Sep 11, 2013
News about Sherman Alexie's campaign to put authors to work at bookstores; what we read on our summer vacation, Five Days at Memorial and Claire of the Sea Light..
This week, author Sherman Alexie wrote an impassioned letter to authors ("Hello, hello, you gorgeous book nerds" is how he began). Alexie wants authors to spend Saturday November 30th working as a bookseller at their local independent bookstore. It's a fabulous idea, and we hope that we will see lots of authors participate in the project. Kudos to the American Booksellers Association for jumping in and helping with the plan. Keep an eye on your bookstores' newsletters and social media, and on your favorite authors, too. Maybe you can buy a book from an author. We'll update you once we learn more about Indies First, including who's participating and where. In the meantime, authors and booksellers, you can sign up to participate here, or just talk with your favorites.
Authors or readers, looking for a local bookstore? Here's a handy Indie Bookstore Finder.
Summer is officially over, and it's time to close the books on our summer reading. Michael and I check in with each other about our summer reading resolutions, and what we read on our summer vacation.
Michael read a lot of manuscripts for work, but they won't be out for 6-8 months. He says he doesn't tease us too much, but he also tells us that head Amy Bloom's new novel, and Delicious, the first novel by former food critic Ruth Reichl. I'd call that a tease, considering they won't be out til spring!
Beyond that, Michael read a bunch of graphic novels, Ex-Communication by Peter Clines, the audio of The Wizard of Oz, and finally finished The Phantom Tollbooth. I don't think that's too bad.
I also did a lot of work reading, but deliberately read only non-work books during vacation. I began Lonesome Dove and stopped after page 250 because I had a stack of other books I wanted to read during break. I liked it a lot, and put it down only temporarily. I will go back to it.
First up was The Maid's Version by Daniel Woodrell - Woodrell is quickly moving up on my list of favorite authors and though this book is very different from Winter's Bone or The Death of Sweet Mister, I liked it a lot.
Help for the Haunted by John Searles is a quick-paced read that is a mystery with a paranormal element. It's difficult to describe, and it kept me guessing and turning the pages. Exactly what I wanted in a vacation read!
Dare Me by Megan Abbott, which author Gillian Flynn describes in a blurb on the cover as "Lord of the Flies set in a high-school cheerleading squad." How could I resist that? Fun, if disturbing can be fun.
My favorite book, which will be out on October 22nd, was The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. It's phenomenal. It's very long, but I read it almost nonstop. It's one of those books that when you are not reading it, you're wishing you were reading it. Put this one on your list.
Michael talks about Five Days at Memorial by Sherri Fink, which focuses on one hospital in New Orleans during five days of Hurricane Katrina. Michael compares it to Mountains Beyond Mountains or Behind the Beautiful Forevers and predicts that it will win awards.
My pick this week is Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat, a gorgeous, gorgeous novel that is one of my favorite books on the year so far. If you've never read Danticat, this is a terrific place to start. A lyrical novel set in Haiti that tells the story of a Haitian village and its inhabitants. Please read this, you won't be sorry.