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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Horrors!

All Hallows Eve is less than a week away and for those who like a good scare, BookList Online, a publishing trade journal and valuable tool for librarians, recently published a list of the 2011’s Top Ten Horror Books. Here is a sampling:

Dust by Joan Frances Turner

Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King

Ghost Story by Jim Butcher

The Glass Demon by Helen Grant

Jane and the Damned by Janet Mullany

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Reading: The Power to Heal

The library has just ordered the well-reviewed Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading by Nina Sankovitch. In this memoir the author, after the death of a sister, chooses to savor a book a day for a year. One critic writes that her book “reminds us of the most primal function of literature-to heal, to nurture and to connect us to our truest selves."

Sankovitch is not the first writer to discover the nurturing power of the written word. Here are a few more:

The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared by Alice Ozma

My Reading Life by Pat Conroy

Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi

The Year of Reading Proust: A Memoir in Real Time by Phyllis Rose

The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop: A Memoir, A History by Lewis Buzbee

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Zombie Phenomenon


It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but zombies seem to have invaded American culture. It began with preteen and teen boys, but now the zombie phenomenon seems to be everywhere. Of course, there is the popularity of AMC’s “The Walking Dead.” Also, authors such as Max Brooks have memorialized the creatures in tongue-in-cheek books such as The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, soon to be a movie with Brad Pitt. Brooks will discuss “10 Lessons for Surviving a Zombie Attack” on October 25 in the Board Auditorium at the Fairfax County Government Center. Seats are going fast. Sign up here.

A search of our catalog finds 119 items of zombie fiction listed. In addition to Brooks’ two books, here are a few more considered among the best:

Feed by Mira Grant

The Living Dead by John Joseph Adams

Monster Island by David Wellington

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (and sequels) by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

The Supremes

John Paul Stevens, who served on the U.S. Supreme Court for 35 years, has just published Five Chiefs, part memoir and part history of the chief justices of the United States. The 91-year-old Stevens was the third-longest-serving Supreme Court Justice when he retired in 2010.

The book’s appearance coincides with the first Monday in October, the Court’s traditional opening day each year. At 10 a.m. last Monday, the nine justices of the Court gathered to tackle decisions on the complex and controversial issues that will come before them this term. Stevens’ memoir is certainly not the first to offer a glimpse into the sometimes obscure workings of this influential body. If you want to learn a bit more about the nation’s highest court, try the books below. Many more are listed in our catalog. Just search “Supreme Court. United States.”

Making Our Democracy Work: A Judge’s View by Steven Breyer

The Majesty of the Law: Reflections of a Supreme Court Justice by Sandra Day O’Connor

My Grandfather’s Son: A Memoir by Clarence Thomas

The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court by Jeffrey Toobin

The Brethren: Inside the Supreme Court by Bob Woodward