Pulitzer Prize 2010

April 13, 2010

And the winners are…


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


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


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.

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.

Colum McCann’s Next Novel

March 30, 2010

Colum McCann, winner of the 2009 Nat’l Book Award for his novel, Let the Great World Spin, has some new work in the pipeline.

The first novel, tentatively titled THIRTEEN WAYS OF LOOKING, explores a murder from multiple points of view, and is in part inspired by the Wallace Stevens‘ poem, “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird.”

Bram Stoker Award Announced

March 30, 2010

Over the weekend, Sarah Langan won the Best Novel award at the Bram Stoker Awards for her horror novel, Audrey’s Door.

Free Book – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

December 14, 2008

200px-benjamin_button_poster1Brad Pitt’s new film opens on Christmas Day (December 25) and already has 5 Golden Globe nominations. I regret to say I hadn’t read it, so decided to buy a copy of the book for a quick read. First, it’s a short story, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, first appearing in his book entitled TALES OF THE JAZZ AGE back in 1922, published by Scribners (current value with a decent dustjacket is in the thousands). Obviously it has fallen out of copyright and is now in the public domain…thus, free copies of it are readily available all over the web.  I read it here , or, if you’d rather read it later, here’s a link  to a PDF you can download and print out for a paper version.  It’s a quick read and well worth the twenty or so minutes you’ll spend enjoying it.   No spoilers posted here, but the plot of the story becomes evident quickly at the beginning of the story, so you won’t have to wait long once you’ve begun reading.

The movie is “loosely based” on the Fitzgerald tale, so I anticipate a sweet and probably intense romance that doesn’t exist in the original story. Sounds like it will be a great movie to see during the pre-New Year lull at the bookshop. Can’t wait!


Already Missing Michael Crichton

November 14, 2008

michael_crichton1Most everyone has heard by now that one of our favorite writers, Michael Crichton, passed away on November 4th.  His passing was sudden and, apparently, unexpected. Crichton was an author who could take science and blend it, bend it and mend it until something altogether unbelievable became believable.

I’m not a big reader of biographies, but Michael Crichton’s book entitled TRAVELS (1988), has always held a special fascination for me.  After reading the hardcover edition, I quickly sought (and bought) the Signed First Edition, bound in leather by the Easton Press to add to my personal collection. He includes several auto-biographical episodes sporadically throughout the text, one of which involved an especially vivid evening, in the company of many vivid people, spent attempting to bend spoons with his mind (he succeeded with one and kept it in his office). Of course, this book was written at an earlier time in his life (he was 66 at the time of his death) and I’m certain that many, many interesting events have occurred since then that would keep me up reading late into the night.

We have several of Michael’s book on our shelves and collectors have already begun to snatch them up over the last week.  To take at look at our current stock, click here .

Many authors use psuedonyms, and Michael Crichton had two he used early in his writing career.  His book A CASE OF NEED was written originally in 1968 under the pen name JEFFREY HUDSON, and was eventually issued again in 1993 using his own name.  He also wrote at least eight books under the pen name JOHN LANGE.  Both of these names were created as tongue-in-cheek attempts to refer to his unusual height (he was six feet 9 inches tall!).  Lange is a surname in German meaning tall-one, and Sir Jeffrey Hudson was a famous dwarf back in the 17th century.

He won many awards, among them the Edgar Allen Poe Award for best novel, an Emmy, and a Peabody. A dinosaur was named after him (in honor of Jurassic Park) and he had the rare distinction of being an author who was named to the 50 Most Beautiful People by People Magazine in 1992. He was indeed a handsome man, but his brilliance outshone even those fine looks.

Over the last several years, Michael began talking about global warming. It worried me that someone whose opinions I respected could be skeptical about the causes of the environmental mess we are in right now. I can point out that his stance on environmentalism often seemed to be more about the people (we environmentalists), than about global warming itself. Michael believed profoundly in science — in scientific proofs and protocols. It seemed to worry him greatly when scientists became caught up in what he considered theories (faith), rather than in proofs (science). Faith often breeds extremists or fanatics whom usually operate outside the rules of reason and are often unable to process information that may legitimately contradict their own passionately held beliefs.  In this way, he likened many aspects of environmentalism to faith, rather than to science.  Michael and I differed greatly in our views about the environment and global warming but I can relate to his concerns regarding fanatics of any belief system. 

For all of the Michael Crichton fans out there who yearn for his peculiarly readable tales of “science gone awry”, stay tuned for the release of the book he was working on at the time of his death. It was scheduled to be released this December, but had been pushed back.  It remains untitled and currently is scheduled for release in May, 2009.

Michael, you’ll be sorely missed.