These titles were recently nominated for outstanding science writing, but they also make for a spooky read!
Join Gloria Steinem on her new blog Reading Our Way to the Revolution to find out which books Gloria Steinem finds “timeless and timely”
Readers’ advisory from Gloria Steinem!
In this blog, I want to recommend books that have been life-giving to me and to people I meet as I travel around the country. Some never had the readership they deserved, others have been shown to be prescient by time, and still others are now getting lost in the cacophony of new and legacy media. All are benefitting from the Open Road mission of bringing lost books into awareness.
You might say these are the kind of books that—once we read them—we are not quite the same people as we were before.
Here are the first four:
The Color Purple by Alice Walker – When I read this in manuscript, I knew it was life-changing—but I didn’t understand its depth and universality until I listened to readers on other continents.
The Demon Lover: On the Sexuality of Terrorism by Robin Morgan – Published 25 years ago, updated several times, and now with a new introduction, it keeps growing deeper and more relevant every year.
Sex and World Peace by Valerie M. Hudson – Published two years ago and under-read, this is a book that could and should transform everything from our families to our foreign policy.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood – Three decades ago, I read this as science fiction. Now, it has become a crystal ball.
Share the inspiring true story of Malala Yousafzai, a 2014 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, with these great new titles.
First Day of October!
Boo! What’s the scariest book you have read? For me, it was Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I could only read it during the day. In the evening, it was just too creepy.
LJ goes to the Rona Jaffe Foundation Awards ceremony to ask the literat what they’re reading.
My colleague Liz French rounded up a nicely eclectic list from the likes of novelist Madison Smartt Bell (his pick: Chantel Acevedo’s novel The Distant Marvels) to award-winning nonfiction writer Adrian Nicole Leblanc (her pick: Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist).
It’s that time again: time for another ThrowBOOK Thursday. This week, we’re honoring one of my personal favorite novels, Baroness Emmuska Orczy’s The Scarlet Pimpernel. Set at the beginning of the Reign of Terror, it tells the story of a masked hero who rescued individuals sentenced to death on the guillotine. Fun fact: the Scarlet Pimpernel was character inspiration for future masked crusader stories like Zorro and Batman.
ThrowBook Thursday: a clever idea for promoting the classics and your backlist.
What does this mean for librarians? There is still difficulty in finding and purchasing the books for a collection, a challenge that will ease as the category becomes more mainstream. Also, the debate of where to place the books once they’re purchased is just a variation on an old theme: we’ve discussed for years whether it’s better to break out the genre fiction or keep it all in the fiction section so that authors who write in several different genres can have all of their works found. There are arguments to be made on both sides, and no one has ever come up with a definitive solution. The same may happen with NA. Some libraries may choose to give the books their own section, others to interfile. In ebooks, at least, librarians won’t have to choose but can place the same titles in multiple categories.
What’s key is helping readers to find the books. As librarians are starting to become more aware of NA publishing, readers are, too. If we want those readers coming to us, then we must be prepared in the old-fashioned, readers’ advisory (RA) way. While we struggle with how to label and categorize the books, readers will be asking for suggestions. Though there is a homogeneity to a lot of NA, with its contemporary settings and strong romantic elements, there is still enough variety that RA librarians will want to brush up on a few of the core authors better to direct readers.
An excellent overview of the burgeoning New Adult genre with a reading list of some fan favorites and upcoming releases.
With misty rain, the swirl of a kilt, and eye contact that speaks volumes, the STARZ series holds the promise of converting a new set of viewers into devoted Diana Gabaldon fans.
RA expert Neal Wyatt suggests Outlander read-alikes, listen-alikes, and watch-alikes.
"Join Dartemont in the trenches in this classic of WWI literature. Heroism is quiet, far more nuanced, and grittier than the talking heads would have you think — this book shows all that. It’s also one of the most clear-sighted condemnations of war I’ve read."
Another excellent French novel about the Great War is Jean Echenoz’s 1914: http://h-france.net/fffh/the-buzz/anthem-for-doomed-youth-jean-echenozs-1914/.
Coeds and cliffhangers and coming of age—that’s what new adult (NA) fiction is made of. Aimed at the 18- to 25-year-old audience and focusing on firsts—first love, first job, first sex—these titles tackle tough issues such as self-harm, suicide, rape, and addiction with more drama, heat, and sexual explicitness than even the most audacious YA novel. The moniker “new adult” was coined during a 2009 contest by St. Martin’s Press, established a foothold in the self-published market, and has gone on to attract a dedicated, loyal legion of fans every bit as obsessed as the most rapacious romance reader. Not surprising since these reads are addictive, often part of a series, and readily available as ebooks—the literary equivalent of a Netflix binge-watch. So grab the Kindle, curl up on the couch, and get ready for a long, long night with these backlist and recently published titles
This growing genre will be explored in further detail in a September 15 feature article in LJ.
World Cup of Books: Semifinals Edition: Brazil
Before today’s match against Germany, brush up on your Portuguese with four indispensable works by Brazilian authors:
Has international World Cup fever inspired you to look for some books from around the globe? If so, check out NYPL’s Literary World Cup featuring authors from each competing country. It’s a great way to find some new writers to enjoy!
What a clever idea to promote your collection and encourage your patrons to read fiction in translation!
2014 marks the 100-year anniversary of World War One. If you’re curious to read more about The Great War, we’ve got the book list for you:
Among the Mad by Jacqueline Winspear
In Among the Mad, the sixth volume of the Maise Dobbs mystery series, Jacqueline Winspear combines a…
A nice roundup, if brief, for Pride week.