This weekend, if you just can't seem to find the perfect Valentine's Day cards to express your unconditional feelings for the ones you care about, here is a little help from best-selling author Deborah Tannen, who, in my opinion, says it best:
If you're like me, you are SO EXCITED for tonight's premier of Lost. I can't wait. I can't wait. I can't wait.
There's lots of speculation about the little hints dropped by the writers of the show, and one thing people like to theorize about is the books that turn up. Here's a list of some of the books that have made appearances on Lost. Maybe if you read them, you'll be able to figure out where the island is?
The Privileges by Jonathan Dee is keeping me glued to the page! In fact, I accidently left it behind last night and had a panic attack when I realized that I would have to wait over 12 hours to be with these characters again. And what characters! The book opens with the wedding of a charmed couple Adam and Cynthia who are joined in rapid succession by children April and Jonas. Adam climbs the ladder of success as a hedge fund operator and April ends up becoming a full time mom. As the years fly by, we see the seeds of quiet desperation spring to life. What is totally grabbing me is that I know these people. And I think that you too will recognize them also.
Barbara is reading What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures by Malcolm Gladwell. It is filled with musings from the New Yorkers’ Gladwell on the quirks of 21st century living.
In her car stereo? Born Round: The Secret History of a Full Time Eater by Frank Bruni. This memoir from the former restaurant critic for the New York Times explores his food-centric life and his struggles with eating disorders.
Pat T. and Babs B.
They are both loving the juicy gossip in Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin and the Race of a Lifetime by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin. This book, while non-fiction, is reading like the best example of political thriller/satire.
Abby has gotten her hands on a copy of The Girl who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest by Steig Larsson. Of course it is Swedish and a mystery, this is Abby we are talking about! It will be released in this country the end of May.
Ann can be spotted driving around Fairfield County listening to A Prayer for Owen Meany. She reports that she while she loves the story the reader is so terrific it is just enhancing the experience. Ann is also working her way through A.S. Byatt’s A Children’s Book.
We wish you a wonderful and peaceful weekend!
Libba Bray's GOING BOVINE won the Printz this year. The Printz recognizes excellence in young adult literature.
And check out these lists, which were released by the American Library Association today:
This is precisely what I thought while looking at NPR’s website this week and loved their new addition to the Books page of “What We Are Reading This Week.” So, every Friday we hope to bring you a bit of what we are reading/watching and listening to this week. We have looked at our nightstands, book bags and coffee tables and here is a list of what is fascinating us for this week!
Fatal Journey The Final Expedition of Henry Hudson by Peter C. Mancall. (from cover: “A tale of mutiny and murder in the Arctic.”) In which Henry and his son are left to die in the north. It’s a bit dry but the story is such a good one that I persevere.
My book bag is toting around the audio book Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books not Bombs in Afghanistan and Pakistan by Greg Mortenson and my kitchen counter has another audio book The First Salute by Barbara Tuchman.
My nightstand is holding Vagrants by Yiyun Li; Lit: a Memoir by Mary Karr and Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
My coffee table has the DVD Grey Gardens waiting for me to watch!
Now all I need is time!
The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz asks the question will Oscar be able to break the generations old curse that has haunted his family? Or is he fated to be as unhappy as they are? This won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2008.
Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier is what is on the coffee table by the fireplace. This is historic fiction concerning the lives of two 19th century women fossil hunters.
In my train tote bag Julia Gregson's The Water Horse which will be published in this country in the spring with the title Band of Angels. This one tells the story of Catherine Carreg who leaves her home in Wales to become a nurse in Scutari with Florence Nightingale.
She is one of my new favorite British writers. We all loved East of the Sun this summer!
2009 was such a wonderful year for books. Every once in a while we would look at each other and say, “Gee, it’s got to end soon right? They just can’t keep coming?!” But they did and frankly we are very very spoiled.
Here is a list of some of our favorites from the year. They are not in order of preference because for a lot of us that would be like naming our favorite child.
Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
It is August 1974 and Philippe Petite is walking between the Twin Towers and setting off a chain reaction in the lives of seemingly unconnected New Yorkers. This was the National Book Award winner for fiction.
The Wentworths by Katie Arnoldi
California is home for our favorite dysfunctional family of the year. This one had us shaking our heads in awe of their total lack of normality and the wonderful writing of Arnoldi.
