Articles tagged "Lucia Berlin"

EW Best Books of 2015

Entertainment Weekly ♥s us! Three Macmillan titles made their Best of Books 2015 list:

2) A MANUAL FOR CLEANING WOMEN by Lucia Berlin
Like a lot of brilliant but erratic artists, Lucia Berlin found her best work mislaid by history and largely forgotten after her death in 2004. To her credit, she might have been too busy living to care: A hard-drinking, easy-marrying ex-debutante whose compass led her everywhere from Alaska and El Paso to Chile’s cotillions and the ER wards of California, she put it all into these stories — a MANUAL as smart and nervy and unforgettable as the woman who wrote them.

3) DREAMLAND: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones
Like a David Simon TV show gone cosmic, this investigation into our country’s opiate epidemic cuts feverishly between national nightmares: the rise of Big Pharma, the decline of the Rust Belt, the drug-trade underworld along the America–Mexico border, the fear that health insurance does everything besides ensure health. Quinones builds every hyperprecise detail and desperately human story into a coherent portrait of American rot.

9) HOME IS BURNING by Dan Marshall (tied with BETTYVILLE by George Hodgman)
Think nothing sounds duller or more depressing than memoirs about caregiving? Think again: Both these funny, touching, quirky, heartbreaking, and — in Marshall’s case — occasionally profane books about nursing elderly parents are destined to become modern classics. You’ll root for both Hodgman, a book editor who jettisoned New York City life to care for his mother in small-town Missouri, and Marshall, who left L.A. and moved back in with his dad, who had ALS, and his mom, who was suffering from cancer.

See the full list, plus their 5 Worst Books of 2015 here.

Chicago Public Library’s 2015 Best of the Best Books

We’ve got 14 books on Chicago Public Library’s 2015 Best of the Best list! Selected by a team of CPL librarians, the list represents the year’s most outstanding titles, books of exceptional quality for a diverse, city-wide readership.

Fiction
A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC by V.E. Schwab
JADE DRAGON MOUNTAIN by Elsa Hart
A MANUAL FOR CLEANING WOMEN by Lucia Berlin
THE NIGHTINGALE by Kristin Hannah (a top 10 fiction pick)
PURITY by Jonathan Franzen
THE SELLOUT by Paul Beatty

Nonfiction
DO NO HARM: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery by Henry Marsh
DREAMLAND: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones
FURIOUSLY HAPPY by Jenny Lawson
ONE OF US: The Story of Anders Breivik and the Massacre in Norway by Asne Seierstad
THE SHEPHERD’S LIFE by James Rebanks readmoreremove

FSG Dominates the NYTBR Top 10 Books of 2015 List!

Earlier this week we told you about the New York Times Notable Books of 2015, but today the New York Times Book Review unveiled their 10 Best Books of 2015 and 4 of them are published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux!

A MANUAL FOR CLEANING WOMEN: Selected Stories by Lucia Berlin
Berlin, who died in 2004, left behind a substantial but ­little-known trove of stories that in her lifetime appeared mostly in literary journals and small-press books. This revelatory collection gathers 43 of them, introducing her to a wider audience as an uncompromising and largehearted observer of life whose sympathies favor smart, mouthy women struggling to get by much as Berlin herself — an alcoholic who raised four sons on her own — frequently did. With their maximalist emotions and sparse, unadorned language, Berlin’s stories are the kind a woman in a Tom Waits song might tell a man she’s just met during a long humid night spent drinking in a parking lot.

OUTLINE by Rachel Cusk
Cusk’s subtle, unconventional and lethally intelligent novel, OUTLINE, her eighth, is a string of one-sided conversations. A divorced woman traveling in Greece, our narrator, talks — or rather listens — to the people she meets, absorbing their stories of love and loss, deception, pride and folly. Well-worn subjects — adultery, divorce, ennui — become freshly menacing under Cusk’s gaze, and her mental clarity can seem so penetrating, a reader might fear the same risk of invasion and exposure. readmoreremove

New York Times Notable Books of 2015

The gray lady picked 20 Macmillan titles:

Fiction & Poetry

THE BEAUTIFUL BUREAUCRAT by Helen Phillips
An administrative worker’s experiences pose existential questions in Phillips’s riveting, drolly surreal debut novel.

