American author Ann Leckie’s debut novel, Ancillary Justice, (Hachette/Orbit; trade pbk original; Recorded Books), the first in a planned space opera trilogy called Imperial Reich, won the Hugo Award at a ceremony held in London last night.
A review in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette said that the book “puts a new spin on old tales, forces us to face quandaries we’d never even imagine in our day-to-day lives, and shows us life from fresh, impossible perspectives,” and that “her unique narrator may be the novel’s most notable innovation.” Read a sample from OverDrivehere.
The first Man Booker longlist to include American authors has been released. Of the 13 novels, 4 are by Americans. As The Economist wryly observes, the list “has divided headline writers into those who prefer ‘Commonwealth writers edged out’ and those who have chosen ‘Donna Tartt snubbed’.”
But the Guardian gets to one of the most pressing issues, exploring, “Why The Longlist Has Bewildered The Bookies,“ while taking a familiar swipe at American writers (similar to the Nobel Awards jurist’s claim that Americans are “too insular” to be able to win that prize), by saying, “American novelists tend to write about the US, and none of the four – Joshua Ferris, Karen Joy Fowler, Siri Hustvedt, Richard Powers – set their selected books abroad. So … there’s a marked sense of restricted horizons …”
The Economist, on the other hand, picks American Richard Powers’ Orfeo as one of the two most interesting books on the list. The other is The Narrow Road to the Deep North, by Australian Richard Flanagan.
It happens that just before this announcement, we heard Seattle Public Library’s David Wright describe his excitement about that book, calling the author, “a consummate stylist, but with a style that is in service to the realities he’s writing about, which are often deeply painful and tragic. That is certainly true in The Narrow Road to the Deep North, which depicts with a fair amount of detail the horrific experience of POWs in WWII (Flanagan’s father was a survivor of the Thai-Burma death railway) … He is so skillful in showing how these events affect mens’ lives … his writing is devastating, generous, and deeply caring.”
The author who may be the most surprised to make the list is Paul Kingsnorth. Not only is The Wakehis first novel, he had so much trouble getting it published, that he finally turned to crowd-funding it via the U.K. website Unbound. The author describes the novel as “a strange and left-field book,” written in its own language, a version of Anglo-Saxon English.
A taste of it below:
The longlist, with American publishing information, below:
If you’re feeling discouraged about the future of books and reading, just look at the kids in the following video.
The story, created for NBC Nightly News, features author Kate DiCamillo talking to a very receptive group of kids about her struggle to become an author. It did not appear on Friday night’s broadcast, but is in the Nightly News Web site.
DiCamillo will accept the Newbery Award tomorrow night at ALA in Las Vegas for Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures, (Candlewick Press)
The just-released LibraryReads list of the ten books arriving in July that librarian love, offers some great readers advisory titles (over half are debuts). It’s also a reminder to nominate titles for upcoming lists (how-to here).
At BEA, the LibraryReads panel gave some helpful tips on how to use these lists:
1) You no longer have to admit “I haven’t read anything great lately,” your colleagues have. Each LibraryReads annotation is a readers advisory handsell you can steal.
2) The lists began in September, so there are now over 100 titles you can recommend. Check out our downloadable list — LibraryReads-All-Lists-Through-July-2014. sort it by category and you have an instant list for creating displays, or to use when you’re stuck trying to recommend a recent book in a particular category.
2) The lists are handy R.A. training tools which demonstrate how to quickly communicate why you love a title.
On the July list, librarian favorite Rainbow Rowell gets her second #1 LibraryReads pick with Landline, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Macmillan Audio; Thorndike), after her YA novel, Fangirl, was the pick for the inaugural September list. Excitement has spread to booksellers, who also include it on their Indie Next July list.
Among the five debuts on the list, is Dollbaby by Laura Lane McNeal (Penguin/Pamela Dorman Books). You can join us for a live chat with the author next week, as part of our Penguin First Flights Debut Author program.. Below is the LibraryReads annotation:
“In this coming-of-age story set in the Civil Rights era, Ibby is dropped off at the home of her eccentric grandmother in New Orleans after the death of her beloved father. Filled with colorful characters, family secrets and lots of New Orleans tidbits, this book will appeal to fans of Saving Ceecee Honeycutt.” — Vicki Nesting, St. Charles Parish Library, Destrehan, LA
“Driven away from the violence of cities and a crumbling society, Cal and Frida live an isolated existence, struggling to survive on what they grow and forage. When an unplanned pregnancy pushes the couple to search for other people, they discover an unexpected community. This well-written debut is great for apocalyptic fiction fans and fans of realistic, character-driven fiction.” — Sara Kennedy, Delaware County District Library, Delaware, OH
The book, which the 37-year-old author wrote ten years ago, was initially rejected by agents and publishers who considered it too difficult to sell. The author put it away until she tried again with Galley Beggar Press, a start-up in the author’s home town of Norwich. It received glowing reviews that acknowledged the book’s unconventional language, described by the Guardian as “devoid of commas, a fractured, poetic, pre-conscious voice, pregnant with full stops and half rhymes … But it actually feels like language anyone could read and understand. Its subject matter is the real difficulty, the story of a young girl, struggling to deal with her older brother’s illness – a brain tumour – and the abuse she experiences.” It went on to win the newly-created Goldsmith’s Prize for Literature and was published in paperback by Macmillan/Faber & Faber.
