Shelf Awareness for Readers for Tuesday, August 14, 2018
From My Shelf
Check Your Book Obsession
Pop quiz: "Are you obsessed with books?" Buzzfeed asks.
"It's got a subtle Casablanca connection." Mental Floss shares "10 fascinating facts about The Handmaid's Tale."
"What is Walden Pond?" Atlas Obscura notes that Henry David Thoreau's legendary retreat's "cultural meaning may be calcified--but off the page, it's changing fast."
"Reading a book takes time--deal with it," Electric Lit advises.
From Frankenstein to Pinocchio, Sjón picks his "top 10 artificial humans in fiction" for the Guardian.
Rediscover: V.S. Naipaul
V.S. Naipaul, the novelist and Nobel laureate of Indian ancestry born in Trinidad, died last week at age 85. Much of his work involved scathing critiques of colonialism and the British Empire, but also harsh judgments of subjugated or formerly subjugated peoples themselves. He was also known for his difficult temperament and instances of misogyny--both in his fiction and in his personal life. After a childhood in Trinidad, Naipaul received a scholarship to study at Oxford University in England, where he lived for the rest of his life. His debut novel, The Mystic Masseur, was published in 1955 to some acclaim. His next novel, A House for Mr. Biswas (1961), achieved global success.
Naipaul also wrote A Bend in the River, The Middle Passage, The Mimic Men, The Enigma of Arrival, A Turn in the South, Half a Life, Miguel Street and Among the Believers, among other fiction and nonfiction works. He won the 1971 Booker Prize for In a Free State, and was knighted in 1990. In 2001, he received the Nobel Prize for Literature. Writing in the Guardian, Amit Chaudhuri said: "Though many of us disagree fundamentally with his views, we are beholden to what Naipaul has given us: not as members of a particular ethnicity, group, or gender, but as people, whose experience of the world flows into the experience of writing." Naipaul's novels and short story collections are available from Vintage. --Tobias Mutter
The Writer's Life
Delia Owens: Survival, Nature and Isolation
|photo: Dawn Marie Tucker|
by Anne Tyler
Discover: A finely tuned piece of social commentary, Clock Dance is full of wit and charm for a broad audience of readers.
Where the Crawdads Sing
by Delia Owens
Discover: An engrossing story of a girl, abandoned by her family, who survives alone in the North Carolina coastal marshes--with a murder mystery and a courtroom drama woven in.
Mystery & Thriller
Half Moon Bay
by Alice LaPlante
Discover: A mother recovering from her teenage daughter's death becomes a suspect when girls in her small town are being abducted and killed.
Science Fiction & Fantasy
by Rich Larson
Discover: An electrifying and satisfying debut from a fresh new voice in speculative fiction ponders the value of friendship and loyalty in a world devastated by war.
Heart of Glass
by Nicole Jacquelyn
Discover: In this intriguing romance, a man finds himself attracted to his late brother's girlfriend, as he tries to help her raise her daughter.
Travelers in the Third Reich: The Rise of Fascism: 1919-1945
by Julia Boyd
Discover: A fascinating collection of accounts from foreign travelers in Weimar and Nazi Germany.
Amateur: A True Story About What Makes a Man
by Thomas Page McBee
Discover: While training as an amateur boxer, Thomas Page McBee grapples with the complex relationship between masculinity and violence.
The Black and the Blue: A Cop Reveals the Crimes, Racism, and Injustice in America's Law Enforcement
by Matthew Horace, Ron Harris
Discover: A black law enforcement officer reveals the inherent racism and political culture that plague police forces.
Extreme Conservation: Life at the Edges of the World
by Joel Berger
Discover: This is a fascinating and compassionate look at endangered animal life in the planet's most remote and dangerous regions.
If They Come for Us
by Fatimah Asghar
Discover: Poet Fatimah Asghar's If They Come for Us is a forceful look at history, identity and form.
Children's & Young Adult
Allie All Along
by Sarah Lynne Reul
Discover: A little girl turns into a multi-layered, many-colored monster when she becomes angry over a broken crayon, and her older brother helps her shed the furry coats of rage.
A Festival of Ghosts
by William Alexander, illus. by Kelly Murphy
Discover: The ghosts are back in Ingot, and Rosa and Jasper have their hands full trying to appease them in William Alexander's follow up to A Properly Unhaunted Place.