Greetings, bookworms. I hope you’re enjoying your Saturday, wherever you happen to be. And I hope you enjoy this week’s book news.
- Someone alert the World Wildlife Foundation! We’ve got a new endangered species! According to courtroom wizard Jon Grisham, printed books now share the same rank as blue whales, cougars and Banded Hare Wallabys. Grisham made the comment in reference to the pricing wars taking place between discount book sellers and the rise of e-readers like the Kindle. I think Grisham may be jumping the gun a bit. Publishing may be changing, but people are still going to want to read.
- Social media and wine guru Gary Vaynerchuk embarked on a unique twist on the book signing this week. He traveled to several airport bookstores (you know, the ones you browse through after passing through security, while waiting for your flight) to promote his new book, Crush It! While definitely non-traditional, it was also probably a good idea. His book is a business book and who spends a lot of time in airports? Businessmen!
- Coming off the heels of his uber-popular Percy Jackson series, Rick Riordan is getting set to publish a new series in the spring. This time, Riordan is tackling Egyptian mythology and, presumably, mummies and curses. Sounds to me like Riordan’s been taking tips from Scooby and the gang.
- Yet another book award nominees list was announced recently. As far as book awards go, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award is a bit different. It’s one of the most global book prizes, since libraries and librarians from around the world can nominate books. The result – a longlist (as opposed to a short list) that’s 156 novels long, from 163 libraries in 43 countries. Also interesting to note are the books that come up again and again during the nomination process, thereby proving some things truly are universal.
- In the U.K. the latest adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma has already aired (while I, regrettably, must wait until January to watch it on PBS/Masterpiece Classic) and has given Telegraph columnist – and self-admitted pedant – Charles Moore an abundant amount of material to work with. Apparently, mistakes abound in the new miniseries, making it less authentic Austen and more of a 21st century attempt to not botch Austen too much. I’ll reserve my judgment until I actually see the series, but if it’s even only slightly better than the abomination that was the Gwyneth Paltrow adaptation, I’ll call it a win.
- The never-ending list of end-of-year “best of” lists continues to grow. Last week, Amazon.com counted down their top 100 of the year and this week, they revealed the top 10. And once again, it seems the editors’ picks don’t always align with what customers read and buy. However, Hilary Mantel’s Tudor-England Booker Prize winning novel Wolf Hall came in at number 3, so now I’m even more excited to read it. (Also, I feel compelled to mention, once again, that 2009 still has 2 months left in it!)
- Entertainment Weekly has an exclusive book excerpt from the new Twilight spoof (courtesy of the Havard Lampoon writers) Nightlight. The spoof promises to deliver “romance, danger, insufficient parental guardianship, creepy stalker-like behavior and a vampire prom.” With promises like that, how can you possibly resist?
- I would like this tee-shirt. Santa, are you listening?
That’s all we’ve got time for this weekend, bookworms. Be sure to come back next week!
Happy November, bookworms. If you’re not too sick from binging on candy, enjoy this week’s book news.
- 2009 still has two months to go, but that hasn’t stopped some people from compiling “best of” lists for the year. Publishers Weekly recently announced it’s Top 10 of 2009, with an additional 90 (to round out the Top 100) being announced next week. While it’s a good list, the Christian Science Monitor has pointed out one glaring issue: no female authors. Surely, some woman somewhere wrote a great book this year.
- Meanwhile, Omnivoracious freely admits to jumping the gun with their list of the year’s 100 best books. All this week, they’ve been counting down the list, 100 to 11. The top 10 will be revealed on Monday, with the whole complete list.
- Fans of vampire romance might want to look out. There’s a new trend in the romance sub-genres and it’s being called “zombie love.” I’m not exactly sure how a zombie romance works, but I’m guessing it might involve eating other humans. Delightful!
- Speaking of the decline of vampires, an author once closely associated with the undead is now saying that vampires are of the past and angels are the future. Ann Rice is publishing a new series focusing on the heavenly creatures, instead of the blood-sucking fiends. Rice, who reclaimed her Catholic faith in recent years, thinks it’s better being on the good guy’s side.
