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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Literary Self Portraits

While many novelists vigorously deny their work is autobiographical, others embed alter egos in their fiction.  Flavorwire recently published a list of characters that have an uncanny resemblance to their creators ("10 Famous Authors’ Fascinating Alter Egos," May 27, 2012):

Nick Adams (Ernest Hemingway) in The Nick Adams Stories

Kilgore Trout (Kurt Vonnegut) in novels such as Slaughterhouse Five and Breakfast of Champions

Henry Bech and Rabbit Angstrom (John Updike) in novels such as Bech: A Book and Rabbit, Run

Jim Burden (Willa Cather) in My Ántonia

Esther Greenwood (Sylvia Plath) in The Bell Jar

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Summer Gems

Memorial Day is just days away, so it’s time to start gathering your summer reading. Earlier this week, our favorite librarian Nancy Pearl shared her picks for summer 2012 on NPR’s “Morning Edition” ("Nancy Pearl Unearths Great Summer Reads," May 21, 2012). Pearl, the former executive director of   the Washington Center for the Book, host of the monthly Book Lust program in Seattle and model for the librarian action figure   “has become a rock star among readers and the tastemaker people turn to when deciding what to read next.”  Here are a few books she recommends:

Dissolution by C.J. Sansom

Lost by Michael Robotham

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

World Favorites

Visual News recently published one designer’s chart of the top ten most read books in the world based on the number of copies printed and sold over the past 50 years. The Holy Bible tops the list (3.9 billion), followed by Chairman Mao’s quotations (820 million). Others include the Harry Potter (400 million) and Lord of the Rings (103 million) series, as well as the Twilight saga (43 million). Individual titles include:

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (65 million) 
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (57 million) 

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (33 million) 

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill (30 million) 

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Moms in Memoir

With Mother’s Day just days away the blog Flavorwire has published 10 of the Best Memoirs About Mothers.  They range from classics such as Mary Karr’s The Liar’s Club to Alison Bechdel’s new graphic non-fiction  Are You My Mother?  Here are a few more to explore:

My Dark Places by James Ellroy

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

The Long Goodbye by Meghan O’Rourke

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Mall Lit

Shopping malls circle the globe, but don’t seem to appear much in either fiction or nonfiction. Scottish writer Ewan Morrison author of the short story collection Tales from the Mall decided to share his top ten books about shopping malls in a recent issue of The Guardian.  Here are some of Morrison’s suggestions and a few more you can find in the library:

What Was Lost by Catherine Flynn

The Cave by José Saramago

Kingdom Come by J.G. Ballard

Long Hot Summoning by Tanya Huff

Soft Target by Stephen Hunter

Black Friday by Alex Kava