Keir Graff and editors from Booklist's adult and youth departments write candidly about books, book reviewing, and the publishing industry
Thursday, January 31, 2013 3:38 pm Book Trailer Thursday: YMA Winners Posted by: Annie Bostrom
I was out sick last Thursday, so here’s my belated birthday gift to trailerdom: not a-one, not a-two, but a SIX trailer BTT post. The Youth Media Awards were announced bright and early this past Monday morning in Seattle at the ALA Midwinter conference, and here are just a few of the lauded titles in trailer form. Click here for a full list of award winners and honor titles.
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 9:31 am Youth Media Awards Posted by: Sarah Hunter
Well, that was a whirlwind hour, and I only say that because I was not in Seattle but here in Chicago, frantically trying to keep up with the rapid-fire Youth Media Awards announcements on our Facebook page (check out all the covers!). I’m sure for real-life attendees of yesterday’s announcements, the presentation was full of ballyhoos and lovebombs, but I spent it clicking and linking and copying and pasting, only looking up long enough to realize it was over. And that’s why you’re getting an awards post a day late! Here are links to (most of) the winners and finalists announced at yesterday’s ceremony in Seattle. Congratulations to everyone!
Tuesday, January 22, 2013 9:35 am Hostile Questions: Paolo Bacigalupi Posted by: Daniel Kraus
Paolo Bacigalupi really knows how to draw the hostility out of a questioner. Winner of the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, Printz, and a National Book Award finalist, he’s got just the kind of medal-laden shelf that I live to upend. So it’s freaking killing me that I can’t quite do it. Y’all read The Drowned Cities? Seriously dope stuff, yo. So instead of ransacking his trophy case, I find myself repeating his musical last name as a calming mantra: Bacigalupi. Bacigalupi. Bacigalupi.
Namaste. I have arrived at my happy place. Let us begin.
Those eyes will follow you anywhere in the room. Try it.
Just who do you think you are?
The fifth horseman of the apocalypse. Or a writer. I get those mixed up.
Where do you get off?
The stop just before everyone else goes off the cliff.
What’s the big idea?
It’s not about the big idea; it’s about small ones–the creeping tiny ideas people dismiss as too small to worry about. The brown recluse details, if you will. The ones we miss, and later wish we hadn’t.
What is your problem, man?
An unhealthy terror of impermanence. An obsession with fragility. A fascination with the things that make our lives good, and that we take for granted–things like civil democratic societies. Or fresh water. Or a stable climate. It’s never just one thing. Once you lose a few supporting pins for something as complex as our prosperity, it’s easy to pull the rest.
Haven’t you done enough?
I’m an American. What is this word, “enough?” MOAR.
Friday, January 18, 2013 11:43 am Reading the Screen: 2013 Oscar Nominations Posted by: David Pitt
I don’t know if this means anything, but five of this year’s nine Best Picture nominees for the Academy Award are based on books. They are:
Silver Linings Playbook, based on Matthew Quick’s 2008 novel of the same name.
Argo, based on Antonio Mendez’s 1999 memoir The Master of Disguise(written with Malcolm McConnell). Mendez is the CIA agent played by Ben Affleck in the movie, which also draws from a 2007 Wired magazine article, “The Great Escape,” written by Joshuah Bearman.
Lincoln, partly based on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s 2005 Lincoln bio A Team of Rivals.
Les Miserables, based on Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel of the same name. (Okay, technically it’s based on the stage musical based on the book, but this isn’t the place for nitpicking.)
You keep hearing that people don’t read as much as they used to, that books are a dying breed…I don’t buy it. I would like it, though, if the people who made the movies would go to a little more effort to mention that there’s a book, too.
Friday, January 18, 2013 10:00 am Come See Us in Seattle! Posted by: Keir Graff
We’re packing our bags—and, given some of the food-loving people on staff, this probably includes doggie bags, too—for Seattle, where we’ll be attending ALA’s Midwinter Meeting from Friday, January 25 through Monday, January 28. Will you be going, too? Be sure to stop by booth #2515 to say hello. Just a few of the reasons you might want to visit:
To take advantage of our special $119.95 conference subscription (a 20% discount) and be entered in a drawing for an iPad mini (those are very favorable odds!)
