Friday, June 24, 2016

Top ten books about The Beatles

Philip Norman is the author of Paul McCartney: The Life.

One of his ten top books about The Beatles, as shared at the Guardian:
Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now by Barry Miles

An authorised biography. Formerly known simply as “Miles”, the author was a co-founder of Indica, the art gallery and bookshop that became the epicentre of London’s underground scene in the mid-60s (and where John famously met Yoko Ono). Initially, Paul intended the book to deal solely with his “London years”, proving how he, not John, was the first to explore the avant garde, but Miles convinced him to include his childhood as well. The result is part-biography, part-autobiography, with long, fascinating first-person reminiscences by its subject. But there’s little about his marriage to Linda and nothing about their much-criticised career in Wings.
Read about the other books on the list.

Also see: Five top books on The Beatles.

--Marshal Zeringue

Ten books written while their authors were serving time

Jeff Somers is the author of Lifers, the Avery Cates series from Orbit Books, Chum from Tyrus Books, and We Are Not Good People from Pocket/Gallery. One of his top ten books that were at least partially composed while their authors were serving time, as shared at the B&N Reads blog:
Couldn’t Keep it To Myself, by Wally Lamb and inmates at York Correctional Institution in Connecticut

Wally Lamb is the famous author of She’s Come Undone and I Know This Much is True, and since 1999, he’s run a writing program at York Correctional Institution. Couldn’t Keep it To Myself is a collection of essays written by the prisoners, often detailing the brutal conditions of their early lives, their experiences in prison, and their hopes for the future. The result is 12 powerful and moving stories that capture life in a modern-day women’s prison that isn’t anything at all like the one on Orange is the New Black.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Seven sweet and swoony romances for wedding season

At B&N Reads Tara Sonin tagged seven top romances to read during wedding season, including:
Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

...Did you fall in love with your intended the moment you set eyes on each other? Or, like Lizzie and Darcy, did you have some “prejudices” and “pride” (see what I did there?) to overcome before you could say “I do”? A classic historical romance that will remind you that people are always more than what they seem.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Pride and Prejudice also appears on Ross Johnson's list of seven of the greatest rivalries in fiction, Helen Dunmore's six best books list, Jenny Kawecki's list of eight fictional characters who would make the best travel companions, Peter James's top ten list of works of fiction set in or around Brighton, Ellen McCarthy's list of six favorite books about weddings and marriage, the Telegraph's list of the ten greatest put-downs in literature, Rebecca Jane Stokes' list of ten fictional families you might enjoy more than the one you'll actually spend the holidays with, Melissa Albert's lists of five fictional characters who deserved better, [fifteen of the] romantic leads (and wannabes) of Austen’s brilliant books and recommended reading for eight villains, Molly Schoemann-McCann's list of ten fictional men who have ruined real live romance, Emma Donoghue's list of five favorite unconventional fictional families, Amelia Schonbek's list of five approachable must-read classics, Jane Stokes's top ten list of the hottest men in required reading, Gwyneth Rees's top ten list of books about siblings, the Observer's list of the ten best fictional mothers, Paula Byrne's list of the ten best Jane Austen characters, Robert McCrum's list of the top ten opening lines of novels in the English language, a top ten list of literary lessons in love, Simon Mason's top ten list of fictional families, Cathy Cassidy's top ten list of stories about sisters, Paul Murray's top ten list of wicked clerics, John Mullan's lists of ten of the best housekeepers in fiction, ten great novels with terrible original titles, and ten of the best visits to Brighton in literature, Luke Leitch's top ten list of the most successful literary sequels ever, and is one of the top ten works of literature according to Norman Mailer. Richard Price has never read it, but it is the book Mary Gordon cares most about sharing with her children.

The Page 99 Test: Pride and Prejudice.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Six excellent books on the debate over guns rights

Adam Winkler, a professor of constitutional law at the University of California, Los Angeles, has been featured on CNN and in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and The New Republic.

His many publications include the book, Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America.

One of six other books Winkler recommends you read if you want to understand the politics of guns in America, as shared at the Washington Post:
The Gun Debate: What Everyone Needs to Know by Philip J. Cook and Kristin A. Goss

Gun-control supporters are often disadvantaged in the debate because many don’t know very much about firearms or gun violence. Cook and Goss, public policy professors at Duke University, provide a fantastic overview of the major issues. Although they tend to favor stricter regulation, their book is balanced — and frank about what both sides get wrong.
Read about the other books on the list.

The Page 99 Test: Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America by Adam Winkler.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Seven top geeky love stories in YA literature

At the BN Teen Blog, Shaun Byron Fitzpatrick tagged seven geeky love stories that prove nerd love is the best love, including:
The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You, by Lily Anderson

Excuse me while I fangirl over this geeky retelling of Much Ado About Nothing. All Trixie wants is a complete set of Doctor Who figurines and to finally displace the obnoxious Ben West as the third smartest person in her graduating class. Her not-so-friendly rivalry with Ben becomes even more heated when their two best friends begin dating, meaning the two start having to spend way too much time together. (In Trixie’s opinion, anyway. Ben doesn’t seem to mind too much. Hmmmm.) When Trixie’s best friend is accused of cheating and expelled, she has to put her animosity aside and team up with Ben to clear her friend’s name. But she’s DEFINITELY NOT GOING TO FALL FOR HIM, YOU GUYS.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, June 20, 2016

