Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

Booker Longlist Title Gets US Publishing Date

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

In addition to famous names and international publishing houses, the Booker Prize also shines a light on small presses.

9781510719217_43f40Last year Marlon James and the U.K. indie press Oneworld took top honors for A Brief History of Seven Killings (published here by Riverhead, an imprint of the much larger Penguin Random House). This year’s longlist includes a title by an even smaller press, His Bloody Project: Documents Relating to the Case of Roderick Macrae, Graeme MaCrae Burnet (OverDrive Sample), published by the tiny 2-person house, Saraband.

At the time of the longlist announcement in July, the novel was not scheduled for a US release, but it is now set to be published here, also by an indie press, but one that is much larger, Skyhorse. The ship date is Sept. 13, which will work well if the title makes it to the shortlist, which will be announced that very day.

Back in Scotland, the staff at Saraband fielded an endless round of inquiries after the longlist was announced. Publisher Sara Hunt told The Guardian, “It’s been crazy but fantastic … it’s hard to take in when most of the time we’re fighting to tell people about how good our books are, then suddenly everyone who hasn’t been in touch is wanting to speak to you at the same time – it’s that tricky day at work that you dream of having.”

The novel, a historical crime thriller, got little attention prior to the Booker spotlight, which The Guardian says is an oversight,

“a psychological thriller masquerading as a slice of true crime; a collection of ‘found’ documents …The book’s pretense at veracity, as well as being a literary jeux d’esprit, brings an extraordinary historical period into focus, while the multiple unreliable perspectives are designed to keep the audience wondering …  This is a fiendishly readable tale that richly deserves the wider attention the Booker has brought it.”

THE FIFTH SEASON Wins Hugo

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

9780316229296_62f5aThe 2016 Hugo Awards winners were announced on Saturday at the World Science Fiction Convention. N.K. Jemisin won Best Novel for The Fifth Season (Hachette/Orbit; OverDrive Sample).

The first book in the Broken Earth trilogy grabbed reviewers’ attention for its scope and scale. In the NYT Sunday Book Review, multiple award-winning author Naomi Novik wrote it is a novel of “intricate and extraordinary world–building.” The NPR reviewer  also lauded the author’s world-building as being full of “sumptuous detail and dimensionality.” Wired picked it as their book club title and Smart Bitches Trashy Books gave it an A grade, writing:

The Fifth Season blew my entire weekend. I had plans. I was supposed to, at least at some point, get out of bed and take a shower. Instead I stayed in my blanket fort and devoured this book. The most I managed to accomplish was feeding the cat and tweeting about how much I loved this novel.”

We wrote about Jemisin and critical reaction to the sequel, The Obelisk Gate (Hachette/Orbit; OverDrive Sample), earlier this week.

Jemisin headlines a sweeping win for female authors, with every fiction category going to a woman.

9780765385253_40f87Nnedi Okorafor won Best Novella for Binti (Macmillan/Tor; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample). Tor.com writes “Okorafor’s stories are where the ancient cultures of Africa meet the future, where what we have been and what makes us human meets what we can be and what we may be in the future.” NPR’s All Things Considered recently aired an interview with the author.

Uncanny2Hao Jingfang won Best Novelette for “Folding Beijing,” translated by Ken Liu. Tor.com says “it’s not just that this is a smart story doing crunchy, smart things in a clever fashion—that’s just one layer of the thing. It’s also an emotionally resonant and intimately personal piece, grounded thoroughly through the life experience of the protagonist.”

Naomi Kritzer won Best Short Story for “Cat Pictures Please.” io9 includes the story in a round up of “What Are The Best Short Stories of the Year So Far?” (for 2015) and links to a review in Apex magazine.

9781401265199_7147aNeil Gaiman takes home the Best Graphic Story prize for The Sandman: Overture Deluxe Edition, (DC Comics/Vertigo). The Nerdist and Tor.com provide reviews. Last year, NPR’s Terry Gross interviewed Gaiman about the book on Fresh Air.

MV5BMTc2MTQ3MDA1Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODA3OTI4NjE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,675,1000_AL_It was also a great night for Andy Weir. He won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (which is not a Hugo Award but is given at the same time) and the film The Martian (adapted from Weir’s debut novel) won Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form.

An episode of Jessica Jones won Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form.

Once again, the “Puppy” effect could be seen. However, it seems the voting members of the Hugo are learning to both live with and ignore the alt-right wing attack on the award (see our overview of the ongoing controversy).

As The Verge put it, “The immediate takeaway from tonight is that once again, slated works [the Puppy nominees] added to the ballot through a coordinated campaign have trouble swaying voters, although they were not unanimously dismissed, but in these instances, the awards largely went  to authors and works that really didn’t need help from slated works in the first place, such as Andy Weir or Neil Gaiman. In all other instances, voters opted to give the awards to extremely deserving works.”