CITIZEN: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine
A meditation, in prose poems, images and essays, on what it means to be black in our racially divided society.

A MANUAL FOR CLEANING WOMEN: Selected Stories by Lucia Berlin
In these unadorned linked stories, Berlin examines women under duress and figures on America’s fringes.

OUTLINE by Rachel Cusk
Cusk’s heartbreaking portrait of poise, sympathy, regret and rage suggests a powerful alternate route for the biographical novel. readmoreremove

Kirkus Best Books of 2015 – Fiction

First, Publishers Weekly, then Library Journal, and now Kirkus Reviews announced their Best of 2015 Fiction lists which include 20 Macmillan titles:

Best Fiction
THE SELLOUT by Paul Beatty
A MANUAL FOR CLEANING WOMEN by Lucia Berlin
PURITY by Jonathan Franzen
LAST RAGGED BREATH by Julia Keller
THE DARK FOREST by Cixin Liu
CRUCIFIXION CREEK by Barry Maitland
THE NATURE OF THE BEAST by Louise Penny
I REFUSE by Per Petterson
THE BEAUTIFUL BUREAUCRAT by Helen Phillips
THE LOST CHILD by Caryl Phillips
THE WATCHMAKER OF FILIGREE STREET by Natasha Pulley
THE BLONDES by Emily Schultz
CHASING THE PHOENIX by Michael Swanwick
THE WAY THINGS WERE by Aatish Taseer
THE BIG GREEN TENT by Ludmila Ulitskaya
THE AFFINITIES by Robert Charles Wilson

Best Mysteries and Thrillers
LAST RAGGED BREATH by Julia Keller
CRUCIFIXION CREEK by Barry Maitland
THE NATURE OF THE BEAST by Louise Penny
THE BLONDES by Emily Schultz readmoreremove

PW Best Books of 2015

We’re barely into November, yet signs of the year-end are already here: Starbucks busted out the red cups and Publishers Weekly is first out of the gate with their Best Books of 2015 list. Here are the Macmillan gems that made the cut:

Top 10
IMPERIUM by Christian Kracht
THE ARGONAUTS by Maggie Nelson

Fiction
THE SELLOUT by Paul Beatty
A MANUAL FOR CLEANING WOMEN by Lucia Berlin
IMPERIUM by Christian Kracht

SF/Fantasy/Horror
THE WATCHMAKER OF FILIGREE STREET by Natasha Pulley
THE SORCERER OF THE WILDEEPS by Kai Ashante Wilson

Comics
THE ARAB OF THE FUTURE by Riad Sattouf
SUPERMUTANT MAGIC ACADEMY by Jillian Tamaki
KILLING AND DYING by Adrian Tomine

Nonfiction
LEAVING ORBIT: Notes from the Last Days of American Space Flight by Margaret Lazarus Dean
CITY BY CITY: Dispatches from the American Metropolis, edited by Keith Gessen and Stephen Squibb
KISSINGER’S SHADOW: The Long Reach of America’s Most Controversial Statesman by Greg Grandin
THE GIVENNESS OF THINGS by Marilynne Robinson
THE ARGONAUTS by Maggie Nelson
WHAT THE EYE HEARS: A History of Tap Dancing by Brian Seibert
ONE OF US: The Story of Anders Breivik and the Massacre in Norway by Asne Seierstad readmoreremove

Friday Reads: Literary Standouts

TGIF! This weekend we recommend you soak up the sun while enjoying one of these recent literary standouts on shelves now:

A MANUAL FOR CLEANING WOMEN by Lucia Berlin
“[Lucia Berlin] may just be the best writer you’ve never heard of…” (Publishers Weekly, boxed & starred review) and her short story collection has received THREE starred reviews, is a Publishers Weekly Best of Summer 2015 selection, an O Magazine “Books to Curl Up With This Fall” pick, and has landed on “best of August” lists from BookRiot, Esquire, Flavorwire, Vulture, and more.

