Thursday, March 30, 2006
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Yes, it's true. You can finally buy a paperback copy of The Da Vinci Code in the U.S.
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
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?
Friday, March 17, 2006
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
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.
StorySouth says these are the best online short stories published during 2005.
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
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
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.
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."
Thursday, March 09, 2006
"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!
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 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.
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.