Sunday, January 15, 2017
I am back on track for January 2017 with a great narrative nonfiction selection that reads like an adventure story. If you enjoy history and biography click on the For Listeners tab to check it out and don't forget to scroll down the page to find other audiobook suggestions.
Saturday, January 7, 2017
- "What is Historical Fiction? These are novels set in the past, before the author's lifetime or experience. Through its serious respect for historical accuracy and details of time, place, and character, historical fiction enhances a reader's knowledge of past events, lives, and customs. The goal of historical fiction is to bring history to life in novel form." Source: NoveList Genre Outline - "Getting Up to Speed in Historical Fiction" by Joyce Saricks; updated by Sarah S. Davis (Jul 2016)
Check out this great Forthcoming Historical Novels for 2017 list compiled by Sarah Johnson and Sarah Cuthbertson for the Historical Novel Society blog (an excellent source for reviews in this genre!).
- HNS's "Defining the Genre" article says "To be deemed historical (in our sense), a novel must have been written at least fifty years after the events described, or have been written by someone who was not alive at the time of those events (who therefore approaches them only by research)."
Emily Hauser, For the Most Beautiful
Nancy Peacock, The Life and Times of Persimmon Wilson
Paul Auster, 4 3 2 1
Charlie Lovett, The Lost Book of the Grail
David Vann, Bright Air Black
Emily Holleman, The Drowning King
Crystal King, Feast of Sorrow
Claire Cameron, The Last Neanderthal
Natalie Haynes, The Children of Jocasta
Sarah Shoemaker, Mr. Rochester
Dana Stabenow, Silk and Song
Colm Tóibín, House of Names
Melodie Winawer, The Scribe of Siena
Michael Crichton, Dragon Teeth
Leonard Goldberg, The Daughter of Sherlock Holmes
Ian Mortimer, The Outcasts of Time
Katherine Nouri Hughes, The Mapmaker’s Daughter
Thursday, December 22, 2016
The previous blog post showed my #libfaves16 tweets for numbers 10 to 6, so for completion's sake, here are the tweets for my final countdown ...
Saturday, December 17, 2016
This year #libfaves16 started Monday, December 12 and will run for ten days until Wednesday, December 21; a final Top Ten list will be posted shortly after the 21st. Librarians everywhere are invited to tweet about their top reads of the year, counting down from #10 and ending with their all-time #1 favorite for 2016. The rules are simple:
- Use the #libfaves16 hashtag
- Titles must have been published in 2016
- Post one title a day
- Type the title in ALL CAPS
- Include the author
#libfaves16 No 10 - BECAUSE OF MISS BRIDGERTON by Julia Quinn, read by Rosalyn Landor: historical, witty & thoroughly romantic
#libfaves16 No 8 - Paulette Jiles’ NEWS OF THE WORLD read by Grover Gardner: lyrical Western, former soldier & 10-yr old Kiowa captive girl
#libfaves16 No 7 – SLEEPING GIANTS by Sylvain Neuvel: jaw-dropping ‘are we alone in the Universe’ speculation, 1st in Themis Files series
#libfaves16 No 6 - MY NAME IS LUCY BARTON by Elizabeth Strout, read by Kimberly Farr: pull up a comfy chair & listen as Lucy tells her story
FYI, on Saturday, 12/17/2016 I was privileged to participate in helping tally the results for #libfaves16. I had a great time monitoring the hashtag throughout the day and recording the titles! :-)
Sunday, November 20, 2016
Click on the For Listeners tab to find this month's audiobook and don't forget to scroll down the page to find other audio suggestions for your listening pleasure.
Sunday, November 6, 2016
This led to three fiction titles covering a range of genres: time travel, hard-boiled mystery, and historical fiction, tapping into the personal impact theme of the new memoir.
11/22/63 by Stephen King (2011) - a high school English teacher learns how to time travel and is convinced he can 'fix' history for himself and others by going back and preventing the Kennedy assassination
Ask Not by Max Allan Collins (2013) - a detective investigates the deaths (suicides, accidents, murders) of Kennedy assassination witnesses who's stories all conflicted with the Warren Commission's "one-man, one-shooter" conclusion
Top Down by Jim Lehrer (2013) - at the behest of the daughter of a former Secret Service agent, a reporter investigates why the security bubble top was not in place during Kennedy's fatal ride through Dallas
Twenty-Six Seconds: A Personal History of the Zapruder Film by Alexandra Zapruder (Nov 2016) - the granddaughter of Abraham Zapruder relates how his home movie impacted her family as well as the American public
Twitter: #44U or #4-4-U
Saturday, October 22, 2016
Check the For Listeners tab to find this month's audiobook, and don't forget to scroll up and down the page to find other titles for your listening pleasure.
