Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Da Vinci Code Out in Paperback

Yes, it's true. You can finally buy a paperback copy of The Da Vinci Code in the U.S.

Librarian Action Figure on Sale!

The purpose of this blog is not, generally, to point you in the direction of things to buy. However, if you are reading this humble blog I assume you are a fan of libraries and perhaps even librarians. Perhaps you, like me, idolize über-librarian Nancy Pearl.

If you do, you should know that the legendary librarian action figure (based on Nancy Pearl herself) from Archie McPhee is now available at a discounted rate at the Atomic Books website. I myself am hard-pressed to think of anyone who doesn't need a librarian action figure.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Up for Something Different? Try Sophie's World

Sophie's World is a mystery novel that's also a history of western thought, begining with Nordic mythology and Greek philosophy and running through Locke and Hume, Kant, Hegel, Marx, Darwin and Freud. Plus, it was 1995's 'most-sold' novel worldwide. Have you read it?

New Book: The Oxford Murders

A serial murderer with a mathematical bent is stalking Oxford in Guillermo Martínez's cerebral mystery The Oxford Murders. Naturally, this is available through Your Local Library.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Free Online Newspaper Archives

Thanks to The Librarian in Black, I am able to direct you to these absolutely free online newspaper archives.

While we're at it, I should remind you that most libraries nowadays give their cardholders free online access to similar databases. For example, I show you the Online Databases page of the Library Information Network of Clackamas County.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Nominees Announced for LA Times Book Prizes

In fiction, the nominees are "The March" by E.L. Doctorow (Random House), "Veronica" by Mary Gaitskill (Pantheon Books), "Memoirs of My Melancholy Whores" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Knopf), "A Long Way Down" by Nick Hornby (Riverhead Books) and "Kafka on the Shore" by Haruki Murakami (Knopf).

Nominees for the Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction are "Garner" by Kirstin Allio (Coffee House Press), "A Sudden Country" by Karen Fisher (Random House), "The Dream Life of Sukhanov" by Olga Grushin (Marian Wood/Putnam), "Beasts of No Nation" by Uzodinma Iweala (HarperCollins) and "John Crow's Devil" by Marlon James (Akashic Books). The winners will be named April 28 in a ceremony at UCLA. More information here.

Like Short Stories? Here are the Best of the Online Crop

StorySouth says these are the best online short stories published during 2005.

Million Writers Award: Notable Stories 2005

Here they are: the best online short stories published during 2005. Once again, I must admit that this is site that Moorish Girl(aka author Laila Lalami) found for me.

Commonwealth Writers Prize Goes to Kate Grenville

Yup, it's another British book prize: the Commonwealth Foundation established the Commonwealth Writers' Prize in 1987; the aim is to encourage and reward the upsurge of new Commonwealth fiction and ensure that works of merit reach a wider audience outside their country of origin. Kate Grenville just nabbed this year's prize for her novel The Secret River.

And yes, it's not yet out in the U.S. But it comes out in April and Your Local Library will have it.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

National Jewish Book Award 2005

Michael Chabon has won the 2005 National Jewish Book Award in Fiction for his novel The Final Solution. Interestingly, though the National Jewish Book Awards have been announced, they aren't actually awarded until April 26 at the Center for Jewish History in Manhattan.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Watch for: The Madonnas of Leningrad

Powells calls The Madonnas of Leningrad "a sublime debut novel." The Seattle P-I raves about it, too. Publishers Weekly has a great Q&A with Seattle author Debra Dean. If you're in the Portland area, she'll be speaking at Powell's on Burnside on Tuesday, March 28, at 7:30 p.m.

And of course you can place a hold on it at Your Local Library.

Elmore Leonard's Ten Rules of Writing

Inkygirl points us to Elmore Leonard's Ten Rules of Writing; we like the one that says "Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip."

Are You a Poet?

Poets of all levels of experience should check out Egoless, a site where poems are posted anonymously and given a rating from 1 to 10, says Inkygirl.

Also, check out the Haiku Postcard Foundation. I love the anonymity aspect.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Book Designer Fred Marcellino

"Every generation or so an artist emerges who leaves an indelible mark on the book arts. Fred Marcellino will best be remembered as the one who cornered the market on mood and atmosphere with his book covers and jackets produced from the mid-1970s through the early 1990s. His surreal landscapes, exotic backdrops, impressionist palette, and precisionist typography defined a particular kind of literary genre. By "defined" I mean Marcellino gave authors including Anne Tyler, Tom Wolfe, Milan Kundera, Judith Rossner, Margaret Atwood, and Primo Levi, to name but a few, a visual persona that underscored their words and ideas." (Stephen Heller, from the 2002 exhibition catalogue titled "Dancing by the Light of the Moon: The Art of Fred Marcellino," published by the Norman Rockwell Museum)

Thanks to the inimitable Maud Newton for pointing the way to finding out more about Fred Marcellino!

PEN/Hemingway Award 2006

The winner is A Thousand Years of Good Prayers by Yiyun Li. Publishers Weekly called it "a beautifully executed debut collection of 10 stories [that] explores the ravages of the Cultural Revolution on modern Chinese, both in China and America. More info on runners-up, etc., here, courtesy Moorish Girl.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Leonardo Sciascia, Grandfather of Italian Noir

Leonardo Sciascia has been described by Gore Vidal, among many others, as one of the greatest modern writers. He's considered the grandfather of Italian noir. The NYRB Press is bringing back into print many of the translations of Leonardo Sciascia's books; watch for them here at Your Local Library.

Arthur C. Clarke Award Shortlist

The short list for this year’s Arthur C. Clarke Award has been announced. This is also a British award, given for the best (British) science fiction novel from the previous year. Interested in past winners?

Orange Prize Hopefuls Named

Some of the UK's leading female authors including Zadie Smith, Ali Smith and Sarah Waters have made the longlist for this year's Orange Prize for Fiction. The award honors the year’s best female-written, English-language novel published in the U.K.

Note that many of these books have not yet been published on this side of the ocean.

Friday, March 03, 2006