Man Booker Prize 2012 shortlist have been announced

The Man Booker Prize 2012 shortlist was released today in London.

The Man Booker Prize was first begun as the Booker Prize in 1968. It is one of the most prestigious literary awards and is awarded to the best novel of the year written by an author who is a citizen of the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland.

Among the authors who got the shortlist nod this year are:

Twan Eng Tan for his novel, The Garden of Evening Mists. In 1951, Malaysian prosecuting attorney, Yun Ling Teoh finds a Japanese garden in Malaysia which provides her with unexpected solace as she tries to heal from her horrific WW II experience in a Japanese prisoner of war camp.

Will Self for his novel, Umbrella. Zachary Busner, a rogue psychiatrist in a mental hospital in 1970s London, tries some out-there therapies in an effort to reach Audrey Dearth, an 80-something patient whose life story unfolds slowly during her treatment.

Hilary Mantel for Bringing Up the Bodies. In this historical novel, Anne Boleyn is in the fight for her life against Thomas Cromwell.

For a complete list of all six authors named today, check out this link.

The winner will be named on Tuesday, October 16th in London at Guildhall.

Musical Memories


There are a plethora of new and highly anticipated biographies coming out this fall. Let's start with those in the music industry...

Waging heavy peace is an autobiography by Neil Young: he discusses his life and career from growing up in Canada to his time with Crosby, Stills, & Nash to his continued success as a solo artist.

Who I am: a memoir: Listed #10 in Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of all time, having written over 100 songs and rock operas with the Who and solo, as well as a being a noted literary writer, Pete Townshend gives the autobiography writing a go. With so much hush-hush about the contents prior to its release, it should be a fascinating read!

Cyndi Lauper a Memoir: Singer, songwriter, actress, Grammy award winner, and now book writer, the 80’s phenomenon talks about growing up in Queens and her rise to stardom.

Gershwins and me: A personal history in twelve songs: entertainer, Michael Feinstein renders the life of the legendary musical family the Gershwins here through stories of 12 of their songs. Feinstein was lucky to have mentored with Ira Gershwin, so you can expect some personal touches to the stories. A CD is included with the 12 songs performed by him.

In the Pleasure Groove: Love, Death, & Duran Duran : If you know the 80s group, Duran Duran, then you know their heartthrob/ bass guitarist, John Taylor (what lovestruck fan doesn’t!) This is his autobiography of the time with the band, the parties, & the lush (and lusty) MTV videos that made them famous (Hungry like the Wolf comes to mind).

John Lennon Letters: Here is a lifetime of letters and other correspondence from the the legendary John Lennon collected here for the first time.

Kicking and Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul, and Rock and Roll: Sisters, Ann & Nancy Wilson, of the rock band Heart share their story of 3 decades of being on stage together.

Luck or Something Like it: a Memoir: Although most notable for his country songs, Kenny Rogers has more than 120 hit singles across musical genres. Here he relates the story of his poverty stricken childhood to his award winning musical career.

Make up to Breakup:My life in & out of Kiss: founding KISS drummer Peter “Catman” Criss gives the group its dues.

Mick Jagger: another legend of rock gets the bio treatment here by Philip Norman who is known for the definitive rock bio, Shout: the Beatles in their generation. Let’s see what he uncovers with this one.

Streets of Fire Bruce Springsteen in Photographs and Lyrics 1977-1979: A behind the scenes photographic collection of the Boss.

Moose on the Loose . . . 2012 Michigan Reads Title

One state, one book . . . children's edition. The Library of Michigan and The Library of Michigan Foundation sponsor an annual program to promote early literacy. They pick a book to highlight, one that will appeal to both children and the adults who read to them. This year's pick is Moose on the Loose by Kathy-jo Wargin, illustrated by John Bendall Brunello.
This charming picture book considers what it would be like to have a moose move in with you. What would you do? What would your mother say?
The Target Corporation has been very generous in signing up to help this program. They have sent activity kits and copies of the book to all libraries in Michigan.

The storytellers at the Ann Arbor District Library will be featuring Moose on the Loose at the pre-school storytimes the week of September 10th. Come and join us for
moose stories and songs.

