Book News: The Man Booker Awards

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The Man Booker Prize Winner will be announced on Tuesday, October 14th. Last year’s winner was Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries. Can you guess who will win this year?  This year is unique because it is the first time that there are no restrictions on the country of origin. Previously, to qualify for the award, the author needed to be from the Commonwealth of Nations, the Republic of Ireland, or Zimbabwe.  This year, there are two U.S. authors included on the Shortlist. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler and To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris (both on the Shortlist). In August, Sue recommended Fowler’s book. Read her review again here

These nominated books are original works and not adaptations of other stories. 

Check out some of the books up for the prize this year. Clicking on the book cover will take you to the catalog record.

Would you like to see the complete list and more information about the Man Booker Prize? Visit their website.

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Lisa’s January Recommendation (#2)

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
goldfinch“The Goldfinch, to me seems like many books within one. There are many different experiences that we share with the main character, almost as if they are self-contained from the others. I could not put it down, and it is a VERY long book.
One of the sequences involves an antique dealer and the day-to-day experiences of someone who deals with furniture in a way few people do. As he repairs and restores the furniture, there is a sense of connection beyond that one would normally have with an inanimate objects. The descriptive nature of Tartt’s style allows for the characters to resonate.There are so many different aspects to the different characters, it is bound to relate to many in one way or another!  I have read a few reviews that have mentioned this as a very Dickensian tale. ” – Lisa
Awards:

  • 2013 Nominated National Book Critics Circle Awards (winner will be announced March 13, 2014)

3 Similar Reads

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

The World to Come by Dara Horn

Ashley’s January Recommendation

Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

“Our online catalog offers this description of Flight Behavior: ‘Tired of living on a failing farm and suffering oppressive poverty, bored housewife Dellarobia Turnbow, on the way to meet a potential lover, is detoured by a miraculous event on the Appalachian mountainside that ignites a flight behaviormedia and religious firestorm that changes her life forever.’  I’d simply add that this miracles turns out to be an ecological disturbance that the characters in the books must face.  Kingsolver writes stories that marry down to earth characters with the earth.  Her work weaves in information about plants, bugs and animals and relates them to people.  She gives the environmental movement a deeply human context.  Flight Behavior is no exception.  The character transformation in this novel cannot be emphasized enough.  Dellarobia goes from discontented housewife to budding scientist–all because of an environmental phenomenon that occurs on her mountain.  This tranformation has a lasting impact on her relationship with her friends and family–many of whom experience their own transformations throughout the novel.”

Read about or request this novel from the library catalog!

3 Similar Reads (Fiction)

Goodnight, Texas by William J. Cobb

Anthill by Edward O. Wilson

The Children’s Book by A.S. Byatt

3 Similar Reads (Nonfiction)

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

The Weather Makers by Tim Flannery

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond

Tara’s January Recommendation

Every Day by David Levithan

“What would it be like to switch bodies with a different stranger every every daysingle day of your life?  This is the premise that David Levithan’s new novel, Every Day, is based on.  It’s a fast-paced, deep, enjoyable read with an inspiring ending. Don’t miss it.”  Here is a summary of the book from our online catalog: “Every morning A wakes in a different person’s body, in a different person’s life, learning over the years to never get too attached, until he wakes up in the body of Justin and falls in love with Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon.”

Read about or request this book from the library catalog!

3 Similar Reads (Fiction)

Getting the Girl by Marcus Zusak

The Sledding Hill by Chris Crutcher

Half Brother by Kenneth Oppel

Rebecca’s December Recommendation

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

This debut novel depicts the end of the world through the eyes of Julia, a 12-year-old girl living in California.  The apocalypse is not caused by plague or war, but by the age of miraclesgradual slowing of the Earth’s rotation.  Walker’s melancholy and spare writing make this “end of the world event” even scarier than the former options.  Julia’s realization that the world is coming to an end is slow, which I believe makes for a very realistic story.  However, while I love all novels the depict the apocalypse in some way, this is not the reason why I ultimately loved this one.  For me, the best part of the novel was how Walker told a brilliant coming of age story through the character of Julia; despite, or maybe because of, the apocalypse, the themes of love, puberty, and family were told poignantly and with great emotional depth.  This novel will appeal to lovers of lyrical writing, well-developed characters, and deliberate storytelling.  The coming of age story also makes for a great young adult/teen crossover.

Read about or request Age of Miracles from the online catalog!

3 Similar Reads (Fiction)

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Mara and Dann: An Adventure by Doris Lessing

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

3 Similar Reads (Nonfiction)

The Weather Makers by Tim F. Flannery

On Thin Ice by Richard Ellis

Annals of the Former World by John McPhee

Rebecca’s June Recommendation

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

“This is absolutely, hands down, one of the best books that I have read in a long time.  While this came out back in 2004, it didn’t really appear on my radar until I read that it was being made into a movie starring actors like Tom Hanks, Susan Sarandon, Halle Berry, and Hugo Weaving and written and directed by the people responsible for the Matrix.  Cloud Atlasis a highly imaginative and beautifully written work that takes the reader through six separate but loosely related narratives.  Without giving anything away, the stories are as follows: ‘A reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer blagging a precarious livelihood in between-the-wars Belgium; a high-minded journalist in Governor Reagan’s California; a vane publisher fleeing his gangland creditors; a genetically modified “dinery server” on death-row; and Zachry, a young Pacific Islander witnessing the nightfall of science and civilization’.  Mitchell’s book manages to weave history, science fiction, suspense, mystery, humor, and pathos into one book that ultimately is an examination of what it means to be human.  This was a beautiful work of literary fiction, and I appreciated the fact that each story was as equally fascinating as its predecessor.”

Read about it or request it from the library catalog!

3 Similar Reads (Fiction)

1) A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan (Access to library catalog here)

2) Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace (Access to library catalog here)

3) Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (Access to library catalog here)

3 Similar Reads (Nonfiction)

1) Fate, Time, and Language by David Foster Wallace (Access to library catalog here)

2) What Is Man? by Mark Twain (Access to library catalog here)

3) Time and Free Will by Henri Bergson

Rebecca’s May Recommendation

Sunset Park by Paul Auster

“This novel takes place during the 2008 economic crash, and begins with the movements of protagonist Miles Heller, who is living in Miami and works as someone who “trashes out” homes of those who could no longer afford to keep them.  Miles is 28 and is living in a self-imposed exile, a third year college dropout who cannot reconcile himself to a traumatic event that took place in his teens.  It is only until he meets Pilar, a young girl who he falls in love, that he travels back to his hometown in New York and lives as a squatter in an abandoned house in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.  This fast-paced, character-driven novel is beautifully and emotionally written and is told from the perspective of several people, including the other squatters of the building and from Miles’ parents.  I finished this book in less than two days–it is a wonderfully crafted work of literary fiction that grabs you at the first page and doesn’t let go.”

Read about it or request it from the library catalog!

3 Similar Reads (Fiction)

1) The Good Terrorist by Doris Lessing (Access to library catalog here)

2) Amsterdam by Ian McEwan (Access to library catalog here)

3) The Sea by John Banville (Access to library catalog here)

3 Similar Reads (Nonfiction)

1) Nothing to be Frightened Of by Julian Barnes (Access to library catalog here)

2) War in the Neighborhood by Seth Tobocman

3) Just Kids by Patti Smith (Access to library catalog here)