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghase
Everyone in Readers Advisory just loved this novel that was 20 years in the making. The world of Marion and Shiva, twins who are raised in a hospital in Ethiopia will take over your life. Be prepared to surrender to the fact that you will not get anything done until the last page is read.
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
This was the Booker Prize winner of the year and while not the easiest of reads, it brings alive the world and mind of Oliver Cromwell.
This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
Whenever anyone asked us for a book that would make them happy this is what we handed them. And no one ever came back to us wondering what we were thinking. Tropper presents a rollicking tale of love and redemption with humanity and not a small amount of humor.
The Piano Teacher by Janice Lee
This wonderful debut examines the lives of ex-pats in Hong Kong both before the beginning of World War II and after.
East of the Sun by Julia Gregson
This was one of our favorite pure escape reads. Three young English women in the 1920s go to India to seek their fortunes. Rumor has it the BBC is making a 6 part adaptation. We can’t wait.
The Bolter by Frances Osborne
Lady Idina Sackville was far from your typical Edwardian stereotype. Five times divorced, with a dog named Satan at her side she rocked convention and propriety to its core.
This had to be the book of the year. Whoever would have thought that a book about Alabama housewives and their domestic help could strike such a chord?
We wish you all a very Happy New Year!
It is true.....it wasn't on purpose, of course, but, yes, I snubbed John Irving (more than once). It was at the National Book Festival In Washington D.C. in September. I knew he looked familiar. I'd already been chatting with Lee Child(!), David Baldacci(!), Nicholas Sparks(!), and Jeannette Walls(!), and though I had nodded in Irving's general direction earlier in the day when he said hello, and made small talk with him at the buffet table, I basically ignored him. The moment of realization on the train ride home (Ahhhhhhhhh!) and the regret that followed will haunt me the rest of my days. There. Now I have confessed. Do I feel better? No.
What I cannot ignore (even if I tried) is Irving's newest novel, Last Night in Twisted River. It is said to be as disturbing as his breakthrough bestseller The World According to Garp, one of the most memorable books I've ever read. Last Night in Twisted River is next on my reading list. I love the voice of this incredible storyteller...unfortunately, I couldn't place the face.
Here's a treat - watch and listen:
Don't miss the next of my true confessions, I Fell in Front of Phil Caputo. (Egad.)
Augusten Burroughs is one of my favorite writers (and one of my favorite narrators). Readers will be most familiar with his bestselling memoirs, Running with Scissors and Dry. Both are hilarious and both are also sometimes (um) horrifyingly so. Sellevision is Burroughs' only published work of fiction. The book is about the backstage antics at Sellevision, a fictional top-retail shopping network and though there had been talk for a while about this becoming a feature film, it was just announced yesterday that it's going to be adapted into a television series for NBC. The show is being talked about as an "hour-long comedy" or "dramedy" with Bryan Fuller ("Pushing Daisies," Heroes") writing and Bryan Singer ("X-Men," Valkyrie") to direct. For us, that green light means that we must sit back and wait for what will hopefully be some must-see tv. In the meantime, we can look forward to the October 27th release of Augusten Burroughs's upcoming You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas. Oh. Dear.
How about heading out to sea this September?
I recently started listening to Patrick O'Brian's Jack Aubrey & Stephen Maturin series during my commute. If you haven't read these books and you're looking for a impecibly researched adventure on the high seas, then this series is for you. If you have read them and you're pining for the open sea, intrigue, and the roar of broadsides, consider listening to them.
The first two, Master and Commander and Post Captian are read by one of my favorite narrators, John Lee, who also narrated Pillars of the Earth and World Without End--two more (and very different) excellent historical narratives.
Get hooked on this 21-book series and it may just last you through the winter!
Ordinarily, sports films are really hard to get right: walking in the door, the audience knows what's going to happen. Making everything look authentic and telling the story in a fresh way is a huge challenge and often results in a pale imitation of the original events. These two films, however, are the exception that proves the rule. Both go to painstaking lengths to reproduce the look and feel of the eras, and both stories transcend sports.
We Are Marshall recalls the tragic plane crash that decimated the school's 1970 football team, and the slow, painful recovery of a university, team, and town. The Express brings Syracuse running back Ernie Davis to the big screen as his too-brief career played out against the backdrop of the early Civil Rights struggles. As we get ready for tailgating, cheers and chants, the snap of the snare drum, team mascots, and cool autumn afternoons at the stadium, these two films are the perfect way to start to the season!