Tuesday, March 31, 2009
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
Here is the Reading List:
- May 28, 2009: The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon
- June 25, 2009: Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson & Anne Born
- July 23, 2009: The Long Embrace: Raymond Chandler and the Woman He Loved by Judith Freeman
- August 27, 2009: Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier
- September 24, 2009: Dewey, The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vickie Myron and Bret Witter
- October 22, 2009: The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
- November 19, 2009: Free Choice Selection: Any book by author Patricia Cornwell
- December 17, 2009: The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields
Friday, March 20, 2009
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.
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
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.
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
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
- 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
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
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
"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
Thursday, March 5, 2009
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
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.