Man Booker Longlist Title to
Big Screen

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

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On the heels of the announcement that Ottessa Moshfegh’s literary thriller Eileen (PRH/Penguin) is a finalist for the Man Booker Prize, comes the news that screenwriter Erin Cressida Wilson has been hired to adapt the novel for producer Scott Rudin.

The Hollywood Reporter writes that Wilson has “become a go-to writer for adapting book-to-screen thrillers with provocative female heroines who are not always likable” ( the WSJ profiled her last year under the headline “Hollywood’s Go-To Scribe for Thrillers“). Having written the screenplay for The Girl on the Train, she was hired last year to adapt Maestra by L.S. Hilton (PRH/Putnam; BOT), another title that was sometimes compared to The Girl on the Train (Note: the cover for the latter, above, is the newly-released art for the tie-in).

Maestra is still in development. No stars or director have yet been named.

The Man Booker Longlist Announced

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

The U.K.’s most prestigious literary award, the Man Booker Prize, is one of the few awards that affects sales in the U.S., surpassing even our own National Book Awards.

The longlist of thirteen titles was released earlier today. Six of the titles have not yet been published in the U.S., including the title regarded as the front-runner, J.M. Coetzee’s The Schooldays of Jesus, scheduled for release here in February (U.K. readers have to wait as well, it won’t be published there until September). Attached is a downloadable list, for your use in creating displays, Booker 2016 Longlist, Available in U.S.

The award is covered widely in the British press, but The Irish Times offers the most extensive coverage, amounting to a cheat sheet to each title., noting that the overall list is:

“… a solid, wide-ranging 13-strong selection dominated by the forthcoming novel from 2003 Nobel Literature Laureate, the South African-born J.M.Coetzee … There is no disputing [he] is one of the world’s finest living authors – and at a time when English-language fiction is being consistently overshadowed by the brilliance of literature in translation. Coetzee is the first double Booker winner … and any work from him is eagerly awaited.”

Last year’s winning novel was A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James. After the announcement, it went on to the New York Times Paperback Fiction, rising to a high of #3. HBO has optioned screen rights.

The shortlist of six books will be announced on Tuesday, September 13 and the winner on Tuesday, October 25.

Below are the longlist titles, with U.S. publishing information and links to U.S. consumer reviews. U.S. covers are featured, where available.

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Paul Beatty, U.S., The Sellout (Macmillan/FSG, 3/3/15; OverDrive Sample) — On several U.S. best books lists, including the NYT Book Review‘s Top Ten, it was heavily reviewed here.

J.M. Coetzee, South Africa/Australia, The Schooldays of Jesus (PRH/Viking) — Currently scheduled for publication in hardcover in the U.S. on Feb. 21, 2017.

A.L. Kennedy, U.K., Serious Sweet (Little A,) — Scheduled for publication in hardcover in the U.S. on Oct. 8, 2016 Amazon’s literary fiction imprint Little A.

Deborah Levy, U.K.,  Hot Milk (Macmillan/Bloomsbury USA; OverDrive Sample; 7/12/16) — reviewed in the daily NYT and the Washington Post.

Graeme Macrae Burnet, U.K., His Bloody Project — Not currently scheduled for publication in the U.S. Published in the U.K. by Scottish independent crime fiction publisher Saraband. The Guardian called it “Perhaps the most eye-catching book on the list” since the Booker has rarely recognized a title in that genre.

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Ian McGuire, U.K., The North Water (Macmillan/Holt; OverDrive Sample;  3/15/16) — Reviewed in the NYT Book Review by Colm Toibin, the daily NYT by Michiko Kakutani, as well as the Wall Street Journal.

David Means, U.S., Hystopia (Macmillan/FSG,; OverDrive Sample; 4/19/16) — A debut, it was reviewed widely and is on NY Magazine ‘s list of “The Best Books of 2016 (So Far)“.

Wyl Menuir, U.K., The Many — Not currently scheduled for publication in the U.S.

Otessa Moshfegh, U.S., Eileen (PRH/Penguin; OverDrive Sample;  8/18/15) — Featured on the cover of the  NYT Book Review,  it was also reviewed in the LA Times, The Washington Post, and NPR, and made several 2015 “best”  lists.

9781501112492_5f5c9  9781400067695_38ba8  All That Man Is

Virginia Reeves, U.S., Work Like Any Other (S&S/Scribner; OverDrive Sample; 3/1/16) — Featured in Harper’s Bazaar as a Spring 2016 pick, it was reviewed by the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the Miami Herald.

