Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

Colbert’s Final Guest

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

9781594204999_a7f67Appropriately, since he has  featured so authors on his show,  now that The Colbert Report is ending, Stephen Colbert’s final guest was the winner of National Book Award in fiction, Phil Klay (The Report‘s  final episode  is actually tonight, but it does not feature a human guest).

Klay’s book Redeployment, (Penguin Press; Penguin Audio; Thorndike, OverDrive Sample) is a series of short stories about serving in Iraq. He chose to portray the war through fiction, he told Colbert,  because it made him feel less constrainted than nonfiction would have, “I don’t think I could be, in a weird way, as truthful as I wanted to be in trying to chase down the experiences I was trying to articulate on the page.” To that, the master of “Truthiness” lit up and deadpanned, “You can be more truthful by making things up?”

A Not-So-Different
Folio Prize Longlist

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

FolioLogoThe UK’s Folio Prize, now in its second year, announced its longlist and it certainly lives up to its name, with a field of 80 fiction titles selected by the Folio Prize Academy, a group of writers and critics whose members read like a who’s who of literary fiction super stars.

The Prize was created in response to the 2011 Man Booker Prize shortlist, considered by some in the UK book scene as more “readable” than “literary.” Here is the entire 2011 Man Booker Prize list (long, short, and winner), in case you want to speculate on which titles triggered the debate.

Given the fuss, the Folio Prize longlist is remarkably similar to this year’s Booker longlist and includes the winner, Richard Flanagan’s
The Narrow Road to the Deep North. Also included are many of the titles that appeared on this year’s National Book Awards fiction longlist, but not the winner, Redeployment by Phil Klay.

The Folio shortlist will be announced on Feb. 9 and the winner on March 23, 2015. Last year’s winner was George Saunders for Tenth of December.

The “Venality” of the Nobel Prize

Monday, December 15th, 2014

When French author Patrick Modiano won the Nobel Prize this year, only a handful of his 30 books were averrable in the U.S. in English.

In a press release, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt announced today that they have acquired the rights to the author’s latest novel, So You Don’t Get Lost in the Neighborhood, (French title, Pour que tu ne te perdes pas dans le quartier). They did not announce an anticipated release date.

1567922813   9780520218789_0bb98  9780300198058

As the Washington Post reports, this is not happy news for the founder of one of Modiano’s long-time U.S. publishers, David Godine, who tells the Post, “Money is what this business is all about, There is no venality that exists more than the venality that exists after the Nobel Prize is awarded.” He also notes that the company has done well with Missing Persons, one of the few books available in the U.S. at the time of the Nobel announcement, adding, “if you’re going to read a Modiano, that’s the one to read.”

Last month, the University of California Press, reprinted Dora Bruder, one of Modiano’s more well-known books. In addition, Yale University Press released Suspended Sentences: Three Novellas, (reviewed recently in the Washington Post).

Holds Alert: REDEPLOYMENT

Monday, December 15th, 2014

9781594204999_a7f67Most libraries are showing holds on the winner of the National Book Award in Fiction, Phil Klay’s Redeployment, (Penguin Press; Penguin Audio; Thorndike, OverDrive Sample)

Holds are likely to increase when Klay gets the Colbert Bump on Wednesday (which is the next to last day of the show. Here’s hoping Colbert continues to cover books when he takes over David Letterman’s chair on the Late Show in January).

Last month, Klay appeared on the PBS NewsHour:

Woodson On
“The Pain of the Watermelon Joke”

Saturday, November 29th, 2014

In an Op-Ed piece in today’s New York Times, Jacqueline Woodson proves that a thoughtless comment can be answered thoughtfully and poignantly,

Responding to Daniel Handler’s “joke” at the National Book Awards about her being allergic to watermelon, she notes that she does indeed have an aversion to watermelon, a fact Handler knows because they have been friends for years.

By bringing it up, though, Handler reminded the audience of the way watermelons have been used to ridicule African Americans. “In a few short words, the audience and I were asked to take a step back from everything I’ve ever written … By making light of that deep and troubled history, he showed that he believed we were at a point where we could laugh about it all. His historical context, unlike my own, came from a place of ignorance.”

Woodson On Racist Comments
at the NBA

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

9780399252518_ab369Jacqueline Woodson, in an interview with the Guardian, says she is “trying to figure out how to think about” Daniel Handler’s comments at the National Book Awards last week.

Finding a good moderator for an awards event seems to be challenging. Many were hopeful that Handler would bring the right mix of humor and respect to the National Book Awards this year. Unfortunately, he kicked off the event with tired comments about the lack of glamour in bookish events, saying the National Book Awards are “like the Oscars if nobody gave a shit about the Oscars.”

