Tag Archives: Fiction

National Book Award Fiction Longlist Announced

NBA-fiction-longlist

The National Book Award Foundation announced their Fiction Longlist last night. It’s an exciting list! We were happy to see many staff favorites recognized.

thunderstruck

Thunderstruck by Elizabeth McCracken
We have signed First Editions Available!

Elizabeth McCracken is one of our own! An Austinite, she holds the James A. Michener Chair in Fiction at the University of Texas and the Associate Director for UT’s New Writers Project. We hosted a big ol’ event to help her launch Thunderstruck. This is the second time she’s been up for a National Book Award; her previous novel, The Giant’s House, was also a finalist for the award.

Julie thoroughly enjoyed this collection: “McCracken explores the unexpected avenues of loss in this absorbing new collection. What I love about McCracken is knowing that the characters I meet on her pages will never be typical. I come again and again to the little girl dressed as Patrick…

View original post 377 more words

Advertisements

The ‘Outlander’ Books Are Feminism’s Answer to ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

Flavorwire

The hype surrounding STARZ’s new adaption of Outlander may come from the fact that it’s a new series by Battlestar Galactica‘s Ronald D. Moore, or that it stars the Internet’s new crush Sam Heughan, but what you may not know is that Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series of historical novels has been around since the early ’90s — and that her take on raunch, romance, and time travel might just be feminism’s answer to Fifty Shades of Grey.

View original post 959 more words

William T. Vollmann’s Europe Central | A Short Riff on a Long Book

Biblioklept

Kilian Eng Kilian Eng

1. William T. Vollmann’s Europe Central,  811 pages in my Penguin trade paperback edition (including end notes), is a virtuoso attempt to describe or measure or assess or explain or analyze the Eastern front of WWII, a part of the war that in my American ignorance I know, or knew (no, know) so little about.

2. The book covers 1914-1975, most of the composer Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich’s life. If Europe Central has a hero, it is Shostakovich.

From the book’s last end note, “An Imaginary Love Triangle: Shostakovich, Karmen, Konstantinovaskya”:

When I think of Shostakovich, and when I listen to his music, I imagine a person consumed by fear and regret, a person who (like Kurt Gerstein) did what little he could to uphold the good—in this case, freedom of artistic creation, and the mitigation of other people’s emergencies. He became progressively more beaten down, and certainly experienced…

View original post 870 more words

Review: I Want to Show You More, by Jamie Quatro, Grove Press 2013, 206 pp.

Purchased / Reading With: The Starboard Sea by Amber Dermott, Summer Reading edition of Tin House

Type of Book: Loosely linked short stories / story cycle

My Research Interest: For entertainment

Structure: 15 stores of varying length, set around Lookout Mountain on the border of Georgia and Tennessee

Impression: I knew these stories would be “good” and “competent” short stories, because I trusted the recommendations. However, I was not prepared for the aching psychological depth of these stories. Quatro’s characters and narratives are not superficial, and anything but slight. This impression was solidified when the fourth story, “Here,” made me cry. I do not cry often when reading, yet this book made me tear up at least three times. Quatro demands the reader consider the mysteries, pains, and joys of parenting, marriage, illness, death, fear, and faith. The stories are intimate, visceral, and very much for today—but also timeless. The book is dark and light at once, challenging the reader to reconcile the two.

Readability: Everyone should read this book. This is one of those books that, if read with an open heart, will make the reader a better person.

Book review: Midnight’s Children

Book of words

When I finally completed Salman Rushdie’s bestselling novel “Midnight’s Children,” I was truly, truly relieved that I persevered till the very last page for it truly is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece that left me marveled and humbled by his ability to blur the lines between magic and history.

Set in the postcolonial era, this novel is as much the autobiography of protagonist Saleem Sinai as well as the story of India. Saleem, who was born at the stroke of midnight on India’s independence, inexplicably shared his life’s triumphs and disasters with the fate of his nation. This coincidence also endowed him magical powers in his large cucumber nose to sniff out danger when others were unable to and telepathic powers to connect with other children like him who were born in the early hours of independence, a group which he called “midnight’s children.’

“It is the privilege and the curse of…

View original post 407 more words

The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri

A Little Blog of Books

The LowlandJhumpa Lahiri was one of my favourite new discoveries in 2013 so I have really been looking forward to reading her latest novel, ‘The Lowland’ which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize last year and has recently been longlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. It tells the story of two brothers, Subhash and Udayan, who grow up in Calcutta in the 1950s and 1960s. While Udayan’s involvement in an underground Communist movement ultimately results in his death, Subhash starts a new life in the United States, later marrying his widowed and pregnant sister-in-law, Gauri, and taking her with him back to New England.

View original post 244 more words

Spotlight + GIVEAWAY: The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout

Wow, I was floored by the intense interiority in Olive Kitteridge. I’m looking forward to The Burgess Boys.

Reflections of a Book Addict

tbbesThanks to Simon & Schuster UK, I’ve got a copy of Elizabeth Strout’s The Burgess Boys, due out in paperback in the US on April 8th, to give away to one lucky winner. Check out the book description and author information below, then read on to see how you can enter to win!

Jim and Bob Burgess return to their Maine hometown of Shirley Falls, many years after they first escaped its narrow confines following the death of their father in a freak accident. They have been asked back by their sister Susan, who needs help with her troubled son, Zach.

But as the Burgess brothers return to the landscape of their childhood, the long-buried tensions that have shaped and shadowed their relationship begin to surface in unexpected ways that will change them forever.

In The Burgess Boys, Elizabeth Strout again demonstrates the brilliant storytelling, exquisite prose and remarkable insight…

View original post 154 more words

The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction Longlist 2014

A Little Blog of Books

The longlist for this year’s Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction was announced today.  The twenty titles are:

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Americanah
Margaret Atwood – MaddAddam
Suzanne Berne –  The Dogs of Littlefield
Fatima Bhutto – The Shadow of the Crescent Moon
Claire Cameron –  The Bear
Lea Carpenter – Eleven Days
M.J. Carter – The Strangler Vine
Eleanor Catton – The Luminaries
Deborah Kay Davies – Reasons She Goes to the Woods
Elizabeth Gilbert – The Signature of All Things
Hannah Kent – Burial Rites
Rachel Kushner – The Flamethrowers
Jhumpa Lahiri – The Lowland
Audrey Magee – The Undertaking
Eimear McBride – A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing
Charlotte Mendelson – Almost English
Anna Quindlen – Still Life with Bread Crumbs
Elizabeth Strout – The Burgess Boys
Donna Tartt – The Goldfinch
Evie Wyld – All The Birds, Singing

View original post 385 more words