Elizabeth Strout, U.S., My Name is Lucy Barton (PRH/Viking; OverDrive Sample; 1/13/16) — Reviewed widely in the U.S., in the NYT Book ReviewThe Washington Post, NPR, and New York Magazine.

David Szalay, Canada-U.K.,  All That Man Is (Macmillan/Graywolf; OverDrive Sample;) — Scheduled for publication in hardcover in the U.S. on Oct. 4, 2016.

Madeleine Thien, Canada, Do Not Say We Have Nothing (Granta Books; Knopf Canada; OverDrive Sample) — Not currently scheduled for publication in the U.S.

The “Oscars of Comics” Go To …

Monday, July 25th, 2016

The 28th annual Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Oscars of the format, were announced on Friday during Comic-Con.

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What is essentially the best book of the year award went to Ruins by Peter Kuper (Abrams/SelfMadeHero, Oct. 2015) for “Best Graphic Album—New. “The publisher describes it as exploring “the shadows and light of Mexico through its past and present as encountered by an array of characters. The real and surreal intermingle to paint an unforgettable portrait of life south of the Rio Grande.”

March: Book Two, John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (Diamond/Top Shelf, Jan. 2015) won “Best Reality-Based Work.” Book Three in the series is schedule for release on Aug 2. PW reports that a delighted Lewis “bounded from his seat and ran to the stage at the announcement.”

Nimona, Noelle Stevenson (HC/Harper Teen, May 2015) won the Eisner for “Best Graphic Novel Reprint.” Librarians will recall it was a National Book Award finalist for Young Peoples Literature last year.

Image Comics swept the series stakes, winning all three categories:

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Paper Girls: Volume 1, Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chian (Diamond/Image Comics, Apr. 2016) won “Best New Series.” Paper Girls: Volume 2 is forthcoming in December.

“Best Continuing Series” went to Southern Bastards, Jason Aaron and Jason LaTour. Southern Bastards Volume 3: Homecoming is the most recent (Diamond/Image Comics, July 2016).

The Fade Out, Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Diamond/Image Comics; OverDrive Sample) won for “Best Limited Series.” It was issued in three volumes starting in 2015 (vol 1, 2, 3) and will be released in a complete deluxe edition with added material this fall.

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“Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 8)” went to Little Robot, Ben Hatke (Macmillan/First Second, Sept. 2015; OverDrive Sample).

“Best Publication for Kids (ages 9-12)” was snagged by Over the Garden Wall, Pat McHale, Amalia Levari, and Jim Campbell (S&S/Boom! Studios, Sept. 2016; OverDrive Sample). Volume 2 is forthcoming in Feb. 2017.

SuperMutant Magic Academy, Jillian Tamaki (Macmillan/Drawn and Quarterly, Apr. 2015) won “Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17).”

9781770462083_6c2d3In a year that was particularly notable for the number of women nominees, Kate Beaton’s Step Aside Pops: A Hark! A Vagrant Collection (Macmillan/Drawn and Quarterly, Sept. 2015) won best humor publication, which The Hollywood Reporter points out, is “the first time in the Eisners’ long history that a woman has ever won that category solo.”

In addition, Lynda Barry and Matt Groening were voted into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame. The full list of winners is available online.

UPROOTED Wins, Again

Monday, June 27th, 2016

9780804179034_f41139780316246682_2dffbLibrarians picked it first. The number one LibraryReads pick for May 2015, Uprooted, by Naomi Novik (PRH/Del Rey; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample) was announced as the winner of the 2016 Locus Award for Fantasy on Saturday, having also won the Nebula last month.

The winner in the Science Fiction category is Ancillary Mercy, by Ann Leckie (Hachette/Orbit; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample) the final book in the series which began with Ancillary Justice  winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke Awards. The middle novel, Ancillary Sword, also won the Locus award in 2015.

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The late Terry Pratchett won the YA category for The Shepherd’s Crown (HarperCollins; HarperCollinsAudio and Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Pratchett and his fellow nominees in the YA category are all male, a choice that has raised eyebrows even as the Locus awards have avoided much of the controversy that has plagued the Hugo awards.

The Guardian reports on the story, saying that “the Locus awards were broadly representative of a sci-fi field that is continuing to grow in diversity: 18 female to 17 male writers, with many upcoming writers of colour among the voters’ top picks. Placed in that context, the way the YA category has turned out seems less like myopic sexism, and more indicative of the older demographic of readers who read Locus magazine and see the YA genre from their own preferences.”

However, YA author Gwen Katz said:

“YA, including YA fantasy, is a vastly female-dominated age category, but there’s a history of male authors being picked out for awards or heralded as champions of the age category … Yet another all-male slate reinforces the message that an art form primarily practised by women and girls only becomes noteworthy when a man gets in on it.”

