Category Archives: Memes & Miscellany

2014 National Book Awards Finalists

Today, the finalists for the National Book Awards, five each in the four categories of Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature, were announced. (Thanks go out to Suey for the heads up!)

Here they are:

NBA 2014 F
FICTION
Rabih Alameddine, An Unnecessary Woman (Grove Press/ Grove/Atlantic)
Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See (Scribner/ Simon & Schuster)
Phil Klay, Redeployment (The Penguin Press/ Penguin Group (USA))
Emily St. John Mandel, Station Eleven (Alfred A. Knopf/ Random House)
Marilynne Robinson, Lila (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

NBA 2014 N
NONFICTION
Roz Chast, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? (Bloomsbury)
Anand Gopal, No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes (Metropolitan Books/ Henry Holt and Company)
John Lahr, Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh (W.W. Norton & Company)
Evan Osnos, Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Edward O. Wilson, The Meaning of Human Existence (Liveright Publishing Corporation/ W.W. Norton & Company)

NBA 2014 P
POETRY
Louise Glück, Faithful and Virtuous Night (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Fanny Howe, Second Childhood (Graywolf Press)
Maureen N. McLane, This Blue (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Fred Moten, The Feel Trio (Letter Machine Editions)
Claudia Rankine, Citizen: An American Lyric (Graywolf Press)

NBA 2014 YPL
YOUNG PEOPLE’S LITERATURE
Eliot Schrefer, Threatened (Scholastic Press)
Steve Sheinkin, The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights (Roaring Brook Press/ Macmillan Publishers)
John Corey Whaley, Noggin (Atheneum Books for Young Readers/ Simon & Schuster)
Deborah Wiles, Revolution: The Sixties Trilogy, Book Two (Scholastic Press)
Jacqueline Woodson, Brown Girl Dreaming (Nancy Paulsen Books/ Penguin Group (USA))

Well, what do you think? I’ve read nary a one of them, though several are on my TBR. For more information about this year’s awards, including the 2014 longlists, head over to the official website of the National Book Award. The winner in each category will be announced on November 19, 2014.


2014 Man Booker Prize Winner

The winner of the 2014 Man Booker Prize was announced today! And the winner is . . .

The Narrow Road to the Deep North, Richard Flanagan (Chatto & Windus)

Though this year was the first year all titles in English were eligible for the prize, without regard to the nationality of the author, an Australian took the prize.

I’m really looking forward to reading this one. I found the blurb to be intriguing:

August, 1943. In the despair of a Japanese POW camp on the Thai-Burma Death Railway, Australian surgeon Dorrigo Evans is haunted by his affair with his uncle’s young wife two years earlier. His life is a daily struggle to save the men under his command from starvation, from cholera, from pitiless beatings. Until he receives a letter that will change him forever.

Moving deftly from the POW camp to contemporary Australia, from the experiences of Dorrigo and his comrades to those of the Japanese guards, this savagely beautiful novel tells a story of love, death, and family, exploring the many forms of good and evil, war and truth, guilt and transcendence, as one man comes of age, prospers, only to discover all that he has lost.

For more about this year’s Booker contest, check out the 2014 shortlist and the 2014 longlist.

Do you follow the Booker prize? Do you plan to read this year’s winning book?


Facebook 100 Books

I’m sure you’ve seen the Facebook viral status that asks users to list the top ten books that influenced them. Facebook analyzed the data to compile 100 books that have stayed with us. And there has been a lot of media coverage since then. I thought this one about whether people compiled their lists honestly was interesting. But I loved Jenni Elyse’s idea to post the list and note which ones she has read. So, I’m jumping on her meme bandwagon and doing the same. (Formatting from this Entertainment Weekly article.)

I have read the books and series in red. I have read part of the books or series in blue. Enjoy!

