Reviews and Blog Posts: fiction

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves wins PEN/Faulkner Award

Cover image of book We Are Completely Beside Ourselves

The finalists were chosen, and the winner has been selected for the PEN/Faulkner 2014 Award for Fiction!
Karen Joy Fowler has won the 34th PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction for her novel We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
The four finalists for the award are:
Daniel Alarcón for his novel At Night We Walk in Circles 

2014 Spur Awards

Light of the World by James Lee Burke

The Spur Award was initiated in 1953 by the Western Writers of America to recognize the best in Western fiction. Over the years, the award grew in number to acknowledge the diversity of Western literature for adults, teens, and children. If you are looking for a story "full of souls filled with concern, fear, joy and desire," you won't be disappointed with one of these award winning Westerns.

2013 James Tiptree, Jr. Award

Hild

The 2013 James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award and Honor List were recently announced. The Tiptrees are an "annual literary prize for science fiction or fantasy that expands or explores our understanding of gender" and are probably my favorite book award.

While this year's winner, Rupetta by N.A. Sulway, currently has limited availability in the United States, check out the British publisher's website for options. We'll be on the lookout for a U.S. edition to get for the library.

100 Years of Bierceitude

Ambrose Bierce, posing with an erstwhile critic

It was one hundred years ago today... or maybe yesterday. Or it could have been one hundred years ago two months from now. The point is that roughly a century ago, after leaving Washington D.C. at age 71 to join Pancho Villa's army and making it as far as at least Chihuahua, American author Ambrose Bierce disappeared.

Me In America: Immigrant Stories

Cover art, Vietnamerica

Writers and philosophers have grappled with questions like, "How do you measure the value of a man?" The same question could be asked about a country. Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, had a litmus test: "A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in...and how many want out."

Outstanding Books for the College Bound and Lifelong Learners

The Night Circus

Every five years, the Young Adult Library Services Association creates a list of Outstanding Books for the College Bound and Lifelong Learners in collaboration with academic librarians.

Whether you are a high school student thinking of heading off to college soon, an adult considering returning to school, or at any stage in your life and wanting some direction in your continuing education, the 2014 list is a diverse group of books, nonfiction and fiction, in various categories, that will expand your thoughts about the world around you. The books are at different reading levels and in different formats, and there's something here that should both interest and challenge nearly anyone interested in feeding their mind.

They Are Legend: Authors We Lost in 2013

The Golden Notebook

As we all get used to writing "2014" as the date, here is a last look back at some of the notable authors we lost in 2013. Their words will long endure.

Chinua Achebe--Nigerian writer who died at age 82. His most famous work is Things Fall Apart (1958).

Iain Banks--Scottish author of both contemporary and science fiction.

Tom Clancy--popular author of espionage and military thrillers. His classic works include The Hunt for Red October and other books starring CIA operative Jack Ryan.

National Jewish Book Awards

Like Dreamers

The Jewish Book Council recently announced the winners of the 2013 National Jewish Book Awards.

According to the Jewish Book Council, "Now in its 63rd year, the National Jewish Book Awards is the longest-running North American awards program in the field of Jewish literature. Established to recognize outstanding books of Jewish interest in various categories, it has earned its place as one of the nation's premiere literary honors."

Some of the winners and finalists include:

Interview with the vampire : Claudia's story

by Ashley Marie Witter

Reviewer Rating:
5

A richly-illustrated adaptation of Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire, told through the eyes of the vampire Claudia, who was just a little girl when she was turned by the vampire Lestat. Though she spends many years of happiness with her two vampire fathers, she gradually grows discontent with their...

The Sisters brothers

by Patrick deWitt

Reviewer Rating:
4

This tale introduces the Sisters brothers, a pair of hired guns sent to protect the interests of the Comodore during the California Gold Rush.  As the first western I had ever read, I found myself pleasantly surprised.  "The Sisters Brothers" was a quick paced book that kept me surprised time...

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