Jonathan Franzen is no stranger to bringing a unique and dazzlingly vividness to his characters. His newest novel, and the start to a trilogy, CROSSROADS does just that with the story of a Midwestern family at a pivotal moment of crisis. CROSSROADS 4 starred reviews! “Franzen’s intensely absorbing novel is amusing, excruciating, and at times […]
Maximum Shelf: DEAR CHILD (3/25/20)
Today’s Shelf Awareness Maximum Shelf pick is Romy Hausmann’s English language debut, a page-turning, internationally bestselling thriller that is GONE GIRL meets ROOM: DEAR CHILD. In a windowless shack in the woods, Lena and her two children live a life that follows the rules set by their captor, the father: Meals, bathroom visits, study time […]
Women 2020: Finding Your Voice (1/28/20)
Today’s spotlight is on three women who found their voices…in fiction: a feminist tale about finding the freedom to live as one desires + a coming-of-age novel featuring a mother-daughter bond + a Victorian woman making decisions on marriage. INDELICACY by Amina Cain “Cain’s bewitching first novel is so deeply internalized that the reader knows neither what […]
Focus on FRACTURES
For fans of sprawling family dramas such as Jonathan Franzen's FREEDOM, Jane Smiley's A THOUSAND ACRES, and Richard Russo's EMPIRE FALLS, Lamar Herrin's new novel FRACTURES is right up your alley.
FRACTURES centers on the Joyner family whose home sits atop prime Marcellus Shale. When men from natural gas companies begin to lease property all around the family’s hundred acres, the Joyners start to take notice. Undecided on whether or not to lease the family land, patriarch Frank Joyner must weigh his heirs’ competing motivations, thus deciding the fate of his land and children.
Kirkus Reviews did a feature interview with Lamar Herrin and early reviews for FRACTURES are great:
“Herrin has long been drawn to morally complex situations (House of the Deaf; The Lies Boys Tell), and he examines another one here with great sympathy, psychological insight, and intelligence. What is so endearing about this book is that even under intense pressure, the members of this clan retain their decency and humanity. There is tragedy here, but there are also inspiring moments of compassion and kindness. A deeply moving novel that is highly recommended for fans of literary fiction.” – Library Journal
“Herrin’s deeply contemplative examination of this contentious topic is less about the environmental fallout from an invasive destruction of the land and more about the emotional fragility of a family who feels all too deeply the loss of a way of life.” – Booklist, starred review
“Novelist, memoirist and short story writer Herrin (Romancing Spain, 2006, etc.) has managed to transform the high profile, politically divisive issue of fracking into a thoroughly human, moving family drama…. Beautifully crafted.” – Kirkus Reviews
Available on Nov. 12 from Thomas Dunne Books. [...]
BEA 2011 Recap
Sorry for the late post, everyone!
I got a little caught up celebrating over my Publishers Weekly article that ran this morning and lost track of time. Okay, okay; I also had to watch this ridiculously cute cat video that people have been sending around the office. But now I'm really getting down to business, so I thought I would post a super quick recap of our BEA 2011 events.
Monday night we kicked off the conference with the Annual BookExpo America Librarians Dinner, presented by AAP and Library Journal. Nancy Pearl hosted the event with some great authors including, Dava Sobel, author of A MORE PERFECT HEAVEN. Oh, and the dessert was divine!
Tuesday we started off with The Great Readalike. If You Like This…You’ll LOVE That! in which a few of our favorite librarians sounded off about which books you might have missed in a few popular categories. If you want a taste, Lesa posted her readalikes on her blog! Then there was Back to Basics. Why Home Economics Books are the New Retro Chic, a fun panel introducing some great DIY topics to share with your crafty patrons. The BEA Librarians Author Lunch hosted by Nora Rawlinson of EarlyWord was overflowing with very excited (and very hungry!) librarians. We ran out of chairs fast, but thankfully everyone was fed. During the lunch Tom Perrotta, author of THE LEFTOVERS, told stories about his library experiences alongside other great speakers such as Chuck Palahniuk, David Baldacci, and more. Talia finished up the day giving book recommendations at the AAP Annual Librarians Book Buzz and a panel on Hot Fall Book Club Titles. Curious what she recommended? To name a few:
THE LETOVERS (Perrotta)
THE SISTERS (Jensen)
THE AMERICAN HEIRESS (Goodwin)
THE HYPNOTIST (Kepler)
KILLED AT THE WHIM OF A HAT (Cotterill)
BY NIGHTFALL (Cunningham)
THE MARRIAGE PLOT (Eugenides)
BEST FRIENDS, OCCASIONAL ENEMIES (Scottoline & Serritella)
Wednesday we sat in on a few informative panels discussing the future of collection development considering financial cutbacks, technological transition, and the ever-changing role of the librarian. Hearing about how these changes are tangibly taking shape in libraries straight from the mouths of librarians is invaluable to us and makes conferences like BEA entirely worthwhile. We finished up our conference at the 3rd Annual Librarian Shout ‘n Share which was a riot! Talia and I both added a few books to our TBR piles, were serenated with a little BROETRY, and learned a valuable lesson: never give librarians squeaky horns!
State of the Nation According to Books
Justin Cartwright (OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY) created an excellent list of ten novels that he believes best encapsulate the state of affairs of their respective societies. His list, published in the Guardian, includes socially poignant literature from Charles Dickens, John Updike, Salman Rushdie (a personal favorite), as well as Tom Wolfe's THE BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES, Marilynne Robinson's HOME, and Jonathan Franzen's FREEDOM.
Justin says, "When nations are undergoing some form of stress, be it financial or ethical or even military, state of the nation novels tend to be more numerous; they come in many guises, but they have one thing in particular, that they provide a commentary or a judgment on the times." [...]
Franzen does it again!
Oprah just announced that Jonathan Franzen's critically acclaimed and #1 New York Times Best Seller Freedom is her latest and last book club pick. Yay!![...]
Freedom hits #1!
Congrats to Jonathan Franzen's Freedom, which will hit #1 on the September 19th New York Times Best Sellers list! And just last week Nora over at EarlyWord pointed out that Mockingjay had more holds than Freedom. So come on librarians, put your book-talking powers to good use and let your patrons know what an amazing book this is![...]
Ron Charles gives Freedom to Oprah. Or something.
Everyone says that book publishing rides on the backs of quickly melting glaciers. And that soon it will be lying motionless on the bottom of the Arctic Ocean along with the polar bears and unicorns.
Well that is NOT TRUE, because Ron Charles is here with his hip, inpsiring, and Beanie Baby-filled video reviews! Take the review for Freedom. It's AMAZING. My favorite is the sepia-tinted flashback to when the NYT first reviewed the book in the 19th century. Take a moment to watch it.