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

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Top ten books about South Korea

An American author of Korean descent living in London, Mary Lynn Bracht grew up in a large ex-pat community of women who came of age in postwar South Korea. In 2002, she visited her mother’s childhood village, and it was during this trip she first learned of the “comfort women.”

Her debut novel is White Chrysanthemum.

One of the author's ten top books about South Korea, as shared at the Guardian:
Please Look After Mother by Kyung-Sook Shin (2011), translated by Chi-Young Kim

An elderly woman, visiting her family in Seoul, is separated from them on a metro platform. When the train pulls away, her family are mortified to realise she has been left behind. Shin reveals the relationships between the mother, her husband and their life in the countryside, as well as with each of her children as they all search for their missing matriarch. It reveals the lives of young and old, while asking big questions about the bonds of family and the struggles with the passage of time. It was a bestseller in South Korea and won the 2012 Man Asian literary prize.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Five fearsome families in literature

Jane Corry is a writer and journalist and has spent time as the writer in residence of a high-security prison for men–an experience that helped inspire My Husband’s Wife, her suspense debut.

Corry's latest novel is Blood Sisters.

One of five fearsome fictional families the author tagged at The Strand Magazine:
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

The reason that Harry Potter became such a resounding success (well, one of them) is that the series gave another slant to the whole subject of families. No one is quite who they seem, apart perhaps from the uncle and aunt who brought up Harry who don’t try to hide the fact that they’re downright nasty. There’s the Weasley family who have their own secrets. Harry’s dead parents. And, of course, Hogwarts itself, which promises parents a family atmosphere for their precious offspring—though in reality, it’s a hotbed of magic and malice, just waiting to explode. No one does it better than the British boarding school. Trust me.
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Harry Potter books made Meghan Ball's top ten list of the unluckiest characters in science fiction & fantasy, Anna Bradley's list of the ten best literary quotes in a crisis, Nicole Hill's list of seven of the best literary wedding themes, Tina Connolly's top five list of books where the girl saves the boy, Ginni Chen's list of the eight grinchiest characters in literature, Molly Schoemann-McCann's top five list of fictional workplaces more dysfunctional than yours, Sophie McKenzie's top ten list of mothers in children's books, Nicole Hill's list of five of the best fictional bookstores, Sara Jonsson's list of the six most memorable pets in fiction, Melissa Albert's list of more than eight top fictional misfits, Cressida Cowell's list of ten notable mythical creatures, and Alison Flood's list of the top 10 most frequently stolen books.

Professor Snape is among Sophie Cleverly's ten top terrifying teachers in children’s books.

Hermione Granger is among Brooke Johnson top five geeky heroes in literature, Nicole Hill's nine best witches in literature, and Melissa Albert's top six distractible book lovers in pop culture.

Neville Longbottom is one of Ellie Irving's top ten quiet heroes and heroines.

Mr. Weasley is one of Melissa Albert's five weirdest fictional crushes.

Hedwig (Harry's owl) is among Django Wexler's top ten animal companions in children's fiction.

Scabbers the rat is among Ross Welford's ten favorite rodents in children's fiction.

Butterbeer is among Leah Hyslop's six best fictional drinks.

Albus Dumbledore is one of Rachel Thompson's ten greatest deaths in fiction.

Lucius Malfoy is among Jeff Somers's five best evil lieutenants (or "dragons") in SF/F.

Dolores Umbridge is among Melissa Albert's six more notorious teachers in fiction, Emerald Fennell's top ten villainesses in literature, and Derek Landy's top 10 villains in children's books. The Burrow is one of Elizabeth Wilhide's nine most memorable manors in literature.

Remus Lupin is among Aimée Carter's top ten shapeshifters in fiction.

Fang (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone) is among Brian Boone's six best fictional dogs.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban appears on Amanda Yesilbas and Katharine Trendacosta's list ot twenty great insults from science fiction & fantasy and Charlie Jane Anders's list of the ten greatest prison breaks in science fiction and fantasy.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone also appears on Nicole Hill's list of nine top meet cutes in YA lit, Kenneth Oppel's top ten list of train stories, Jeff Somers's top five list of books written in very unlikely places, Phoebe Walker's list of eight mouthwatering quotes from the greatest literary feasts, John Mullan's lists of ten of the best owls in literature, ten of the best scars in fiction and ten of the best motorbikes in literature, and Katharine Trendacosta and Charlie Jane Anders's list of the ten greatest personality tests in sci-fi & fantasy, Charlie Higson's top 10 list of fantasy books for children, Justin Scroggie's top ten list of books with secret signs as well as Charlie Jane Anders and Michael Ann Dobbs's list of well-known and beloved science fiction and fantasy novels that publishers didn't want to touch. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire made Chrissie Gruebel's list of six top fictional holiday parties and John Mullan's list of the ten best graveyard scenes in fiction.

--Marshal Zeringue