preference for long books, often parts of a series, consumed with a leisure that public-school curricula don't allow; an emphasis on narratives, which children like, divorced from contemporary politics, which surely can wait; and a powerful sense that children are major players in the world, the kind of people, perhaps, who deserve better than large classrooms and who may grow up more likely to write books than to be told which ones to read."

(the photo above is by Myra Albert Wiggins and is called Hunger is the Best Cook, c. 1898, gelatin silver print 89.5178.1 It's owned by Portland Art Museum,Portland, Oregon, and was the gift of Bob and Shirley Benz. There's a book on her work from the Washington State University Press called The Witch of Kodakery -- and yes, we have it here at Your Local Library)

Hip Librarians Book Blog

Hip Librarians post information about books they like. Or loathe.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Readers' Blogs Worth a Look

The Blog of a Bookslut

The Complete Review

Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind

Fresh Eyes: a Bookseller’s Journal
Robert Gray is a bookseller and buyer at the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, Vermont. His written work has appeared in numerous publications, including Tin House, Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, Publishers Weekly, Cimarron Review, Great River Review, and the anthologies Crime a la Carte (Signet 1994) & Northern Music: Poems About and Inspired by Glenn Gould (2001). He is writing a book about reading and readers from a bookseller's perspective.

Galley Cat

Grumpy Old Bookman

H2Oboro Lib Blog

Lake Oz Fic Chick
News on books and Lake Oswego Public Library happenings from LOPL’s Adult Services Librarian. No original essays or brilliant insights, but lots of links.

The Moorish Girl
Laila Lalami was born in Rabat and educated in Morocco, Britain, and the United States. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Mizna, The Baltimore Review, First Intensity, The Los Angeles Times, The Los Angeles Review, The Oregonian, The Independent, The Nation, and will soon be anthologized. Her debut book of fiction, Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits, was published by Algonquin Books in October 2005. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

The New York Times – Books

NPR Topics – Books

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s Book Reviews

Also, see a fine list put together by The Complete Review --

Dickens: Misjudged, Underappreciated

"Dickens did not write classics, he wrote entertainment." Author Irit Linur has translated Nicholas Nickleby into Hebrew and she says you only have to repackage his books and launch an energetic campaign and people -- one hopes -- will realize Dickens is fun to read.

Friday, October 21, 2005

New Fiction Buzz

Try for fairer -- and more complete -- descriptions of these books.

Indecision: A Novel By Kunkel, Benjamin
"Pfired" by Pfizer, off to Ecuador.

Out of Season By Bausch, Robert
Big burdens, tragedy, loss.

Myth of You and Me: A Novel of Friendship By Stewart, Leah
Childhood friends reunited.

Painted Drum: A Novel By Erdrich, Louise
An Indian drum and the lives it's touched through the years.

Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette: A Novel By Erickson, Carolly
Let 'em eat cake!

Watch for These New Mysteries and Thrillers!

Flashback By Braver, Gary
Medical thriller from the author of Gray Matter and Elixer. A man is affected in some very strange ways after being stung by jellyfish.

Thirteen Steps Down: A Novel By Rendell, Ruth
From the author of The Babes in the Wood and The Rottweiler. Mix Cellini's landlady is keeping an eye on him.

Lincoln Lawyer: A Novel By Connelly, Michael
A legal thriller about a cynical defense attorney!

Consent to Kill: A Thriller By Flynn, Vince
The man who brought us The Third Option and Memorial Day, the seventh book about CIA operative Mitch Rapp.

Color of Law By Gimenez, Mark
The no-good son of a millionaire presidential hopeful shows up dead, embarrassingly.

Half Broken Things By Joss, Morag
Some half-broken people see a chance to start over.

Ambler Warning By Ludlum, Robert
Where do they put former intelligence employees whose babbling might lead to awkward situations?

Contact Zero By Wolstencroft, David
Where do spies go when they get into trouble?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

New York Review of Books Rescues Lost Books

Another good list of 'overlooked' fiction. Also, if there's an out-of-print book that you wish were available again, let them know. Maybe they'll re-publish it as one of their series of New York Review of Books classics. Here's a rundown of the first 150.

Virago Modern Classics: "lost" treasures

Posted on The Missouri Review website in January 2004: "Virago is a UK-based publisher that has a series called Virago Modern Classics, started in 1978 and dedicated to the celebration of women writers, to the rediscovery and reprinting of their work. Virago describes their aim as demonstrating "the existence of a female tradition in fiction," and to broadening "the sometimes narrow definition of a 'classic' which has often led to the neglect of interesting novels and short stories." Virago Modern Classics makes available important, exciting works like Frost in May by Antonia White, Novel on Yellow Paper by Stevie Smith, and the Pilgramage series (written as a feminine equivalent of what was masculine realism) by Dorothy Richardson."

You could do a lot worse than devoting all of your spare time to reading all of the Virago Modern Classics.