“Berlin’s stories are full of second chances. Now readers have another chance to confront them: bites of life, chewed up and spat out like a wad of tobacco, bitter and rich.” New York Times Book Review

“[Berlin’s stories are written] in sentences so bright and fierce and full of wild color that you’ll want to turn each one over just to see how she does it. And then go back and read them all again.” — Entertainment Weekly, A

LANDFALLS by Naomi J. Williams
Williams’ debut novel about the historic 1785 Laperouse expedition of 200 men who famously tried to circumnavigate the globe for France has two starred reviews and was longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize.

“LANDFALLS is intelligent and utterly human. Ms. Williams has written a seductive page-turner that, although we know the story ends tragically, draws the reader in and doesn’t let go.” — Wall Street Journal

“Downright dazzling… Williams has delivered a bona fide masterpiece.”
Seattle Times

A beautiful tale of adventure, anchored in tragedy.” Vanity Fair readmoreremove

Friday Reads: FSG Stars

TGIF! Today’s #FridayReads picks are two Farrar, Straus & Giroux titles that have multiple starred reviews:

ONLY THE ANIMALS by Ceridwen Dovey
“Named an artist to watch by the Wall Street Journal for her debut novel, BLOOD KIN, Australian storyteller Dovey fulfills her promise with this standout collection of 12 interconnected stories, all told by animals whose souls, after a noteworthy death, are resting in heavenly constellations. Dovey’s unforgettable narrators provide social commentary while struggling to find some meaning in both the beauty and sadness of death.
An essential collection, enthusiastically recommended.” — Library Journal, starred review

Wonderfully weird and profoundly witty… As unsettling as they are beautiful, these quietly wise stories wedge themselves into your mind—and stay there.”
Kirkus Reviews, starred review

THE CRIME AND THE SILENCE: Confronting the Massacre of Jews in Wartime Jedwabne by Anna Bikont
“Polish journalist Bikont undertakes a thorough follow-up to Polish-American historian Jan Gross’s 2001 book NEIGHBORS, about the July 1941 pogrom in the rural eastern Polish town of Jedwabne. Bikont has performed an extraordinary journalistic feat in documenting this terrible, historically contested atrocity.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review readmoreremove

PW Fall 2015 Announcements

It’s still summer, but Publishers Weekly is looking ahead to Fall 2015. They recently selected their best of the best in a whopping 16 different categories and we’ve gathered all 90(!!!) Macmillan standouts into a handy Edelweiss collection and listed them here for you:

Art, Architecture & Photography: People and Places
HUMANS OF NEW YORK: STORIES by Brandon Stanton (a Top 10 pick)
The follow-up to Stanton’s bestseller, HUMANS OF NEW YORK, presents photos of a new group of humans, complete with stories that delve deeper and surprise with greater candor.

MYSTERIES OF THE MALL by Witold Rybczynski (a Top 10 pick and two starred reviews)
Architecture critic Rybczynski casts a seasoned eye over the modern metropolitan scene, examining cities, public places, and homes.

NEXTINCTION by Ralph Steadman and Ceri Levy
Steadman, a cartoonist and friend of the feathered, gives his unique take on critically endangered birds.

PATTERNALIA: An Unconventional History of Polka Dots, Stripes, Plaid, Camouflage, & Other Graphic Patterns by Jude Stewart
A book on patterns, with illustrations from polka dots to plaid: their histories, cultural resonances, and hidden meanings.

Business
THE GLOBAL CODE: How a New Culture of Universal Values Is Reshaping Business and Marketing by Clotaire Rapaille
The bestselling author of THE CULTURE CODE explains why global marketing and business must evolve to acknowledge new, universally held human values.

