With the Trump era now a week old and storm clouds gathering, many decent, salt-of-the-earth Americans not previously given to shows of popular unrest, never mind civil disobedience or outright vio…
From Bertolt Brecht to Vu Tran, a sampling of major contributions to American literature by those who were forced to leave their own countries.
All the buzz this week has been related to the U.S. inauguration.
The day after Donald Trump is inaugurated president, the signature fashion statement of women marching in protest will be this: a handmade pink “pussy hat” with cat ears tipped directly at Trump and the word he uttered unforgettably on a hot mike. Call it an effort to grab it back.
Both playful and polemic, the cheeky pink hats will appear by the thousands at the Women’s March on Washington, D.C., and at similar demonstrations in cities across America on Saturday.
New York Times book critic Michiko Kakutani reports on an interview with President Obama, who said that “reading gave him the ability to occasionally ‘slow down and get perspective’ and ‘the ability to get in somebody else’s shoes.’” Kakutani points out that Obama found helpful presidential biographies and the writings of Lincoln, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. But she reports that novels were also important; examples include Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad, the novels of Marilynne Robinson, and the science fiction apocalyptic novel The Three-Body Problem by Chinese writer Liu Cixin.
Off the Shelf elaborates on the previous story with a list of 12 books recommended by President Obama.
And here is the definitive list, according to Entertainment Weekly.
This article in the Boston Globe discusses protests around the U.S. by writers who oppose the policies of President-Elect Donald Trump. Here’s what one protest organizer has to say about these planned events:
“I think when you are engaging in the diversity of human experiences, you cannot help but have a broader empathy for people who struggle,” says [Daniel Evans] Pritchard, a poet and translator who is editor and publisher of the journal the Critical Flame. “Writers are engaged in that every day, through language. And that’s important because language is the medium we use to construct our laws and our politics.”
© 2017 by Mary Daniels Brown
On the 208th anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe’s birthday, the Mystery Writers of America have announced the finalists for the 2017 Edgar awards. The Edgars cover everything from best novel and best short story to best biography and best TV episode teleplay. The 2017 Finalists include big names like Stephen King and Joyce Carol Oates, and unsurprisingly, everyone’s favorite fall breakout series Westworld made the longlist for best teleplay. Stay tuned, the winners will be announced in April in New York City!
In honor of the civil rights leader‘s birthday, here are five books on his life and legacy for readers of all ages.
Of the 42 books I read in 2016, these are the top 15 (listed alphabetically by author):
Cook, Thomas H. The Chatham School Affair
du Maurier, Daphne. Rebecca
French, Tana. Broken Harbor
Haruf, Kent. Our Souls at Night
Hawley, Noah. Before the Fall
Knowles, John. A Separate Peace
Plath, Sylvia The Bell Jar
Stedman, M.L. The Light Between Oceans
Strout, Elizabeth. My Name is Lucy Barton
Yanagihara, Hanya. A Little Life
How About You?
What were the best books you read in 2016?
© 2017 by Mary Daniels Brown
The staff of Literary Hub offer their choices of the year’s best books in a list vastly different from typical best-seller lists.
OK, this isn’t a best books list, but it IS a book-related summary of the year’s events.
An interactive guide to The Seattle Times’ best books recommendations from the past few years.
This piece starts out with the reasons why a list of outstanding books written by women is necessary.
From The New York Times:
In this season of giving, we asked some notably avid readers — who also happen to be poets, musicians, diplomats, filmmakers, novelists, actors and artists — to share the books that accompanied them through 2016.
this year, we had a healthy quantity of beautiful, inventive, arresting, unforgettable book cover designs, many of which deserve recognition.
I’ve included a couple of these in earlier installments, but here’s the complete list of the year’s best books in the following categories:
Critic Lisa Rosman lists her favorite book-to-film adaptations of the year.
Off the Shelf is made possible by a small group of passionate readers who love nothing more than discovering fantastic books and sharing them with Off the Shelf readers. We recommend books that move us to laughter and tears—and everything in between. It gives us great pleasure to offer you a collection of our favorite single-title recommendations from 2016.
The folks at Off the Shelf offer lists of recommended books on particular topics throughout the year. They have recommended all of these books during 2016, but not all of these books were published this year.
An earlier list of best books lists included the top five books of the year as voted by Book of the Month members. Here, BOTM announces the overall winner.
A bit of a different twist on a best books list.
From The Millions comes a round-up of the year’s reading from a great host of writers, including Tana French, Richard Russo, Annie Proulx, and Megan Abbott.
Compiled by Daniel Ford on Writer’s Bone.
Yes, you read that right:
By combining 36 different qualitative “best books” lists by everyone from the New York Times to The Telegraph to a smattering of celebrities (full list of lists here), Quartz has created the Ultimate Authoritative Unimpeachable Top 20 Books of 2016.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t read enough literature translated from other languages. Why is this important?
There’s a great quote by Haruki Murakami: “If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” This, of course, is two-fold, because it also means that if you want to think more broadly and gain a larger understanding of the world, you will seek out lesser known books, and from different places.
The folks at Lit Hub present the top five literary news stories of 2016. If you jump into the link clicking maze, you can see the other 25 news stories of the year, too.
This is the lead-in page to individual lists of the year’s five best books by various folks at Crime Fiction Lover.
© 2016 by Mary Daniels Brown
Off the Shelf is a site that offers lists of recommended books on all kinds of different topics. It also allows readers to register so that they can place recommended books on their personal shelves. This list reveals which books were shelved the most during 2016 (though not all were originally published this year).
These are the five finalists in Book of the Month’s readers’ poll for the Book of the Year Award.
A hefty list of books that critics wish had gotten more love in 2016.
A list of lists from Off the Shelf.
Fiction takes up most of my reading time. If you, like me, could use some exposure to poetry, here are some suggestions.
Added bonus: At the bottom of this article you’ll find links to all the other Washington Post best books of 2016 lists.
From Maria Popova.
© 2016 by Mary Daniels Brown
Seattle Times book reviewer Adam Woog lists his favorites in one of my favorite literary genres.
A short list compiled by Publishers Weekly.
This list takes a bit of an unusual approach to analyzing the books of 2016:
For help understanding what the heck happened in 2016, and how Trump stands to inherit it all, check out these 12 books paired with each month’s major news.
It was a profound year for the written word and yet many incredible books remain unsung. Here are ten books from 2016 that deserve your time and attention.
Maria Popova chooses her favorite picture books of the year.
The year’s top “books and graphic novels … ranked based on their popularity in the Google Play store.” This method of evaluation means that not all the books listed here were published in 2016.
From Amazon: “List counts only first editions published in 2016 and includes paid units in print and Kindle.”
The mother list is broken down into several categories:
- Top 20 Overall Customer Favorites for 2016
- Top 20 Customer Favorites in Kids & Young Adult
- Top 20 Most Wished For Books of 2016
- Top 20 Most Gifted Books of 2016
© 2016 by Mary Daniels Brown
Page-turning selections of literature, art appreciation, history and nature, chosen by Seattle Times book critic Mary Ann Gwinn for giving and receiving.