Most of the rest of  his “humorous” comments were weak, but the lowest point occurred when, after Woodson gave a moving acceptance speech for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature for her memoir, Brown Girl Dreaming, (Penguin/Nancy Paulsen), Handler made a strange racist comment that Woodson is “allergic to watermelon.” Earlier, he mentioned that one day he hopes to win a Coretta Scott King Book Award.

Handler quickly apologized for his “ill-conceived attempts at humor” and followed up with a pledge of $10,000 as well as matching donations up to $100,000, to the We Need Diverse Books (WNDB) Indiegogo campaign.

National Book Award Winners, 2014

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

2014_winners

Marine and debut author Phil Klay won this year’s National Book Award in fiction at a ceremony in New York last night for his short story collection, Redeployment, (Penguin Press; Penguin Audio; Thorndike, OverDrive Sample).

Covering the event, NPR noted that it was “packed as much with jabs at Amazon as with jazzy entrance music.” The video of the full event, hosted by Daniel Handler is below (be patient, it takes a while to load, then it requires you to register and the actual event doesn’t begin until 20 minutes in to the video).

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

In nonfiction, the winner is a familiar name in publishing, Evan Osnos son of Peter Osnos, former Washington Post reporter and founder of Public Affairs (now an imprint of Perseus), for Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth and Faith in the New China, (Macmillan/FSG, Brilliance Audio; OverDrive Sample), based on his reporting on China for the New Yorker.

Jacqueline Woodson’s memoir, Brown Girl Dreaming(Penguin/Nancy Paulsen; Listening Library;  OverDrive Sample) won the award for Young People’s Literature. Woodson has won many ALA awards for her work, including 3 Newbery Honors, a Caldecott Honor and a Coretta Scott King Medal and 4 Honors.

Audio Sample:

The winner ins poetry is former Nobel laureate and 1993 Pulitzinr Prize winner Louise Glück for  Faithful and Virtuous Night, (Macmillan/Farrar, Straus and Giroux,  OverDrive Sample).

Anthony Award Winners

Monday, November 17th, 2014

After already winning an Edgar Best Novel award for his standalone title, Ordinary Grace, (S&S/Atria;  released in trade paperback in March; Thorndike), William Kent Krueger added an Anthony Best Novel award last night for the same title.

This is Krueger’s fourth Anthony, including Best First Novel in 1999 for Iron Lake and back-to-back Best Novel Awards for Blood Hollow (2005) and Mercy Falls (2006). in 2005 and 2006, all of which are in his Cork O’Connor series,

The other Anthony award winners  the in book categories are:

Best First Novel:

Matt Coyle, Yesterday’s Echo, Oceanview Publishing; Brilliance Audio)

Best Children’s or Young Adult Novel:

Joelle Charbonneau, The Testing,( HMH Books for Young Readers,  trade paperback coming 1/6/15),

Best Critical or Non-Fiction Work:

Daniel Stashower, The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War  (Macmillan/Minotaur)

Best Audio Book:

Robert Galbraith, The Cuckoo’s Calling, read by Robert Glenister, (Hachette Audio)

Best Paperback Original Novel:

Catriona McPherson, As She Left It, (Midnight Ink)

Readers Advisory: THE NARROW ROAD TO THE DEEP NORTH

Monday, October 27th, 2014

9780385352857_cd8abThe winner of the Booker, announced Oct 14, The Narrow Road To The Deep North, by Richard Flanagan (RH/Knopf), arrives on the 11/2/14 NYT Hardcover Fiction list at #10.

It’s the ninth Booker winner in a row to hit the list, as the NYT BR‘s “Inside the List” column notes (the most successful of those, of course is Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall, followed by Anne Enright’s The Gathering).

The award has had a major impact on the author’s life. Flanagan recently told the Telegraph that the prize money saved him from turning to a “life down the mines,” adding, “I’m not a wealthy man. This means I can continue to write.”

Based on reviews, it may be difficult to find a way to recommend the book. Even fan Ron Charles warned in the Washington Post that this “story about a group of Australian POWs during World War II will cast a shadow over your summer and draw you away from friends and family into dark contemplation the way only the most extraordinary books can,” hardly a way to encourage potential readers.

Wendy Bartlett, head of collection development at Cuyahoga P.L, Ohio, offers another way to look at it:

If your readers engaged with Hillenbrand’s Unbroken, or are fans of the timeless love story in Garcia Marquez’ Love in the Time of Cholera, they will absolutely love The Narrow Road To The Deep North, one of the most readable and emotionally available Booker winners in years.

It follows the story of an Australian doctor, Dorrigo Evans, who served in WWII and was captured, surviving several years in a POW camp. Through flashbacks, we learn about Evans’ long marriage as well as his true love. The latter part of the book reveals the fates of the various people from the POW camp — the story of which is the crux of the narrative.