To enter a free drawing for two tickets to the presentation of the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction at Annual Conference in Chicago
To pick up free copies of the Booklist Editors’ Choice issue and the Book Links Lasting Connections issue
To learn more about the way we can help you navigate the Common Core
To set up access to Booklist Online with your Booklist print subscription
And, naturally, to mix and mingle with our charming editors and staff
Before it all kicks off, don’t miss the ERT/Booklist Author Forum, “The Novel Is Alive and Well,” moderated by Booklist‘s own Brad Hooper. Brad will be in conversation with best-selling authors Terry Brooks, Ivan Doig, Gregg Olsen, and Ruth Ozeki in what is sure to be a well-attended and talked-about event.
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 1:31 pm Edgar Award Nominees Posted by: Sarah Hunter
Let’s suspend our disbelief for a brief moment and imagine that Edgar Allan Poe, now 204 years old, were still alive. Perhaps he’s revising his latest rewrite, “The Purloined Email.” Maybe he’s picking up a book to read, no doubt assisted by his scientifically advanced cyborg eyes (204 years is a long time, people). Is there anyone more capable of picking this year’s Edgar Award nominees than their namesake? I should hope not, but the Mystery Writers of America have taken a noble stab. Here are their nominations for this year’s award. The winner of each category will be announced at a gala ceremony on May 2nd.
Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe: The Hard-Boiled Detective Transformed, by John Paul Athanasourelis Books to Die For: The World’s Greatest Mystery Writers on the World’s Greatest Mystery Novels, edited by John Connolly and Declan Burke The Scientific Sherlock Holmes: Cracking the Case with Science and Forensics, by James O’Brien In Pursuit of Spenser: Mystery Writers on Robert B. Parker and the Creation of an American Hero, edited by Otto Penzler
BEST SHORT STORY
“Iphigenia in Aulis” – An Apple for the Creature, by Mike Carey
“Hot Sugar Blues” – Mystery Writers of America Presents: Vengeance, by Steve Liskow
“The Void it Often Brings With It” – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, by Tom Piccirilli
“The Unremarkable Heart” – Mystery Writers of America Presents: Vengeance, by Karin Slaughter
“Still Life No. 41″ – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, by Teresa Solana
Monday, January 14, 2013 1:00 pm National Book Critics Circle Award Finalists Posted by: Sarah Hunter
It seems like just yesterday that I posted the National Book Critics Circle Award winners. So much so, in fact, that I searched for my original post to make sure I wasn’t repeating myself. Turns out it was about one year ago, and one year is enough time for a new batch of excellent titles to be published. Here are the finalists for this year’s National Book Critics Circle awards. The winners will be announced on February 28th, a date on which I’m sure I’ll be compelled to ask again, Where has the time gone?
HHhH, by Laurent Binet and translated by Sam Taylor
Monday, January 14, 2013 10:39 am Hostile Questions: Maggie Stiefvater Posted by: Daniel Kraus
Maggie Stiefvater loves animals!!! Having put out a number of books on doggies (Shiver), horsies (The Scorpio Races), and birdies (The Raven Boys), she’s clearly in line for one of those hilarious guest spots on late-night TV where she brings out the funny orangutan and it climbs all over Jay Leno. Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! What fun! Well, doggone it, that’s a first–I have nothing to whatsoever hostile to say to so delightful an individual!!!
Hold on… this just in… Ah, crap. Turns out she’s one of them fiction writers. So this whole whoopie-I-love-animals thing was just a cover? Sigh. She’s probably never even met an orangutan. What kind of sad life is that? All right, I’m fired up, let’s do this.
Just who do you think you are?
