A weekly selection of reading and book news, sometimes with completely inappropriate commentary.
Scholastic's Dav Pilkey Summer Reading Educator contest is now open.
Boost your library program attendance: re-title your programs in a clickbaity way!
Booklist: Spotlight on middle-grade fiction.
Are the youngsters really turning away from ebooks?
Abortion and fiction. An interesting article at The Millions, on the subject of abortion in new fiction and nonfiction. I'm going to read the memoir listed at the end of the article; looks interesting.
Jimmy Breslin, "chronicler of wise guys and underdogs," has died. I rather enjoyed the line in this obit referring to him as a "rumpled bed of a reporter."
Author Derek Walcott: Obituary.
A fan of the health books in the "Younger Next Year" series? Their writer, Henry S. Lodge, has died. At age 58.
Was Jane Austen poisoned by arsenic?
J.K. Rowling has announced the title of her next Cormoran Strike novel.
Why S.E. Hinton's novel The Outsiders lives on.
New material from Tolkien will be released by the Bodleian Library.
When did journalism become the "bastion of trust fund kids"?
"The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks": First trailer. It looks good. Really good. Don't you think? I hope it's good...I loved the book.
At least one movie adaptation of a nonfiction book is doing well: "Hidden Figures has now made more money than the latest Star Trek, X-Men, and Bourne Films."
Netflix will make another season of its adaptation of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events.
A film sequel to "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" is planned...but without the first film's star, Rooney Mara.
"American Gods": New trailer.
Romantic Novel of the Year Award (UK): Winner is a YA novel.
Bancroft Prize for History: Winners. All three of those books look really good; particularly that Remaking the American Patient one.
Historical Society Book Prize winner: Jane Kamensky.
Wellcome Book Prize: Shortlist.
Announcing: a new award for Midwestern Mystery.
Even the New York Times wants to help match you up with books.
Remember? The Tournament of Books is currently on at The Morning News.
NONFICTION BOOK NEWS
A review of Jessa Crispin's new book I Am Not a Feminist. The reviewer is not a big fan of the book; I'm reading it right now and finding it refreshing.
DUDE: I totally had the idea to write this book years ago. Now I will just have to settle for reading it! A Generation of Sociopaths, How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America.
Just heard this author on NPR the other day; his book about how easy it is to become addicted to technology could be good.
I keep seeing things about this book on compulsive behavior; I think I'm going to have to read it.
I bought a Foxfire book at a book sale once, but never really understood what the series was about.
After Trump's election sales of both George Orwell's 1984 soared, as did Hannah Arendt's The Origins of Totalitarianism. I've always known Arendt's name but have never really known anything about her writing: here's a nice little intro on it for you.
Novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has a nonfiction bestseller on her hands.
Here's the skinny on Chelsea Clinton's new children's book.
Ivana Trump to write a memoir about raising her kids with the Donald. Well, at least someone is getting a job out of Trump's presidency.
New York Times: a book on the creator of the Rorshach psychological test; I've never really been a fan ofRay Kurzweil, but here he is reviewing some books on artificial intelligence and how we're all going to "merge with our technology"; I am running out of time to read all the new books on data mining and privacy, and now here's two more; a book about a man who lived as a hermit for 27 years--I just got this book from the library the other day!; three new books on biomedics; a biography of Liberia's president Helene Cooper.
IndieBound: Bestselling books the week of March 16.
From the British newspaper, The Guardian: the top 10 novels on rural America.
Spring books are here.
Christian Science Monitor: Three terrific new novels for young readers.
Five novels about literary uncoupling. I totally hated the Lauren Groff Fates and Furies title on this list, and can't get myself to want to read any Elena Ferrante. Not the list for me, evidently.
Ten Japanese authors you should read.
Hi-Lo readers to "keep struggling readers" entertained.
MY READING NOTES
This week I read John Darnielle's novel Universal Harvester, which has been getting a lot of rave reviews. I didn't like it. It was suspenseful, and it was short, so I polished it off, but let's put it this way: I don't like to work too much when I read my fiction. I really don't know what the point of this book was, and I don't feel like knocking myself out trying to figure it out. Disappointing (to me, anyway).
The rest of the week I was scattered. We picked up some old-timey Peanuts paperbacks at the library sale last week and I've been reading those. Very satisfying.
I also took a look at Freddie Prinze Jr.'s cookbook, Back to the Kitchen, mainly because I was feeling nostalgic for Buffy the Vampire Slayer (his wife, Sarah Michelle Gellar, played the title role in the TV show). Actually, some of the recipes look pretty good--the book is overdue so I'll have to return it and then take it back out again to try any of them--but there are way too many pictures of Prinze smiling as though he's about to go for my throat. I much prefer the few pictures where he's just doing some cooking and not looking at the camera (and thank God, Prinze is just letting his hair go salt-and-pepper; good for you, buddy! Way too many men are coloring their hair these days.). Sarah Michelle Gellar and their kids, though? Adorable.
AND NOW, YOUR OBLIGATORY NEIL GAIMAN LINK