Sunday, October 16, 2016
Beginning in October 2015, the Hogarth Shakespeare series (part of Penguin Random House) began publishing re-imaginings of Shakespeare's plays with each novel being written by a best-selling novelist using contemporary settings and prose. Earlier this week, the newest title in the series was published, a re-telling of The Tempest written by none other than Margaret Atwood.
This seemed a perfect opportunity to spotlight other variations on The Tempest in a new #44U list. Each story employees a different setting: ranging from a contemporary prison, to steampunk science fiction, to the cultural conflict of the early 1960s, to a new fantasy version coming in 2017.
Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood (2016) - using a contemporary setting, Atwood envisions Shakespeare's The Tempest with a betrayed theater director plotting his revenge from inside prison and staging a production of the play to draw in those who crossed him
The Dream of Perpetual Motion by Dexter Clarence Palmer (2010) - an imprisoned writer who's only 'companions' aboard a perpetually floating zeppelin, are the disembodied voice of his mad lover, Miranda and her cryogenically frozen father, Prospero, an insane, genius obsessed with creating a perpetual motion machine.
Prospero's Daughter by Elizabeth Nunez (2006) - in the early 1960's a white scientist, exiled for performing experiments on his patients, retreats with his daughter to a Caribbean island and will have to learn to deal with the fact that his child has fallen in love with a young boy of mixed-race.
Miranda and Caliban by Jacqueline Carey (Feburary 2017) - a dark, fantastical exploration of the budding relationship between a dutiful, loving daughter and the reluctant servant her father bewitched into servitude
Twitter: #44U or #4-4-U or #44UFriday
Friday, October 7, 2016
As it's October and we are heading towards Halloween, I felt a #44U list of HORROR titles might be fun. Although ... I went in a decidedly 'buggy' direction with four titles (two released this year) that are not only scary but will, quite possibly, cause an eerie itchy sensation. :-)
This creepy-crawly theme offers a broad spectrum of Horror sub-genres: from ancient evil, to genetic engineering, to psychological suspense, and finally science fiction. For insectophobics, these are the stuff of nightmares!
The Hatching by Ezekiel Boone (2016) - "A series of bizarre manifestations around the world, from a human-eating black mass in the Peru jungle and a baffling plane crash in America to unusual seismic patterns in Kanpur and a nuclear accident in China, lead to the discovery of the emergence of an ancient dormant species." (NoveList)
Invasive by Chuck Wendig (2016) - An FBI investigation into a possible terrorist attack by what appear to be genetically engineered ants leads to a billionaire philanthropist, an isolated island laboratory, scientists who resent the implication their work may be responsible, and the release of a highly aggressive bioweapon.
Bedbugs by Ben H. Winters (2011) - A young couple are ecstatic when they find their 'dream' apartment in New York City ... until the wife starts waking up each morning with small bites on her body and is convinced the apartment is crawling with bedbugs despite the fact no one else has been bitten.
Infected by Scott Siegler (2008) - While the CIA and CDC race to stop the spread of a mysterious parasitic disease turning people into raving, paranoid murderers, a former football player 'confronts' the infection and discovers the triangular growths just beneath his skin want something more from him.
Twitter hashtag: #44U or #4-4-U or #44UFriday
Sunday, September 11, 2016
Friday, September 2, 2016
All four titles are mysteries set in London: two center around real historical figures (a detective and a writer & his detective), one offers a spin on a famous British detective, and last but far from least, is a collection of short stories about an infamous London murderer.
Edgar Allan Poe and the London Monster by Karen Lee Street - a debut novel where reality and fiction mix. Writer and poet, Edgar Allan Poe travels to London to ask his friend, the famed detective C. August Dupin, to solve a family mystery
A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas - first in new 'Lady Sherlock' series. Charlotte Holmes, dissatisfied with her lot as a female in Victorian era London, deliberately makes herself a social pariah in order to pursue a calling as a detective, taking on the name of Sherlock Holmes
The Big Book of Jack the Ripper Stories edited by Otto Penzler - a massive collection of new and well-known tales dealing with the real-life London serial killer, whose identity continues to be a enigma as well as an inspiration to mystery writers.
Twitter hashtag: #44U or #4-4-U or #44UFriday
Sunday, August 14, 2016
As always, check the For Listeners tab to find this month's audiobook and scroll up and down the page to discover other suggestions for your listening pleasure.