Alfred the Great, also known as Ælfræd, king of Wessex — that’s a bit of England, Daniel — in the 9th century — that’s before you were born, Daniel — defender against Vikings , patron of the arts, lover of education. He founded schools, Daniel, when other kings were smashing in skulls and performing blood eagles — that’s a kind of torture, Daniel. I mean, there’s a reason why they call him “Great” and not just, say, Alfred the Middling or Alfred the Well At Least He’s Not Aethelbald. Great.
Well, maybe I’m not him. But you’d be really impressed if I were, wouldn’t you?
Stiefvater in flameproof suit… cuz she’s about to get burned!!!
Where do you get off?
I don’t. I shall ride this thing until it breaks.
Also, this is not really related to your question, but speaking of riding things until they break, I’m not a fan of this Google car concept. Have you been following it? Google’s developed a self-driving car that will eventually render drivers irrelevant. I have all sorts of problems with this, starting with WHAT HAPPENED TO OUR SENSE OF SELF RELIANCE and moving through WHY NOT JUST USE PUBLIC TRANSPORT and finally ending with BUT GOOGLE MAPS SOMETIMES TAKES ME TO DODGY NEIGHBORHOODS AND LEAVES ME THERE.
It just seems so unheroic. Why can’t they throw that development funding into Floo Powder?
What’s the big idea?
Mine? Or yours? Or shared? I would say that we both share a big idea, and it is this, Daniel: naming our books things that end with “er.” Shiver, Rotters, Linger, Scowler, Forever.
This was not a big idea, but it was one of my worst: in 2011, I had the brilliant thought to write an April Fool’s Day blog post announcing that I was writing a fourth book in the Shiver trilogy. I said it would be called Litter, and I posted the following cover.
Half of my readers thought this was hilarious. A quarter were infuriated. And the remaining quarter believed me. Now, two years later, I still get e-mails about Litter. The hilarity has definitely worn off, and all that remains is the indignity and the anticipation. Or sadness.
One of my foreign publishers who shall go unnamed asked when they’d be seeing the manuscript. It turns out that Litter is only a hilarious title before Google translate gets ahold of it.
Every so often, I have to convince Goodreads that Litter is not really coming and they really do need to take it off my book page.
When I lay it out that way, it does seem like a big idea. Or at least a relatively involved one.
What is your problem, man?
I used to ask myself this question a lot as a teen. I was sort of obsessed with finding out precisely what was wrong with me. I wanted to know if it had a name, something that ended with “itis” or started with “Glenda.” And then I realized life was more enjoyable if you did things rather than just mulling over them. I’m still a fan of introspection — and of wearing black and frowning moodily — but I like being introspective while doing something else at the same time. So instead of contemplating why it is I am always dreaming of “something more,” I write a novel that works out the question of what “something more” might look like. Instead of spending time trying to decide why I’m such an adrenalin junkie, I buy a rally car and see if that solves the problem. Instead of wondering “does wearing this much black mean that I have a problem with the world?” I just contentedly wear 17 identical black tank tops while on book tour.
So. I will answer “what is your problem, man?” but you’re going to have to walk with me as I do. Also you should wear some aviator sunglasses. So that you’ll match me.
Haven’t you done enough?
I shall ride this thing until it breaks. I still have the Raven Cycle to finish — that’s four books total. And I really want to do a graphic novel. My sister and I are laying down an album. Slowly, but it’s coming. And I have to tell you, I really want an animation studio. I don’t think there are any animation studios owned by women. Or at least any animation studios owned by author women who also race cars, play bagpipes, and write novels. And it’s always nice to be the first at something.
Thursday, January 10, 2013 10:44 am Book Trailer Thursday: On the Map Posted by: Annie Bostrom
I found it fun to imagine what exactly I was looking at in this mesmerizing trailer for Simon Garfield’s On the Map. And, as reviewer Colleen Mondor writes, “The people and places he has chosen to discuss are a collection of curiosities without peer,” most of my guesses are probably far off. The starred review and trailer both make picking up a copy seem a more than worthy diversion.