Blackberry Stew by Isabell Monk

Hope's Grandpa Jack has passed away. She does not want to go to the funeral for fear that she will never see him again. Aunt Poogee reminds Hope that the people we love are always with us as long as there a memories to share. Blackberry Stew is a soothing read for a child dealing with the loss of a loved one.

National Book Award finalists

National Book Award finalists

Yesterday the National Book Foundation announced the finalists for the 2005 National Book Awards.

The finalists in the four categories are:


E.L. Doctorow The March
Mary Gaitskill Veronica
Christopher Sorrentino Trance
Renè Steinke Holy Skirts
William T. Vollmann Europe Central


Harold Pinter wins the 2005 Nobel Prize in Literature

harold pinter

Playwright Harold Pinter became the first Briton to win the Nobel Prize in Literature since 2001 when V.S. Naipaul received this most coveted honor in 2001.

It is fitting that this announcement was made today on Yom Kippur -- Pinter credits his passion and inspiration to his Jewish roots. The anti-Semitism he experienced and the bombing of London in WW II shaped many of his works.

Among this prolific writer's well known plays are The Caretaker, for which he won a Tony in 1962, The Room, The Birthday Party, and The Lover.

Several screenplays bear Pinter's name, including The French Lieutenant's Woman.

Controversy swirled around Elfriede Jelinek, last year's recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature. Knut Ahnlund, an inactive member of the Academy, resigned on October 11th because of that choice.

Pinter is 75.

"Do You Think I'm Sexy?"

Each fall, the editors at Library Journal pick a handful of extraordinary books to highlight that in general fall below the radar of the bestsellers. The one that caught my eye this fall is Ariel Levy’s “fascinating and furious critique of raunch culture”.
In Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the rise of raunch culture., Levy, a New York magazine writer, interviewed scores of women - from teenagers, lesbian bois, to partygoers. She observed that “sex is about scoring, social status, and getting attention”, and the concept of what’s hot is promoted by the very people it suffocates.

On Beauty and Obsessions

I have a confession. I am prone to obsessions. One of the targets of this obsession is Zadie Smith. I had never heard of Zadie Smith until the release of her highly acclaimed novel White Teeth. I picked up this book because of the title. It's like someone out there knew about one of my other obsessions: teeth. After White Teeth, I looked around for other things by Smith and took to reading interviews. Then I got wind of The Autograph Man. This book wasn't as well-received as White Teeth, but I devoured it.

And the winner is...

The 2005 winner of The Man Booker Prize, the UK's most prestigious literary award, is John Banville for The Sea.

Banville, 60, is the first Irish author in more than 10 years to win the Booker (Roddy Doyle won in 1993 for Paddy Clark Ha Ha Ha). Banville came close in 1989 when his Book of Evidence was on the Booker shortlist.

The Sea, which will be released in the US in March of 2006, comes with a £50,000 purse.

LATE BREAKING NEWS: Knopf has just announced that they are fast-tracking publication of The Sea. It will be released in the US in November.

Americans Who Tell the Truth

Truth tellers remind us that our democracy is alive and ever changing. Inspired by 9/11, Americans Who Tell the Truth is a series of portraits accompanied by quotations. It is both striking and highly personal. A New England artist and illustrator, Robert Shetterly painted 50 people he greatly admires--freedom fighters, activists, and patriots --who demonstrate political and social principles that foster "the fundamental dignity and equal worth of every individual.” Readers will recognize Sojourner Truth, Mark Twain, Woody Guthrie, Dwight Eisenhower,and Rosa Parks to name a few.

The Man Booker Prize 2005 to be announced tonight

man booker prize

At 10:30 p.m. tonight (London time), the 2005 winner of The Man Booker Prize will be announced. The Booker Prize, established in 1969, is one of the most prestigious literary awards coveted by writers.

Tonight’s winner will be selected from the shortlist of six authors who were chosen August 7th. They are:

John Banville The Sea – scheduled for U.S. publication in 2006
Julian Barnes Arthur and George
Sebastian Barry A Long Long Way
Kazuo Ishiguro Never Let Me Go
Ali Smith The Accidental – scheduled for U.S. publication in 2006
Zadie Smith On Beauty

Last year's winner was Alan Hollinghurst for The Line of Beauty.

A Touch of Evil

It's October again, the time to dust off copies of The Sixth Sense and Sleepy Hollow for an evening of seeing dead people and mistaking Johnny Depp for one of them. Just don’t forget there are many novels out there perfect for Halloween reading.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula tells the tale of a naive young Englishman’s travels to Transylvania to do business with a client, Count Dracula. A classic, and a surprisingly good read. For those who want big screen chills, check out the library presentation of the silent film Nosferatu with live musical accompaniment by Blue Dahlia.

More horror after the jump.

Not My Type

You’ve seen them at the mall, in your classes, or even living next door. They’re Zingers, who constantly quote famous lines from TV shows and movies. Or perhaps they’re Molly McButters, young women who epitomize the “granny cool” look. You may have even met a Hair Gel Knight, those unfortunate men who have confused gallantry with male chauvinism. And if you’ve seen them, Robert Lanham has categorized them. His newest book is Food Court Druids, Cherohonkees, and other Creatures Unique to the Republic, a hilarious taxonomy of frequently seen American types.

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