Friday, August 5, 2016
The guiding theme for this #44U list is Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, although the titles are not simply continuations or spin-offs on Miss Austen's tale. The four titles below offer a different twist on the story of Pride and Prejudice and cross over into a variety of genres: horror, mystery, historical fiction, and contemporary women's fiction.
Death Comes to Pemberley by P. D. James (2011) - six years after their happily ever after, all is not well for Elizabeth and Darcy when the relatives come to visit and a murder occurs.
Longbourn by Jo Baker (2013) - looks at the downstairs life of the Bennett family servants during the time of events related in Pride and Prejudice.
Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld (2016) - a fun, 21st Century re-envisioning of the classic with all the same characters in modern day roles and situations.
Give these a try and see if you don't look at Miss Austen's classic in a whole new way. Enjoy! :-)
Twitter hashtag: #44U or #44UFriday
Sunday, July 10, 2016
Use the For Listeners tab to find this month's audiobook, then scroll up and down the screen to explore other ideas to consider for your listening pleasure.
Friday, July 1, 2016
I like nonfiction compilations that offer interesting bits of information about lots of things, all in one package. As the reader, I get to pick and choose what to explore each time I pick up the book. There's no need for a book mark - just choose a page and start!
So here are four titles with a #44U theme of Little Bits and Pieces. They cover a wide range of topics: photography, history & chronology, literature & pop culture, and (a forthcoming title about) geography & travel.
- With these books, it's all about the subtitle! :-)
Finding Momo by Andrew Knapp (2014) - a colorful, little photo collection along the lines of the older children's puzzle book: Where's Waldo. The subtitle tells the reader what to do: "My Dog is Hiding in This Book. Can You Find Him?"
Bad Days in History by Michale Farquhar (2015) - the subtitle says it all: "A Gleefully Grim Chronicle of Misfortune, Mayhem, and Misery for Every Day of the Year" Want to find out what bad thing happened on your birthday, then this is the book for you.
Slaughterhouse 90210 by Maris Kreizman (2015) - has the very apt subtitle: "Where Great Books Meet Pop Culture" This one is for those who like to mix classic literature with present day media.
Atlas Obscura by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras & Ella Morton (coming Oct 2016) - has the subtitle: "An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders" and offers an around the globe tour of unique & amazing sites; some known, most not.
Twitter hashtag: #44U or #4-4-U
Saturday, June 11, 2016
As always, check the For Listeners tab to find this month's audiobook and scroll up and down the page to discover other possibilities for your listening pleasure.
Friday, June 3, 2016
At least once each month (possibly more than once), I will post a list of four titles connected by a theme, a Four4U (#44U) list. The titles could be considered as once-a-week reading suggestions and used to explore a general theme throughout the month. Alternatively, you might read them one right after the other OR simply choose a single title to peruse! Your choice! :-)
This #44U list was inspired by a post on Filmmusicreporter.com regarding composer John Williams, who will be writing the score for Steven Spielberg's film adaptation of Ready Player One, coming to theaters in 2018!
That brought to mind three other titles set in or dealing with different aspects in the world of video games and virtual reality. Therefore, I offer three books, one just published in April, and a movie for your consideration. The film is an oldie but a goodie that still holds up even 30+ years later; especially if you've never seen it!
So here is a #44U of Video Game Realities ...
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (2011) - this is so much fun with a plethora of pop culture references from the 70s and 80s, dealing with a virtual treasure hunt to find the mother-of-all video game prizes. It is a great read and an even better listen with Wil Wheaton, Wesley Crusher in Star Trek: the Next Generation, doing the narration! Try the audiobook for this one!
You: A Novel by Austin Grossman (2013) - a mix of reality and mystery that provides a look into how a video game is developed and marketed. The main character, hired to debug the newest version of a hugely popular game, gets so wrapped up in his job he ends up holding personal conversations with the fantasy heroes from the game.
Arena by Holly Jennings (April 2016) - pampered, superstar pro athletes train full-time to compete in a fully immersive virtual sport! The corporate-sponsored, Virtual Gaming League members fight (to their virtual death) in a gladiatorial elimination tournament to determine which team will take the world championship.
The Last Starfighter (1984) - a motion picture starring Lance Guest, Dan O'Herlihy & Robert Preston (Yes, Robert Preston of The Music Man fame, in a role you would not have expected). A young video game virtuoso is taken into outer space to defend Earth and the Universe from the aliens featured in his favorite game.
Twitter hashtag: #44U or #4-4-U or #44UFriday
Sunday, May 8, 2016
Check the For Listeners tab to find this month's audiobook and scroll up and down the page to discover other suggestions for your listening pleasure.
