Accepting the 2013 National Book Award for Fiction for The Good Lord Bird (Riverhead), the darkly uproarious tale of a young slave who joins forces with John Brown, James McBride expressed gratitude that at a particularly difficult time in his life he could fall into the world of his protagonist, Little Onion Shackleford, and simply [...]
Periodically, we hear that fiction is dead or at least seriously impaired, a belief spectacularly disproved by the four United for Libraries panels at the recent American Library Association conference in Chicago. From Anton DiScalfani, crossing boundaries with her luminous and erotically charged best seller, The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls, to John Scalzi, who [...]
Barbara’s Picks, Nov. 2013, Pt. 3: Fiction from Albom, Baldacci, Banks, Child/Preston, Griffith, Hammett, Lynch, Miles, & Smith
Albom, Mitch. The First Phone Call from Heaven. Harper: HarperCollins. Nov. 2013. 272p. ISBN 9780062294371. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062294395. lrg. prnt. CD: HarperAudio. POP FICTION Phones are ringing off the hook in little Coldwater, MI, but the callers are all deceased, stirring emotions from joyous relief to uncertain fear as they report being happy in [...]
Despite the anxiety, was there really any doubt that the Pulitzer Prize board would pick a fiction winner this year? Not after the hugely negative response to last year’s decision to forgoan award, which had people challenging the Pulitzer process itself. What really rankled was the idea that somehow contemporary fiction did not measure up. Now here comes [...]
Fifteen years ago, Library Journal launched its first annual book-buying survey of public libraries nationwide. Although materials budgets were referenced, the report focused almost exclusively on book budgets and book circulation.
This year, in long-overdue recognition of what today’s collections really look like—and what the reports have been covering for years—the entire effort has been rebranded the materials survey. Further distancing itself from its roots, the new survey will leave comparison of operating costs to LJ’s annual budget survey and concentrate exclusively on budget and circulation trends for the wide array of materials in public libraries today.
“The discovery and browsability of ebooks is abysmal,” says Jackie Davis, Anderson Public Library, IN, in “Materials Mix,” Library Journal‘s long-overdue relaunch of the annual book-buying survey of public libraries as a materials survey. (The survey is out momentarily in the February 15 issue.) So what’s a librarian to do when it comes to helping [...]
Registration is opening soon for the 2013 LJ Day of Dialog, and you’ll definitely want an alert! This year’s event, which brings together librarians, publishers, vendors, and authors for discussion of issues affecting the book and library world today, takes place on Wednesday, May 29, at the McGraw-Hill Auditorium—the day before the BookExpo America exhibits [...]
Don’t kid yourself; the life of an editor is not all glamor. Sunday evening, I had to leave a HarperCollins dinner early with my dinner in a bag, abandoning an interesting table conversation about the realignment of Barnes & Nobles with the independents, the difficulty of planning book talks at libraries in the brave new [...]
With the success of Library Journal’s BookExpo America and American Library Association galley guides, could a galley guide for ALA Midwinter be far behind? Obviously not, and it will be available any minute and it’s now ready to download! Featuring more than 250 titles and facilitated by sponsorship from Random House, for which LJ is grateful, [...]
Missing renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon? Wishing you had something really juicy to recommend to diehard Da Vinci Code fans? You’re in luck. Dan Brown—whose The Da Vinci Code is in fact the best-selling adult hardcover of all time, with 81 million copies in print worldwide, and whose subsequent The Lost Symbol sold 30 million copies—has a new book [...]