Comics & Graphic Novels: Graphic Lives
KILLING AND DYING by Adrian Tomine (a Top 10 pick)
A masterful anthology of Tomine’s recent work showcases various art styles to explore modern anxiety and mortality. Each tiny panel is its own universe of repressed emotion and foiled desire.

STEP ASIDE, POPS: A Hark! a Vagrant Collection by Kate Beaton (a Top 10 pick)
Beaton’s first collection was a sensation, and these comics are equally droll, brainy, and sometimes devastating. Her broadsides against clueless chauvinism are especially dead on.

PUKE FORCE by Brian Chippendale
Social satire written dark and dense across Chippendale’s deconstructed multiverse of walking, talking M&Ms, hamsters, and cycloptic-yet-glamorous trivia hosts. A bomb explodes in a coffee shop: the incident is played out over and over again from the perspective of each table in the shop.

Cooking & Food: Cooking from Far and Wide
SIMPLY NIGELLA by Nigella Lawson (a Top 10 pick)
Internationally bestselling author Lawson returns to the basics with everyday recipes that make our lives easier and make us feel better, more alive, and less stressed.

SPUNTINO: Comfort Food (New York Style) by Russell Norman
The bestselling author of POLPO showcases new mouthwatering recipes and stories from Spuntino, the New York–influenced diner in London that’s been wildly successful.

AUTHENTIC PORTUGUESE COOKING: More than 185 Classic Mediterranean-Style Recipes of the Azores, Madeira and Continental Portugal by Ana Patuleia Ortins
This collection of over 200 recipes highlights the traditional flavors of Portugal.

THUG KITCHEN PARTY GRUB GUIDE: For Social Motherf*ckers by Thug Kitchen
From the duo behind the blog and the New York Times bestseller THUG KITCHEN comes the next installment of recipes with a side of attitude.

THE BLUE BLOODS COOKBOOK by Wendy Howard Goldberg and Bridget Moynahan
More than 100 hearty, soulful comfort food recipes from the CBS television cop show Blue Bloods center around the Reagan family dinner; compiled by the show’s star, Bridget Moynahan.

Sports & Entertainment: All American—from Soul Music to Football
WHAT THE EYE HEARS: A History of Tap Dancing by Brian Seibert
This magisterial history shares the saga of African-Americans in show business wielding enormous influence as they grapple with the pain and pride of tap dancing’s complicated legacy. Seibert charts tap’s growth in vaudeville circuits and nightclubs, chronicles its spread to ubiquity on Broadway and in Hollywood, analyzes its post–WWII decline, and celebrates its reinvention.

I BLAME DENNIS HOPPER: And Other Stories from a Life Lived In and Out of the Movies by Illeana Douglas
Award-winning actress Douglas submits a memoir about learning to survive in Hollywood while staying true to her quirky vision of the world in a testament to the power of art, the tenacity of passion, and the profound effect of how one movie can change our destiny.

PETTY: The Biography by Warren Zanes
Tom Petty, known for his reclusive style, has shared with rocker, writer, and friend Zanes his insights and arguments, his regrets and lasting ambitions, and the details of his life on and off the stage. The book is honest and evocative of Petty’s music and the remarkable rock and roll history he and his band helped to write.

FRANK & AVA: In Love and War by John Brady
The love story of Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner has been told from one side or the other, it but has never been fully explored or explained—until now. Thoroughly researched and reported, this is not another storybook version of a Hollywood romance, but a compelling drama of love and emotional war that left two celebrities wounded for life.

BEAST: Blood, Struggle, and Dreams at the Heart of Mixed Martial Arts by Doug Merlino
Following four high-level MMA fighters, Merlino bluntly examines the history, culture, business, and meaning of professional cage fighting.

Essays & Literary Criticism: Looking Back
THE ART OF THE PUBLISHER by Roberto Calasso (a Top 10 pick)
The author of ARDOR should have plenty of insights to share about the business of books. His career as a publisher goes back to the beginnings of the Italian house Adelphi in the 1960s.

THE GIVENNESS OF THINGS by Marilynne Robinson (a Top 10 pick)
The author of several acclaimed novels, including GILEAD and LILA, will draw a wide audience to these 17 essays that critique our society and call for a renewed sense of grace in our lives.