Teen Book: Everybody Sees the Ants

In A.S. King's Everybody Sees the Ants, the narrative voice belongs to fifteen-year-old Lucky Linderman, bullied by a peer and surrounded by kind but ineffective adults. No one stands up for Lucky, not even his mom and dad, whose marriage seems to be unraveling. To complicate matters, in his recurring dreams, Lucky is trying to save his POW-MIA grandfather―his father's father―who was left behind in Vietnam. Through all these difficulties, Lucky tries to act as though everything is fine, even when the bullying gets worse and his mother takes him to her brother's house in Arizona. There Lucky catches his breath, learns to lift weights, and finally finds some strong, helpful friends.

The story skillfully blends realism with a touch of magic. As he struggles for traction at home and in his community, Lucky's voice is by turns angry, confused, funny, and heartbreakingly self-perceptive. There are resolutions for his troubles that are satisfying and entirely believable. In this memorable coming-of-age story, a fascinating and complex young man manages to pull himself together and to find an emotional path toward adulthood.

Recommended to me by members of a young-adult book group, the novel, for grade nine and older, rates very strongly in my book for characters, plot, writing and verisimilitude (the quality of seeming true to life). A.S. King won the Printz Honor for her book Please Ignore Vera Dietz.

Marvin Hamlisch, award-winning composer extraordinaire, has died

Marvin Hamlisch, who gave us so much wonderful, toe-tapping music, died yesterday in Los Angeles.

Hamlisch composed, arranged, and conducted music for some of the most popular movies and plays to hit the silver screen and Broadway respectively. In 1974, he became the first person to win three Oscars in one night -- Best Score for the Robert Redford / Barbra Streisand hit, The Way We Were; Best Song for The Way We Were from that movie; Best Adaptation (of Scott Joplin's rags) in the Robert Redford / Paul Newman hit, The Sting. That year, his winning song, The Way We Were, also won his second of two Golden Globes.

His music for Chorus Line won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1976.

He also nabbed four Emmys, four Grammys, and a Tony.

His musical genius was discovered early. He was the youngest student (age seven) to be admitted to the Julliard School of Music.

Mr. Hamlisch, who was 68, died after a brief illness.

Man Booker Prize 2012 fiction longlist announced today

Eleven novels and one collection of short stories are on the Man Booker Prize fiction longlist for 2012. The Booker, the leading literary prize for fiction writers from the UK, the Commonwealth of Nations, and Ireland, comes with a £50,000 purse.

This year's longlist includes the following writers:

Hilary Mantel for Bringing Up the Bodies, which is the sequel to Wolf Hall which won the 1999 Booker. In Bodies, Anne Boleyn is in the fight for her life against Thomas Cromwell.

Michael Frayn is also no stranger to the Booker excitement. His 1999 novel, Headlong was shortlisted. In his newest novel, Skios, science and romantic intrigue play out on a beautiful Greek island.

Malaysian author, Tan Twan Eng, got the nod for The Garden of Evening Mists (on order). In 1951, Malaysian prosecuting attorney, Yun Ling Teoh finds a Japanese garden in Malaysia which provides her with unexpected solace as she tries to heal from her horrific WW II experience in a Japanese prisoner of war camp.

The complete list of the longlisted authors can be found here.

The shortlist will be posted on September 11. The winner will be announced on October 16th.

First-ever Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction have been awarded

The American Library Association, long noted for its revered, prestigious awards for children's books (Newbery, Coretta Scott King, Caldecott, Printz, Alex, to name a few), has entered the adult field.

Yesterday, at their annual conference in Anaheim, CA, ALA gave the nod to adult writers in the organization's first AndrewCarnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction. This honor is bestowed on the best nonfiction and fiction titles published in the previous year.

Anne Enright received her medal and cash prize for her novel, The Forgotten Waltz, a lyrical novel of adultery between two deeply flawed Irish citizens and the fallout on both of their families. Enright won the 2007 Man Booker Prize for The Gathering.

Robert K. Massie captured the nonfiction category for his riveting biography, Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman. Massie, who is THE preeminent biographer of Russian czars (he won the 1981 Putlizer Prize for Biography or Autobiography for his seminal Peter the Great, His Life and World. In Catherine, Massie's edge-of-the-seat storytelling gifts bring to life this fascinating historical figure, from her roots as a minor German princess to her enormous influence on Russia.

