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


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.


Book Reviewers Wanted

April 9, 2010

Do you read a lot? Like to talk about, or write about, the books you read? We might be looking for you!

If you would like to contribute a book review to our blog, we would be interested in hearing from you.  We’ll slowly be building review pages for both recent releases, literary classics, science, history and biography. We are up for hearing about other categories of interest. Reviews should be 500 words or less. We will help with editing, if necessary.

To submit reviews, just drop us a line here at our blog. Who knows? It might be your name on the byline of our next book review post! We would be glad to provide publication credit to those who need it, for other writing ventures you may be pursuing.

Ian McEwan’s new book, Solar, is HOT right now. Anyone reading it?


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


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.


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.”