Saturday, December 26, 2009

Los Angeles Times Bestsellers--Fiction: December 27, 2009

1. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
2. U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton
3. Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro
4. The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver
5. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
6. The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
7. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days by Jeff Kinney
8. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
9. I, Alex Cross by James Patterson
10. Nine Dragons by Michael Connelly
11. Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton
12. The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson
13. Hollywood Moon by Joseph Wambaugh
14. Under the Dome by Stephen King
15. Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls

Los Angeles Times Bestsellers--Non-Fiction: December 27, 2009

1. Open by Andre Agassi
2. What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell
3. Stones Into Schools by Greg Mortenson
4. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
5. Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom
6. Lit by Mary Karr
7. Guinness World Records 2010
8. Going Rogue by Sarah Palin
9. Super Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
10. Last Words by George Carlin with Tony Hendra
11. Where Men Win Glory by Jon Krakauer
12. I Used to Know That by Caroline Taggart
13. Thank Heaven by Leslie Caron
14. The Imperial Cruise by James Bradley
15. The Possibility of Everything by Hope Edelman

Friday, December 18, 2009

Afternoon Book Discussion Group -- 2010 Schedule

The afternoon book discussion group has announced their book choices for 2010. They will meet the fourth Thursday of the month (except for Nov. and Dec.) from 1:00-2:30 p.m. in the small meeting room (in the basement). New members are always welcome.

January 28, 2010
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

February 25, 2010
Playing for Pizza by John Grisham

March 25, 2010
The Given Day by Dennis Lehane

April 22, 2010
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortensen

May 27, 2010
Honolulu by Alan Brennert

June 24, 2010
Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

July 22, 2010
The Secret Between Us by Barbara Delinsky

August 26, 2010
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson

September 23, 2010
Dewey: The Small-Town Library cat Who Touched the World by Micki Myron

October 28, 2010
Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

November 18, 2010 (3rd Thursday)
Black Girl/White Girl by Joyce Carol Oates

December 16, 2010 (3rd Thursday)
The Pearl by John Steinbeck

Los Angeles Times Bestsellers-Fiction: December 20, 2009

1. U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton
2. Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro
3. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
4. Hollywood Moon by Joseph Wambaugh
5. Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton
6. The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver
7. The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
8. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
9. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
10. I, Alex Cross by James Patterson
11. Under the Dome by Stephen King
12. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days by Jeff Kinney
13. The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk
14. The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson
15. Nine Dragons by Michael Connelly

Los Angeles Times Bestsellers--Non-Fiction: December 20, 2009

1. Stones Into Schools by Greg Mortenson
2. Open by Andre Agassi
3. What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell
4. Guinness World Records 2010 by Guinness World Records
5. Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom
6. Going Rogue by Sarah Palin
7. The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb
8. Bicycle Diaries by David Byrne
9. I Used to Know That by Caroline Taggart
10. Last Words by George Carlin
11. Manhood for Amateurs by Michael Chabon
12. When the Game Was Ours by Larry Bird and Earvin Magic Johnson
13. Los Angeles, Portrait of a City by Kevin Starr & Jim Heimann
14. SuperFreakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
15. Arguing With Idiots by Glenn Beck

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

2009 National Book Award Winners

Recently the National Book Foundation announced the winners of the 2009 National Book Awards:

Fiction: Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
Non-Fiction: The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt by T. J. Stiles
Poetry: Transcendental Studies: A Trilogy by Keith Waldrop
Young People's Literature: Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Hoose

In celebration of its 60th anniversary, the National Book Foundation is honoring its past winners by nominating six titles for the Best of the National Book Awards. Voting was open to the public. Over 10,000 people voted and Flannery O'Connor's Complete Stories, which originally won the NBA in 1972, was chosen as the Best of the Best for 2009.

Book News From USA Today

Keep up on this season's releases with USA Today's interactive Fall Books calendar.

USA Today says: "O no!"
Last week's news that Oprah is closing shop on September 9, 2011 has the publishing world wondering: What now? All 63 Oprah book club picks since 1996 have made USA Today's Top 50 list of bestsellers and 19 hit No. 1. Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth was No. 1 longest at 11 consecutive weeks.

Oprah's influence goes beyond book club picks: recent appearances on Oprah by Mackenzie Phillips and Sarah Palin helped make them best sellers.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Word of the Year is "Unfriend"

The New Oxford American Dictionary has chosen "unfriend" as the 2009 Word of the Year. It means to remove someone from your friend list on a social network like Facebook. Christine Lindberg, Senior Lexicographer for Oxford's US dictionary program, said the word was chosen because of its "currency and potential longevity" .... plus it has "real lex-appeal."

Some of the other words under consideration were: "birther", "death panels", and "sexting." The important attributes considered in selecting a Word of the Year (WOTY) are both its popularity and its cultural importance over the course of the past 12 months. It was the first time in recent years that the WOTY did not spring fairly directly from the lexicon of environmentalists.