9781481424271_445d99780062330260_ada2cThe Grace of Kings, Ken Liu (S&S/Saga; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample) won best First Novel.

Neil Gaiman won twice: in the Novelette category for ‘Black Dog,’’ a piece in Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances (HC/William Morrow; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample), which also netted Gaiman another trophy for best Collection.

Beyond the winners, readers’ advisors looking for suggestions in SFF will find a ready list of titles in the award’s short lists.

9780765381149_d2b6bThe SF nominees read like a who’s who of the genre:

The Water Knife, Paolo Bacigalupi (PRH/Knopf; OverDrive Sample)

Aurora, Kim Stanley Robinson (Hachette/Orbit; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample)

Seveneves, Neal Stephenson (HC/ William Morrow; OverDrive Sample)

A Borrowed Man, Gene Wolfe (Macmillan/Tor; OverDrive Sample)

9780765375247_060ccThe Fantasy short list is equally impressive:

Karen Memory, Elizabeth Bear (Macmillan/Tor; OverDrive Sample)

The House of Shattered Wings, Aliette de Bodard (PRH/Roc; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample)

Wylding Hall, Elizabeth Hand (PS; Open Road; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample)

The Fifth Season, N.K. Jemisin (Hachette/Orbit; OverDrive Sample)

9780765385246_028feThe First Novel Short list points to the breadth of these two genres, their international flavor, and the range of subjects being explored:

Sorcerer to the Crown, Zen Cho (PRH/Ace; OverDrive Sample)

Signal to Noise, Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Solaris; OverDrive Sample)

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, Natasha Pulley (Macmillan/Bloomsbury; OverDrive Sample)

The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps, Kai Ashante Wilson (Macmillan/Tor; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample)

9780804178457_d46eeThe controversial YA category included:

Half a War, Joe Abercrombie (PRH/Del Rey; OverDrive Sample)

Half the World, Joe Abercrombie (PRH/Del Rey; OverDrive Sample)

Harrison Squared, Daryl Gregory (Macmillan/Tor; OverDrive Sample)

Shadowshaper, Daniel José Older (Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine; Scholastic Audio ; OverDrive Sample)

Also useful for readers advisors is the annual reading list created by Locus, a gold mine of titles and authors to know.

The full list of winners is online.

Winners: Baileys and Bubbly

Monday, June 13th, 2016

9780804189064_4f14eA debut novel by an Irish writer wins the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, given for the best novel by a woman writing in English. The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney (PRH/Tim Duggan Books, Aug. 9; Random House Audio) topped several better known authors including the multiple awar- winning Anne Enright for The Green Road and the bestselling Hanya Yanagihara for A Little Life.

The Guardian reports that The Glorious Heresies “tells how an accidental murder … plays out in the lives of a cast that includes a 15-year-old drug dealer, his alcoholic father, a prostitute and a gangland boss.”

The chair of the judging panel said it is “a superbly original, compassionate novel that delivers insights into the very darkest of lives through humour and skilful storytelling.”

Calling it “big, gritty and compelling,” a spokeswoman for one of the UK’s most notable bookstores said the selection was a “brave choice … by the least conventional and edgiest writer on the list.”

The Glorious Heresies is scheduled for release in the US on Aug. 9.

McInerney’s debut was among 11 other first novels to make the long or short list for the award, which The Guardian notes is becoming “a showcase for new and emerging talent.”

9781101874141_9e7a9One of those debut authors is Hannah Rothschild whose The Improbability of Love (RH/Knopf; OverDrive Sample) made it through to the final round. Rothschild, the first woman chair of London’s most prestigious art museum, The National Galley, can console herself with champagne. Her book recently won the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for comic fiction (shared with Paul Murray for The Mark and the Void), which comes with a large bottle of Bollinger champagne, the complete Everyman Wodehouse Collection, and the honor of the having a Gloucestershire Old Spot pig named after the winning title, a nod to the Empress of Blandings, a fictional pig featured in P. G. Wodehouse’s Blandings Castle novels.

Previous winners of the pig, bubbly, and books include Terry Pratchett and Alexander McCall Smith. Photos of several past winners with their pigs are online.

 

Tony Awards: Page to Stage

Monday, June 13th, 2016

hamiltonHamilton emerged from last night’s Tony Awards show with 11 wins, including Best Musical, from a total of 16 nominations. While the number of nominations set a record, Hamilton came in just short of the record for wins, behind The Producers which won 12 Tonys in 2001.

It earned multiple nominations in two categories. As a result, it  twice “lost” to itself. The only nominated categories it did not win were Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical which went to Cynthia Erivo for The Color Purple and Best Scenic Design of a Musical which went to She Loves Me.

