Tuesday, February 28, 2012

National Book Critics Circle Finalists

Founded in 1974, the National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) honors the best literature published in English in six categories: autobiography, biography, criticism, fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Previous winners of the award for fiction include Marilynne Robinson, Ian McEwan, Penelope Fitzgerald, Alice Monro, and Roberto Bolano. To find a list of finalists and winners for all categories over the years, visit the National Book Critics Circle website. 

Finalists in the fiction category for 2011 announced on January 21, 2012 include:

Open City by Teju Cole

Open CityA Nigerian resident in psychiatry wanders around in Manhattan pondering “everything from Goya and the novels of J.M. Coetzee to the bankruptcy of Tower Records and the rise of the bedbug epidemic… Julius pines over a recent ex, mourns the death of a friend, goes to movies, concerts, and museums, but above all he ruminates, and the picture of a mind that emerges in lieu of a plot is fascinating, as it is engaged with the world in a rare and refreshing way” (Publishers Weekly). This book has been described variously by critics as “a psychological hand grenade” (Alexis Madrigal), “a compassionate and masterly work” (The New York Times Book Review), and “intelligent and panoramic…engaged with the world in a rare and refreshing way” (Publishers Weekly).

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
The Marriage PlotEugenides’ latest book covers about a year in the lives of three college seniors at Brown in the early 1980s. A love triangle of one young woman and two young men is examined as the three friends reach the end of their student days and start moving toward adulthood. Several reviewers mention the book as having a particular appeal to English majors, probably because, according to the Wall Street Journal, “his send-ups of the pretensions of chic undergraduate subcultures are hilarious and charmingly rendered.”

The Stranger’s Child by Alan Hollinghurst
The Stranger's Child In another story of a love triangle, Hollinghurststages a splendid satire on the English social strata of the 20th century...grandly capturing the beauty, despair, and desire of the British upper class,” according to critic Michael Leonard. The story stretches from 1913 to the present in a witty, insightful generational saga that one reviewer calls a “thrilling, enchanting work of art.”

Binocular Vision by Edith Pearlman
Binocular VisionPearlman’s collection of stories include a love affair between young cousins, an elderly couple's decision to shoplift, a young girl’s deathbed secret revealed, a young college graduate intent on fulfilling an obligation to herself, and a retired gastroenterologist deciding how she wants to leave this world, along with other enticing plots. Her characters range across different eras and geographical locations, and each is rendered with precision.

Stone Arabia by Dana Spiotta

Stone ArabiaAfter retreating from his once-promising career, aging rock singer Nik has created his own alternate biography from invented news clippings, fake photographs, and fictional reviews. His sister Denise and niece Ada think maybe he is a genius, and Ada sets out to make a film about him.

Winners in each category, including fiction, will be announced on March 8th.

Friday, February 24, 2012

It's Almost Oscar Sunday

The 84th Annual Academy Awards airs Sunday at 7:30 PM. Most award show pundits have this year's program penciled in to be a fairly predicable affair with a lot of the attention going to Michel Hazanavicious' The Artist. That said, there's always enough interesting surprises to warrant tuning in. Billy Crystal hosts the show for the ninth time, stepping in after Eddie Murphy bowed out late last year. Nine films will compete for the Year's Best Picture and while they are not all available on DVD yet, this is a good time to check out some of the nominated films, in all of the categories, that we do own here at the library including Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, The Help, or Tree of Life.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Dancing DVDs

After recommending movies with a dance theme to my friend for her daughter who loves to dance, I thought they might appeal to some of our patrons. Here is a list of dance theme DVDs in no particular order, but I did love Strictly Ballroom. If you like them, don't forget to check out the soundtracks.

Strictly Ballroom - An Australian championship ballroom dancer, who is breaking all the rules, and his ugly duckling dancing partner make their dreams come true together. Fun and quirky. Glenview has on VHS but you can order the DVD

Flashdance - Alex Owens is a Pittsburgh steel worker by day and an exotic dancer by night. Her dream is to get into a real dance company. With encouragement from her boyfriend boss, she may get her chance.
Billy Elliot - Eleven-year-old miner's son Billy Elliot from rural England is on his way to boxing lessons when he stumbles upon a ballet class. Billy secretly joins the class, knowing that his blue-collar family would never understand. You can't help but root for Billy and his family.

Save the Last Dance - Sara's dreams of being a ballerina are shattered when her mother suddenly dies and she is sent to live with her father in Chicago's gritty South Side. She takes her steps to a whole new level and meets a boy along the way. This one will appeal to young adults.

Footloose - City-boy Ren McCormick finds moves to an uptight Midwestern town where the local officials have banned dancing and rock 'n roll music. Ren revolts with his best friend Willard and the minister's daughter by kicking up their heels and dancing even more passionately.

Dirty Dancing - Summer romance between a dance instructor and a guest at a hotel in the Catskills. One of Patrick Swayze's most notable roles.

Shall We Dance - A Chicago lawyer's life and marriage take an unexpected turn when he follows a woman to a dance studio and begins to take lessons and finds he has a passion for dance. His wife thinks he is having an affair and hires a detective to follow him.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

If you just can't get enough of Downton Abbey...

Fans of the popular television drama "Downton Abbey" may be a bit panicked (!) that Season 2 is about to end. If you're one of those who can’t bear the thought of months without the Crawleys and their servants, perhaps the following reading suggestions might help to fill the void before Season 3 arrives. Simply click on the links below to find book summaries, title availability or to place holds. For additional reading suggestions, always feel free to speak with someone at the Reader Services desk.

If you're intrigued with British high society, you might consider reading:

The Fox’s Walk by Annabel Davis-Goff
The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin
The House at Riverton by Kate Morton
A Room with a View by E.M. Foster
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
The Buccaneers by Edith Wharton
Howards End by E.M. Forster

If you’re interested in nonfiction about Britain on the brink of great societal and political change, you might try:

The Bolter by Frances Osborne

If you'd like to further explore World War I, try these possibilities:

Regeneration by Pat Barker (Book 1 of the Regeneration trilogy)    
Fall of Giants by Ken Follett  
A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918 by Adam Hochschild (nonfiction)

If you enjoy mysteries set against the historical backdrop of World War I and the post-war years, you might like:

River of Darkness by Rennie Airth (Book 1 in the John Madden trilogy)
The Crimson Rooms by Katharine McMahon
No Graves as Yet: A Novel of World War I by Anne Perry (Book 1 of the World War I novels)
The Return of Captain John Emmett by Elizabeth Speller
A Duty to the Dead by Charles Todd (1st in the Bess Crawford mysteries)
Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear (Book 1 in the Maisie Dobbs series)
If you’d like to read nonfiction directly related to the Downton Abbey television series, you might check out:

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

In Memory of Whitney Elizabeth Houston

In Memoriam
Whitney Elizabeth Houston
August 9, 1963-February 11, 2012

Whitney Houston was an American recording artist, singer, model film producer, record producer and songwriter. She was cited as the most-awarded female act in 2009 by the Guiness World Records, which include 2 Emmy Awards, 6 Grammy Awards, 30 Billboard Music Awards, and 22 American Music Awards. She has sold over 170 million albums, singles and videos worldwide. Houston began singing at the age of 11 in her New Jersey church and was later discovered by Clive Davis of Arista Records.
Houston charted seven consecutive No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hits: "Saving All My Love for You,", "How Will I Know", "Greatest Love of All", "So Emotional" and "Where Do Broken Heearts Go". Number-one Billboard 200 Album awards - Whitney Houston and The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album. Her video "How Will I Know", influenced many African-American female artists to follow in her footsteps.
She starred in The Bodyguard (1992) with the film's original soundtrack winning the 1994 Grammy Award for album of the Year. "I Will Always Love You", became the best-selling single by a female artist. She sold more than a million copies of this album. Houston also starred in Waiting to Exhale (1995) and The Preacher's Wife (1996). The soundtrack of The Preacher's Wife became the best-selling gospel album. She released her fifth album Just Whitney in 2002 and One Wish: The Holiday Album in 2003. Her last album released in 2009 was I Look to You.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Forthcoming Fiction for March

Here are some titles coming out this March. You can reserve these by going to our Online Catalog, Bibliocommons or by calling the Reader Services Desk at 847-729-7500 x7600!

