Thursday, October 20, 2016

Top ten books about borders

Marcus Sedgwick's books have won and been shortlisted for many awards; most notably, he has been shortlisted for Britain’s Carnegie Medal six times, has received two Printz Honors, for Revolver and Ghosts of Heaven, and in 2013 won the Printz Award for Midwinterblood.

His new YA novel is Saint Death.

One of Sedgwick's ten top books about borders, as shared at the Guardian:
Stamboul Train by Graham Greene

Greene’s self-confessed attempt to “write a book to please” uses the old writers’ trick of the world in microcosm as he outlines the fates of a group of passengers aboard the Orient Express. Borders aplenty are swiftly crossed, but this is an uneasy journey, full of tension and suspicion, and antisemitism is never far away. It’s here, too, that we see someone actually question the notion of borders, as Dr Czinner, teacher and revolutionary, cries out: “How old fashioned you are with your frontiers and your patriotism!” But this is Europe in the mid-1930s, and the world was about to see the ultimate dark face of such concepts.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Ten of the best noir novels

Ken Bruen is one of the most prominent Irish crime writers of the last two decades. One of his ten favorite noir novels, as shared at Publishers Weekly:
Dark Passage by David Goodis

Of special interest is how Goodis in 1946 sold the rights of this classic to Hollywood before it was even published. The movie tends to deflect from the remaining power of the novel, which is as fresh and dark today as then. Dark Passage has the same essential noir nucleus that would underwrite the noir template, a man unjustly imprisoned for the murder of his wife. If noir can be encapsulated within the narrow definition of bad things happening to a man and continuing to spiral down, then protagonist Vincent Parry is the very personification of this.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Six notable memoirs by defectors from closed societies

At the B&N Reads blog Kat Rosenfield tagged six incredible memoirs by defectors from closed societies, including:
Troublemaker, by Leah Remini

After being indoctrinated as a child into the church of Scientology, Remini made a highly public split with the organization after being declared a “Suppressive Person”—the Scientologist’s version of persona non grata, disavowed and disconnected from the church and everyone in it, including her own family. Remini’s memoir of her path to intellectual freedom contains plenty of juicy gossip about Scientology’s famous adherents (she was a guest at Tom Cruise’s wedding to Katie Holmes in 2006), but it’s her funny, poignant journey from indoctrination to independence that makes this a truly gripping read.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Ten of the best fantasy novels

P.C. Cast’s newest epic fantasy novel is Moon Chosen. One of her ten all-time favorite reads for fantasy fans, as shared at the BN Teen blog:
A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle

The fantastic fantasy filled my third-grade year with adventure and discovery. I’ll never forget how mesmerized I was as my teacher began reading this book to us during story time. I understood and identified with Meg Murry, and adored her little brother, Charles Wallace. As a girl who has always been very close to her father (and believed him superhuman—a lot like Meg does her father), I instantly fell for this book. It’s particularly outstanding because L’Engle masterfully moves the children through dangerous and difficult situations by allowing them to discover their own bravery and intelligence, and use their own strengths to come together against evil. This classic opens a universe of wonder to people of all ages. Yes, it can certainly be read as an allegory, but it’s also just a damn good story.
Read about the other entries on the list.

A Wrinkle in Time is among Melissa Albert's top ten grade-school classics you’ll never be too old to reread, Cressida Cowell's list of ten top mythical creatures, and Steve Cole's top ten space books for kids of all ages.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, October 17, 2016

Five good liars in literature

Nicholas Searle grew up in the southwest of England and studied languages at the University of Bath. He spent more years than he cares to remember in public service before deciding in 2011 to leave and begin writing fiction. He lives in the north of England.

Searle's debut novel is The Good Liar.

One of his five favorite deceivers in fiction, as shared at the Waterstone's blog:
Thomas Ripley (the five Ripley novels by Patricia Highsmith)
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Talented Mr Ripley is on Chris Ewan's list of the ten top chases in literature, Meave Gallagher's top twenty list of gripping page-turners every twentysomething woman should read, Sophia Bennett's top ten list of books set in the Mediterranean, Emma Straub's top ten list of holidays in fiction, E. Lockhart's list of favorite suspense novels, Sally O'Reilly's top ten list of novels inspired by Shakespeare, Walter Kirn's top six list of books on deception, Stephen May's top ten list of impostors in fiction, Simon Mason's top ten list of chilling fictional crimes, Melissa Albert's list of eight books to change a villain, Koren Zailckas's list of eleven of literature's more evil characters, Alex Berenson's five best list of books about Americans abroad John Mullan's list of ten of the best examples of rowing in literature, Tana French's top ten maverick mysteries list, the Guardian's list of the 50 best summer reads ever, the Telegraph's ultimate reading list, and Francesca Simon's top ten list of antiheroes.

The Page 69 Test: The Good Liar.

My Book, The Movie: The Good Liar.

Writers Read: Nicholas Searle.