Below, a clip of  the cast performing during the show, with a special introduction by two major fans:

The show opened with a statement about the mass shootings in Orlando and, according to The Hollywood Reporter, the Hamilton cast decided not to use prop muskets in their performances.

Below, a clip of Miranda’s emotional acceptance speech:

A transcript of Miranda’s sonnet (from New York magazine’s site, Vulture):

My wife’s the reason anything gets done.
She nudges me towards promise by degrees.
She is a perfect symphony of one.
Our son is her most beautiful reprise.
We chase the melodies that seem to find us
Until they’re finished songs and start to play.
When senseless acts of tragedy remind us
That nothing here is promised, not one day
This show is proof that history remembers.
We live through times when hate and fear seem stronger.
We rise and fall, and light from dying embers
Remembrances that hope and love last longer.
And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love;
Cannot be killed or swept aside.
I sing Vanessa’s symphony; Eliza tells her story.
Now fill the world with music, love, and pride.

Thank you so much for this.

Miranda speaks to the press after the award show:

colorpurpleAnother book related production, The Color Purple,  received 4 nominations and won two awards, for Best Revival of a Musical and Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical, Cynthia Erivo (Celie).

The play has been well received, with the NYT writing about its opening, “Give thanks this morning, children of Broadway, and throw in a hearty hallelujah. The Color Purple has been born again, and its conversion is a glory to behold.” The rousing performance was introduced by Oprah (begins at 2:06):

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Four other book-related plays were nominated, but none of them won,  American Psycho (which has already closed), Misery, Tuck Everlasting, and Thérèse Paquin (based on the novel by Émile Zola).

A full list of nominees and winners is available from Entertainment Weekly.

Stars Align for Nobel Winner

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016

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When Svetlana Alexievich won the Nobel Prize in Literature last October, only two of her books were available in English in the US. That is slowly changing. Arriving this week is Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets, translated by Bela Shayevich (PRH/Random House; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample), her fifth book first published in Russia in 2013.

On the strength of the NYT‘s profile on Saturday, the author’s Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets, translated by Bela Shayevich (Random; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample) is rocketing up the Amazon sales charts, close to breaking into the top 100.

The NYT‘s calls the oral history:

“An intimate portrait of a country yearning for meaning after the sudden lurch from Communism to capitalism in the 1990s plunged it into existential crisis … Tolstoyan in scope, driven by the idea that history is made not only by major players but also by ordinary people talking in their kitchens … With every page, the book makes clear how President Vladimir V. Putin manages to hold his grip on a country of 143 million people across 11 time zones.”

All four trade review journals gave it a star with Kirkus calling it “Profoundly significant literature as history” and PW saying: “Alexievich’s work turns Solzhenitsyn inside out and overpowers recent journalistic accounts of the era. Readers must possess steely nerves and a strong desire to get inside the Soviet psyche in order to handle the blood, gore, and raw emotion.”

Holds are running roughly 2:1 on light orders in libraries we checked.

Librarians can look for more to come. The NYT reports that, in 2017 and 2018, Random House will issue translations of Alexievich’s previous work by the powerhouse team of Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky (who brought new life to War and Peace). The paper also reports that Alexievich has plans for new collections, on aging and on love, and is planning a cross-country trip around the former Soviet Union to conduct interviews.

9780312425845Of her books in English translations, the two that have been published here are Zinky Boys: Soviet Voices from the Afghanistan War (Norton; 9780393336863; 1992) and Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster (hardcover, Dalkey Archive Press; trade pbk Macmillan/Picador, 2006), which won the 2005 National Book Critics Circle Award.

LibraryReads Favorite Wins Nebula

Friday, May 20th, 2016

9780804179034_f4113Naomi Novik’s Uprooted (PRH/Del Rey; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample; now available in trade pbk) has won the Nebula Award, one of science fiction’s top honors.

The stand-alone fairy tale for adults, a departure for Novik after her historical fantasy series Temeraire, was a hit with librarians early on, taking the #1 spot on last year’s May LibraryReads List.

In her LibraryReads annotation Lucy Lockley of St. Charles City-County Library (MO) summed up the plot: “A young girl is unexpectedly uprooted from her family and becomes involved in a centuries-old battle with The Wood, a malevolent entity which destroys anyone it touches.”

The novel also won Fantasy top honors from the librarian-selected RUSA/CODES Reading List.

Other groups took note as well: it was an Indie Next pick and made this year’s list of Hugo Award finalists.

The NYT said that “Novik skillfully takes the fairy-tale-turned-bildungsroman structure of her premise” and creates a “very enjoyable fantasy with the air of a modern classic.”

io9 offered more fulsome praise:

“Novik’s writing is sharp, dense, and very funny. It’s also dark, violent, and sexual. Which is a reminder that “fairy tale” doesn’t mean clean, easy, and happy. Novik recaptures the original flavor of fairy tales in the Grimm sense, but puts her own original spin on it … I’d recommend setting aside a large chunk of time to devote to Uprooted. I didn’t intend to, but once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down.”