Cats Claw by Susan Wittig Albert
No Cooperation from the Cat: a mystery by Marian Babson
Hush Now, Don’t you Cry by Rhys Bowen
Force of Nature by C.J. Box
Born to Darkness by Suzanne Brockmann
Agony of the Leaves by Laura Childs
Intruder by C.J. Cherryh
Stay Close by Harlan Coben
The Thief by Clive Cussler
No Time Like the Present by Nadine Gordimer
Another Piece of My Heart by Jane Green
Cooking the Books: A Corinna Chapman mystery by Kerry Greenwood
Blood in the Water by Jane Haddam
False Report by Veronica Heley
Loving by Karen Kingsbury
Edge of Dark Water by Joe R. Lansdale
Mudwoman by Joyce Carol Oates
Guilty Wives by James Patterson
Fall from Grace by Richard North Patterson
Poison Flower: a Jane Whitefield novel by Thomas Perry
Betrayal by Danielle Steel
That’s How I Roll by Andrew Vachss
So Pretty it Hurts: a Bailey Weggins Mystery by Kate White
Chasing Midnight by Randy Wayne White
Death of an Artist: a mystery by Kate Wilhelm

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Spotlight on Joel C. Rosenberg

Prior to becoming a writer of Christian suspense stories, Joel C. Rosenberg worked in a variety of prestigious jobs: he's been a political consultant, a communications expert, and a presidential campaign strategist, among others. In his current career as an author, he draws on his in-depth knowledge to instill his books with intricate, accurate details about terrorism and the Middle East. An evangelical Christian, the conservative Rosenberg uses biblical prophecy to write eerily prophetic and timely stories. Look for spellbinding narratives and fast-paced action in his novels. His book
The Ezekiel Option was awarded best fiction novel for 2006 by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association. He is the author of two nonfiction books; Inside the Revolution (2009) and Epicenter: why the current rumblings in the Middle East will change your future (2006).
Twelfth Imam Series

Jon Bennett and Erin McCoy Series
The Ezekiel Option (2005, Award Winner)
The Copper Scroll (2006)
Dead Heat (2008)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Love Stories . . . For Happy Hearts Day!

Especially for you, in honor of Valentine's Day, check out these NEW and EXCEPTIONAL novels about romance and love:

American Dervish: A Novel  by Ayad Akhtar (January 2012)
Hayat Shah is a young American in love for the first time. His normal life of school, baseball, and video games had previously been distinguished only by his Pakistani heritage and by the frequent chill between his parents, who fight over things he is too young to understand. Then Mina arrives, and everything changes. Through Hayat Shah, Akhtar shows readers the powerful forces at work on young men and women growing up Muslim in America. This is an intimate, personal first novel.

The Stranger's Child  by Alan Hollinghurst (October 2011)
From the Man Booker Prize–winning author of The Line of Beauty: a magnificent, century-spanning saga about a love triangle that spawns a myth, and a family mystery, across generations.

The Marriage Plot: A Novel  by Jeffrey Eugenides (October 2011)
It’s the early 1980s—the country is in a deep recession, and life after college is harder than ever. In the cafés on College Hill, the wised-up kids are inhaling Derrida and listening to Talking Heads. But Madeleine Hanna, dutiful English major, is writing her senior thesis on Jane Austen and George Eliot, purveyors of the marriage plot that lies at the heart of the greatest English novels. With devastating wit and an abiding understanding of and affection for his characters, Jeffrey Eugenides creates a story so contemporary and fresh that it reads like the intimate journal of our own lives.

The Forgotten Waltz  by Anne Enright (October 2011)
In this extraordinary novel, Anne Enright explores the momentous drama of everyday life; the volatile connections between people; the wry, accurate take on families, marriage, and brittle middle age.

