This category contains 37 posts

2011 National Book Awards – Occupying Wall Street

The 62nd National Book Award ceremony took place at Cipriani on Wall Street in New York City this evening. Hosting the awards benefit was actor and author John Lithgow whose recently published memoir, Drama: An Actor’s Education, has received critical acclaim. A list of finalists can be found at the end of this post, but the … Continue reading

New York, New York: Upcoming Event with Authors Darin Strauss, Lynne Tillman and David Hajdu

New York City as muse — it happens all the time, but to what end? If you happen to be in NYC this weekend, check out this upcoming event led by Jane Ciabattari, past president and current online VP of the National Book Critics Circle. NBCC award honorees Darin Strauss, Lynne Tillman, David Hajdu talk … Continue reading

See Author Christopher Meeks at The Bookcase of Wayzata

Author Christopher Meeks will be at The Bookcase this Saturday to read from his new novel, Love at Absolute Zero (reviewed here). The party starts at 7:00 p.m. For directions, click here. Meeks is a former Minnesotan, currently teaching at Santa Monica College, the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and UCLA’s extension program. … Continue reading

Book Review: Love at Absolute Zero by Christopher Meeks

“If the experiments do not bear out the hypothesis, the hypothesis must be rejected or modified.” – From the Scientific Method When physicist Gunnar Gunderson decides it’s time to find a mate, he means business. Early in his career, he is much too busy for silly things like dating. But he swears to his friends … Continue reading

Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women by Harriet Reisen

Although Louisa May Alcott is best known for her beloved novel, Little Women, Harriet Reisen’s biography “Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women” reminds us how vast Alcott’s body of work is and offers a sometimes-surprising portrait of the author. Who knew that Alcott wrote semi-erotic stories to pay the bills or that she … Continue reading

National Book Award Winners 2009

The National Book Awards ceremony was held earlier this evening at Cipriani Downtown in New York City. Shortly after the dinner began, host Andy Borowitz took the stage. The Medal for Distinguished Contribution to Literature was presented to Gore Vidal (recently interviewed by John Meroney at The Atlantic). Dave Eggers was then awarded the Literarian Award … Continue reading

Lamb: the Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore (or, Jesus Christ: the Lost Years)

Christopher Moore’s highly imaginative  novel, Lamb: the Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal” begins with a blessing: “If you have come to these pages for laughter, may you find it. If you are here to be offended, may your ire rise and your blood boil. If you seek an adventure, may this story sing … Continue reading

Woody Holton’s “Abigail Adams” – Smart and Saucy

Up until now, much more was known about the second president of the United States than his wife, but in his new biography, Abigail Adams, prizewinning historian Woody Holton gives readers an up-close and personal look at the woman behind John Adams. From what Holton’s research shows, however, it is debatable whether Abigail would approve … Continue reading

The King of Vodka: The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire by Linda Himelstein

Despite a lack of documentation on Pyotr Arsenievich Smirnov’s early years, Linda Himelstein’s heavily sourced “The King of Vodka, the Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire” creates an entertaining narrative of the Smirnov dynasty. Smirnov’s rags-to-riches story, as told by Himelstein, includes re-created scenes based on auxiliary history (especially regarding Smirnov’s childhood) as well as … Continue reading

The Prince of the Marshes – and Other Occupational Hazards of a Year in Iraq by Rory Stewart

During a recent appearance on PBS’ Bill Moyers Journal, author Rory Stewart said, “Pakistan is much more of a threat than Afghanistan to U.S. national security. Al Qaeda is in Pakistan, not in Afghanistan.” But in 2003, the war against Al Qaeda was being fought in Iraq – and Stewart was there. In his book, … Continue reading