Sunday, February 25, 2018

Ten essential Native American novels

Brandon Hobson is the author of Where the Dead Sit Talking and other books. He is a recipient of a Pushcart Prize, and his work has appeared in such magazines as The Believer, The Paris Review Daily, Conjunctions, NOON, Post Road, Narrative Magazine, and in many other places. Hobson holds a Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University and is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation Tribe of Oklahoma.

One of his ten essential Native American novels, as shared at Publishers Weekly:
House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday

Momaday's House Made of Dawn won the Pulitzer Prize in 1969, which alone should tell you how great it is. It's the story of a World War II veteran named Abel who returns home to try and adjust to living back in the world he once lived in, but he struggles, gets drunk a lot and fights and then commits a murder that lands him in jail for a while. Once he gets out of jail his struggles only continue. While all that may sound dark, this is ultimately a novel of hope as Abel learns to embrace his Native American heritage. Sad and beautiful, required reading.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Twelve top sci-fi & fantasy film novelizations

Jeff Somers is the author of Lifers, the Avery Cates series from Orbit Books, Chum from Tyrus Books, and the Ustari Cycle from Pocket/Gallery, including We Are Not Good People. At the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy blog he tagged twelve essential sci-fi & fantasy film novelizations, including:
Alien, by Alan Dean Foster

Foster is something of a Godfather in novelizations—a successful author in his own right, he also penned many of the best-regarded examples of the form. Included on that list is Foster’s take on Ridley Scott’s Alien—which is remarkable, since he wrote it in just a few weeks with only an unfinished screenplay to work with, and never even got to see the final effects for the Alien itself before finishing the book. Foster manages to shade in the characters with motivations and backstories not onscreen while maintaining the pacing and sense of dread that made the film an instant horror classic. The book is a master class in technically accomplished writing, as Foster uses the tools of his trade to translate the sparse details of a script into a lush, horrifyingly detailed haunted spaceship tale, populated by characters you’ll feel for.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, February 23, 2018

Jonathan Hyde's 6 best books

Jonathan Hyde is an Australian actor known for film roles Titanic, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, Anaconda, Jumanji, The Mummy, and as Eldritch Palmer in the FX TV series The Strain. One of his six best books, as shared at the Daily Express:
LIFE AND FATE by Vasily Grossman

War And Peace for the 20th century.

An amazing story and a real insight into the sheer chill of Stalin.

It’s got tremendous romance and pathos as well. I'm fascinated by how the Russian Revolution was perverted and destroyed by Stalinism.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Ten books celebrating influential women in history

At B&N Reads Jen Harper tagged ten top "historical fiction books about some awesome women through the ages," including:
Vanessa and Her Sister, by Priya Parmar

History remembers writer Virginia Woolf much more so than her sister, painter Vanessa Bell. But Priya Parmar’s elegant and dazzling novel, set in early 20th-century London, brings Vanessa out of her sister’s shadow to show just how truly gifted and multidimensional Vanessa was as well as the profound influence she had on Virginia. The story is told through Vanessa’s invented journal entries and correspondence and follows the siblings as they buck convention and forge their own path toward artistic success. But when Vanessa unexpectedly falls in love, Virginia careens into madness, having been ever-dependent on her sister as a steadying force in her life.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Ten top books about cheating

Jamie Quatro's debut novel is Fire Sermon. One of the author's top ten books about cheating, as shared with the Guardian:
We Don’t Live Here Anymore by André Dubus (1984)

This triptych of novellas centres on two married couples, Hank and Edith Allison, and Jack and Terry Linhart. In the title novella, each of them cheats with the other’s partner. In the middle story, Adultery, Edith falls in love with a dying priest. In the final piece, Hank is divorced and trapped in his alternately self-aggrandising and self-pitying habits, unable to find happiness or peace. As a whole, the book asks, as Dubus’s son André III noted: “How can a man and woman ever be truly married to one another without losing their very souls?”
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Top ten Vancouver crime novels

Sam Wiebe's novel Last of the Independents won the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize and an Arthur Ellis Award, and was nominated for a Shamus award. His second novel, Invisible Dead, was published by Random House Canada and Quercus USA. His short stories have appeared in Thuglit, Spinetingler, and subTerrain, and he was the 2016 Vancouver Public Library Writer in Residence. He lives in Vancouver.