Over the course of the past three years, ("hypermiling" in 2008, "locavore" in 2007, and "carbon neutral" in 2006), the WOTY selections had been starting to look pretty green

Friday, August 21, 2009

Want to read like a president?

The online site, The Daily Beast, pulled together every book that the Reader in Chief has been spotted with since the campaign. So, if you are looking for your next book to read -- perhaps you will want to borrow an idea from the First Reader Barack Obama.

The Barack Obama Book Club Reading List:
  • What is the What: The Autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng by Dave Eggers
  • Netherland by Joseph O'Neill
  • Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet by Jeffrey D. Sachs
  • Lincoln: The Biography of a Writer by Fred Kaplan
  • Defining Moment: FDR's Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope by Jonathan Alter
  • FDR by Jean Edward Smith
  • Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 by Steve Coll
  • Collected Poems, 1948 to 1984 by Derek Walcott
  • Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution--and How It Can Renew America by Thomas L. Friedman
  • Unequal Democracy: The Political Economy of the New Gilded Age by Larry Bartels
  • Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin
  • The Post-American World by Fareed Zakaria

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Book Discussion Groups for Adults

The afternoon book discussion group for adults will be meeting on Thursday, August 27 at 1:00 to discuss Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes.

Description of Under the Tuscan Sun from In this memoir of her buying, renovating, and living in an abandoned villa in Tuscany, Frances Mayes reveals the sensual pleasure she found living in rural Italy, and the generous spirit she brought with her. She revels in the sunlight and the color, the long view of her valley, the warm homey architecture, the languor of the slow paced days, the vigor of working her garden, and the intimacy of her dealings with the locals. Cooking, gardening, tiling and painting are never chores, but skills to be learned, arts to be practiced, and above all to be enjoyed. At the same time Mayes brings a literary and intellectual mind to bear on the experience, adding depth to this account of her enticing rural idyll.

The evening book discussion group for adults will be meeting on Thursday, August 27 at 6:30 pm to discuss Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier.

Description of Thirteen Moons from This is the story of one man’s remarkable life, spanning a century of relentless change. At the age of twelve, an orphan named Will Cooper is given a horse, a key, and a map and is sent on a journey through the wilderness to the edge of the Cherokee Nation, the uncharted white space on the map. Will is a bound boy, obliged to run a remote Indian trading post. As he fulfills his lonesome duty, Will finds a father in Bear, a Cherokee chief, and is adopted by him and his people, developing relationships that ultimately forge Will’s character. All the while, his love of Claire, the enigmatic and captivating charge of volatile and powerful Featherstone, will forever rule Will’s heart.

New members are always welcome.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Due to the current economy, the Buena Park Library District has experienced several budget cuts. Beginning, January 2010, we will have to drop our subscription to approx. 50 titles.

If you would like to SAVE A MAGAZINE we would gladly accept the donated price of an annual subscription. (Please do not subscribe on your own -- so we can avoid receiving duplicate copies.) For more information, please call the Library at 714-826-4100 x125 and ask for Patricia Rivera or Kathy Billings. Or email us at

We already have several titles that have been SAVED by our generous donors: American Heritage, Christianity Today, Dog Fancy, Gourmet, National Geographic Traveler, New Yorker, Organic Gardening, and Trains.

The following titles (with their annual subscription price) are still waiting to be SAVED:

American Journal of Nursing $270
Antiques $40
Architectural Digest $42
Art News $40
Bicycling $20
Bottom Line $39
Cat Fancy $28
Conde Nast's Traveler $20
Doll Reader $30
Downbeat $35
E Magazine $30
Field and Stream $20
Flying $26
Forbes $60
Golf Digest $28
GQ $20
Guitar World $12
Harper's Magazine $21
Homeschooling Today $22
House Beautiful $20
InStyle $30
Knit Simple $20
Macworld $35
McCall Quilting $22
Men's Journal $20
Men's Health $25
Mental Floss $22
More $20
Motorcyclist $10
Muscle Fitness $40
Nation $90
New Scientist $149
Newsweek $41
Orange County Business Journal $90
Parents $16
Popular Mechanics $24
Popular Photo & Imaging $24
Prevention $22
Readymade $20
Runner's World $24
Scientific American $40
Self $18
Shooting Times $24
Smart Computing $29
Sound and Vision $29
Spin $10
Threads $33
Weight Watchers $15

Thank you!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Book Discussion Groups for Adults

The next meeting of the Book Discussion Groups for Adults will be on Thursday, July 23rd, 2009.

The afternoon group will be meeting at 1:00 in the small downstairs meeting room.
The choice for this month's discussion is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer.

The evening group will be meeting at 6:30 pm in the 2nd floor Board Room.
The choice for this month's discussion is The Long Embrace: Raymond Chandler and the Woman he Loved by Judith Freeman

New members are always welcome. For more information on these titles please visit our Library Thing page.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Online Resources at the Buena Park Library

We subscribe to several online resources that you have access to through our library website -- all you need is your library card number. Click on Information Resources/Online Databases on our home page.

MasterFILE Premier - General Reference Research (Magazine Index and Database)
Designed specifically for public libraries, MasterFILE Premier contains full text for nearly 1,750 periodicals covering general reference, business, health, education, general science, multicultural issues and much more. This database also contains full text for nearly 500 reference books, over 164, 400 primary source documents, and an Image Collection of over 440,000 photos, maps & flags.

One of the magazines indexed is Consumer Reports. So, if you would like to check on a review or browse the articles in the current issue -- just grab you library card and check it out online.

Orange County Register Archive (1987-current)
Find full-text articles on local news, issues, events, people and much more from current and archived issues of the Orange County Register. Updated daily, it includes obituaries, editorials, announcements, sports, real estate and other sections.

ReferenceUSA is a subscription database that contains information on more than twelve million U.S. businesses and one million Canadian businesses. Data is compile from Yellow Page and Business White Page telephone directories; annual reports, 10-Ks and other SEC information; federal, state, provincial and municipal government data; Chamber of Commerce information; leading business magazines, trade publications, newsletters, major newspapers, industry and specialty directories; and postal service information.

Auto Reference Center
EBSCO Publishing has partnered with Point 5 Technologies to create Auto Repair Reference Center. The step-by-step procedures are written specifically for the do-it-yourselfer, but comprehensive enough for professional technicians. It contains information on most major manufacturers of domestic and imported vehicles, with repair information for most vintage makes starting as far back as 1954. New repair procedures and updates will also be added continuously.

Chilton Library
This databases provides photographs, diagnostics, repair procedures, maintenance schedules, wiring diagrams, recalls and Technical Service Bulletins for automobiles and light trucks in one easy-to-use-web site.

Gale Virtual Reference Library
This is a database of encyclopedias, almanacs, and specialized reference sources for multidisciplinary research. These reference materials once were accessible only in the library, but now you can access them online from the library or remotely 24/7.

The books that are part of the Gale Virtual Reference Library are:
  • American Decades
  • American Decades Primary Sources
  • Ancient Greece and Rome: An Encyclopedia for Students
  • Chemical Elements: From Carbon to Krypton
  • Drugs and Controlled Substances: Information for Students
  • Encyclopedia of Volcanoes
  • The Gale Encyclopedia of Science
  • Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia
  • UXL Encyclopedia of Biomes
  • UXL Encyclopedia of Drugs and Addictive Substances
  • UXL Encyclopedia of Landforms and Other Geologic Features
  • UXL Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes

Social Studies Fact Cards Online
The topics covered by Fact Cards are those California, United States, and World topics included in the social studies curriculum in California. While Fact Cards are designed for quick reference for students in grades 4 - 8, older students and adults will also appreciate the quick access to basic facts and figures on these topics.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Book Events at the Library on Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Bestselling Author Gustavo Arellano to Visit
the Buena Park Library

Thursday, June 25, 2009 6:00 - 7:30 pm
in the Downstairs Community Room

Orange County native Gustavo Arellano is a nationally bestselling author, syndicated columnist, and voice of the Mexican-American community. He is a staff writer with the OC Weekly in Orange County and a contributing editor to the Los Angeles Times Op/Ed pages.

Arellano writes a nationally syndicated column, "Ask a Mexican!," which has a circulation of more than two million. He is the author of two books, Ask a Mexican!, based on the writings in his column, and Orange County: A Personal History, part personal narrative, part cultural history.

During this program, Gustavo Arellano will be talking about his books. Books will be available for sale, and Arellano will be signing them after the discussion.

Book Discussion Group for Adults -- Afternoon Group
The afternoon book discussion group will meet at 1:00 pm in the small meeting room downstairs. This month they will be discussing The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. New members are always welcome.

Book Discussion Group for Adults -- Evening Group
The evening book discussion group will meet at 6:30 pm in the 2nd floor Board Room. This month they will be discussing Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson and Anne Born. New members are always welcome.

Monday, June 8, 2009

What's On Your Summer Reading List? -- From the Los Angeles Times

Here are 60 of the summer's forthcoming reads, arranged by the months in which they'll be published, from the Los Angeles Times:

And Then There's This: How Stories Live and Die in Viral Culture by Bill Wasik
The Angel's Game (A Novel) by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
A Bright and Guilty Place: Murder, Corruption, and L.A.'s Scandalous Coming of Age by Richard Rayner
Conquest of the Useless: Reflections From the Making of "Fitzcarraldo" by Werner Herzog
Erased (A Novel) by Jim Krusoe
Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford's Forgotten Jungle City by Greg Grandin
Goat Song: A Seasonal Life, a Short History of Herding, and the Art of Making Cheese by Brad Kessler
I Am Not Sidney Poitier (A Novel) by Percival Everett
In the Kitchen (A Novel) by Monica Ali
Larry's Kidney: Being the True Story of How I Found Myself in China With My Black Sheep Cousin and His Mail-Order Bride, Skirting the Law to Get Him a Transplant -- and Save His Live by Daniel Asa Rose
Let the Great World Spin (A Novel) by Colum McCann
One Ring Circus: Dispatches From the World of Boxing by Katherine Dunn
Operation Bite Back: Rod Coronado's War to Save American Wilderness by Dean Kuipers
The Scarecrow (A Novel) by Michael Connelly
Shanghai Girls (A Novel) by Lisa See
The Signal (A Novel) by Ron Carlson
The Story Sisters (A Novel) by Alice Hoffman
The Strain (A Novel) by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan
Strangers (A Novel) by Anita Brookner
This Wicked World (A Novel) by Richard Lange
Trouble (A Novel) by Kate Christensen

American Adulterer (A Novel) by Jed Mercurio
Best Friends Forever (A Novel) by Jennifer Winer
The Book of William: How Shakespeare's First Folio Conquered the World by Paul Collins
Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It (Stories) by Maile Meloy
Camus, A Romance by Elizabeth Hawes
Cooperstown Confidential: Heroes, Rogues, and the Inside Story of the Baseball Hall of Fame by Zev Chafets
Crow Planet: Essential Wisdom From the Urban Wilderness by Lyanda Lynn Haupt
Everything Matters! (A Novel) by Ron Currie Jr.
Exiles in the Garden (A Novel) by Ward Just
Free: The Future of a Radical Price by Chris Anderson
Get Real (A Novel) by Donald E. Westlake
Glover's Mistake (A Novel) by Nick Laird
Golden Dreams: California in an Age of Abundance, 1950-1963 by Kevin Starr
I'm So Happy for You (A Novel) by Lucinda Rosenfeld
Jericho's Fall (A Novel) by Stephen L. Carter
A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition by Ernest Hemingway
Short Girls (A Novel) by Bich Minh Nguyen
"What the Heck Are You Up To, Mr. President?": Jimmy Carter, America's "Malaise," and the Speech That Should Have Changed the Country by Kevin Mattson
Where the Money Went (Stories) by Kevin Canty
The Wild Marsh: Four Seasons at Home in Montana by Rick Bass

Await Your Reply (A Novel) by Dan Chaon
Before the Big Bang: The Prehistory of Our Universe by Brian Clegg
The Bride's Farewell (A Novel) by Meg Rosoff
An Expensive Education (A Novel) by Nick McDonnell
Heart of the Assassin (A Novel) by Robert Ferrigno
Imperial by William T. Vollmann
Inherent Vice (A Novel) by Thomas Pynchon
It Feels So Good When I Stop (A Novel) by Joe Pernice
The Magicians (A Novel) by Lev Grossman
A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disasters by Rebecca Solnit
Red to Black (A Novel) by Alex Dryden
Self's Murder: A Gerhard Self Mystery by Bernhard Schlink
Shelf Discovery: The Teen Classics We Never Stopped Reading by Lizzie Skurnick
The Silent Hour (A Novel) by Michael Koryta
Silver Lake (A Novel) by Peter Gadol
Something Incredibly Wonderful Happens: Frank Oppenheimer and the World He Made Up by K.C. Cole
South of Broad (A Novel) by Pat Conroy
Strength in What Remains: A Journey of Remembrance and Forgiveness by Tracy Kidder
That Old Cape Magic (A Novel) by Richard Russo

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Top Ten Literary Tear Jerkers

Independent writer and British novelist, David Nicholls, shares his list of books that have left the pages of his library more than a little damp:

If you fancy a good cry here are the books that you should read:

1. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (Nicholls finds it sad "particularly for its moving scene between Pip and the Magwitch")
2. Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
3. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
4. Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy (Nicholls says that "I still find the book as overwhelming now as when I first read it at seventeen.")
5. And When Did You Last See Your Father? by Blake Morrison
6. Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
7. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
8. The Perfect Stranger by P.J. Kavanagh
9. Charlotte's Web by E. B. White (Nicholls finds this one of the saddest books of all: "This was the first piece of prose that really moved me, and the first portrayal of death that really hit home.")
10. Danny, The Champion of the World by Roald Dahl

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Most Anticipated Books of 2009

Booksellers were in New York recently for BookExpo America 2009. After seeing the new titles on tap for the second half of 2009, many told Publishers Weekly they were very excited about what they saw.

Here are some of the titles that are creating the buzz:

Books scheduled for release in August:
Alex Cross's Trial by James Patterson and Richard Diallo
This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Trooper
Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon
That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo
A Paradise Built in Hell by Rebecca Solnit

Books scheduled for release in September:
Love and Summer by William Trevor
The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood
The Anthologist by Nicholson Baker
Dawn Light by Diane Ackerman
Level 26 by Anthony E. Zuiker
Stitches by David Small
South of Broad by Pat Conroy
Spooner by Pete Dexter

Books scheduled for release in October:
The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt
Invisible by Paul Auster
Half-Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls
What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell
The Big Burn by Timothy Egan
How to Be a Movie Star: Elizabeth Taylor in Hollywood by William J. Mann
Nine Dragons by Michael Connelly
Chronic City by Jonathan Lethem

Books scheduled for release in November:
The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver
I, Alex Cross by James Patterson

Books scheduled for release next January:
The Unnamed by Joshua Ferris
Happy by Alex Lemon

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A Book Lover's Summer from The Wall Street Journal

The Wall St. Journal "asked publishers, booksellers, agents and readers what they were looking forward to taking on vacation (or selling to vacationers). After reading the books they recommended, we chose a few novels and nonfiction books we liked for the lazy days ahead.
Here is their list:

1. The Food of a Younger Land by Mark Kurlansky
2. American Heroes by Edmund S. Morgan
3. Young Woman and the Sea by Glenn Stout
4. The Snakehead by Patrick Raddden Keefe
5. The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe by J. Randy Taraborrelli

1.The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson
2. South of Broad by Pat Conroy
3. The Secret Speech by Tom Rob Smith
4. The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
5. My Father's Tears by John Updike
6. Ravens by George Dawes Green
7. Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
8. Do Not Deny Me by Jean Thompson
9. A Happy Marriage by Rafael Yglesias
10. Fragment by Warren Fahy
11. Border Songs by Jim Lynch
12. It's Beginning to Hurt by James Lasdun
13. That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo
14. Heroic Measures by Jill Ciment

Monday, June 1, 2009

Summer Books from USA Today

USA Today says summer books are all about escapism: "ask book sellers what books are hot this summer, and they cite fare that should appeal to readers in a tough economy."

Fiction titles:
Medusa by Clive Cussler
Relentless by Dean Koontz
Gone Tomorrow by Lee Child
The Castaways by Elin Hilderbrand
The Deep Blue Sea for Beginners by Luanne Rice
Dune Road by Jane Green
The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan
Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris
South of Broad by Pat Conroy
The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The Girl Who Played With Fire by Steig Larsson
The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

Non-fiction titles:
Horse Soldiers: The Extraordinary Story of a Band of U.S. Soldiers Who Rode to Victory in Afghanistan by Doug Stanton
My Remarkable Journey by Larry King
Perfection: A Memoir of Betrayal and Renewal by Julie Metz

Sunday, May 31, 2009

NPR Books for Summer Reading has several lists of recommended books for your reading pleasure this summer.

The 10 Best Summer Cookbooks of 2009 (recommended by T. Susan Chang)
1. Cooking Know-How by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough
2. The Flavors of Asia by Mai Pham
3. Memorable Recipes to Share with Family and Friends by Renee Behnke
4. The Modern Vegetarian by Maria Elia
5. Preserved by Nick Sandler and Johnny Acton
6. Real Cajun by Donald Link
7. Soak, Slathered, and Seasoned: A Complete Guide to Flavoring Food for the Grill by Elizabeth Karmel
8. The Spice Kitchen by Michal Haines
9. Tacos by Mark Miller
10. Vefa's Kitchen by Vefa Alexiadou

Best Fiction For Every Kind of Summer Day (recommended by Glen Weldon)
1. Cecil and Jordan in New York by Gabrielle Bell
2. The Family Man by Elinor Lipman
3. Genesis by Bernard Beckett
4. The Manual of Detection by Jedidiah Berry
5. Woodsburner by John Pipkin

The Five Best Novels of Summer (recommended by Jenna Crispin)
1. Castle by J. Robert Lennon
2. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
3. Follow Me by Joanna Scott
4. The Good Parents by Joan London
5. The Scenic Route by Binnie Kirshenbaum

For Summer Sleuths: Best Mystery, Crime Novels (recommended by Maureen Corrigan)
1. Awakening by S.J. Bolton
2. Black Noir: Mystery, Crime, and Suspense Fiction by African-American Writers edited by Otto Penzler
3. The Scarecrow by Michael Connelly
4. The Shanghai Moon by S. J. Rozan
5. The Way Home by George Pelecanos

Saturday, May 30, 2009

New York Times -- A List of Books for the Summer Reading Season

The New York Times provides a list of books published in May that will kick-off your summer reading season. They say "if May's books are any indication, the beaches of America will be dark and chilly this year."

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Lake Overturn by Vestal McIntyre
The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
Stone's Fall by Ian Pears
The Secret Speech by Tom Rob Smith

Friday, May 29, 2009

What to Read This Summer -- from New York Magazine

New York Magazine gives us a reading list for this summer: "Could this be the summer we finally bury the notion that a beach read must be mindless to be fun?"

May books:
In the Land of Invented Languages by Arika Okrent

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

How to Sell by Clancy Martin

The Food of a Younger Land edited by Mark Kurlansky

June books:
Newton and the Counterfeiter by Thomas Levenson

Just Like Family by Tasha Blaine

Fordlandia by Greg Grandin

July books:
NYPD Confidential by Leonard Levitt

Bury Me Deep by Megan Abbott

August books:
Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The 13 Hottest Summer Reads

According to Sara Nelson of The Daily Beast website, the following are her picks for the summer's beach-reading musts. Nelson is a critic for The Daily Beast and the former editor in chief of Publishers Weekly. She is the author of the bestselling So Many Books, So Little Time.

1. The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson
This is the second book in a trilogy that began with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. "It is: riveting, unputdownable, a sure bestseller."

2. The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich
This book is about Mark Zuckerberg, "an unpopular nerd at Harvard, who invented Facebook (the social-networking site) one night in his dorm room, and by age 25 was a billionaire several times over."

3. The Invisible Mountain by Carolina de Robertis
"This debut about three generations of strong women in late 20th century Uruguay ... is a high-end, Euro Danielle Steel story full of sex, politics, and family."

4. Satchel by Larry Tye
This is about the pitcher born Leroy Paige who at 42 lead the Cleveland Indians to the World Series.

5. The Bolter by Frances Osborne
"The author is the great granddaughter of Idina Sackville, a Jazz Age femme fatale. Osborne recreates her ancestor's life and loves, from England to Kenya and back again."

6. The Slippery Year by Melanie Gideon
A memoir written "without sounding whiny and overprivileged" by a women who is "forty-four years old, married with children and has a satisfying work and social circle."

7. Lies My Mother Never Told Me by Kaylie Jones
This autobiography is written by the daughter of "James (From Here to Eternity) Jones. It is a cut above the rest, thanks to Jones' dry wit and some fantastic literary anecdotes."

8. Between the Assassinations by Aravind Adiga
"The stories in this collection exhibit the author's characteristic subversive sensibility and pointed prose."

9. My Judy Garland Life by Susie Boyt
"This debut memoir from a Financial Times fashion writer and great-granddaughter of Sigmund Freud is a cross between a fan's notes and a heartfelt story of a lonely British girl who found more love and inspiration in one movie star than in anyone closer to home."

10. Queen Takes King by Gigi Levangie Grazier
"A novel about a high-flying New York real-estate executive whose divorce will "trump" even the more scandalous ones we've seen in real life."

11. Wildflower: An Extraordinary Life and Untimely Death in Africa by Mark Seal
"The Vanity Fair editor pens this tale of the conservationist Joan Root. While Root came to prominence as a wildlife filmmaker in Africa with her husband Alan, her story really began after their divorce -- and was soon cut short by her shocking murder."

12. Israel is Real by Rich Cohen
"Cohen's book is about the people and politics that have shaped the young nation."

13. South of Broad by Pat Conroy
"Save this novel from the author of The Prince of Tides for an end-of-summer beach weekend to enjoy the flawed, sexy, melodramatic Conrovian characters."

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Stephen King's Summer Reading List

Stephen King helps you plan your summer reading schedule by listing his top 7 favorites:

1. Shatter by Michael Robotham
"Gideon Tyler, the deranged villain of this exceptional suspense novel, is a devil so persuasive he's able to talk his victims into killing themselves."

2. Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson
The first book in Stephenson's Baroque Cycle -- you will find a "stirring account of how rational scientific thought was born......with swashbucling pirates ... and a smart and beautiful young woman liberated from slavery."

3. The Tourist by Olen Steinhauer
"Here's the best spy novel I've read that wasn't written by John le Carre.

4. Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
"His most sentimental, absorbing, delightful novel...and yes, you will like it."

5. Drood by Dan Simmons
"Simmons is always good, but Drood is a masterwork of narrative suspense."

6. Dog On It by Spencer Quinn
You will "fall head over heels in love with the hard-boiled detective novel, which is narrated by the P.I.'s smart mongrel sidekick."

7. Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult
"It's a legal/medical thriller, but at bottom it's a story about the American heart of darkness; a small-town marriage under stress."

Read all King's comments about each title at the Entertainment Weekly website.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Aspiring Writers Get Advice from James Patterson

Thriller author James Patterson holds the record for time spent on the New York Times bestseller list. Patterson has sold so many books that it is estimated that one in three U.S. citizens have read one. Now he's offering advice on how he does it.

Patterson's method is simple: "I'm always pretending that I'm sitting across from somebody. I'm telling them a story, and I don't want them to get up until it's finished."

Read the full article at Writer's Digest magazine.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Pulitzer Prize Winners Announced

The Pulitzer Prize winners for 2009 were announced this week:

Fiction: Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout -- a collection of 13 short stories set in small-town Maine that packs a cumulative emotional wallop, bound together by polished prose and by Olive, the title character, blunt, flawed and fascinating.

Drama: Ruined by Lynn Nottage -- a searing drama set in chaotic Congo that compels audiences to face the horror of wartime rape and brutality while still finding affirmation of life and hope amid hopelessness.

History: The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family by Annette Gordon-Reed -- a painstaking exploration of a sprawling multi-generation slave family that casts provocative new light on the relationship between Sally Hemings and her master, Thomas Jefferson.

Biography: American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House by Jon Meacham -- an unflinching portrait of a not always admirable democrat but a pivotal president, written with an agile prose that brings the Jackson saga to life.

Poetry: The Shadow of Sirius by W.S. Merwin -- a collection of luminous, often tender poems that focus on the profound power of memory.

General Nonfiction: Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II by Douglas A. Blackmon -- a precise and eloquent work that examines a deliberate system of racial suppression and that rescues a multitude of atrocities from virtual obscurity.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

e-books Popular Among Women

According to an interview with, Steven Pendergrast, president and chief technology officer of Fictionwise, the e-book seller purchased by Barnes & Noble for $15.7 million earlier this month, said that today's typical e-book reader is a woman, "between 40 and 50 years old, who tends to have a higher-than-average income and level of education."

He also said to expect a "huge surge" in e-book sales in 2010, in part because of the recent addition of e-book readers for iPhone and BlackBerry devices.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Oddest Title of the Year Award

The Bookseller magazine has just award its Bookseller/Diagram Prize for the Oddest Book Title according to the New York Times. And the winner is.......The 2009-2014 World Outlook for 60-Milligram Containers of Fromage Frais.

This book is geared to that slender segment of the population that both cares about dairy product cartons and is happy to spend hundreds of dollars to learn more about them. The book is reported to cost about $1,139 and is actually more of a statistical report. It was written by Philip M. Parker, a professor of marketing at the French campus of Insead, the international business school.

The Diagram Prize began in 1978 and publishers are not allowed to nominate their own books, so as to prevent them from giving books willfully odd names. Past winners include Versailles: The View From Sweden, Weeds in a Changing World, and Reusing Old Graves.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Evening Book Discussion Group Announces Book Choices

The Adult Evening Book Discussion Group has announced their reading list for the remaining months in 2009. The group meets the fourth Thursday of every month (except for November and December) from 6:30 -7:45 pm in the 2nd floor boardroom.

Here is the Reading List:
New members are always welcome.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Books Into Movies

Coming in April:
The Informers (Apr. 24 in limited release) is based on Bret Easton Ellis' 1994 collection of linked short stories set in early 1980s Los Angeles. Directed by Gregor Jordan, the ensemble cast includes Bill Bob Thornton, Kim Basinger, Mickey Rourke, Winona Ryder, and the late Brad Renfro.

The Soloist (Apr. 24) is based on the 2008 nonfiction book by Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez. Directed by Joe Wright, this biography of homeless and schizophrenic Juilliard-trained musician Nathaniel Ayers stars Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx, Robert Downey Jr., and Catherine Keener.

Looking Ahead:
In May, look for Angels & Demons, based on Dan Brown's bestselling 2001 mystery novel about the secret society of the Illuminati. Directed by Ron Howard, this sequel to The Da Vinci Code finds Tom Hanks reprising his role as Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon, and also stars Ewan MacGregor, Stellan Skarsgaard, and Armin Mueller-Stahl.

Slated for June is My Sister's Keeper, director Nick Cassavetes' adaptation of Jodi Picoult's 2004 novel about the increasing medical sacrifices a healthy young teen makes for her sister with leukemia. The film stars Alec Baldwin, Cameron Diaz, Abigail Breslin, and Sofia Vassilieva.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Presidents (Past and Present) Sign Book Deals

The Associated Press reports: President Barack Obama, the best-selling author who received royalties of $2.5 million last year, has signed a deal for a youth-oriented version of his published memoir and a nonfiction book after he leaves office.

Obama reached a deal in early January, shortly before his inauguration, for an abridged version of "Dreams From My Father" that would suitable for middle school or young adult readers. Crown Publishing Group is giving him a $500,000 advance plus 15 percent of the U.S. sales price for hardcover book sales and up to 10 percent for the domestic price for paperback sales.

As part of the deal, he also will deliver a new nonfiction book after he leaves office. Obama didn't indicate how much his deal for the new book might be worth. Terms likely would be negotiated at the end of his term. Former President Bill Clinton got $15 million for his book, "My Life."

The AP also reported: Former President George W. Bush who once famously called himself "The Decider," is writing a book about decisions.

Bush's book, tentatively (not decisively) called "Decision Points," is scheduled for a 2010 release by Crown, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group. It is unusual in a couple of ways.

