October 15, 2014 |
Maybe it was just the way the cards fell this year. Still, it does stick out. In some sectors, the National Book Award is better regarded than the Pulitzer. Panels of five respected judges are assembled for fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and young people's literature. They draw up "long lists" of 10 books (an innovation begun last year). A long list is a nice thing, a way of honoring a group of high achievers. A short list follows, and then the award itself. The long list in nonfiction for 2014 came out on Sept.
February 22, 2013 |
When she was 8 or 9, in the 1960s, Jen Bryant learned to type by copying obituary material on the desk of her father, a Flemington, N.J., undertaker. In 2004, having already published more than a dozen books, she happened on a painting at the Brandywine River Museum by Horace Pippin, the late African American artist from West Chester. Bookend events. From her first childhood taste of writing to her latest children's book, A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin, published by Alfred A. Knopf in January.
June 1, 2012 |
You need not be a neurologist to know that habit and memory are connected. If you can't remember something today that you did yesterday, it won't be habit-forming tomorrow. I wonder about that connection because of a curious recurring experience I had over the past year. I should first note that at my incredibly fortunate age of 87, many of my habits are as strong today as they were when they began in my youth. As an example of a habit's long-distance vigor, I still keep my shoes shined as I did for an Army sergeant's inspections when I was 18 and in basic infantry training during World War II. Settling into adulthood, I developed habits just as durable.
September 11, 2011
You've done your beach reading; now it's time to brush off the sand, go inside, and curl up in a cozy chair with some of fall's best offerings. Do love and marriage really go together like a horse and carriage? Pulitzer-winning novelist Jeffrey Eugenides takes a mordant look at matrimony in The Marriage Plot . A slew of other notable novelists weigh in with new work, too, including Haruki Murakami, Russell Banks, Amitav Ghosh, Don DeLillo, and Stephen King. On the nonfiction side, Mark Bowden, who chronicled a shooting war in Black Hawk Down , turns to cyber-conflict in Worm: The First Digital World War . Best-selling author Joe McGinniss tells us all about Sarah Palin in The Rogue , Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. leads us on a tour of African American history, Life Upon These Shores , and historian Ian Kershaw recounts the last days of the Third Reich in The End: The Defiance and Destruction of Hitler's Germany, 1944-1945 . Autobiographies abound, with memoirs from luminaries including Riccardo Muti, Joan Didion, Carrie Fisher, Diane Keaton, Harry Belafonte, and Roger Ebert.
July 31, 2011
The Amazing Story Behind the Most Audacious Heist in History By Ben Mezrich Doubleday. 308 pp. $26.95 Reviewed by Ben Tarnoff In the summer of 2002, three young NASA employees stole a quarter-pound of moon rocks and tried selling them online to a Belgian collector. He alerted the FBI, and together they orchestrated the sting that led to the robbers' arrest. The rocks were returned - lunar samples from the Apollo missions, valued in the vicinity of $20 million - and the ringleader, 25-year-old Thad Roberts, went to prison for eight years.
April 16, 2011 |
DEAR TattFans, We know, we know. Every time you picked up the Saturday paper, it was stained with your tears because you simply missed us too much. We totally get it. We missed you on the weekends, too. But starting today, Lady Tattle will be holding it down weekendwise, giving you all the celeb news you'd been sorely missing. Love, The Tattle Team Raising Kane Larry Kane is getting back into the local TV news business. But this time it might kill him. Kane, an almost constant presence in Philly's local news scene before his retirement in 2002, self-published his first novel, Death by Deadline , as an ebook earlier this week.
January 12, 2010 |
A woman picking at bones in the dirt . . . sexy stuff for a book? Could be . . . if that woman helped midwife an entire new understanding of the history of life. That's the warm heart of Tracy Chevalier's new book, Remarkable Creatures. She comes to the Free Library tonight at 7:30 for a free reading. In what is often called an era of great nonfiction, Chevalier renders true stories into truer-than-fact fiction. Her 1999 novel Girl With a Pearl Earring has had successful lives as book, play and film.
December 13, 2009 |
To review means "to see again," and to review 2009 means to see again a lot of great books and a lot of great Inquirer reviews: Nonfiction. Ours is often called an age of nonfiction, and that's the truth. Timothy Egan, one of our best nonfiction writers, published The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire That Saved America (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $27), a story of a huge fire that spawned the modern conservationist movement. Our reviewer, ecologist Rick Bass, called it "a remarkable story, filled with fantastic characters, cowardice and heroism.
November 21, 2009 |
Ah, fall. The season of spookiness, of football, and of leaf-peeping is about to give way to the interminable holidays, but readers of young adult books can hold onto autumn a little longer. The ever-growing genre continues to turn out interesting books, and this season gives us tons of new titles to be excited about: nonfiction on surprising topics, and novels nuanced enough to appeal to readers of any age. Here are just a few. I Can't Keep My Own Secrets Six-Word Memoirs By Teens Famous and Obscure Edited by Larry Smith and Rachel Fershleiser HarperTeen 192 pp. $8.99 paperback Try writing your truth in exactly six words.
September 13, 2009 |
Book lovers will be able to read by literary star light this fall, as new works from some of the biggest names in publishing appear on bookstore shelves. In the fiction section, the novel Homer & Langley is just out from E.L. Doctorow. Following later this month will be offerings from Margaret Atwood, Pete Dexter, and Nick Hornby. October will bring new works by Michael Connelly, Jonathan Lethem, John Irving, and Augusten Burroughs. Philip Roth and Barbara Kingsolver return in November, and Sue Grafton will near the end of the alphabet in December when she reaches the letter "U. " Memoirs will loom large on the nonfiction shelves as the late Edward M. Kennedy, Serena Williams, Michael Chabon, and Andre Agassi weigh in. Also coming: Works about Barack and Michelle Obama, NFL star/Army ranger Pat Tillman, Elizabeth Taylor, and the late Queen Mother.