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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Top Animal Stories

Sarah Lean, author of A Dog Called Homeless, shared her picks for the best animal tales in The Guardian recently ("Sarah Lean's Top Animal Stories," Feb. 21, 2013). “A story can be funnier or richer with the presence of animals,” the British children’s author writes, “because we can see our own strengths and frailties in them." Here are a few books for younger readers among her selections:

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

The Call of the Wild by Jack London

The Butterfly Lion by Michael Morpurgo

Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Bestsellers Around the World

It is quite easy to find out what bestsellers we Americans are reading. Just browse the Sunday New York Times or Washington Post lists each week. Ever wonder what tops the bestseller lists in other parts of the world? Flavorwire recently gathered some favorites from across the globe ("The Best-Selling Books in 10 Countries Across the World," Feb. 3, 2013.) Here are a few international top sellers:

Australia:
 All That I Am by Anna Funder

China:        
River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze by Peter Hessler

France:     
Une Place à Prendre (The Casual Vacancy) by J.K. Rowling

India:         
Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography by Walter Isaacson

Mexico:      
El Manuscrito Encontrado de Accra by Paulo Coelho (Manuscript Found in Accra)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Fiction for Food Lovers

Bon Appétit magazine recently published a guide “for those of us who like to read, eat, and read about eating” ("Get Ready for Foodie Fiction," Feb. 7, 2013). Writer Andrew Chee enjoys classic scenes such as an oyster dinner toward the start of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina and a breakfast walk through Les Halles in Paris in James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room, but also recommends some more recent novels that revolve around food:

The Lost Art of Mixing by Erica Bauermeister

The Epicure’s Lament by Kate Christensen

An Evil Eye by Jason Goodwin

The Dinner by Herman Koch

The Book of Salt by Monique Truong

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Epistolary Fiction

Stories told through letters, telegrams and other types of correspondence are a genre unto themselves. Writing in Shelf Awareness, Cheryl Krocker McKeon, a bookseller from San Francisco, shares some of her favorites, including the popular Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society ("Epistles," Feb. 5, 2013).  Here are a few more recommended by McKeon and others who enjoy this unique form of the novel:
A Woman of Independent Means by Elizabeth Forsyth Hailey
Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn
 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff