Tuesday, September 15, 2009
That Jane Austen is still prolific. Following on the heels of the very popular Pride and Prejudice and the Zombies, she (along with co-author Ben H. Winters) just released Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters (note the body in serpent's mouth). Early reviews appear to be mixed. I'm in the midst of reading P & P & Zombies which is enjoyable. Winters has done a good job of blending the backdrop of killing unmentionables seamlessly into the plot, including allusions to the Bennet sisters' training for deadly combat.
Another book to check out --
Jon Krakauer, author of Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman. Krakauer has been on the Diane Rehm Show, Good Morning America and All Things Considered this past week discussing the book. I've enjoyed all of his books immensely. A brief intro from the publisher Random House:
"The bestselling author of Into the Wild, Into Thin Air, and Under the Banner of Heaven delivers a stunning, eloquent account of a remarkable young man’s haunting journey.
...Pat Tillman was an irrepressible individualist and iconoclast. In May 2002, Tillman walked away from his $3.6 million NFL contract to enlist in the United States Army. He was deeply troubled by 9/11, and he felt a strong moral obligation to join the fight against al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Two years later, he died on a desolate hillside in southeastern Afghanistan."
Winners of the 2009 NAIBA (New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association) Books of the Year prize:
Fiction: A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick (Algonquin)
Nonfiction: Hurry Down Sunshine by Michael Greenberg (Other Press)
Trade Paperback Original: Buffalo Lockjaw by Greg Ames (Hyperion)
Picture Book: The Curious Garden by Peter Brown (Little Brown Books for Young Readers)
Children's Literature: If I Stay by Gayle Forman (Dutton)
Monday, September 14, 2009
but in their own way, the reviews for these books captured my attention.
Washington Post reviewer, Carolyn See grabbed me with the word "stunned" and "high quality of the prose" in the first paragraph of her review of Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nichaolas D. Kritoff and Sheryl WuDunn.
From See's Sept 11, 2009 review: "...this book is not a sermon about victims. Its range is wide, and sometimes it's even funny. In a wonderful, mordantly amusing chapter about big groups trying to impose their views on cultures they don't understand, the authors describe fundamentalist Christians trying as hard as they can to prevent contraception, and secular elites trying as hard as they can to advance it. But, as Kristof and WuDunn remind us, if you're down-and-out in a Congolese jungle, the Christian missionaries will be the ones there to provide you with food and medication."
On a totally different note,I Shudder: And Other Reactions to Life, Death, and New Jersey by Paul Rudnick...
1) The cover - peeps! 2) NJ. (in fact, the author was born in Piscataway - Rutgers, my alma mater).
From Harper Collins: "...a side-splittingly funny collection of essays from Paul Rudnick, one of America’s preeminent humorists. Rudnick, who writes for The New Yorker and has written the screenplays for the films In and Out, Sister Act, and Addams Family Values, shares his hilarious observations on life in New York City and New Jersey, the perils of show business, and dealing with one’s family, however crazy they may be."
Featured September 12, 2009 on Studio 360
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Whoever is traveling to Venice soon and asked me about the mystery writer -- It's Donna Leon. Her Commissario Brunetti series always bring me to the unique atmosphere of Venice. All this thinking about it made me pick up one of hers I haven't read yet -- Friends in High Places (while visiting a top DC independent bookstore, Politics and Prose).