It’s also caught on in Hollywood, he film rights sold in a bidding war with Ellen DeGeneres set to produce.

The short list is always a good RA resource for creating genre lists, finding read-alikes, and building displays:

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Raising Caine, Charles E. Gannon (S&S/Baen)

The Fifth Season, N.K. Jemisin (Hachette/Orbit)

Ancillary Mercy, Ann Leckie (Hachette/Orbit)

The Grace of Kings, Ken Liu (S&S/Saga)

Barsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard, Lawrence M. Schoen (Macmillan/Tor)

Updraft, Fran Wilde (Macmillan/Tor)

io9 offers a full summary of all winners and short list titles, pointing out that women swept the awards, winning every print category.

Readers Advisory: Horror

Friday, May 20th, 2016

9780062363237_da22eA Head Full of Ghosts, Paul Tremblay (HC/William Morrow, June 2015; paperback, May 10, 2016; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample) has won the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Novel.

io9 offers a rave review, calling it “a brilliant book that follows a New England family in their descent into madness, following in the footsteps of some of the the genre’s greats, such as Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House or Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper” and continuing:

“It’s a fantastic look at the horror genre as a whole … the book runs right to the end with an utterly horrifying conclusion that absolutely blew me away … What ultimately makes A Head Full of Ghosts such a great read is that it’s a gripping novel, one that builds and builds, increasing the tension and dread as the pages turn. It’s a book that’s certainly going to keep me up for a couple more nights yet.”

The NYT agrees, calling the Indie Next pick “terrific” and saying it offers “the pleasurable fog of calculated, perfectly balanced ambiguity.”

NPR approves as well, commenting that Tremblay’s “ultimate, bloodcurdling revelation is as sickeningly satisfying as it is masterful.”

Looking for more suggestions to keep up with horror fans? Consider the titles on the Stoker’s short list:

9781250055804_73899 TheDeep433x653-2 the-cure Front_Cover_Image_Black_Tide-423x628

The Scarlet Gospels, Clive Barker (Macmillan/St. Martin’s, Mar. 2015)

The Deep, Michaelbrent Collings (self-published, July 2015)

The Cure, JG Faherty (Samhain Publishing, May 2015)

Black Tide, Patrick Freivald (JournalStone Publishing)

Also look to the winner and short list for the Stoker categories Superior Achievement in a First Novel as well as YA fiction. The full list of winners and nominees is available online.

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN Tops Audies

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

The 2016 Audies, given by the Audio Publishers Association for “distinction in audiobooks and spoken word entertainment ” were announced last week.

9781611763737_ca689The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins, read by Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, and India Fisher (Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Audio Sample) took top honors, winning Audiobook of the Year.

In giving the prize the judges said:

“A trio of skilled narrators pulls listeners into the psychological suspense of Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train. The ‘trust no one’ twists and possible unreliability of the three central women compel the listening experience and make this a great choice to recommend to audiobook fans or newcomers to the format. With storytelling this good, it’s clear to see why the audiobook continues to gain fans across a broad market.”

With the increasing demand, the Audies (both winners and nominated titles) are a boon to RA librarians as they offer a running list of narrators to know and sure bet suggestions. The current list, as well as past winners and nominees, also makes a popular and easy display for all those fans seeking new listens and newbies trying to figure out what the fuss is all about. When working with listeners, advisors can also point out that most of the titles on this year’s list have already been a success in print, save for Wild Rover No More, which received scant attention. New listeners in particular might be more willing to try an audio of a book they have already heard of than something totally unfamiliar.

The awards cover over two-dozen categories in fiction, nonfiction, and production, including the following:

9781593166687Katherine Kellgren won Best Female Narrator for Wild Rover No More, L.A. Meyer, read by Katherine Kellgren (Listen & Live Audio; OverDrive Audio Sample). Granting it an Earphone Award, AudioFile says:

“Katherine Kellgren is astounding, as always, as she narrates the twelfth and final book of this series. With such a nimble narrator, listeners will feel as though they’re hearing an entire cast performing men, women, and children with American, Irish, Scottish, and other British accents.”

9780062320193_52224George Guidall won Best Male Narrator for The English Spy, Daniel Silva, read by George Guidall (HarperAudio; OverDrive Audio Sample). It is another Earphone Award winner from AudioFile:

“Guidall’s warm, lived-in voice brings so much to the experience, somehow always conveying understanding of and sympathy for the human dimension in the most terrible scenes of mayhem, the most morally ambiguous situations. His attention and pace never falter, and he is wonderful at the accents, including several flavors of Irish, along with Russian, Iranian, and an uncanny Israeli.”

