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.
Recommendations for a book club
Often in conversation someone mentions an upcoming book club meeting, and they say they need help with suggested reading to take with them. Here's a list I created for a recent request.
The books I’m reading now
Readers looking for new stories, here's a list of five books, all new this year, a mix of fascinating JFK fact/fiction, WWII non-fiction, an "engrossing" biography, and a dark novel that's one of the six finalists for the International Booker Prize. Also, an update about delayed spring releases.
“Nobody Will Tell You This But Me”
Funny and heartwarming, Bess Kalb's new book narrated by her grandmother is just what our weary, fearful souls need right now. A must read for Bobby Bell's message of resilience, grace and wit.
The books I’ll be reading next
A list of books coming in February and March that have me excited, including an essay collection, memoir, biography, fable, crime story and assorted novels.
My year of reading
Here at The Longest Chapter, instead of calling out best books of 2019, I've gathered a more personal list.
National Book Awards 2019 Finalists
Twenty-five nominees in five categories made it from the longlist to the shortlist of the National Book Awards. Here's a look at three of them, and also one that didn't make the cut but has an interesting scandal going on in Norway.
Two summer books not to be overlooked
So many summer books, so little time. You'll be sorry, though, if you missed these two.
A powerful memoir that reverses time
In "The Photographer at Sixteen," British poet and translator George Szirtes recalls his mother's turbulent life during World War II, the Hungarian Revolution and her final years in England. It's impressive and captivating.
“Let her tell it as she sees it.”
Françoise Gilot’s memoir of her 10 years with Pablo Picasso, published in 1964, was met with praise and controversy. The best-seller is now back in print. Here’s what “Life With Picasso” is about and why critics praised and criticized it.
A cow book by an Irish farmer’s son
Take time this summer to enjoy a moving memoir by John Connell, a story about returning home to the family farm in Ireland.
Books I’m talking about
Here are books I recently recommended on WOSU All Sides Weekend Books.
A symphony for besieged Leningrad
Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich immortalized the WWII siege of Leningrad with his 7th symphony. These books tell the story.