McBride won over competition from several literary heavy weighs, including Donna Tartt, for The Goldfinch. She says she has “nearly finished” a second novel.
The leads have been cast for Kevin Powers’ 2012 National Book Award finalist, The Yellow Birds, (Hachette/Little, Brown; Thorndike Press; Hachette Audio). Benedict Cumberbatch will play army Sergeant Sterling, who leads a platoon in Iraq. Will Poulter and Tye Seridan will play two Privates he takes under his wing (Entertainment Weekly).
David Lowery (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints) is set to write and direct.
The book has won praise from a range of sources, from Saveur magazine, “This idiosyncratic work by Blumenthal, the chef behind the experimental fine dining restaurant The Fat Duck in Bray, England, pays tribute to those who inspired him,” to the Daily Candy, “It’s nearly impossible to sum up the awesomeness of this exquisitely packaged amalgamation of photographic still lifes, illustrations, and historic recipes.”
If the phrase “great British cooking” sounds like an oxymoron, Blumenthal debunks that in the following video:
Many librarians know this year’s Edgar Award Winner for Best Novel, William Kent Krueger personally. In 2013, he visited over 35 libraries (and writes on his blog how much he loves doing so). He also managed to publish two books. In addition to the Edgar winner, Ordinary Grace, (S&S/Atria Books; released in trade paperback in March; Thorndike). a standalone, he also published Tamarack County, the latest in his Cork O’Connor series. A new title in that series, Windigo Island (S&S/Atria; 8/19/14) arrives this summer.
Krueger’s love for books was sparked by a librarian, as he recounts in a blog post, “God Bless Librarians.” He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota and his books are set in northern Minnesota.
To nobody’s surprise (except the author’s), Louise Penny is a finalist for the Edgar Best Novel Award. for her ninth Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novel, How the Light Gets In (Macmillan/Minotaur; Macmillan Audio; Thorndike Large Print).
The most prestigious literary award in the Spanish-speaking world, the 2013 Cervantes Prize, has been awarded to Elena Poniatowska. The 82-year-old has published many novels, children’s books as well as nonfiction, including La Noche de Tlatelolco, (The Night of Tlatelolco), an oral history of the 1968 massacre of student protesters in Mexico City, which was the first account to challenge the official version of events that night, and implicated army troops in the killing. Both she and her publisher received death threats when it was released, notes the L.A. Times.
The Pulitzers could be termed the Newbery/Caldecotts of adult book awards, having an immediate, and lasting, effect on sales. All the winners moved up Amazon’s sales rankings, most stunningly, the poetry winner which rose from # 821,844 to #337. Even the fiction winner, which had already been high on the list, rose from #35 to #4.
The other winners in the books categories are:
Alan Taylor, The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832. (W. W. Norton) — also a National Book Award finalist. The author won a Pulitzer in 1996 for William Cooper’s Town: Power and Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early Republic.
Vijay Seshadri,3 Sections, (Graywolf Press) — The nonprofit Graywolf Press, which has published an impressive number of award winners, is now in its 40th year. The woman who heads the company is profiled here (via Publishers Marketplace).
“A middle-aged bookseller mourning his lost wife, a feisty publisher’s rep, and a charmingly precocious abandoned child come together on a small island off the New England coast in this utterly delightful novel of love and second chances.”
Beth Mills, New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, NY
Also on both lists is Emma Dongohue’s Frog Music, (Hachette/Little Brown), which may surprise fans who came to the author via the wrenching contemporary novel, Room, as this one is a historical novel. Diane Scholl of Batavia [Il) Public library says it is “based on the unsolved murder of Jenny Bonnet, a cross-dressing frog catcher with a mysterious past. Set in 1870s San Francisco, this brilliant book includes impeccable historical details, from a smallpox epidemic to period songs.”
A thriller with a great title and clever cover (click on the cover an it to get a closer look at the skull; can’t wait to see it as a tattoo), The Intern’s Handbook by Shane Kuhn (Simon and Schuster), is also featured on both list. Nancy Russell, Columbus [OH} Metro Library, says it manages to be both “funny and romantic, too! In a totally quirky way, of course. You have to read it to believe it.”