--Marshal Zeringue

Six top YA books for fans of John Hughes's movies

At the BN Teen blog Sona Charaipotra tagged six YA novels for fans of John Hughes's old school teen classic movies like Pretty In Pink, Sixteen Candles, and The Breakfast Club, including:
Paper Towns, by John Green

I know, I know! Too obvious. But you can’t deny that this “last few days of high school” romp, complete with Midwestern setting, everyguy protagonist, manic pixie dream girl love interest, heart-of-gold popular beauty hooking up with geektastic sidekick, and a road trip, doesn’t hit the John Hughes sweet spot. Bonus? It’s already a movie, too, so you can read then watch!
Read about the other entries on the list.

Paper Towns is among Eric Smith's five top YA reads in which poetry is part of the plot.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Jamie Lee Curtis's 6 favorite books

Jamie Lee Curtis is an actor and author. Her latest children's book is This Is Me. One of her six favorite books, as shared at The Week magazine:
Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner

I once attended a lecture series called "How the West Was Written" that included discussion of works by Willa Cather, Raymond Chandler, John Fante, and Stegner. Stegner's Pulitzer-winning 1971 novel is presented as the attempt of a wheelchair-bound historian to capture the lives of his settler grandparents. It's all here: the bravery and adventure of those who explored the West; the sacrifice and the love. Amazing!
Read about the other entries on the list.

Angle of Repose is among Monique Alice's seven top works of Western fiction, Paula Fredriksen's five best books on sin, and Andrea Wulf's six favorite books.

--Marshal Zeringue

China Miéville's 6 favorite books

China Miéville is the award-winning author of The City & the City, Perdido Street Station, and other books. One of his six favorite books, as shared at The Week magazine:
I Am Lazarus by Anna Kavan

Best known for her justly celebrated novel Ice, Kavan possessed an intense, hallucinatory voice and agonized regard that are even more powerful in these wartime short stories. To look at the world after reading I Am Lazarus is to look at it in a stranger, truer way.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Five YA books about artistic ambition

At the BN Teen Blog Dahlia Adler tagged five YA novels about artistic ambition, including:
Still Life With Tornado, by A.S. King

Being an artist has always been Sarah’s identity, so what does it mean when suddenly she can’t even draw the simplest still-life? Without her number one occupation, Sarah’s even more attuned to her surroundings, including her parents’ disastrous marriage, her former friends, and the gnawing absence left by her brother, who left home (and, effectively, their family) six years earlier. But there are new meanings to be found in life, she’s sure, and certainly ways to be more original, if only she can come up with them. If only she can find the right people. Following a homeless street artist seems to be a good start, but it’s the more unexpected people she meets—her past and future selves—that truly shed light on what she needs to face in order to move forward and get her mojo back.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, October 14, 2016

Five books with heroines who shoot first and ask questions later

Amy S. Foster is a celebrated songwriter, best known as Michael Bublé’s writing partner, and has collaborated with Beyoncé, Diana Krall, Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, and a host of other artists. Her novels include When Autumn Leaves and the newly released The Rift Uprising.

One of her five favorite books with female protagonists who shoot first and ask questions later, as shared at
June Iparis (The Legend Series by Marie Lu)

Not only is June a genius—she scored the highest marks on her Trial, a test that designates where in society you end up. After her only brother and caretaker is murdered, June vows vengeance, desperate to track down the person responsible. She is cunning and logical, and ruthless in her pursuit of the person who took her brother from her. Just look at June’s mindset: “I will hunt you down. I will scour the streets of Los Angeles for you. Search every street in the Republic if I have to. I will trick you and deceive you, lie, cheat and steal to find you, tempt you out of your hiding place, and chase you until you have nowhere else to run. I make you this promise: your life is mine.”
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Five top extreme survival stories

Claire Fuller is a novelist and short fiction writer. For her first degree she studied sculpture at Winchester School of Art, specializing in wood and stone carving. She began writing fiction at the age of 40, after many years working as a co-director of a marketing agency. Fuller has a masters in Creative and Critical Writing from The University of Winchester.

Fuller's first novel is Our Endless Numbered Days.

One of the author's top five extreme survival stories, as shared at the WHSmith blog:
Alive, the story of the Andes survivors by Piers Paul Read. And, again it’s a true story from 1972, I remember it from when I was five. And a Uruguayan rugby team crash in the Andes on a flight and there were 45 people on the plane and I think about 16 survive. They have to go through awful things to survive and you just put yourself in that situation and it’s horrendous and you wonder whether you would actually be able to do it yourself.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Alive is among Ed Douglas's ten most courageous tales of survival.

The Page 69 Test: Our Endless Numbered Days.

Writers Read: Claire Fuller (March 2015).

--Marshal Zeringue

Five books about awesome women in space

Sam Maggs is the author of The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy and Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History. One of her five favorite books about kick-ass women in space, as shared at
Lightless by C.A. Higgins

If you like your space fiction with some serious authenticity, look no further than Lightless, written by a woman with an IRL physics degree. Althea is the resident engineer and computer scientist on-board the Ananke, an experimental military spacecraft on a secret mission. When the Ananke finds itself boarded by thieves, it is up to Althea to save her precious vessel. The book is written from a series of shifting perspectives, and has one of the most compelling female antagonists I’ve ever read. The sequel, Supernova, will leave you messed up in the best way.
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Page 69 Test: Lightless.

--Marshal Zeringue