If only I could read faster, but I’ve always been a slow reader. So many good books I see on my reading table, like stacks of travel brochures, and I want to go everywhere. I remind myself “bird by bird,” as Anne Lamott teaches us in her classic by the same title, adding these books to my already full reading life, stories of family secrets, the Troubles, and Nazi heritage.
Category: Award Books
The 2022 Booker Prize winner plus a surprise bestseller
Sri Lankan author Shehan Karunatilaka won this year's Booker Prize for his second novel about his country's decades-long civil war. Also, and totally unrelated, the MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant announcements last week connected me to a wildly popular book that has "germinated" into a bestseller. Here's more.
“Treacle Walker” and “Oh William!”
The National Book Foundation announced their longlist for the 2022 National Book Awards this week. (This post isn't about that. I just wanted to tell you.) They have several categories beyond fiction and nonfiction, all of which you'll find on their website. Meanwhile, I'm still closing in on the Booker Prize nominees. They're down to the six finalists, including these two.
Reading the 2022 Booker Prize longlist
There’s much to be excited over in this upcoming fall season's literary line-up: Cormac McCarthy, Ian McEwan, Elizabeth McCracken are some of the authors coming out with new books. More on those later. Meanwhile, the Booker Prize is in full swing with its longlisted nominees, a great selection this year. Here are a few you might want to consider reading.
2022 Dublin Literary Award winner and finalists
Last month, Ireland's Dublin City Council announced the winner of its annual literary award. Nominations for this award come from public libraries around the world, which means the longlist of contenders offers readers an exciting wealth of books to browse in search of next reads. Here's what I chose for myself, and why so few. Plus, the winner, which I loved.
Mahmood Mattan’s tragic story
"The Fortune Men" is a fictionalized account of a gross miscarriage of justice that sent a Somali sailor to the gallows in 1952 Cardiff, Wales. Shortlisted for Britain’s 2021 Booker and Costa literary awards, it’s received much attention and praise. Here’s a review.
My 10 favorite books of 2021
A surprising mix of novels became my year-end favorites for their morally conflicted and inspiring characters: from scientists to petty thieves, French Algerians to Chilean dictators, an Indiana farm woman to a Black female executive. And then one book, simply put, I didn't want to end.
A man walks into a tacky hotel
"Winter in Sokcho" by Elisa Shua Dusapin tells the story of a stranger arriving in an isolated South Korean fishing village. He’s a graphic novelist looking for peace and quiet to complete his final book in a series. The unnamed narrator, who works at the guesthouse where he takes a room, becomes his tour guide, and also his unexpected emotional life reckoning. Her voice is enticing. Read more here about this award-winning novel.
The Dayton Literary Peace Prize Winners 2021
Since 2006, this significant prize in literature has celebrated the power of the written word to promote peace. Here are the 2021 winners: one adult fiction and one adult nonfiction, both of World War II and lives revealed, both riveting reads.
Finalists for the 2021 International Booker Prize
I wasn't paying attention, and then I was, when the six books in the running for this year's International Booker Prize jumped out at me on social media with their surprising variety. It's the stuff that astonishes. Take a look.
Book award winners announced this week
Some of the finest books published this year won the Booker Prize and the National Book Awards. Fiction includes stories about a ghost haunting a train station, an Asian actor aspiring to be Kung Fu Guy, and a boy in 1980's Glasgow. Here are the titles.
New this month, a major award finalist: “How to Make a Slave and Other Essays”
An essay collection written with singular insight, humor and irony. A finalist for the 2020 National Book Award in Nonfiction and the first essay collection I’ve ever described as a page-turner. Published by The Ohio State University Press.
A milkman and slow horses: Mick Herron’s brilliant British intelligence series
“The Catch" is a perfect introduction to Mick Herron’s Slough House series about disgraced British spies. It’s a fast-paced novella and the reason I picked up “Slow Horses." Here’s what to love about these two books.
My impossible list of wants. Then three.
The International Dublin Literary Award is parked indefinitely at its 2020 Longlist due to the pandemic. But wait ‘til you see the nominees, happy hunting ground for readers in search of a good novel. There are many, but I provide a tip to help your search.
Lessons for a book critic
Larry Heinemann won the 1987 National Book Award for fiction. It was a controversial upset. Here's why his story has stayed with me all these years.