  1. The Harry Potter series—J.K. Rowling (21.08%)
  2. To Kill a Mockingbird—Harper Lee (14.48%)
  3. The Lord of the Rings—JRR Tolkien (13.86%)
  4. The Hobbit—JRR Tolkien (7.48%)
  5. Pride and Prejudice—Jane Austen (7.28%)
  6. The Holy Bible (7.21%)
  7. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy—Douglas Adams (5.97%)
  8. The Hunger Games trilogy—Suzanne Collins (5.82%)
  9. The Catcher in the Rye—J.D. Salinger (5.70%)
  10. The Chronicles of Narnia—C.S. Lewis (5.63%)
  11. The Great Gatsby—F. Scott Fitzgerald (5.61%)
  12. 1984—George Orwell (5.37%)
  13. Little Women—Louisa May Alcott (5.26%)
  14. Jane Eyre—Charlotte Bronte (5.23%)
  15. The Stand—Stephen King (5.11%)
  16. Gone with the Wind—Margaret Mitchell (4.95%)
  17. A Wrinkle in Time—Madeleine L’Engle (4.38%)
  18. The Handmaid’s Tale—Margaret Atwood (4.27%)
  19. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe—C.S. Lewis (4.05%)
  20. The Alchemist—Paulo Coelho (4.01%)
  21. Anne of Green Gables—L.M. Montgomery (3.95%)
  22. The Giver—Lois Lowry (3.53%)
  23. The Kite Runner—Khaled Hosseini (3.67%)
  24. Ender’s Game—Orson Scott Card (3.53%)
  25. The Poisonwood Bible—Barbara Kingsolver (3.39%)
  26. Lord of the Flies—William Golding (3.38%)
  27. The Eye of the World—Robert Jordan (3.38%)
  28. The Book Thief—Markus Zusak (3.32%)
  29. Wuthering Heights—Emily Bronte (3.26%)
  30. Hamlet—William Shakespeare (3.22%)
  31. The Little Prince—Antoine de Saint-Exupery (3.21%)
  32. Sherlock Holmes—Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (3.15%)
  33. Fahrenheit 451—Ray Bradbury (3.15%)
  34. Animal Farm—George Orwell (3.12%)
  35. The Book of Mormon (3.08%)
  36. The Diary of Anne Frank—Anne Frank (3.05%)
  37. Dune—Frank Herbert (3.02%)
  38. One Hundred Years of Solitude—Gabriel Garcia Marquez (2.98%)
  39. The Autobiography of Malcolm X (2.83%)
  40. Of Mice and Men—John Steinbeck (2.78%)
  41. The Giving Tree—Shel Silverstein (2.72%)
  42. The Fault in Our Stars—John Green (2.68%)
  43. On the Road—Jack Kerouac (2.68%)
  44. Lamb—Christopher Moore (2.58%)
  45. Slaughterhouse-Five—Kurt Vonnegut (2.54%)
  46. A Prayer for Owen Meany—John Irving (2.53%)
  47. Good Omens—Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett (2.52%)
  48. The Help—Kathryn Stockett (2.45%)
  49. The Outsiders—S.E. Hinton (2.44%)
  50. American Gods—Neil Gaiman (2.42%)
  51. Where the Red Fern Grows—Wilson Rawls (2.41%)
  52. Stranger in a Strange Land—Robert Heinlein (2.39%)
  53. The Secret Garden—Frances Hodgson Burnett (2.38%)
  54. Little House on the Prairie—Laura Ingalls Wilder (2.35%)
  55. The Count of Monte Cristo—Alexandre Dumas (2.31%)
  56. The Pillars of the Earth—Ken Follett (2.31%)
  57. The Da Vinci Code—Dan Brown (2.29%)
  58. Brave New World—Aldous Huxley (2.24%)
  59. A Tale of Two Cities—Charles Dickens (2.21%)
  60. Les Miserables—Victor Hugo (2.21%)
  61. Great Expectations—Charles Dickens (2.16%)
  62. Night—Elie Wiesel (2.12%)
  63. The Dark Tower series—Stephen King (2.12%)
  64. Outlander—Diana Gabaldon (2.07%)
  65. The Color Purple—Alice Walker (1.92%)
  66. A Thousand Splendid Suns—Khaled Hosseini (1.89%)
  67. The Art of War—Sun Tzu (1.88%)
  68. Catch-22—Joseph Heller (1.85%)
  69. The Bell Jar—Sylvia Plath (1.85%)
  70. The Perks of Being a Wallflower—Stephen Chbosky (1.83%)
  71. The Old Man and the Sea—Ernest Hemingway (1.78%)
  72. Memoirs of a Geisha—Arthur Golden (1.76%)
  73. Tuesdays with Morrie—Mitch Albom (1.75%)
  74. The Road—Cormac McCarthy (1.73%)
  75. Watership Down—Richard Adams (1.72%)
  76. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn—Betty Smith (1.72%)
  77. Where the Sidewalk Ends—Shel Silverstein (1.68%)
  78. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo—Stieg Larsson (1.65%)
  79. A Song of Ice and Fire—George R. R. Martin (1.65%)
  80. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret—Judy Blume (1.65%)
  81. Charlotte’s Web—E.B. White (1.64%)
  82. The Time Traveler’s Wife—Audrey Niffenegger (1.63%)
  83. Anna Karenina—Leo Tolstoy (1.62%)
  84. Crime and Punishment—Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1.62%)
  85. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn—Mark Twain (1.61%)
  86. The Shack—William P. Young (1.58%)
  87. Watchmen—Alan Moore (1.56%)
  88. Interview with the Vampire—Anne Rice (1.55%)
  89. The Odyssey—Homer (1.54%)
  90. The House of the Spirits—Isabel Allende (1.54%)
  91. The Stranger—Albert Camus (1.63%)
  92. The Call of the Wild—Jack London (1.63%)
  93. The Five People You Meet in Heaven—Mitch Albom (1.63%)
  94. Siddhartha—Herman Hesse (1.63%)
  95. East of Eden—John Steinbeck (1.50%)
  96. Matilda—Roald Dahl (1.50%)
  97. The Picture of Dorian Gray—Oscar Wilde (1.49%)
  98. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance—Robert Pirsig (1.47%)
  99. Love in the Time of Cholera—Gabriel Garcia Marquez (1.45%)
  100. Where the Wild Things Are—Maurice Sendak (1.45%)

