Pulitzer Prize 2010

April 13, 2010

And the winners are…


Fiction:

Tinkers by Paul Harding (Bellevue Literary Press)

Finalists: Love in Infant Monkeys by Lydia Millet and In Other Rooms, Other Wonders by Daniyal Mueenuddin

History: Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World by Liaquat Ahamed (The Penguin Press)

Finalists: Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford’s Forgotten Jungle City by Greg Grandin and Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815 by Gordon S. Wood

Biography:

The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbiltby T.J. Stiles (Alfred A. Knopf)

Finalists: Cheever: A Life by Blake Bailey and Woodrow Wilson: A Biography by John Milton Cooper Jr.


Versed by Rae Armantrout (Wesleyan University Press)

Finalists: Tryst by Angie Estes and Inseminating the Elephant by Lucia Perillo


General NonfictionThe Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy by David E. Hoffman(Doubleday)

Finalists: How Markets Fail: The Logic of Economic Calamities by John Cassidy and The Evolution of God by Robert Wright

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Yann Martel’s New Book, BEATRICE AND VIRGIL

April 12, 2010

After nearly ten years of waiting, Yann Martel’s new book is receiving good reviews from all corners.

For a great “Q and A” with the author about his new book, check out this interview with Martel at Goodreads.


LIVE Neil Gaiman Internet Event

April 8, 2010

Library Week runs April 11-17. Neil Gaiman, author of so many great books including Coraline, American Gods and The Graveyard Book, is the Honorary Chair of the event.

To celebrate, he will speak about his lifelong love of libraries from 6-8 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on April 12 in a live Internet event.  All Neil Gaiman fans and library lovers worldwide can participate by visiting UStream.tv on the day of the event.  We hope you can join us, but if you can’t make it, the video will be archived here, on atyourlibrary.org.

“Libraries are as important as anything gets,” says Neil Gaiman.


The real “English Patient” wasn’t a womanizer…he was gay, letters reveal

April 5, 2010

Author Michael Ondaatje, penned the extremely moving story of The English Patient, based on the life and love of Count Laszlo de Almásy.

Letters have surfaced, written by Laszlo, to his lover, a young Nazi soldier named Hans Entholt.

Further details can be found here. We can surely imagine another book, based on the letters and the true-to-life love affair of these two men, might be forthcoming in the future.

Count Laszlo de Almasy


Neil Gaiman’s Secret Room

April 4, 2010
Neil Gaiman first gained our notice with his complex and literate 75-issue comic series The Sandman, and has since broadened his scope to write award-winning and bestselling novels (American Gods and Anansi Boys), screenplays (Beowulf). And he hasn’t stopped writing comics, all the while. His books Stardust and Coraline were both adapted for the screen and his most recent novel The Graveyard Book was awarded the Newbury Medal and the Hugo Award for Best Novel.
It would be natural to assume that someone whose work is filled with references ranging from literary to mythological would have a fairly extensive library but even so, the actual scope of his personal library is wonderfully shocking!  In the basement of his house of secrets he keeps a room that’s wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling with books, and the occasional scattering of awards, gargoyles and felines.

Short Stories and Attention Spans

April 3, 2010

Texting becomes faster, the fewer words used. Twitter allows for a limited number of characters per post (140). We post brief status reports on our social networking sites throughout the day. Is it any wonder that our attention spans are dwindling? That our minds begin to think in shorter sentences and shorter paragraphs; shorter versions of things? And that eventually, that carries over to our reading habits?

The short story is coming into vogue. I used to despise them. Short stories seemed to only give me a little taste of what I was seeking. But today, there are short story authors who seemingly capture worlds within a single carefully constructed sentence. When taken in context with other carefully constructed sentences, my mind begins to feel nourished by a story in the same way it has by a book, in the past. From Jhumpa Lahiri’s work in Unaccustomed Earth to David Sedaris‘ tales of growing up in his books, such as Me Talk Pretty One Day.

An excellent introduction to short stories by some of the great authors of literature is available at Short Story of the Day . Signing up with your email address will deliver a single story to your inbox each day. You can browse the previous selections to find one of particular interest, or browse for stories written by your favorite authors. There is even an igoogle gadget available, bringing a short story to your igoogle page each day.



Books Celebrating the Hadron Collider

April 1, 2010

The powerful collider at CERN broke world records for smashing together elementary particles at high levels of energy.  Several great doomsday books have been inspired in anticipation of this major event.

Dan Brown’s book, Angels and Demons, has a main character (Langdon) pondering antimatter, the big-bang theory, the cult of the Illuminati and a threat to the Vatican, among other things.

Douglas Preston’s new book, Blasphemy, features a collider experiment.

Then, there’s my favorite:

Robert Sawyer’s amazing novel, Flash Forward. He researched heavily before writing his story, which opens with a 4-page description of the collider. All the rest proceeds from there.  The novel has gone on to inspire a highly successful television series that is going into a new season.