It’s amazing and wonderful, and your customers will thank you. Book groups who don’t mind the shifting time periods will find much to talk about here, particularly if they’ve read Unbroken.

LibraryReads Favorites of Favorites: Top Twenty-Five

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Screen-Shot-2014-09-12-at-8.52.19-PM

As part of its first year celebration, LibraryReads has released a list of the Top Twenty-Five favorites from the first years worth of picks, as voted on by hundreds of librarians around the country.

Now, you can vote on this shortlist (even if you’ve never voted before). A final list of the top ten vote getters will be released on  December 1st (voting ends on November 15th).

Also, remember to nominate your favorite upcoming books for future lists (Dec/Jan nominations are due by Nov. 20).

National Book Award Finalists

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

Announced on NPR’s Morning Edition today, the finalist for the National Book Awards (winners to be announced on Nov. 19). Listen here, or see the list below:

2014_fic_finalists

Fiction

Rabih Alameddine, An Unnecessary Woman, (Grove Press, Brilliance Audio), OverDrive Sample

Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See(S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio; Thorndike), OverDrive Sample— Both a LibraryReads and an IndieNext pick

Phil Klay, Redeployment, (Penguin Press; Penguin Audio; Thorndike), OverDrive Sample

Emily St. John Mandel, Station Eleven (RH/Knopf; RH Audio; Thorndike), OverDrive Sample — LibraryReads pick

Audio Sample:

Marilynne Robinson, Lila (Macmillan/FSG; Macmillan Audio; Thorndike), OverDrive Sample — IndieNext pick

Nonfiction

2014_nonfic_finalists

Roz Chast, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? (Macmillan/Bloomsbury), OverDrive Sample

Anand Gopal, No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes
(Macmillan/Holt; Highbridge), OverDrive Sample

John Lahr, Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh, (Norton; Brilliance), OverDrive Sample

Evan Osnos, Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China (Macmillan/FSG, Brilliance Audio), OverDrive Sample

Edward O. Wilson, The Meaning of Human Existence, (Norton/Liveright)

Young People’s Literature

2014_ypl_finalists

 

ThreatenedEliot Schrefer, (Scholastic Press), OverDrive Sample — The author’s previous book, Endangered, was a 2012 finalist

The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights, Steve Sheinkin, (Macmillan/Roaring Brook; Listening Library), OverDrive Sample  — The author’s Bomb: The Race to Build and Steal The World’s Most Dangerous Weapon was a 2012 finalist

Audio Sample:

Noggin, John Corey Whaley, (S&S/Atheneum; S&S Audio), OverDrive Sample — The author’s Where Things Come Back, was a Printz Award Winner

 

Revolution: The Sixties Trilogy, Book TwoDeborah Wiles, (Scholastic Press; Listening Library) — The author’s Each Little Bird That Sings, was a National Book Award Finalist

Audio Sample:

 

Brown Girl DreamingJacqueline Woodson, (Nancy Paulsen Books/ Penguin Group; Listening Library), OverDrive Sample — The author was a finalist for both Locomotion and Hush

Audio Sample:

Poetry

2014_nba_poetry_finalist

Louise Glück, Faithful and Virtuous Night, (Macmillan/Farrar, Straus and Giroux),  OverDrive Sample 

Fanny Howe, Second Childhood, (Graywolf Press)

Maureen N. McLane, This Blue, (Macmillan/Farrar, Straus and Giroux),  OverDrive Sample 

Fred Moten, The Feel Trio, (Letter Machine Editions)

Claudia Rankine, Citizen: An American Lyric, (Graywolf Press)

Flanagan Wins Booker

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

9780385352857_702c0Richard Flanagan has won the Man Booker Award for his sixth novel, The Narrow Road to the Deep North(RH/Knopf; Blackstone Audio), described  by the judges as a “magnificent novel of love and war.” He was featured in August on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday.

Seattle librarian David Wright praised it last month in the Seattle Times. In the Washington Post, critic Ron Charles reacted strongly to it, warning readers that it can, “cast a shadow over your summer and draw you away from friends and family into dark contemplation the way only the most extraordinary books can. Nothing since Cormac McCarthy’s The Road has shaken me like this — all the more so because it’s based on recorded history, rather than apocalyptic speculation.”

In the daily New York Times, however, Michiko Kakutani called it “adeeply flawed,” but appreciated Flanagan’s ability to “communicate both the abominations that men are capable of inflicting upon one another, and the resilience many display in the face of utter misery.”

Read a sample here, via OverDrive; audio sample here.