Friday, April 8, 2016
But before I get to the May 2016 LibraryReads list, I wanted to give a Shout-Out! to a fellow Gateway area librarian in recognition of her annotation being included in the current Top Ten listing!
by Dan VyletaPublished: 5/24/2016 by Doubleday
Jennifer is Senior Subject Specialist at St. Louis Central Library's Center for the Reader. Through her posts on SLPL's Center for the Reader blog, she provides "information ... about Central's different book group discussions, author information, book awards, reading lists, and much, much more."
CONGRATULATIONS, Jen! In anticipation of a rush of requests from the customers at St. Charles City-County Library District, I placed a reserve on Vyleta's Smoke for myself!
The compete list for May 2016 can be found at LibraryReads.
Thursday, April 7, 2016
According to a Books on Tape (BOT) tweet posted during the Audio Publishers Association (APA) dinner, audio narrator extraordinaire George Guidall used the term "a vocal portrait" - narrators create paintings for the galleries of your mind.
With that quote my April audiobook of the month was chosen. :-)
Check the For Listeners tab to find this month's audiobook and scroll down the page to discover other suggestions for your listening pleasure.
Sunday, March 6, 2016
I practice numbers 1 (usually more than one), 2 (most of the time), 4 (this can be hard, though make myself do it), 5 (whenever/wherever happen to be waiting in line), 7 (sometimes), 8 (one of my favorite pastimes), and 10 (my family knows to leave me be when am ensconced in my rocking chair with a book). :-)
Need to work on 3 (used to do this but fell out of the habit), 6 (have plans to combine this with my audiobook listening), 9 (does listening to one and reading another count?) and while I'm not a whiskey drinker, I must find the wherewithal to follow number 11!
Give some (if not all) of the tips and tricks a try, you just might like it! :-)
Saturday, March 5, 2016
Click on For Listeners to find audiobook suggestions for your listening pleasure.
Saturday, February 27, 2016
- Behind the Binoculars: Interviews with Acclaimed Birdwatchers by Mark Avery and Keith Betton
- Paper Folding with Children by Alice Hornecke and translated by Anna Cardwell
- Reading from Behind: A Cultural History of the Anus by Jonathan Allan
- Reading the Liver: Papyrological Texts on Ancient Greek Extispicy by William Furley and Victor Gysembergh
- Soviet Bus Stops by Christopher Herwig
- Too Naked for the Nazis by Alan Stafford
- Transvestite Vampire Biker Nuns from Outer Space: A Consideration of Cult Film by Mark Kirwan-Hayhoe
Vote on your choice of oddest title now! The winner will be revealed in The Bookseller on March 18.
Thursday, February 25, 2016
The Los Angeles Times Book Prizes,first awarded in 1980, honors literary excellence and celebrates the community of readers in Los Angeles. The prizes "... are judged by working writers, so in a very real sense they express the admiration of a community of peers. But even more, they tell us that reading is important, an essential way of connecting with, and understanding, the world in which we live."
The Book Prizes cover ten categories including Biography, Current Interest, Fiction, Graphic Novel/Comic, History, Mystery/Thriller, Poetry, Science & Technology, First Fiction (Art Siedenbaum Award) and Young Adult Literature. Other awards presented are the Robert Kirsch Award that recognizes the career and body of work of a living author whose work focuses on the West. Since 2009, an Innovator's Award has been given "which recognizes the people and institutions that are doing cutting edge work to bring books, publishing and storytelling into the future."
The 36th annual ceremony will be held during the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. The Book Prize winners will be announced on Saturday, April 9 at Bovard Auditorium on the University of Southern California campus.
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
"The Nebula Awards ® are voted on, and presented by, active members of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. ... Since 1965, the Nebula Awards have been given each year for the best novel, novella, novelette, and short story eligible for that year’s award. The Award for Best Script was added in 2000. An anthology including the winning pieces of short fiction and several runners-up is also published every year. The Nebula Awards® Banquet, which takes place each spring, is attended by many writers and editors and is preceded by meetings and panel discussions."
- Raising Caine by Charles E. Gannon
- The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
- Ancillary Mercy by Anne Leckie
- The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu
- Uprooted by Naomi Novik
- Barsk: The Elephants'Graveyard by Lawrence M. Schoen
- Updraft by Fran Wilde
- Seriously Wicked by Tina Connolly
- Court of Fives by Kate Elliott
- Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge
- Archivist Wasp by Nicole Kornher-Stace
- Zeroboxer by Fonda Lee
- Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older
- Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
- Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
- Updraft by Fran Wilde