THE CHALLENGE OF THINGS: Thinking Through Troubled Times by A.C. Grayling
A collection of recent writings from philosopher Grayling (THE GOD ARGUMENT) reflecting on the world in a time of war and conflict.

THE PLEASURE OF READING: 43 Writers on the Discovery of Reading and the Books that Inspired Them, edited by Antonia Fraser and Victoria Gray
Forty authors—10 of them new to this reprint of a book first published in 1992—including Margaret Atwood, Tom Stoppard, and Doris Lessing, explain what first drew, and continues to draw, them to literature.

THE ART OF PERSPECTIVE: Who Tells the Story by Christopher Castellani
The 11th entry in Graywolf’s popular Art Of series tackles every fiction writer’s most urgent issue: point of view.

CHANGING THE SUBJECT: Art and Attention in the Internet Age by Sven Birkerts
The author of THE GUTENBERG ELEGIES offers trenchant essays on the cultural consequences of continuing, all-permeating technological innovation.

MAKING A POINT: The Persnickety Story of English Punctuation by David Crystal
This volume concludes Crystal’s triumphant trilogy about the English language, combining the first history of English punctuation with a complete guide on how to use it.

Literary Fiction: More Is More
PURITY by Jonathan Franzen (a Top 10 pick and three starred reviews)
In Franzen’s first novel since FREEDOM, a young woman follows a German peace activist to South America to intern for his WikiLeaks-like organization.

A MANUAL FOR CLEANING WOMEN: Selected Stories by Lucia Berlin, edited by Stephen Emerson, foreword by Lydia Davis (three starred reviews)
The women of Berlin’s stories navigate a world of jockeys, doctors, and switchboard operators who laugh, mourn, and drink. Berlin is a highly influential writer despite having published little in her lifetime.

SUBMISSION by Michel Houellebecq, trans. by Lorin Stein
Paris, 2022. In an alliance with the socialists, France’s new Islamic party sweeps to power, and Islamic law is enforced. Women are veiled, and polygamy is encouraged.

THE WAKE by Paul Kingsnorth (An ALA Annual 2015 “Read ’N Rave” selection)
This Man Booker–longlisted novel is a postapocalyptic story set a thousand years in the past. Written in a “shadow tongue” of Old English, it follows Buccmaster, a proud landowner bearing witness to the end of his world.

ALL THAT FOLLOWED by Gabriel Urza (A PW Best of Summer 2015 selection, a Summer/Fall 2015 Indies Introduce selection, and an August 2015 Indie Next pick)
It’s 2004 in Muriga, a quiet town in Spain’s northern Basque Country, a place with more secrets than inhabitants. Five years since the kidnapping and murder of a young local politician, everyone knows who pulled the trigger, but is the convicted man the only one to blame?

THE FOX WAS EVER THE HUNTER by Herta Müller, trans. by Philip Boehm
The Nobel Prize winner’s latest: Romania at the end of the Ceausescu regime, and one of these four—schoolteacher Adina, musician Paul; factory worker Clara, and Pavel, Clara’s lover—works for the secret police and is reporting on the others.

A CLUE TO THE EXIT by Edward St. Aubyn
Charlie Fairburn, successful screenwriter, ex-husband, and absent father, has been given six months to live. He resolves to stake half his fortune on a couple of turns of the roulette wheel and, to his agent’s disgust, to write a novel—about death.

FEAR OF DYING by Erica Jong
The bestselling author delivers her first book in 10 years—a sequel to her groundbreaking novel, FEAR OF FLYING.

History: Locale Histories
GIVE US THE BALLOT: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America by Ari Berman (a Top 10 pick, an ALA Annual 2015 “Read ’N Rave” selection, and three starred reviews)
Published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of passing the Voting Rights Act, Berman’s book provides a popular history of the right to vote in America, which, according to the starred PW review, is “not only easily understandable, but riveting.”