Public lists for the winners and finalists of this award have been created here:

winners

finalists

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #335

STOP!!! If you are an adrenaline junkie, go no further. This WWII espionage by Laurent Binet will leave you wanting. But if you are a patient reader of literary fiction and a student of history, then you would find HHhH * * * quite a little gem. (Also available in the original French in our World Language Collection).

HHhH = Himmlers Hirn heisst Heydrich ("Himmler's brain is called Heydrich" ) - the most dangerous man in Hitler's cabinet, Reinhard Heydrich : "The Blonde Beast", "The Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia", "The Butcher of Prague", "The Man with the Iron Heart" - implacable cruel and seemingly indestructible, until two men, a Slovak and a Czech recruited by the British secret service, tried to kill him in broad daylight on a bustling street in Prague, in a most daring assassination plot, codenamed Operation Anthropoid.

In this debut novel, winner of the 2010 Prix Goncourt du Premier Roman, though we know the outcome of this historic event, we willingly agreed to be led, by the seasoned hand of a master storyteller to follow Jozef Gabcik and Jan Kubis from their dramatic escape of Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia to England; from their recruitment to their harrowing parachute drop into a war zone, from their stealth attack on Heydrich's car to their own brutal death in the basement of a Prague church. A parallel storyline is the narrator/author's effort to capture this heroic act on paper. A "zealous amateur historian", disarmingly honest with his mistakes, but relentless and dogged with his subject and materials, attempts to lay the whole affair in geopolitical context.

"A seemingly effortlessly blend of historical truth, personal memory, and remarkable imagination... a work at once thrilling and intellectually engrossing", Paris born Laurent Binet, is the author of La Vie professionnelle de Laurent B., a memoir of his experience teaching in secondary schools in Paris. He is a professor of French Literature at the University of Paris III. The fluid translation by Sam Taylor is a superb choice for lovers of historical literary works and WWII fiction, especially The Girl in the Blue Beret.

Watch-alike: Valkyrie, and Army of Crime.

* * * = starred reviews

Geek Academy: SCRATCH DAY!!! And Contest

Saturday May 19, 2012: 11:00 am to 5:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Training Center

It's Scratch Day @ AADL! Ready for some friendly competition? Fine tune your Scratch lab project here at the AADL or get your home-made project working on an official contest computer. Please note that all entries must be turned in and functioning by 3:00 PM for evaluation and judging.

Later in the afternoon, there will be an award ceremony followed by a most elegant pizza dinner where you can dine and talk geek!

This event is for adults and teens (grade 6 and up).

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #329

I have done nothing in the last 2 days except immersing myself in Beatriz Williams's Overseas, a rather puzzling title (the connection will be revealed in due course) for this most appealing romantic fantasy (or is it a paranormal romance?).

Independent, ambitious, smart Kate Wilson, an analyst at Sterling Bates (Bear Stearns, you think?) catches the eyes of British billionaire hedge fund mogel (and a 5-star client) Julian Laurence. The chemistry is undeniable and the flirty emails promise a whole lot more. Then Julian begs off. Kate is crushed. Months later, they finally connect, after a timely rescue at Central Park. (You get the picture, no violins but some nice Chopin, courtesy of Mr. there-is-nothing-he-can't do).

Of course disaster strikes, fast, furious, but not entirely out of the blue, though Julian did! Kate finds out that Julian is actually Julian Laurence Ashford, aristocratic WWI hero/poet, supposedly killed in 1916 in France. Now a mysterious and malevolent force is out to destroy them. It seems like Kate, with her 21st century sensibility and toughness is the only one who could travel back in time, reverse the course of history to save them.

This debut novel which won two Romance Writers of America awards already, is poised to become the sizzling read this summer. Comparison is being made to Diana Gabaldon and Anne Fortier. Fans of the movie Pretty Woman will delight in the frame of the novel - the Cinderella storyline, the Manhattan glitterati (a ruby necklace made an appearance here as well), and sometime, if we are lucky, love could rescue us.

Readers interested in the scenes set in World War I Amiens might check out historical notes at the author's website. The character Julian Laurence Ashford is actually based on biographical details from a number of historical figures. Amiens is also the setting for Sebastian Faulks' "intensely romantic yet stunningly realistic" Birdsong, recently adapted into a PBS Television Masterpiece Classic.

* = starred review

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