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Science Fiction vs. Proper Literature.

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Science Fiction!

versus…

Proper Literature!

If you ask us, both are good, and not just that, but can be extremely good.

So treat yourself and sample from all of the menu, okay? And check more of what is the genius of Tom Gauld, who did the webcomics shared in this post. They are from here, here, here, here, here, and here.

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New and Featured Books for 03/01/2012:

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Come and check out these and some of the other new books and materials (or at least new to us) added to our library collection…

FICTION:

Tigerlily’s Orchid by Ruth Rendell

The Fear Index by Robert Harris

The new thriller from author/journalist Robert Harris, who wrote The Ghost, which was adapted into The Ghost Writer, which was directed by Roman Polanski. Check out reviews from The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Guardian, and there’s a nice interview with the author at CBS’s Author Talk.

The Secret Mistress by Mary Balogh

God’s Gift To Women by Michael Baisden

Side Jobs: Stories From The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

Djibouti by Elmore Leonard

A book about modern day pirates by the author who’s been called “The Great American Writer” by Stephen King. You can find an excerpt from Djibouti at Esquire and reviews of the novel from The New York Times and The Millions. You can check out Leonard’s blog, and also read about his admiration for Kathryn Bigelow at The Wall Street Journal.

The Death-Ray, written and illustrated by Daniel Clowes

All My Friends Are Going To Be Strangers by Larry McMurtry

In My Father’s House by E. Lynn Harris

The Wreckage by Michael Robotham

The Angel Esmerelda: Nine Stories by Don Delillo

Harlem Renaissance: Five Novels Of The 1920s, edited by Rafia Zafar

and

Harlem Renaissance: Four Novels Of The 1930s, edited by Rafia Zafar

This is a very exciting two volume set looking at classic works of fiction from an important time in literature and African American history, and featuring authors like Langston Hughes, Nella Larsen, Jean Toomer, and George S. Schuyler, and others. As author Junot Diaz says in his blurb on the back of the 1920s edition, “To have all these novels in one place is the best gift any reader could ever ask for.”

Escape by Barbara Delinsky

Camouflage by Bill Pronzini

Shattered by Karen Robards

Gets off to a bit of a slow start, but another fine example of romantic suspense done right by Robards. Check out an excerpt at the author’s website.

NON-FICTION:

New Men: Manliness In Early America, edited by Thomas A. Foster

This is a very intriguing historical gender study of what it was like for men, fresh from the Old World, coming into the New World, and how the definitions of being an American Man were set, based on old prejudices, manners, and mores, through the colonial periods into the revolutionary era, and shaped by a new culture, society, economy, and political system, and factors such a racism and warfare.

Lions Of Kandahar: The Story Of A Fight Against All Odds by Rusty Bradley and Kevin Maurer

Shades Of Glory: The Negro Leagues And The Story Of African-American Baseball by Lawrence D. Hogan

The Insider’s Guide To Colleges, 2012: Students On Campus Tell You What You Really Need To Know, compiled and edited by the staff of The Yale Daily News

Cooking In Other Women’s Kitchens: Domestic Workers In The South, 1865-1960 by Rebecca Sharpless

This book has been said to show the real version of what was tamefully dramatized in The Help, and that alone makes it fascinating, beyond its being a very insightful and informative read, from what a few patrons have told me. And as one review nicely pointed out, the book is very successful in its goal to “discover how African American cooks successfully functioned within a world of extremely hard work, low wages, and omnipresent racial strife.”

A Quick Start Guide To Google Adwords: Get Your Product To The Top Of Google And Reach Your Customers by Mark Harnett

A Quick Start Guide To Cloud Computing: Moving Your Business Into The Cloud by Mark I. Williams

Burn This Book: PEN Writers Speak Out On The Power Of The Word, edited by Toni Morrison

Firebrand Of Liberty: The Story Of Two Black Regiments That Changed The Course Of The Civil War by Stephen V. Ash

The Elements Of User Experience: User-Centered Design For The Web And Beyond by Jesse James Garrett

This is the second edition of the book, a nice refinement from the first edition, and helpful in taking a lot of the simple ideas for good design that you might use on the internet and bringing to other things. Check out an interview with the author from the publisher.

Border War: Fighting Over Slavery Before The Civil War by Stanley Harrold

The Triple Agent: The Al-Qaeda Mole Who Infiltrated The CIA by Joby Warrick

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Please note that books could be checked out between the time they end up on the blog and when you come to check them out. If you don’t see the items you’re looking for then please come up to the front desk and we’ll put your name on the reserve list for when the item returns.

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Previous New/Featured books:

02/02/11.

01/27/12.

12/27/11.

12/23/11.

And for Young Adults:

02/21/12.

02/09/12.

01/31/12.

And for Kids/Juvenile Readers:

02/28/12.

02/23/12.

02/16/12.

01/28/12.

Author quotes: Burning books.

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Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. once said, “We must be careful what we pretend to be,”  which is one of my favorite quotes of all time, but Vonnegut was a highly opinionated and prolific author and essayist, and he was always a good source for a good quote or a witty turn of phrase.