FLOODPATH: The Deadliest Man-Made Disaster of 20th-Century America and the Making of Modern Los Angeles by Jon Wilkman
Wilkman combines urban history, a technological detective story, and life-and-death drama to tell the harrowing story of the St. Francis Dam break of 1928.

GANGSTER WARLORDS: Drug Dollars, Killing Fields, and the New Politics of Latin America by Ioan Grillo
Grillo, a Mexico City–based journalist, examines the men at the heads of drug cartels throughout Latin America: what drives them, what sustains their power, and how they can be brought down.

THE CRIME AND THE SILENCE: Confronting the Massacre of Jews in Wartime Jedwabne by Anna Bikont, trans. by Alissa Valles
A dual story of the massacre told through oral histories of survivors and witnesses, and a portrait of a Polish town coming to terms with its dark past.

THE OTHER PARIS by Luc Sante
Sante reveals the city’s hidden past and its seamy underside—populated by working and criminal classes that, though virtually extinct today, have shaped Paris over the past two centuries.

MASTERS OF EMPIRE: Great Lakes Indians and the Making of America by Michael A. McDonnell
Historian McDonnell recounts the pivotal role the native peoples of the Great Lakes played in the history of North America.

CITY OF THORNS: Nine Lives in the World’s Largest Refugee Camp by Ben Rawlence
A humanitarian and journalist provides an insider account of Dabaab, in Kenya, the world’s largest and best-known refugee camp, and tells its human story.

Lifestyle: Down to Earth
THE BEST ADVICE IN SIX WORDS: Writers Famous and Obscure on Love, Sex, Money, Friendship, Family, Work, and Much More by Larry Smith (a Top 10 pick)
Even readers who normally shun self-help should be drawn to this collection of very brief advice for the wit promised by contributors such as Daniel Handler and Gary Shteyngart.

RUN TO LOSE: A Complete Guide to Weight Loss for Runners by Jennifer Van Allen and Pamela Nisevich Bede (a Top 10 pick)
The diet industry may thrive on continual innovation, but it’s hard to beat techniques that go back millennia, as outlined by the experts from Runner’s World magazine.

THE MICRONUTRIENT MIRACLE: The 28-Day Plan to Lose Weight, Increase Your Energy, and Reverse Disease by Jayson Calton, Ph.D., and Mira Calton, C.N.
An innovative guide to reversing illness and common ailments by tackling hidden nutritional deficiencies.

BEEKMAN 1802 STYLE: The Attraction of Opposites by Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell
With three successful cookbooks under their belts, the Beekman Boys partner with Country Living magazine to share their home design tips, tricks, and resources, along with an extensive collection of images from the couple’s historic farmhouse home. readmoreremove

FSG Stars Roundup

Several starred reviews for each of these titles guarantees a spot on your library shelves!

THE NIGHT STAGES by Jane Urquhart
A female pilot recalls her affair with a man obsessed with the disappearance of his brother in this elegiac novel of intersecting memories and the sorrows of fractured families. “Highly satisfying on many levels, this novel will have book clubs basking in its big symbols and abuzz over Tamara’s final decision.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Urquhart’s poetic, almost ethereal writing invites readers to revisit certain passages and marvel. This book about unquenchable longing is a lovely addition to her distinguished, award-filled oeuvre.” Library Journal, starred review

A MANUAL FOR CLEANING WOMEN by Lucia Berlin
“A posthumous collection of stories, almost uniformly narrated by hard-living women, that makes a case for the author as a major talent. A testament to a writer whose explorations of society’s rougher corners deserve wider attention.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

[Lucia Berlin] may just be the best writer you’ve never heard of… Berlin’s offbeat humor, get-on-with-it realism, and ability to layer details that echo across stories and decades give her book a tremendous staying power.” Publishers Weekly, boxed & starred review

“Begin reading a Berlin short story and you know immediately that you are in the presence of a unique and searing literary force. An essential collection of jazzy, jolting, incisive, wryly funny, and keenly compassionate, virtuoso tales.”
Booklist, starred review

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