Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category.
Sometimes we forget that American literary classics are popular for a reason: they’re usually really good. Maybe we don’t like them because we HAD to read them in school and never recovered. Below are a few of my favorites, mostly from the 20th Century. Yes, I did make students read these when I was teaching high school English, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t great reads.
A new movie version of The Great Gatsby [trailer] comes out in theatres this Friday, May 10th. Fitzgerald wrote several good novels, but he also wrote many excellent short stories. Two of his earliest and best were “Berniece Bobs Her Hair” and “The Diamond as Big as the Ritz.”
Hemingway, also famous for his novels, wrote tremendous short stories too. I like “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber” which you can find in The Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway.
A number of southern women carved out a niche in the canon during the early part of the 20th Century, including Eudora Welty, Flannery O’Conner, Katherine Anne Porter, and Zora Neale Hurston. You can find story collections or novels by all of them in our library’s collection.
Finally, don’t forget possibly the two greatest American novels ever written: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. I know you read them in school, but the themes of both books still resonate today, and the writing is still fantastic. Hemingway once wrote, “All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn.” And To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the few novels where the movie is as good as the book – both classics. Check them out at the library today!
“Pitchers and catchers report.” My favorite words of spring! The ground is covered with snow and the temperature is hovering in the teens while our favorite baseball teams head to spring training in Florida or Arizona. Despite the cold, it’s always fun to read a few baseball books and dream about warm summer nights, cold glasses of lemonade, and listening to ball games on the radio.
George Vecsey wrote Stan Musial: An American Life about one of baseball’s greatest players, who just passed away a few weeks ago. Another excellent biography is The Last Hero: The Life of Henry Aaron by Howard Bryant.
Baseball has often been called the intellectual game; George Will and Doug Glanville both provide fascinating insight. Glanville played for the Cubs, Phillies, and Rangers, and earned his degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He offers an inside look at baseball in his book The Game from Where I Stand. Will, long-time columnist for Newsweek, details baseball strategy in his classic Men at Work: the Craft of Baseball. Continue reading ‘Baseball Books’ »
Yes, it is that time of year again when everyone (and I do mean everyone!) starts coming out with their “Best Books” lists. I’ve looked at a bunch of these, and of course agreed or disagreed with many of the selections, but one list I liked and wanted to share with you was Entertainment Weekly’s. I think they did a great job of picking a wide range of books so that everyone can find something they’d like to read. AND they included two graphic novels, which I appreciated! The fiction list is here, and the nonfiction list is here. What do you guys think?
One book I did love this year, that has appeared on a lot of lists (including being named Time Magazine’s Novel of the Year!) is The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. This is a young adult book (for teenagers), by a noted YA author- so a lot of people were surprised it got so much attention from adult readers. It really is one of the best books I read this year. Have you guys read any of the books on these lists? What did you think?
Also, I wanted to let you know to keep an eye out for our new winter reading program for adults—we changed it all around this year, so it should be a lot of fun- and you can win some really great prizes! There will be more information up in the new year. Have a great weekend, everyone!
Although we know that there is a long tradition in Hollywood of basing movies on books (Harry Potter or Twilight, anyone?), it seems like this winter every movie coming out is based on a book. Two movies that I am especially interested in are based on a couple of my favorite books of all time: Cloud Atlas and Perks of Being a Wallflower.
Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell, is an intricate novel made out of six interwoven stories that fold in on each other to create a rich, complex whole. I can’t even imagine how a book like this will be made into a coherent two hour movie- but it does star Tom Hanks, and is directed by the Wachowskis (who also directed The Matrix) so it certainly has a lot of promise. I have to say, I think the trailer looks pretty good! What do you think?
Another one of my top favorite books of all time is Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. This book about growing up is set in the 1990s, and this article describes what it is about better that I ever could. Normally I am wary of movies based on books I really like, but in this case the author actually wrote and directed the movie himself. Check the trailer out here.
And I haven’t even mentioned The Hobbit, The Life of Pi, or Jack Reacher, which are also all in production or coming out in the next few months. Are you planning on seeing (or reading) any of these?