Awards season continues with Nat’l Book Award shortlists

October 16th, 2014

See the National Book Award shortlists here released yesterday and listed in The Millions!

Booker Prize goes to Richard Flanagan

October 16th, 2014





Australian Richard Flanagan has been awarded the Man Booker Prize for his novel, The Narrow Road to the Deep North.  The book centers on a surgeon and his experiences in World War II.  Flanagan is the third Australian to win the Booker – along with Peter Carey and Thomas Keneally.  (Available as a hardcover book, an audiobook, and an e-book)

Nobel Prize in Literature goes to Patrick Modiano

October 9th, 2014

The Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded to Patrick Modiano, a French author.  Few of his works have been translated into English, but that should change very soon.  Read more about Patrick Modiano in this Times Literary Supplement article.

Here are books (and some films based on books) by Modiano in the SF Public Library.

What is art for?

October 8th, 2014

See the video-guide by Alain de Botton from The Guardian website:


October 7th, 2014

untitled 2靜坐的科學、醫學與心靈之旅:21世紀最實用的身心轉化指南 Jing zuo de ke xue, yi xue yu xin ling zhi lü: 21 shi ji zui shi yong de shen xin zhuan hua zhi nan  / 楊定一,楊元寧著, 2014





National Book Awards – Fiction Long List

October 6th, 2014

Here are the 10 books selected for the fiction long list of the National Book Awards (5 finalists in four categories – young people’s literature, poetry, nonfiction and fiction – will be selected on October 15, and winners will be announced on November 19):













An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine













The UnAmericans by Molly Antopol

Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Redeployment by Phil Klay

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Thunderstruck & Other Stories by Elizabeth McCracken

Orfeo by Richard Powers

Lila by Marilynne Robinson

Some Luck by Jane Smiley


I’ve read two of these – An Unnecessary Woman and All the Light We Cannot See - as well as earlier titles by Jane Smiley and Marilynne Robinson.


Gutenberg’s Apprentice, plus more historical fiction

September 30th, 2014


gutenberg's apprentice


I attended a reading last Wednesday at Arion Press (in the Presidio) by Alix Christie, author of the new historical novel, Gutenberg’s Apprentice The book focuses on apprentice printer, Peter Schoeffer, and his role in the development of the printing press – I can’t wait to read it.

For author Christie’s suggestions for additional historical fiction reads, here’s a list published in Publisher’s Weekly of her 10 favorite historical novels.

Great Hera! The Secret History of Wonder Woman

September 25th, 2014

untitledYes, Wonder Woman was a childhood heroine of mine, I guess my only childhood heroine, unless you count Little Lulu and Nancy Drew.  I was delighted when I learned historian Jill Lepore was working on this book.  See an excerpt in last week’s New Yorker.


The actual Booker short list!

September 9th, 2014


Here, from The Millions, the Man Booker short list:


To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris

The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan

We are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

J: A Novel by Howard Jacobson (on order)

The Lives of Others by Neel Mukerjee (on order)

How to Be Both by Ali Smith



covercovercover covercovercover

Fall Books – New York Magazine

September 4th, 2014


Here’s a lengthy listing of new fall books recommended by New York magazine:


Adding several to my list!


J in the Branches