About Books: Fairfax County Public Library
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Wednesday, October 31, 2012
While the D.C. area escaped the worst of Sandy, this hybrid nor’easter with a hurricane inside (later called a post-tropical cyclone) was a first in recent history. Now that things have died down, here is some reading for extreme weather buffs.
Global Weirdness:Severe Storms, Deadly Heat Waves, Relentless Drought, Rising Seas and the Weather of the Future by Climate Central, Inc.
Restless Skies: The Ultimate Weather Book by Paul Douglas
Hurricanes and the Middle Atlantic States by Rick Schwartz
The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
So you’ve read all of Stephen King and other horror classics such as Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting, Jay Anson’s The Amityville Horror or Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend. As Halloween approaches, what’s next? You might want to try some from last year’s Top Ten Horror Fiction,” posted by Booklist Online.
Dust by Joan Frances Turner
Ghost Story by Jim Butcher
The Glass Demon by Helen Grant
I Don’t Want to Kill You by Dan Wells
The White Devil by Justin Evans
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Not all classics earned raves when they first appeared. Flavorwire has gathered brutal comments from the first reviews of some of our most acclaimed literature ("15 Early Scathing Reviews of Classic Novels, Oct. 8, 2012). Here are excerpts from just a few:
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. “. . .It is a compound of vulgar depravity and unnatural horrors.”
— Graham’s Lady’s Magazine, 1848
Moby Dick by Herman Melville. “Mr. Melville is evidently trying to ascertain how far the public will consent to be imposed upon. . .” — New York United States Magazine and Democratic Review, 1852
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert. “Monsieur Flaubert is not a writer.” — Le Figaro, 1857
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. “Mr. Scott Fitzgerald deserves a good shaking. . .” — The Saturday Review, 1925
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. “Catch-22 has much passion, comic and fervent, but it gasps for want of craft and sensibility. . .” New York Times Book Review, 1961
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. “The plan and technique of the illustrations are superb. … But they may well prove frightening, accompanied as they are by a pointless and confusing story.”
— Publisher’s Weekly, 1963
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Great Group Reads
Is your book discussion group seeking some new reading? To celebrate National Reading Group Month in October, a committee of the Women’s National Book Association has published a list 0f 19 novels and one memoir selected as “Great Group Reads.” ("National Reading Group Month," Shelf Awareness, Oct. 5, 2012). Here are a few from the list:
The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
Blue Asylum by Kathy Hepinstall
In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner
The O'Briens by Peter Behrens
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
Wednesday, October 03, 2012
Need a Laugh?
If the election hoopla is getting you down, maybe you need a distraction. Humor is great medicine. Calvin Trillin, author of Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin: Forty Years of Funny Stuff, just won the 2012 Thurber Prize for American Humor. For a break from debates, ads, deficits, the 47 percent and more, here are some previous years’ winners you can sample as well.
Half Empty by David Rakoff (2011)
How I Became a Famous Novelist by Steve Hely (2010)
Lamentations of the Father by Ian Frazier (2009)
I Love You, Beth Cooper by Larry Doyle (2008)
My Lucky Star by Joe Keenan (2007)