The Night Circus: A Novel by Erin Morgenstern (September 2011)
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night. Behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

I Married You for Happiness by Lily Tuck (September 2011)
Unfolding over a single night, Nina sits at the bedside of her husband, Philip, whose sudden and unexpected death is the reason for her lonely vigil. Too shocked yet to grieve, she lets herself remember the defining moments of their long marriage, beginning with their first meeting in Paris.

This Must Be the Place: A Novel by Kate Racculia (July 2010)
A sudden death, a never-mailed postcard, and a long-buried secret set the stage for a luminous and heart-breakingly real novel about lost souls finding one another.

Say Her Name: A Novel by Francisco Goldman (April 2011)
In a novel based on the author's real-life tragedy, Goldman, consumed with grief and guilt over the accidental death of his wife just before their second anniversary, obsessively collects every memory of her, especially her writings, with the hope of keeping her alive in his mind.

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand: A Novel by Helen Simonson (March 2010)
You are about to travel to Edgecombe St. Mary, a small village in the English countryside filled with rolling hills, thatched cottages, and a cast of characters both hilariously original and as familiar as the members of your own family. Among them is Major Ernest Pettigrew (retired), the unlikely hero of Helen Simonson's wondrous debut. Wry, courtly, opinionated, and completely endearing, Major Pettigrew is one of the most indelible characters in contemporary fiction, and from the very first page of this remarkable novel he will steal your heart.

The Paris Wife: A Novel by Paula McLain (February 2011)
A deeply evocative story of ambition and betrayal, The Paris Wife captures a remarkable period of time and a love affair between two unforgettable people: Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Don't Forget to Register for the Winter Reading Program!

There's still time to sign up for the Winter Reading Program at the Glenview Public Library. What better way to warm your heart (and mind) than by reading a good book. Earn your chance to win the Grand Prize by reading four books before the program ends on March 4. Stop by the Reader Services Desk to sign up. This program is open to Glenview Library adult and teen card holders.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Honest Abe In Fiction

Since childhood, we've all heard the stories about Abraham Lincoln reading books by firelight and leading our country through the Civil War and as the Great Emancipator.  Now how about reading some fiction so as to gain some insight into the life and times of Honest Abe from outside the history books?  Here are a few titles to get you started.

Mr. Lincoln's Wars by Adam Braver.
A collection of interwoven tales, told from the sixteenth president's own perspective as well as from the viewpoints of those whose lives he impacted, explores the human side of Lincoln during the crucial events of his life.

Booth by David Robertson.
Details the life of John Surratt, the only surviving accessory to Lincoln's assassination, and how he became entangled with the enigmatic John Wilkes Booth, which ultimately led him to become involved in the deadly machinations of Booth and his co-conspirators.

The Emancipator's Wife by Barbara Hambly.
In 1865, in the wake of her husband's assassination, Mary Todd Lincoln struggles to cope amid the animosity and confusion that surrounds her, in a historical novel that captures the saga of one of the most misunderstood women in American history.

Lincoln by Gore Vidal.
The character of President Lincoln, unremittingly tested by the trials of the war years, is reflected through the eyes of the diverse and colorful denizens of Washington, including his wife Mary and his political rivals and disciples.

A Bullet For Lincoln by Benjamin King.
Seeking to guarantee that the government will not invest in rebuilding the South, conspirators hire an assassin to help them frame John Wilkes Booth..

Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith.
Reveals the hidden life of the sixteenth U.S. president, who was actually a vampire-hunter obsessed with the complete elimination of the undead, and uncovers the role vampires played in the birth, growth, and near-death of the nation.

Henry and Clara by Thomas Mallon.
Stepsiblings Henry Rathbone and Clara Harris sit in President Lincoln's box on the night he is assassinated, and afterward, they marry and have children.

Freedom by William Safire.
Lincoln suspends habeas corpus at the beginning of the Civil War and events unfold until he signs the Emancipation Proclamation.