Flanagan is Australian. This was the first year that the Awards were opened to Americans. Four were on the longlist and two made the transition to the shortlist of six; Joshua Ferris, To Rise Again at a Decent Hour,  Hachette/Little,Brown) and Karen Joy Fowler, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, (Penguin/Putnam/Marian Wood).

Historically, Booker winners have gone on to become best sellers in the U.S. UPDATEThe Narrow Road to the Deep North, rose to #16 on Amazon’s sales rankings the day after the announcement.

Nobel Peace Prize to Author and Activist

Friday, October 10th, 2014

I Am MalalaThe Nobel Peace Prize this year goes to two people, Malala Yousafzai, the youngest person ever to win the prize and Indian children’s rights activist, Kailash Satyarthi.

Now 17, the Pakistani woman was shot by the Taliban in 2012 for her campaign for women’s rights to education.

She was also nominated for the Prize last year, the same year she published a memoir, I Am Malala, (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio). She wowed Jon Stewart when she appeared on The Daily Show:

Nobel Prize in Literature, 2014

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Confounding odds makers once again, the Nobel Prize in literature, announced today, goes to French author Patrick Modiano, whose more than 30 novels often focus on the Nazi occupation of France. The Academy described him as “a Marcel Proust of our time.” If you’re not familiar with him, you’re in good company. The Guardian comments, “Modiano is well known in France but something of an unknown quantity for even widely read people in other countries.”

The Telegraph calls Modiano’s The Search Warrant (RH/Vintage Digital, 2012) one of his best-known books. You can read a sample via OverDrive.

Several titles by Modiano are listed in on American library catalogs, including the 1974 film Lacombe, Lucien, by director Louis Malle, for which Modiano co-wrote the script which is partially based on Malle’s own experiences during the occupation and a children’s title, Catherine Certitiude.

Publisher David R. Godine’s web site today features the three Modiano titles they have published in English (the Washington’s Post‘s Ron Charles delivered the news to Godine, who was “staking dahlias” at the time and exclaimed, “This means we’ll be ahead this year!”):

1567922813-2  HoneyMoon

Missing PersonPatrick Modiano, translated by Daniel Weissbort, 2004 — Also winner of the most prestigious French literary prize, the Prix Goncourt, it was reviewed by Booklist and Library Journal. Saying it is probably his “best known novel,” The Guardian describes it as being, “about a detective who loses his memory and endeavours to find it.”

Honeymoon, Patrick Modiano, 1995 — also reviewed by Booklist and Library Journal 

087923959xCatherine Certitude, Patrick Modiano — A children’s title, it was reviewed by several library publications. The following is the publisher’s description:

This charming book will delight any child — or adult — who appreciates ballet, Paris, New York, childhood, and mystery (not necessarily in that order). The book’s plot is deceptively simple: Catherine, the eponymous heroine, begins her story watching her own daughter demonstrate jazz steps in their ballet school on a snowy afternoon in New York. Memory takes her (and the reader) back to her childhood, spent in the tenth arrondissement of Paris. In her youth, Catherine lives with her gentle father, Georges Certitude, who runs a shipping business with his partner, a loud, failed poet named Casterade. The real partners in this story, however, are the father and daughter who share the simple pleasures of daily life: sitting in the church square, walking to school, going to her ballet class every Thursday afternoon.

As a result of the prize, Yale University Press has moved up the publication of the following title from January to November:

9780300198058Suspended Sentences: Three Novellas, Patrick Modiano, translated by Mark Polizzotti

Includes Afterimage, Suspended Sentences, and Flowers of Ruin.

Major Book Awards Week

Monday, October 6th, 2014

Three upcoming major book awards will be announced within a week of each other.

lit_medal_introFirst, the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature will be announced this Thursday, Oct. 9. The current favorites are Haruki Murakami, whose books are owned widely by U.S. libraries, and Kenyan writer Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, whose works are available in the U.S., but are less widely owned.

Don’t take the wagering too seriously, however, as the Christian Science Monitor outlines, this award is notoriously difficult to predict.h_logo_official_large

A week from tomorrow, on Tuesday, October 14, the Man Booker Prize will be presented by the Duchess of Cornwall  at a ceremony at London’s Guildhall. This is the first time that Americans have been allowed in to the competition. Two made itto the shortlist of six titles; To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris and We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler. Currently, both are trailing in the odds. Neel Mukherjee is in the lead for The Lives Of Others, followed closely by Richard Flanagan, The Narrow Road To The Deep North.

2011_nbafinalist_medalThe next day, Wednesday, Oct. 15, sees the release of the shortlist of finalists for the National Book Awards (winners to be announced on Nov. 19). Now that Americans are included in the Booker Awards, it would have been interesting if there were overlaps.  However, just one title was on both longlists, Richard Powers’ Orfeo, and it did not make it to the Booker shortlist.