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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Bit of Humor

Dan Zevin, author Dan Gets a Minivan: Life at the Intersection of Dude and Dad and TheDay I Turned Uncool: Confessions of a Reluctant Grown up, was recently awarded the 2013 Thurber Prize for American Humor.  If Congressional gridlock, the botched health care website or international conflicts are getting you down, find relief in books by the previous winners of the only prize to recognize the art of  American humor writing.
Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin: Forty Years of Funny Stuff  by Calvin Trillin

Half Empty by David Rakoff
How I Became a Famous Novelist by Steve Hely

I Love You, Beth Cooper  by Larry Doyle

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Best of True Crime

Writing in The Guardian, author Charles Graeber admits that “many ‘true crime’ offerings are pulpy quickies with a tabloid heart and tabloid brains – human tragedy served as porno McNuggets.” But among the riffraff, the author of The Good Nurse: A Story of Medicine, Madness and Murder, believes there are some hidden gems (Charles Graeber's Top Ten True Crime Books, Oct.2, 2013). Here are a few selections from his top ten list:

Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story ofViolent Faith by Jon Krakauer

Columbine by David Cullen
The Executioner’s Song by Norman Mailer

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
People Who Eat Darkness: The Fate of Lucie Blackman by Richard Lloyd Parry

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

A Shutdown Reading List

Nine days ago, when the partial government shutdown began, Quirk Books offered a reading list for members of Congress who might have some extra time on their hands (Government Shutdown: A Reading List for Congress, Oct. 1, 2013). Here are a few of their recommendations:

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Berenstain Bears Trouble with Money by Stan and Jan Berenstain

The Complete Worst-Case Scenario Survival Book by Joshua Piven and David Borgenicht

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

David Bowie’s Top 100

Rock legend David Bowie (David Robert Jones) told an interviewer recently that if he had not become a musician he “would have written novels” and referred to his songs as “little stories set to music.” As part of an exhibition opening in Canada, a list of the singer-songwriter’s  top 100 books has been released ("From Homer to Orwell: David Bowie’s 100 favourite books revealed," The Independent, Oct. 1, 2013).  Here are a few selections from the list:

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
White Noise by Don DeLillo

1984 by George Orwell
Flaubert’s Parrot by Julian Barnes