Six top YA books that take place in pre-gentrified NYC

Sarah Skilton is the author of Bruised, a martial arts drama for young adults; and High and Dry, a hardboiled teen mystery. At the B&N Teen blog she tagged six YA books that take place when New York City was pretty gritty, including:
Brown Girl, Brownstones, by Paule Marshall

A coming-of-age roman à clef about Selina, a black girl whose parents and sister emigrated from Barbados in 1939 to live in Brooklyn. Selina’s mother works herself to the bone as a cleaning woman and fantasizes about affording a brownstone—to her, the ultimate symbol of wealth and achievement—while Selina’s father spends his time on selfish pursuits. As Selina grows up, her mother’s desperation for success serves only to push both her children away. A keen and quiet observer, Selina must decide which portions of the family’s culture and ideals she wishes to emulate in her adult life.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Five of the greatest dad moments in SFF history

Jeff Somers is the author of Lifers, the Avery Cates series from Orbit Books, Chum from Tyrus Books, and We Are Not Good People from Pocket/Gallery. One of his top five dad moments in science fiction & fantasy history, as shared at the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy blog:
Aral Vorkosigan Saves His Son (The Warrior’s Apprentice, by Lois McMaster Bujold)

Aral Vorkosigan is not a man who easily bends his principles or behaves counter to his beliefs; you can probably count the number of times he’s actually used his power and influence for personal gain on one hand—remarkable considering how much power he wields at various times in his career. At the end of the second book in Bujold’s Vorkosigan Saga, his son Miles stands accused of raising a private army and is poised to be drummed out of the military and executed, but Aral influences the proceedings so that Miles is charged instead with the equally serious crime of treason. Why is having your son accused of treason a grand Dad Moment? Because Aral knew treason could never be proved—while it was pretty clear that Miles had indeed raised a private army (even if he had a really good reason). It’s a neat way for Aral to demonstrate his loyalty to his son without, technically, violating his own moral code.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

The ten best fictional fathers

At the Telegraph Jamie Fewery tagged the ten best fictional fathers, including:
Nikolai Petrovich Kirsanov in Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev

Turgenev’s novel is a look at the relationships between two fathers and two sons - the other is Vasily Ivanovich Bazarov. But I’ve picked Nikolai as he is the more intriguing character. His initial excitement at his son’s return home is tempered by the distance that has grown between them. This book is about how father and son relationships develop over time and how the former sometimes struggles to keep up with the latter.
Read about the other fathers on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Eleven of the worst fictional fathers

One of the eleven worst fathers in fiction:
Lt. Col. Wilbur “Bull” Meecham [from The Great Santini by Pat Conroy]

Too bad he wasn’t as great a father as he was a pilot.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Also see: the Telegraph's list of the ten worst dads in literature and Fiona Maazel's list of the ten worst fathers in books.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, June 17, 2016

Ten top secret libraries of all time

D.D. Everest is the author of the Archie Greene series for children.

One of his top ten secret libraries of all time, as shared at the Guardian:
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norell by Susanna Clark

Gilbert Norrell jealously guards his collection of magical books in Susanna Clark’s novel Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. Norrell, one of the two magicians who emerge during the Napoleonic Wars to revive English magic, is not the sharing kind. At his house at Hurtfew he has a large hoard of magic books that he has spent many years collecting for his own use. At first he offers to mentor Jonathan Strange, but when he discovers Strange is a more gifted magician, he prefers to lock his books away.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Top ten books about middle age

Marina Benjamin's latest book, The Middlepause (2016), is an open and open-hearted account of the years that sandwiched the author turning 50. One of her ten top books about middle age, as shared at the Guardian:
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan (2010)

Egan’s novel is a kind of madcap gambol through four decades, told by a dozen characters on the run from their younger selves – including a rock star organising his final “suicide tour”, and a disgraced PR commissioned to create a soft-focus makeover of a genocidal tyrant. The humour is deadpan, but Egan’s take on ageing is brutal: getting old, she suggests, is like being beaten up by a gang of thugs.
Read about the other entries on the list.

A Visit From the Goon Squad is among four books that changed Alison Lester, Jeff Somers's five top books that blur the line between the novel and short story, Gillian Anderson's six favorite books, and Julie Christie's seven favorite books.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Eight YA books with the most villainous parents around

Sarah Skilton is the author of Bruised, a martial arts drama for young adults; and High and Dry, a hardboiled teen mystery. At the B&N Teen blog she tagged eight YA books with villainous parents, including:
Fake I.D., by Lamar Giles

In this witty, fast-paced mystery, a 2015 Edgar Award Nominee, Nick Pearson’s got a mob accountant for a dad and an assassin for a godfather, so it’s no wonder he and his family have wound up in witness protection. Their latest identities may be compromised after Nick’s friend Eli, editor of the school newspaper, winds up dead while in the midst of breaking a story. Stranger still, Nick’s the only person who seems to care about it. Determined to do right by his late friend—and his late friend’s beautiful sister—Nick temporarily embraces his criminal lineage to use his skills for good. But as Nick edges closer to the truth about the news story Eli was working on, he suspects and fears that all roads lead back to his dad.
Read about the other entries on the list.

My Book, The Movie: Fake ID by Lamar Giles.

The Page 69 Test: Fake ID.

--Marshal Zeringue