For what it's worth, I have some Virago titles on display today here in Your Local Library, in our "Lost Books" display. These are books We (yes, that's the 'royal' we) believe have been overlooked or underappreciated. Non-Virago books on display include Some Tame Gazelle by Barbara Pym, Nowle's Passing by Edith Forbes, Searching for Caleb by Anne Tyler, Four Letters of Love by Niall Williams, Someone at a Distance by Dorothy Whipple, A Killing Frost by John Marsden and The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Do You Like the Mitford Novels by Jan Karon?

You might want to try some of these. Or these.

Jesus Land: Worth Looking For

"Journalist Julia Scheeres' haunting and disturbing memoir tells the story of growing up in an upper-middle-class Indiana Calvinist household during the '80s, while also alcoholic, beaten, molested, and mistreated."

One to Try: Mutual Life and Casualty

"Mutual Life & Casualty resonates long after you finish reading it."

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Finalists for the National Book Awards

The National Book Awards finalists were announced last week. Holy Skirts was the only one we didn't yet have, so now it's on order.

Time Magazine's "All-time 100 Novels"

Welcome to "the massive, anguished, exalted undertaking that is the ALL TIME 100 books list. " From Time Magazine, natch. The one founded by Henry R. Luce.

Do You Like Carl Hiaasen?

Folks who like Carl Hiaasen really want more, more, more of the same. Once you've read all Hiaasen's books, what to do? You might try these authors:

James O. Born
S. V. Date
Richard Dooling
Tim Dorsey
Bill Fitzhugh
Eric Garcia
Corson Hirschfeld
Elmore Leonard
Christopher Moore
Daniel Paisner
Ben Rehder
Laurence Shames
Ray Shannon

Fiesta Book Group for November 2005

Before their meeting on Saturday, November 19, the group members are planning to read widely from Pablo Neruda's poetry, then each person will select a poem, make copies and prepare to discuss it with the group.

Fiesta reads writers of the Latin world. They meet at 10:30 on the third Saturday of every month. There is no need to reserve a place -- just come!

The Lake Oswego Public Library is at 706 Fourth Street, Lake Oswego, Oregon 97034
Our phone number, should you have questions, is 503-697-6581.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Cool Reading Series: Loggernaut

If you're around Portland, check out this Loggernaut reading series. Sounds pretty cool. Alas, it's on Thursday evenings, and I can't go. And of course this is last minute notice, but this month's reading is TONIGHT. Maybe the readings aren't held monthly -- they're skipping November -- but in December, Laila Lalami, my favorite local blogger, is reading, probably from her new novel, Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits.

Harold Pinter Wins Nobel for Literature

Harold Pinter's won the Nobel. The Swedish Academy says Pinter "in his plays uncovers the precipice under everyday prattle and forces entry into oppression's closed rooms".

Librarians Who Wear Their Hair in Buns and Say Shush!

"I am, in fact, your parents' librarian. I am the stereotype. I am... Marian."

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Banville's The Sea: Worthy of the Booker Prize?

Apparently some people think Banville's The Sea isn't worthy of the Booker Prize. On the other hand, here's a word from one of the judges who says, oh, yes it is.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Lost Books

With this website,, as inspiration, we've started our own little Lost Books display here at Your Local Library. These are "wonderful books that we believe are unknown to the majority of readers." Among the books on display right now: A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr., Ancient Shores by Jack McDevitt, Frost in May by Antonia White, Holy Smoke by Tonino Benacquista, and The Russian Passenger by Guenter Ohnemus.

Booker Prize Announced: The Sea by Banville

Surprise! It's John Banville's The Sea! For what it's worth, Your Local Library already has two copies of the British edition of this on order, so we should have it soon though it won't be published in the U.S. till next March. Are we helpful or what?

Monday, October 10, 2005

Storytime for Knitters, Oct. 20

I'll be reading "The Meeting" by Aimee Bender and Richard Brautigan's "The Weather in San Francisco." That's on Thursday morning the 20th. 10:30 a.m. Lake Oswego Public Library, 706 4th Street, Lake Oswego, Oregon 97034. Bring handcrafts. Or not. :-) For more info: 503-697-6581.

Here's the Official Press Release for November's storytime:

Storytime for Knitters

Knitters and others are invited to bring their handcrafts to Fiction Allsorts, our Short Story Discussion Group. It’s a free ‘storytime’ and brief discussion for grownups. The librarian reads a short story or essay aloud, and time for discussion or sharing follows.
For November’s meeting, the librarian will read a story from Eternity and Other Stories, a collection from Vancouver, Washington author Lucius Shepard.

Where and when? These storytimes are scheduled for the third Thursday of every month; the next meeting is Thursday, November 17, at 10:30 a.m. in the Library’s conference room.

For more information: 503-697-6581 or

Don Quixote: the Best Novel Ever Written

Want a good novel? Why not try the best one ever written?

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Bitter Lemon Press: Very Sweet

You gotta try some stuff from Bitter Lemon Press. Yes. You do. Here's their actual web site.

And yes, Your Local Library will be buying everything they publish. If I miss anything, send me email:

The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly: the Line is Forming

We at Your Local Library don't yet have Lincoln Lawyer, but the queue of people wanting to read it is almost 90 people long at this point. Looks like it's worth queuing up for.