The other day I got into a conversation with a few patrons not just about the need for intellectual curiosity in people, especially in this day and age, but the need for constant access to the tools that could inspire and grow that curiosity in these modern times, and it reminded me of something Vonnegut had said a few years before his death (in 2007):

“While on the subject of burning books, I want to congratulate librarians, not famous for their physical strength, who, all over this country, have staunchly resisted anti-democratic bullies who have tried to remove certain books from their shelves, and destroyed records rather than have to reveal to thought police the names of persons who have checked out those titles.

So the America I loved still exists, if not in the White House, the Supreme Court, the Senate, the House of Representatives, or the media. The America I loved still exists at the front desks of our public libraries.

And still on the subject of books: our daily news sources, newspapers and TV, are now so craven, so unvigilant on behalf of the American people, so uninformative, that only in books do we learn what’s really going on.”

-from A Man Without A Country, his 2005 memoir/essay collection.

You can find an excerpt from the book over at The Guardian, which includes the portion the above text comes from. Much of this book, and in particular this excerpt, are very political with Vonnegut discussing his disappointment in the then-current political climate of the country. Whether you agree with Vonnegut’s politics there or not, you have to admire that there are some nuggets of common sense true for all people, and that he always maintained a strong humanistic outlook on life.

Also, on a side note, in the paragraph preceding the above quote Vonnegut references Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11, his documentary about the September 11 attacks and everything after, and reminds us that the title of the documentary is a reference/parody of Ray Bradbury’s great, classic science fiction novel, Fahrenheit 451. That novel refers to the fact that 451 degrees Fahrenheit is the combustion point, at which paper and the information on it will burn.

The gist of it is this: Not to toot our own horn (too much) but libraries curate and cultivate information, and with information comes intelligence, which is never a bad thing and always in short supply. The library is a resource that you should never let go to waste.

by Eddie Campbell, from here.

Elsewhere on the internet:

Vonnegut’s obituary in The New York Times.

15 things Vonnegut said better than anyone else ever has or will.

Venus On The Half-Shell by Philip José Farmer under the name “Kilgore Trout.”

Vonnegut’s advice for writers.

Vonnegut’s story diagrams.

Harrison Bergeron,” Vonnegut’s classic short story.

An interview with Vonnegut in The Paris Review.

2BR02B,” a 1962 short story that appeared in Vonnegut’s third collection, Bagombo Snuff Box.

The Big Trip Up Yonder,” a short story that appeared in Vonnegut’s first two collections under different names.

The Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library in Indianapolis.

Dave Eggers reviews Vonnegut’s first collection of unpublished fiction.

At the library we have quite a few books both by Vonnegut and about his life and work, including When Mortals Sleep, a posthumous release of previously unpublished short fiction by the author, as well as And So It Goes – Kurt Vonnegut: A Life, a new biography of the author by Charles J. Shields, and…

Vonnegut And Hemingway: Writers At War by Lawrence Broer, which draws interesting parallels between these two literary artists, who previously might have been only been coupled together by how vastly different they were. Both were born under the spectre of hereditary insanity, forged in wartime experiences, and used their writing as a means of therapy and survival. And how much more fitting to see them linked, since Hemingway was our quoted author last week? I hope you’ll come and check them out.

New and Featured Books for 12/16/11:

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Come and check out these and some of the other new books and materials (or at least new to us) added to our library collection…

FICTION:

The Affair by Lee Child

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Bonnie by Iris Johansen

The Man Who Smiled by Henning Mankell

Damned by Chuck Palahniuk.

A very unique homage to the works of Judy Blume. Here is the publisher’s official synopsis for the new book from the extremely popular cult author and here are reviews from The Washington Post and Gentlemen’s Quarterly. And an interview with Palahniuk in The Wall Street Journal.

The Best Of Me by Nicholas Sparks

How To Live Safely In A Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu.

Selected Novels And Short Stories by Patricia Highsmith

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

I personally could not be more excited to have this book at our library. One of my favorite authors. Check out the review from The New York Review Of Books and in The New York Times. Picked by Amazon as the #2 (of 10) book of the year. We think you’ll find that this book is proof that literature matters.

Zone One by Colson Whitehead

NON-FICTION:

Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard

Death In The City Of Light: The Serial Killer Of Nazi-Occupied Paris by David King

A Savage Conflict: The Decisive Role Of Guerrillas In The American Civil War by Daniel E. Sutherland

Dear Cary: My Life With Cary Grant by Dyan Cannon

Ghost In The Wires: My Adventures As The World’s Most Wanted Hacker by Kevin Mitnick with William L. Simon

Our Overweight Children: What Parents, Schools, And Communities Can Do To Control The Fatness Epidemic by Sharron Dalton

My Song: A Memoir by Harry Belafonte with Michael Shnayerson

Last Call: The Rise And Fall Of Prohibition by Daniel Okrent

Should be a very interesting book and also seems to be the basis for the new Ken Burns documentary.

When A Billion Chinese Jump: How China Will Save Mankind – Or Destroy It by Jonathan Watts

Digging: The Afro-American Soul Of American Classical Music by Amiri Baraka

Nothing Bad Happens To Good Girls: Fear Of Crime In Women’s Lives by Esther Madriz

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Please note that books could be checked out between the time they end up on the blog and when you come to check them out. If you don’t see the items you’re looking for then please come up to the front desk and we’ll put your name on the reserve list for when the item returns.