- Young adult books are gaining many fans in the adult world. Books that are being marketed to teens are being snapped up by adults of all ages. Many authors and publishers believe YA literature is going through a so-called renaissance, experiencing a surge in popularity during an otherwise flat economy. I can fully relate – I’m not ashamed to admit that YA books are among my favorites.
- Lastly, the Inkwell Bookstore Blog has a hilarious comparison between book clubs and church. According to them, there’s quite of lot of similarity, including the top reason: both book clubs and church keep promising you an author appearance, but in the end…nope.
Have a good week! Keep reading!
All summer long, I’ve been compiling massive lists of books lists, since everyone and their brother apparently wrote a “summer reading” list. Here, then, are my favorite book lists of the summer. There’s a wide range of books included, from a variety of sources. Happy reading, bookworms!
- We start with the YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) lists. The first is the 2009 Best Books for Young Adults. I’m no longer a “young” adult, but a lot of the books on this list are good reading for everyone.
- The second YALSA list is the 2009 Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers. Most studies show that reading drops off once kids reach their teens. This is a shame, because reading is a lifelong pursuit that’s great for everyone. This list includes books suggested by teens for teens.
- Time Magazine critics set out to list the Best 100 Novels since 1923. It’s a good list, fairly inclusive of most of the greatest books in the 20th century (the list starts with 1923 because that’s when Time began publishing). Because of the limited scope, it doesn’t include any “classics” but it is a good compilation of “modern” literature.
- Newsweek Magazine, meanwhile, decided to enter the fray with its own list, the Top 100 Books. The Newsweek list is much more ambitious – they went with the top 100 books of all time, including fiction and nonfiction. They also compiled the list by reviewing other top 10 lists (from Modern Library, Oprah and more). Tolstoy’s War and Peace sits atop this list. [Thanks to my friend Katie for pointing this list out to me.]
- The U.K. newspaper, the Telegraph, asked children’s book authors and critics to suggest their own favorite science-fiction and fantasy books for kids this summer. I liked this list because it had authors talking directly to their audience and most of them didn’t even suggest their own books. Thus, their inclusion on this list.
- What kind of list would this be if I didn’t include Oprah?! Oprah’s 2009 Books of Summer include the 25 books she says you can’t put down, 20 books perfect for the beach, 5 books everyone should read, and 11 mysteries for those who like a little thrill in their summer.
- And for some local love, the Books of Summer from the Boston Globe. What makes the Globe’s list distinct is that it’s not actually a list. The editors took the time to write out a paragraph for each book suggestion, outlining the basic plot, the background and why they choose it. It’s a thorough and well-rounded result.
- And from one coast to the other, I’ve also included the L.A. Times’ 60 New Books to Read this summer. This list focused solely on books published between May and August of this year. So while you won’t find any classics, you will find new treasures from first-time authors and return visits to your favorite writers. The list seems to be prescient. First published at the beginning of June, it includes books that have now been released and are garnering some well-deserved praise. Perhaps the L.A. Times can see into the future?
- And, since it’s me and I do love Amazon.com, there’s Omnivoracious’ Best Books of the Year-So Far list. It’s exactly what it sounds like: the best books of 2009, with the caveat that 2009 still has five months left in it. I’m particularly excited that Kate Morton’s The Forgotten Garden was included, since it was nowhere to be found on any of the other lists.
- Last, but certainly not least, there is NPR’s 100 Best Beach Books, as selected by the NPR audience (including yours truly). I have to admit to some confusion over this list. While I love many of the books that made it onto the list, some of them just don’t strike me as “beach” books. As much as I enjoy The Kite Runner (#3) or Anna Karenina (#42), they just aren’t the kinds of books I’d take to the beach. But to each his or her own, I guess.
If you want to find more book lists and reading suggestions, head over to Rebecca’s Pocket blog. She has an incredibly impressive compilation of book lists, which she has been adding to over the summer. It puts my humble list here to shame.
[Photo Credit: Getty Images]