This past Saturday, approximately 130,000 people attended the annual National Book Festival on The Mall in Washington D.C.(photo at left). Erica and I were thrilled to be there - swept up in all the wonderful book madness and swept away by some brief encounters.
Lee Child (pictured right) is one of our absolute favorite people and we were so happy to run into him on The Mall!
Want to know where Jack Reacher's next adventure will take him? How about his next TWO adventures???
Okay. I can tell you. According to Lee, the next book will take place in South Dakota. The one after that will be set in Nebraska.
Like I said...News from The Mall!
To my utter delight, I had a few minutes to sit and chat with Nicholas Sparks. The discussion at the table was about the in-general, too-early introduction to Shakespeare in schools. Nick's suggested reading is:
7th grade - The Notebook
8th grade - A Farewell to Arms
I also had a chance to catch up with our soon-to-be Darien Library guest, David Baldacci (he'll be here on Thursday, November 5th at 7 p.m.). We talked about the enormous crowds at the festival and the long (LONG) lines for book sales and author signings...refreshing and heartening news amid the doom and gloom reports about the publishing industry and the future of books.
We talked about his upcoming book True Blue, which publishes at the end of October. He'll be introducing a whole new character with this book - Mace Perry (do I detect another series???). He's looking forward to coming to Darien Library to tell us all about it...and we can't wait!
Fall is definitely in the air! And October is not letting September steal all the new fiction goodness! This month we see more wonderful new releases from some of our favorite authors and their recurring characters!
Michael Connelly is back with Nine Dragons. LAPD detective Harry Bosch is on the case again and looking to clean up some Chinese street gangs and perhaps solve a mysterious murder in the bargain. But while Bosch is working on this a family member is kidnapped in Hong Kong and things really begin to heat up. This is Connelly at his best and frankly we are very excited over this one!
The Scarpetta Factor is the seventeenth offering from Patricia Cornwell in the Kay Scarpetta series. Yes, Kay is back and because of the weak economy she is offering her services pro bono to the Chief Medical Examiner in Manhattan while continuing her gig as a the senior forensic reporter for CNN. Because of her high visibility she becomes embroiled in some pretty shady cases. All the familiar characters are back along with Cornwell’s brisk pacing.
Vince Flynn brings us a wonderful political thriller in the Pursuit of Honor. When a series of explosions wreak havoc on Washington DC counterterrorism op Mitch Rapp and his partner, Mike Nash are on the trail to find the three al Qaeda terrorists responsible. Will the pressure of their assignment prove to be too much? Or is it truly a pursuit of honor?
And lastly we have the wonderful new one from David Baldacci, True Blue. Mace Perry was a hot young cop until she was framed for a crime and lost her badge. More than anything she wants that life back. In order for that to happen she decides she must solve a crime on her own but of course there are roadblocks in her way in the person of a US Attorney who wants more than anything to see her back behind bars. We could not be more pleased and proud that David Baldacci will be our guest here on November 5th. Please mark your calendars; this is going to be a wonderful event.
With this selection of thrillers to get your heart pounding and pulse racing the shorter days and cooler nights may just be something to be looking forward to.
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!
I've got some driving to do this Labor Day weekend so I say, thank goodness for audiobooks! I may be a late-comer to this divine creation, but I have jumped on the bandwagon, and with some strong encouragement (thanks, Readers Advisory!), I was pulled on board and I am not letting go. I love the whole experience. Does it trigger some long-ago memory of being read to as a child? (I don't know.) Do I have secret crushes on a few of the narrators? (Hmmm...maybe.) Do I like to feel like I've accomplished something other than (just) reaching my destination while driving? (Yes.) I think the biggest reason that I've become such a fan is because if I select two completely different kinds of books - one on audio, the other, hardcover or paperback, I can coherently and successfully read two books at the same time! For instance, I listened to David Sedaris while reading the latest from Lee Child. No confusion at all (No, I don't think it was Jack Reacher who covered his windows with album covers to protect the house from neurotic songbirds. That sounds more Sedaris, don't you think???).