51084E1z4iL._SL300_Reflecting interest in all things Jungle Book, the Audio Drama award went to Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book: The Mowgli Stories, Rudyard Kipling, read by a full cast (Audible Studios; Audible Sample) Note: Currently not available for library purchase. Keep an eye out to see if Brilliance, another Amazon company and therefore the CD publisher of many Audible titles, offers an edition on the strength of the Disney film and the Audie win.

9781427212672_d7a63In the Fiction category, The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah, read by Polly Stone (Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Audio Sample) took the honors. In their starred review Booklist said:

Narrator Stone maintains a stoic, neutral tone for exposition, then seamlessly delivers a small town’s worth of French-accented English, including a Jewish butcher; a cruelly self-important, collaborating gendarme; and a seemingly harmless old man … The voices of British and American pilots, easily discernible, add to Stone’s wide-ranging, stunning performance.”

Ghettoside9780449009734, Jill Leovy, read by Rebecca Lowman (Random House Audio/BOT; OverDrive Audio Sample) won for Non-Fiction. AudioFile gave it an Earphone Award and said:

“Narrator Rebecca Lowman takes a low-key approach, and it works perfectly; this audiobook is so dramatic and sad that it doesn’t need any amping up.”

f0e4b1df900f08416cfba28312e0af66R.L. Stine’s first picture book, Little Shop of Monsters, R.L. Stine and Marc Brown, read by Jack Black (Hachette Audio; Video Sample) won the Young Listeners category. Booklist says:

“Actor Black brings his comedy chops to this quirky picture book [and] clearly had young listeners in mind as he read; his narration is clear and perfectly paced … [his] intonation reflects the monsters he is describing, sounding as if he’s holding his breath when telling us about a smelly monster and bursting with high-pitched giggles when he catches the giggles from the piggler-gigglers … Black’s silliness is infectious.”

9781501216909_2ec34In a blast from the past, Jurassic Park, Michael Crichton, read by Scott Brick (Brilliance Publishing; Audio Sample) got the nod in Science Fiction (in an edition issued to mark the 25th anniversary of the novel). In another starred review Booklist said:

“There’s something truly frightening about listening to a man tell us, slowly and with vivid imagery, that a character is being stalked by a predatory animal. Like Crichton’s unadorned prose, Brick’s matter-of-fact, this-is-really-happening delivery perfectly suits the fantastic subject matter.”

9781491540169_e676e The Starling Project, Jeffery Deaver, read by Alfred Molina and a full cast (Audible Studios/Audible Studios on Brilliance Audio; Audio Sample) took honors for Original Work. Brilliance has released this Audible production, available to libraries. In their review AudioFile gave it an Earphone Award, calling it a “carnival ride for the ears;” continuing:

“With his smooth vocal presence, Alfred Molina … leads an outstanding ensemble of 30 actors playing 80 speaking roles in this high-velocity thriller. With its hypnotic musical score and sound effects of gunshots, squealing tires, and all-too-close explosions, listeners may believe they’re listening to a movie soundtrack.”

The full list of winners is available here.

THE VEGETARIAN Wins Man Booker International

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

9780553448184_795d0Author Han Kang and translator Deborah Smith win the Man Booker International Prize for The Vegetarian (PRH/Hogarth; BOT; 2/2/16; OverDrive Sample). Proving it is an award with selling power, the novel rose on Amazon’s sales rankings as a result, up from a lowly #27,707 to #272.

Kang represents South Korea while Smith is British, and in this Olympics of books, the two bested Italian Elena Ferrante, nominated for The Story of the Lost Child: Neapolitan Novels, Book Four, translated by American Ann Goldstein (PRH/Europa Editions, 9/1/15; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample) as well as Turkish Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk, nominated for A Strangeness in My Mind, translated by Turkish Ekin Oklap (PRH/Knopf, Oct. 20, 2015; BOT; OverDrive Sample). See our earlier post for the full short list.

The Vegetarian is a surreal and violent novel about a woman who decides to stop eating meat. That act of self-determination, as Slate puts it sets off “a chain of catastrophes in her otherwise ordinary extended family … At first she rejects meat, but eventually she will excuse herself from a number of other common human activities, as well. At last she refuses humanity itself.”

Entertainment Weekly gives it an A, writing that the “astonishing” novel “viscerally explores the limits of what a human brain and body can endure, and the strange beauty that can be found in even the most extreme forms of renunciation.”

The daily NYT  calls it a “mesmerizing mix of sex and violence” while the NYT “Sunday Book Review”  says nothing can “prepare a reader for the traumas of this Korean author’s translated debut in the Anglophone world.”

