Archive for March 2008

Preparing for Hustvedt’s Latest

March 31, 2008

sorrows.jpgReady … set … go! It’s time to race down to the old neighborhood bookstore because local favorite and former Northfield resident Siri Hustvedt (St. Olaf College, class of 1977) has a new book out. Well, actually, it comes out tomorrow, April 1 — no fooling.

The Sorrows of an American is Hustvedt’s first novel since the local bestseller What I Loved. This latest effort is already drawing raves from respected book haunts around the country.

“Sorrows” is a story about the immigrant experience and the ghosts that haunt families from one generation to another. When Erik Davidsen and his sister, Inga, find a disturbing note from an unknown woman among their dead father’s papers, they believe he may be implicated in a mysterious death. “The Sorrows of an American” tells the story of the Davidsen family as brother and sister uncover its secrets and unbandage its wounds in the year following their father’s funeral.

Looks tasty to me!

Children’s Book Picks

March 28, 2008

hugo.jpgI always like to give kids books. But which books? It’s tough. In a year, two years, their reading ability changes so much. Then it’s difficult to know which are the best books period.

That’s why I found a new award so interesting. The little people’s choice awards, if you will. The Children’s Book Council has announced 25 finalists of first Children’s Choice Book Awards. Until Sunday, May 4, children may cast votes for their favorite authors, illustrators and books at bookstores, school libraries and BookWeekOnline.com. The winners will be announced at the Children’s Choice Book Award gala on May 13 during Children’s Book Week (May 12-18).

Here is the ballot:

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Jon Hassler Passes Away

March 27, 2008

I saw a nice piece on Jon Hassler at MinnPost.com.

The Prime Position

March 26, 2008

pole-position.jpgIt’s funny about being a book lover. At least I have found this to be true. Maybe I am the only one, but I suspect I am not.

There are so many books out there — a staggering number, really — and yet from time to time I struggle to pick one up. I walk into the bookstore and I am overwhelmed with options. And, given all of those options, I feel I should be able to pick out a great book. You know? The list is long and I don’t want to choose poorly. It’s like that forest and trees metaphor. Or not. I am not sure. I am not good with metaphors. But I am trying.

Anyway, here’s a tip: When you walk into the old neighborhood bookstore keep going straight. Don’t pass Go. Just look at the first table you see. They always have a great mix of new and bestselling books on that table — hardcovers and paperbacks, fiction and truth. I know it’s where I go when I need to reshuffle my reading list.

Clackety Clack — Come Back!

March 24, 2008

clackers.jpgSo maybe you’re going on break. A little get-away. And the kids … well … the wee one could use something to occupy his or her attention for a spell. Don’t tell me — I’ve got it! Clackers. These (see picture; click to enlarge) charming stories follow the adventures of Bee and Fish, two lovable chracters. The text includes verbal sound effects to enhance the clacking noise of the format. And these books are just the right size for little hands, diaper bags, strollers, and cribs. An excellent edition to any toddler’s first library. Or so says this fan of bee books.

A Thrilling Set of Books

March 21, 2008

itw.jpgLadies and gents, I present to you an awards ceremony that is certain to be filled with suspense!

That is, I now know the nominees for the 2008 Thriller Awards. The Thriller Awards, which are sponsored by International Thriller Writers, will be announced — with a gasp! — at something called the “ThrillerFest Gala Banquet” (that’s got to be one killer party) in July.

Nominees-Best Novel

No Time for Goodbye by Linwood Barclay

The Watchman by Robert Crais

The Ghost by Robert Harris

The Crime Writer by Gregg Hurwitz

Trouble by Jesse Kellerman

Nominees-Best Paperback Original

The Last Nightingale by Anthony Flacco

A Thousand Bones by P.J. Parrish

The Midnight Road by Tom Piccirilli

The Queen of Bedlam by Robert McCammon

Shattered by Jay Bonansinga

Harry Potter Bounty

March 20, 2008

Rats! My bid came up just short.

The Crowds Love ‘Em Anyway

March 19, 2008

great-reads.jpgIt’s been awhile since I pointed my authoritative wing — shut up! — at River City Books’ national best seller section. Some folks miss it, in fact, since it’s not too far inside the door and by the time they get that far their eyes are seeing so many good options it’s hard to focus. But, as you can see in this picture, it’s worth checking out from time to time. The current crop is especially interesting, I think, as you have young adult books, humor, historical nonfiction, novels (of course), essays, political biographies and even thrillers. If you’re in between books, stop on by, and check out this wall. You might not have to look anywhere else in the store. Though you probably will anyway and I won’t blame you if you do.

That’s Not A Book!

March 18, 2008

bargain-puzzle.jpgSometimes when I am browsing River City Books’ bargain book tables I see something that blows my mind. Like, for starters, an item that is not a book. The other day I came across this cool floor puzzle that’s perfect for my nephew. It’ll help him learn the states and while it’s brand-new it’s only $8.98. I’ll show up at the upcoming holiday with the puzzle under my wing and he’ll think I am the coolest uncle in town. OK, maybe not the coolest because it’s not made of chocolate. But I figure the bunny will take care of that.

For St. Patty’s Day

March 17, 2008

shamrock03.gifThere was a bird down at the store
Who wanted to be something more
But he ran into a some kind of trouble
Because his brain was the size of a bubble
And so he could be nothing but a bore.


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