Total (red) = 55

What do you think about this list?

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2014 Booker Shortlist

Today, the Man Booker Prize announced the 2014 shortlist, culled from the original longlist of 13 novels.

The Shortlist
To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, Joshua Ferris (Viking)
The Narrow Road to the Deep North, Richard Flanagan (Chatto & Windus)
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Karen Joy Fowler (Serpent’s Tail)
J, Howard Jacobson (Jonathan Cape)
The Lives of Others, Neel Mukherjee (Chatto & Windus)
How to be Both, Ali Smith (Hamish Hamilton)

The Rest of the Longlist
The Blazing World, Siri Hustvedt (Sceptre)
The Wake, Paul Kingsnorth (Unbound)
The Bone Clocks, David Mitchell (Sceptre)
Us, David Nicholls (Hodder & Stoughton)
The Dog, Joseph O’Neill (Fourth Estate)
Orfeo, Richard Powers (Atlantic Books)
History of the Rain, Niall Williams (Bloomsbury)

Two of the three women on the longlist moved forward, and I’m a little surprised that The Bone Clocks did not. Whoever wins will be a new-to-me author.

As I mentioned in the longlist post, this is the first year that novelists from countries other than those in the British Commonwealth have been eligible for the Man Booker Prize. Now to qualify a work must simply be written in English. The winner will be chosen from among the shortlisted titles and announced on October 14.

Have you read any of these? What do you think about the shortlist?


The Days are Long, but the Years are Short

I received a free 11×14 print from Easy Canvas Prints. All content and opinions are my own.

I don’t often remember quotes from books I’ve read. But this quote, from Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project has bounced around in my head ever since I finished the book. “The days are long, but the years are short.” There is such truth there.

I have kind of started a collection of items with this quote on it, like this printable from Pink Ronnie. And then I fell in love with this awesome print from HalfPintPrints. I purchased the digital download, and immediately uploaded it to Easy Canvas Prints to have it printed. The ordering process was extremely easy and straightforward. It took three weeks from the date I ordered to the date I had the canvas in hand, but they were upfront about the turnaround time on the website. When the canvas arrived, I could not have been more pleased. The canvas is thick and good quality and is reinforced by a wood frame inside. My favorite detail is the orange border I chose for the sides. I love the whole thing.

photo 3 (4)

This canvas will last through the long days and the short years, for sure.