Many of the April titles are available as e-galleys on Edelweiss and/or NetGally until publication date. Those of you going to PLA can also check for print galleys at the publishers’ booths.
Just one movie adapted from a book won in the top six Oscar categories, but it won big. 12 Years a Slave was namedBest Picture and Lupita Nyong’o, Best Supporting Actress. It also won for Best Adapted Screenplay.
McQueen spoke about the book on last week’s CBS Sunday Morning:
The only other adaptation to win awards was The Great Gatsby, which won for both Best Costume and Best Production Design.
Darlene Love, one of the subjects of 20 Feet From Stardom, received a standing ovation after she sang her acceptance for Best Documentary. Love’s 1998 autobiography, My Name Is Love: The Darlene Love Story, (re-released in trade paperback last year by HarperCollins/Morrow), has been acquired by OWN for a television movie.
Director Steve McQueen exaggerates when he claims the 1853 memoir by Solomon Northup that his movie is based on was “lost for 150 years.” McQueen, who is nominated for Best Director, owes a debt to a 12-year-old girl, Sue Eakin, who came across an old copy of it in the 1930’s and made it her life’s work to bring it back into print. Since it was republished in 1968 through LSU Press, it has been released in several editions and has continued in print due to college adoptions. The movie has brought unprecedented awareness, however, and the book is now also being picked up by high schools.
This could also be called the movie that made publishers rethink tie-ins, since the sales of copies with the original cover outstripped those that feature the movie art.
Not only did director Baz Luhrman’s movie, which is nominated only for Best Costume and Best Production Design, put F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel onto best seller lists (which, to Fitzgerald’s vast disappointment, didn’t happen in his own day), it even inspired Stephen Colbert to go all Oprah and begin his own book club, which included a discussion led by Jennifer Egan.
That magic did not happen for other classics made into movies this year. William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying (movie by James Franco) and Henry James’s What Maisie Knew (movie starring Julianne Moore, Alexander Skarsgård and Steve Coogan) did not lead to best seller status for those books.
Movie That Brought A Book To The U.S. For The First Time — Philomena
Directed byStephen Frears (The Queen), this movie is up for an Oscar for Best Picture. It is also nominated for Best Actress for star Judi Dench who plays Philomena Lee, an Irish woman forced as a teenager to give her child up for adoption. Originally published in the U.K. in 2010 as The Lost Child of Philomena Lee, it was published for the first time in the U.S. this year as a trade paperback tie-in, titled Philomena: A Mother, Her Son, and a Fifty-Year Search (Penguin), with a foreword by Dench.
And, a special award for:
Most Bookish Actress– Jennifer Lawrence
From Winter’s Bone, based on the novel by Daniel Woodrell, for which she was nominated in 2011 as Best Actress, to the as-yet-unreleased Serena, based on the novel by Ron Rash, Lawrence has appeared in many book adaptations.
This year, she is nominated for Best Supporting Actress for American Hustle, based on the nonfiction title, The Sting Man: Inside Abscam by Robert W. Greene. The movie is sure to win at least one award, since it is nominated in every major category (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Actress, as well as Best Supporting Actress).
“The Dane family has been keeping secrets in the Ozark town of Henbane for years. An outsider steals the heart of one of the Dane brothers, and the secrets threaten to unravel. When sixteen-year-old Lucy’s friend is found murdered after being missing for a year, Lucy begins to ask questions – the answers to which may destroy her family. Atmospheric and visceral, McHugh’s story is vividly and effectively told.” — Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ
Also included are new titles by Chris Pavone, Elly Griffiths, Alice LaPlante, and the following debut:
Precious Thing, Colette McBeth, (Macmillan/Minotaur; Brilliance audio; March 4)
“Clara and Rachel have been friends since high school. Life has intervened and they’ve grown apart, so when Clara invites Rachel for drinks to catch up, it’s a chance to reconnect. But before that can happen, Rachel is called to cover a missing girl story, and the missing girl is Clara. Was she abducted, murdered or did she simply leave on her own? In the vein of Gone Girl and The Husband’s Secret, this is a fast read that is sure to entertain.” — Robin Nesbitt, Columbus Metropolitan Library, Columbus, OH
Remember that several of these titles will be available as egalleys on either Edelweiss or Netgalley until publication date, so you still have time to get to know them. For ordering information, including alternate formats, check our spreadsheet, LibraryReads through March.
Now’s the time to make your voice heard and nominate your favorite upcoming titles. If you are looking for help on how, Edewleiss is holding a webinar on Wednesday, March 5th, 4-5:30 EST, covering how to nominate titles, write blurbs, find ARC’s, track titles in Edelweiss and connect with other librarian users in the Edelweiss Community. Register here.