In deciding the award the BBC reports the judges variously remarked the novel was “unforgettably powerful and original” and that “in a style both lyrical and lacerating, it reveals the impact of this great refusal both on the heroine herself and on those around her … This compact, exquisite and disturbing book will linger long in the minds, and maybe the dreams, of its readers.”

Remarkably, the BBC also reports that the book’s translator, Smith “only started teaching herself Korean in 2010,” picking that language as so few in her country studied it and she wanted a job that combined reading and writing. The BBC Arts correspondent is deeply impressed, saying she “managed brilliantly” and that “The prose is relaxed and idiomatic but it’s powerful. There isn’t a paragraph or turn of phrase which feels like it didn’t originate in English.”

The International Award is a younger sibling to the more well-known Booker Prize for Fiction (that longlist will be announced in July) and has been given every two years since 2005 to authors who are not citizens of the Commonwealth, for an entire body of work in any language (past winners have included Canadian Alice Munro and US citizens Philip Roth and Lydia Davis). Now that the main Booker Award is open to all writers in English, regardless of citizenship, the International Award has been changed this year to honor individual novels in English translation, recognizing not only the authors, but also the translators, a change that the Guardian notes, “should help raise the profile of translated books.”

Indeed, the award is a high water mark for translations and translators which are gaining wider recognition with feature stories in the WSJ and The Atlantic and, for the first time ever, a translated novel winning the Hugo Award. It is also an important resource for RA librarians searching for a more diverse and international list of authors to suggest.

RA Alert: THE LONEY

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

9780544746527_4c1a5Debut gothic horror novel, The Loney by British author Andrew Michael Hurley (HMH; Overdrive Sample), has been named “Book of the Year” by the British Book Industry.

The awards honor the industry as a whole, from authors to publishers to retailers. Added this year are prizes for fiction, nonfiction, debut fiction, and children’s books. The “Book of the Year’ is selected from the winners of those four categories. The Loney rose over a shortlist of 32 titles including Paula Hawkins’s The Girl on the Train and Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman.

The Guardian reports the awards are given to books “that have been both well-written and brilliantly published” and surveys The Loney‘s rise, which started as a limited run of 300 copies from an indie publisher. Word of mouth was so strong that it was picked up by UK publisher John Murray and went on to win the Costa first novel award and the print run was increased by almost 100 fold. The novel earned the praise of Stephen King, reports The Bookseller, and was acquired by DNA Films (Ex Machina).

It comes out in the U.S. today and has already caught the notice of Entertainment Weekly, which includes it on their list of “11 excellent new books to read in May.” The review however, gives it a B+, marking it down for a lack of genre focus and speed but calls it “ultimately terrifying” with “dark, unexpected depths.”

The Guardian offers stronger praise, “like the best gothic novels, The Loney is not merely thrills and chills: it is also a perceptive and nuanced exploration of the interrelation between faith, community and nature … the effect is both strikingly assured and authentic, while also comprehensively destabilising any assumptions the reader may have had about all three.”

Check your orders. In several libraries holds are far outpacing copies.

9781419717987_99b18National Book Award finalist, A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, took the fiction award. The nonfiction winner, a surprise  best seller in Europe, received less attention here, Lars Mytting and Robert Ferguson’s Norwegian Wood, is as the subtitle states, about “Chopping, Stacking, and Drying Wood the Scandinavian Way.”

David Solomons’s My Brother is a Superhero won best children’s book.

Welcome, Loan Stars!

Monday, May 9th, 2016

loanstars-black

We’re pleased to learn that Canada now has their own monthly list of “the 10 hottest books” as voted by staff in Canadian libraries. Modelled on our own LibraryReads program, it uses the the clever title “Loan Stars.”

i-let-you-go  do-not-say

The number one title for May is British author Clare Mackintosh’s debut, I Let You Go (PRH/Penguin/Berkley; Penguin Audio; BOT; OverDrive Sample).

The featured review is from Jennifer Green, Oshawa Public Library,

“Wow! This book has everything: a great story, well-developed characters, excellent pacing and plotting, and unexpected turns. I don’t normally cry when reading, but this one did it for me. What started out as an interesting, straightforward read, turned into an unexpected, well-written thriller. Can’t recommend this one enough!”

I Let You Go has also been a hit with library staff here, and is on the May LibraryReads list. Check your holds, they have outstripped ordering in many parts of the country.

Appropriately, Loan Stars also includes Canadian authors, marked on the list with a tiny Canadian flag, such as Vancouver author Madeleine Thien‘s fourth novel, Do Not Say We Have Nothing (not released in the US to date).

The June list has just been announced (look for the LibraryReads picks later this week), topped by Annie Proulx’s Barkskins, (S&S/Scribner).