Instead of telling his life story, Bush will concentrate on about a dozen personal and presidential choices, from giving up drinking to picking Dick Cheney as his vice president to sending troops to Iraq. He will also write about his relationship with family members, including his father, the first President Bush, his religious faith and his highly criticized response to Hurricane Katrina.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Man Booker International Prize

The nominees are in for the third Man Booker International Prize.

The Man Booker International Prize differs from the annual Man Booker Prize for Fiction in that it highlights one writer's continued creativity, development and overall contribution to fiction on the world stage. The award is given every two years.

Some of the contenders are: E.L. Doctorow, Alice Munro, and Joyce Carol Oates. The contenders were selected by a judging panel chaired by Jane Smiley, writer. She was joined by Amit Chaudhuri, writer, academic and musician; and writer, film script writer and essayist, Andrey Kurkov.

Monday, March 16, 2009

National Book Critics Circle Announces Award Winners

Last week the National Book Critics Circle announced the winners of its book awards, covering books published in 2008:
  • Best Fiction: 2666 by Roberto Bolano (A tale of love and violence set within the framework of the fictional town of Santa Teresa, Mexico)
  • Best Non-Fiction: The Forever War by Dexter Filkin (A you-are-there account of bravery, suffering, and insanity as the Iraq war grinds on—a book that both exemplifies and transcends war reporting)
  • Best Autobiography: My Father’s Paradise: A Son’s Search for His Jewish Past in Kurdish Iraq by Ariel Sabar. (The story of Sabar’s journey to rediscover his father and his father’s homeland in Iraq among the last remaining speakers of Aramaic, a language now almost lost.)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Library Thieves

An article in the Los Angeles Times Book Blog Jacket Copy discusses the recent report of thefts at L.A.'s Central Library. It's not a crime wave, but it is a reminder to keep an eye on your personal belongings.

The author says: "When I'm there doing research, I haul my backpack (as much a drag as it is) with me when I take a break. It's only sensible. If I were at Macy's, I wouldn't leave my purse in the middle of the floor when I ran to the bathroom."

Monday, March 9, 2009

Read It Before They Screen It

On June 26th the movie based on Jodi Picoult's 2004 novel My Sister's Keeper will be released, starring Cameron Diaz and Abigail Breslin, according to an article on the USA Today website. But fans of the book need to be warned -- the movie version has a different ending.

Picoult hasn't seen the movie but has read the script: "Having the ending changed would certainly not have been my choice. I wrote the ending very intentionally because I wanted to leave the reader with a certain message. And changing that ending changes that message. However, I am excited to see the movie and to judge it on its strengths."

Saturday, March 7, 2009

More Brit Book News

An article on the BBC News website ask if there should be a trashy book amnesty. They said:
"We like to pretend to have read great literature to sound clever. But what about those well-thumbed novels we HAVE read, but are less keen to mention? Time to 'fess up."

The impressively well-read John Sutherland (he's knocked off Tolstoy's greatest hit several times) is an author, academic and critic, but even he has a few skeletons in his literary closet. He said: "One would certainly not want to bring this up at dinner parties, but if, for instance, you look at my bedside table right now, there's Robert Crais' Demolition Angel, Sleep With Me by Joanna Briscoe, The Long Rain by Peter Gadol and Nicci French's Killing Me Softly."

Check out the article for more "dirty literary secrets."

Friday, March 6, 2009

Brits Lie About Reading Books

According to an article in The Straits Times: Two out of three Britons have lied about reading books they have not according to a survey published today. The survey said 65 per cent of people have pretended to have read books, and of those, 42 per cent singled out 1984 by George Orwell. Next on the list came War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy and in third place was James Joyce's Ulysses. Asked why they had lied about reading a book, the main reason was to impress the person they were speaking to.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Free Books (Digital Only)

Both F+W Media and Random House announced free digital book giveaways, bringing a cash-strapped readership eight more e-books to cope with the deepening recession.

Free science fiction and fantasy titles can be accessed at the Suvudu Free Book Library.

F+W Media will offer a number of free, practical e-books.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominees Announced

The Los Angeles Times Book Awards will be presented April 24th. They honor 45 nominees in nine categories. Here are the selections for fiction (please see the complete list online.)

The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry
Lush Life by Richard Price
Home by Marilynne Robinson
The Size of the World by Joan Silber
The God of War by Marisa Silver

The Kirsch Award winner was also announced: Robert Alter, a UC Berkeley professor and author of 22 works on the bible, literary modernism and contemporary Hebrew literature. The Kirsch is a lifetime achievement honor named for a past L.A. Times book critic.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Literary Birthdays for February 28th

Lemony Snicket -- born Daniel Handler on February 28, 1970 in San Francisco, CA. He is the author of the wildly popular A Series of Unfortunate Events books penned under the pseudonym of Lemony Snicket. The thirteen volume series features the grim misadventures of the orphaned Baudelaire children.

For more information about this author please visit the Literature Resource Center.