Anthony Marra exploring the erotic inner life of Downton Abbey’s upstanding Mr. Bates, Elizabeth Fremantle writing from the perspective of Anne Boleyn’s dog, Brad Meltzer and A.J. Jacobs co-writing a story whose characters argue about the last words they’ll utter, and Gabrielle Zevin impersonating a former best-selling author struggling to figure out Twitter—these are some […]
The Los Angeles Times announced finalists in ten categories for the 34th annual Los Angeles Times Book Prizes, to be awarded April 11 at the University of Southern California’s Bovard Auditorium. The awards ceremony serves as a precursor to the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books (April 12–13), now in its 19th year and its […]
There’s a new book prize in town, and it announced itself grandly on February 10 by issuing an inaugural shortlist ranging from debut Irish author Eimear McBride’s A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing to Rachel Kushner’s The Flamethrowers, one of the most lauded titles in the U.S. market last year. Officially launched in March 2013, […]
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 [...]