At at The Strand Magazine he tagged ten "books that reflect some essential aspects of both Vancouver and crime fiction," including:
The Nicole Charles series by Linda Richards includes two books so far: If It Bleeds and When Blood Lies. Amateur sleuth Nicole Charles is an ambitious rookie reporter stuck on the gossip column for a Vancouver newspaper. Covering high society inadvertently throws her into the midst of the biggest story of her career, testing her mettle as both a journalist and a detective. Richards is a master of voice and style, and the Charles books are breathlessly paced, packed with thrills and puzzles.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Seven YA novels on the journey from high school to college

At the BN Teen blog, Madeline Moore tagged seven YA novels that take on the journey from high school to college, including:
Nice Try, Jane Sinner, by Lianne Oelke

Jane Sinner needs a change. After a personal crisis leads to her replacing days at high school with binge-watches of America’s Next Top Model, she decides to head to community college early—but under one condition: she gets to move out of her parents’ house. She moves, not into a dorm, but into the House of Orange, the set of a fledgling reality TV show offering its cast free rent. Though Jane’s experience involves more on-camera challenges than classes, Oelke has gifted us with something I’ve been searching for for so long: a YA novel set at a community college. Jumping head-first into a four-year academic career right out of high school isn’t the best choice for everyone, so it was refreshing to finally have some divergent representation. Jane’s path to contentedness and confidence offers an accessible story for so many college-bound seniors (again, aside from the whole living-in-an-reality-TV-house thing).
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, February 19, 2018

Melba Pattillo Beals's six favorite books

Melba Pattillo Beals was one of nine African-American high school students to integrate Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Under protection of the 101st Airborne Division of the Army, dispatched by President Eisenhower, she and eight other African-American youths integrated the previously all-white Central High School. She has written two new books about the experience, I Will Not Fear and March Forward, Girl.

One of Beals's six favorite books, as shared at The Week magazine:
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Coelho's allegorical tale teaches you to stick to what your gut and soul tell you is your specific pathway. When The Alchemist was first published in Brazil, Coelho was advised it would never be a best-seller, but he went door-to-door selling it. Today, the book is a world classic, translated into 70 languages.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Seven YA novels with undercover spies

At the BN Teen blog, Jenny Kawecki tagged seven YA titles with undercover spies, including:
Orphan Monster Spy, by Matt Killeen

When Sarah’s mother is shot at a Nazi checkpoint as they attempt to escape Germany, Sarah is rescued by British spy Jeremy Floyd. Realizing petite blonde Sarah looks more Aryan than Jewish, Floyd takes her under his wing and gives her the opportunity to infiltrate a Nazi boarding school. Her mission seems simple: befriend the daughter of an important German scientist and steal his secrets. If only it were that easy. Haunting and dark, Orphan Monster Spy is a must-read hitting shelves next month.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Top ten novels about novelists

Lisa Halliday grew up in Medfield, Massachusetts and currently lives in Milan, Italy. Her work has appeared in The Paris Review and she is the recipient of a 2017 Whiting Award for Fiction. Asymmetry is her first novel.

One of ten novels about novelists the author tagged at Publishers Weekly:
Democracy by Joan Didion

Though nominally about a senator’s wife and her affair with a CIA agent, Democracy’s real protagonist is the novelist Joan Didion, who annotates the action with commentary on the artistic process. “This is a hard story to tell,” concludes the first chapter. The second begins: “Call me the author. Let the reader be introduced to Joan Didion, upon whose character and doings much will depend of whatever interest these pages may have, as she sits at her writing table in her own room in her own house on Welbeck Street. So Trollope might begin this novel.” Novelists summoning novelists: In Down and Out in Paris and London, Orwell does something similarly invocatory when he writes, of a Parisian hotel: “Then the grand turmoil of the day started—the dinner hour. I wish I could be Zola for a little while, to describe that dinner hour.”
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Six picture books for Presidents' Day

In honor of Presidents' Day, at the BN Kids Blog Angie Brown tagged six picture books penned by a former President, First Lady, or First Daughter, including:
It Takes a Village, by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Marla Frazee

Former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton noteshow it can sometimes take a group or a community gathered together to get a job done through her picture book, It Takes a Village. Kindness and teamwork are encouraged as the book unfolds to reveal people working together toward a common goal, in this case a playground for the children to enjoy.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, February 16, 2018

Five books with female protagonists you'll love if you hate romances

At Cultura Colectiva, María Isabel Carrasco Cara Chards tagged five books with female protagonists you'll love if you hate romances. One title on the list:
Doomsday Book by Connie Willis (1992)

Set in the late twenty-first century, a time when time travel is actually possible, the novel tells the story of Kivrin Engle, a young historian specialized in medieval history. Kivrin is so passionate about history that she asks the authorities of the time traveling project to allow her to go back to fourteenth-century Oxford. After a lot of trouble she manages to convince them to send her, but just as she’s sent to the past, the technician who set the machine falls terribly ill from a new type of influenza there’s no cure for. As Kivrin arrives in Oxford, she also falls terribly ill losing consciousness. She forgets the drop point to go back, and as she tries to find it, she will be integrated into society, while people in the present try desperately to bring her back, since they’ve noticed that she was actually sent to the times of the Black Death. I don’t want to go further because I don’t really want to spoil this awesome novel.
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Doomsday Book is among Charlie Jane Anders's fifteen moments from science fiction and fantasy that will make absolutely anyone cry.

--Marshal Zeringue