This weekend, during my drive-time, I'll be finishing A Walk in the Woods and starting The Devil in the White City. I'm not sure what I'll tackle after that, but when it comes to selection and advice, Darien Libary's the right place.Here are some of my other audio-favorites, in no particular order:
All of these titles are very different and all of them are nothing short of great. Don't miss these time-saving opportunities and have a happy and safe weekend!
We need to remember the contribution of Sheila Lukins who died on Sunday.
The Silver Palate Cookbook was in its own way as revolutionary as Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. When it was first published in 1982 it was totally unlike anything else that had come before. From the quirky line drawings, the what was then innovative and original flavor combinations (Chicken Marbella, anyone?), and the food centric quotes and lore in the margins this was a whole new way to cook and entertain. And she and her partner Julee Rosso looked at the whole picture. Advice ran through the book on how to set the perfect buffet to menu suggestions for the perfect country weekend lunch.
After I read the obituary this morning I pulled down my very own copy of The Silver Palate and marveled at what a mess it was. Food splattered and dog eared it had all the markings of a much loved book which is as it should be. And yes, it opened right to Chicken Marbella.
This fall, we’ll be traveling the globe via the written and spoken word! Darien librarians will lead lively and thought-provoking discussions about four recent novels that take the reader to faraway places and different times. Our book selections provide the opportunity to explore distant countries, new cultures, and different eras…without the jetlag!
We’ll wrap up our Book Discussion Series at the Library on Tuesday, December 1st at 7 PM with a special guest lecture by Dr. Mark Schenker, Associate Dean at Yale College, of Yale University. His presentation, “Imagined Travels to Real Places: How Fiction Connects Us to Places We’ve Never Been,” will combine the theme of this series with his literary expertise and is certain to be enlightening and entertaining!
|Little Bee by Chris Cleave
Tuesday, September 29, 7 PM
|A Golden Age by Tahmima Anam
Tuesday, October 13, 7 PM?
|The Painter from Shanghai by Jennifer Cody Epstein?
Tuesday, November 3, 7 PM ?
|The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery?
Tuesday, November 17, 7 PM
And don't forget to mark your calendars for this can't-miss event!Guest lecture by Dr. Mark Schenker, Associate Dean, Yale College, of Yale University?
Imagined Travels to Real Places: How Fiction Connects Us to Places We've Never Been
Tuesday, December 1, 7 PM
On Monday, Whilte House Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton announced the President's reading list for his summer vacation.
The Way Home by George Pelecanos
Hot, Flat and Crowded by Tom Friedman
Lush Life by Richard Price
Plainsong by Kent Haruf
John Adams by David McCullough
Why do I love to embrace a ghost story in the summer? Is it that I find the goose bumps that they raise to be particularly cooling?
Who knows? But I have had the good fortune to read two this summer that are especially good.
Little Stranger by Sarah Waters tells the story of a crumbling ruin of a house in England after the Second World War. When Dr. Faraday comes to treat one of its residents he becomes totally enmeshed in the decline and fall the Ayres family. Is this decline caused by weakening resources and failing health? Or is there something much more sinister and supernatural afoot? Waters tells a wonderful story that will have you remind of some of the great gothic ghost stories of all time. In fact this one is on the Booker Prize long list! Yes, it is that good!
Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger is not due out until next month but I was lucky enough to get an advance copy. This ghost story is also based in England but in the present day. When Aunt Elspeth dies of cancer, she leaves her London flat and entire estate to her two twin nieces who she has never met, Julia and Valentina. Of course there are strings attached. They must live in it for a year and their mother, her twin sister, must never come to visit. The flat is next door to the historic Highgate Cemetery, the final resting place of such luminaries as Christina Rossetti, Karl Marx, and George Eliot. But the creepiness is not necessarily the doings of their quiet neighbors. The girls have a sense that they are not alone in the apartment. Could Aunt Elspeth be watching over them? The ending is something that may not come as a huge surprise, but the sinister intent is so stunning it will leave you breathless. I highly recommend this one.