Bookavore

voracious reader with a certain verbal attitude

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19 notes &

beatrixtobellatrix:

rachelfershleiser:

Kate Gavino of @lastnightsreading is live-drawing at @housingworksbks and it is just the greatest!

I stopped by the Bowery Poetry Club to hear Teju Cole speak this morning (along with Hari Kunzru and Katie Kitamura who I haven’t read) and fangirl-ed a lot to Lamya, my partner in crime for all things downtown literary fest, when I realized lastnightsreading was actively drawing the speakers.  Also Teju Cole is just as great of a speaker as I imagined, somehow infusing even casual chatter with sharp literary references and wry humor, and that was all I needed on a sunny Sunday. 

Confidential to beatrixtobellatrix: you will love Katie Kitamura. Start with The Longshot.
(To be fair, I am pretty sure everybody would like Katie Kitamura, I’m just 100% positive about this particular recommendation.)

beatrixtobellatrix:

rachelfershleiser:

Kate Gavino of @lastnightsreading is live-drawing at @housingworksbks and it is just the greatest!

I stopped by the Bowery Poetry Club to hear Teju Cole speak this morning (along with Hari Kunzru and Katie Kitamura who I haven’t read) and fangirl-ed a lot to Lamya, my partner in crime for all things downtown literary fest, when I realized lastnightsreading was actively drawing the speakers.  Also Teju Cole is just as great of a speaker as I imagined, somehow infusing even casual chatter with sharp literary references and wry humor, and that was all I needed on a sunny Sunday. 

Confidential to beatrixtobellatrix: you will love Katie Kitamura. Start with The Longshot.

(To be fair, I am pretty sure everybody would like Katie Kitamura, I’m just 100% positive about this particular recommendation.)

Filed under books bookadvice katie kitamura the longshot

46 notes &

I have found so far that nobody, bookseller nor librarian nor patron nor customer, wants to hear my very thoughtful thoughts regarding Frog Music by Emma Donoghue. They want only to know: “Is it like Room?” So here is a PSA:
No, Frog Music is nothing like Room.
It is really good, though, regardless of how you felt about Room.
I hope this is helpful to you!

I have found so far that nobody, bookseller nor librarian nor patron nor customer, wants to hear my very thoughtful thoughts regarding Frog Music by Emma Donoghue. They want only to know: “Is it like Room?” So here is a PSA:

No, Frog Music is nothing like Room.

It is really good, though, regardless of how you felt about Room.

I hope this is helpful to you!

Filed under books bookadvice emma donoghue frog music room

24 notes &

Every year I look forward to the Tournament of Books for several reasons, but primarily because it forces me to read a book I’ve had on the pile for ages. As the ToB has come to an end this week, that book has been The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara, at first because of its bracket-busting abilities. Any book that could potentially be better than Life After Life and The Goldfinch seemed like a good choice. And: wow! Was it ever!
I like nothing more than being surprised by a book, and this book surprised me on multiple fronts. I finished it this morning, and was stunned into staring out the train window at the sunrise. As both judgments linked above make clear, Yanagihara is a spectacular writer. What’s impressive beyond her obvious ability, though, is her ability to write in the pompous voice of a horrible person while simultaneously skewering that person, all without her beautiful descriptions of a heartbreakingly fictional time and location feeling out of place. Further, though she builds up tension so subtly that I’m not sure I’d be able to expect it on a re-read, that tension strengthens to the point of near breath-holding in the final sections.
Life After Life came back in the Zombie Round and beat it, and I can see why—though this book is incredible, I think Life was a masterpiece. But it’s fitting, because this book reminds me, in spirit, of Atkinson’s debut novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum. It is similarly audacious, and has inspired a similar devotion: I will read anything Yanagihara writes moving forward, as I do for Atkinson. 

Every year I look forward to the Tournament of Books for several reasons, but primarily because it forces me to read a book I’ve had on the pile for ages. As the ToB has come to an end this week, that book has been The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara, at first because of its bracket-busting abilities. Any book that could potentially be better than Life After Life and The Goldfinch seemed like a good choice. And: wow! Was it ever!

I like nothing more than being surprised by a book, and this book surprised me on multiple fronts. I finished it this morning, and was stunned into staring out the train window at the sunrise. As both judgments linked above make clear, Yanagihara is a spectacular writer. What’s impressive beyond her obvious ability, though, is her ability to write in the pompous voice of a horrible person while simultaneously skewering that person, all without her beautiful descriptions of a heartbreakingly fictional time and location feeling out of place. Further, though she builds up tension so subtly that I’m not sure I’d be able to expect it on a re-read, that tension strengthens to the point of near breath-holding in the final sections.

Life After Life came back in the Zombie Round and beat it, and I can see why—though this book is incredible, I think Life was a masterpiece. But it’s fitting, because this book reminds me, in spirit, of Atkinson’s debut novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum. It is similarly audacious, and has inspired a similar devotion: I will read anything Yanagihara writes moving forward, as I do for Atkinson. 

Filed under books the people in the trees hanya yanagihara life after life kate atkinson Tournament of Books readalikes readers' advisory bookadvice

33 notes &

I was lucky enough to have When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds, the story of three Bed-Stuy boys who get in over their heads when they try to be cool, as my traveling partner on the trek home from PLA yesterday. It’s great—I haven’t read such a funny and heartbreaking voice in YA since Absolutely True Diary. I have become increasingly uninterested in YA in the last few years, but books like this remind me why I loved it in the first place. Just fabulous.
Which is ironic, in light of Christopher Myers’ article today: The Apartheid of Children’s Literature. It opens with a depressing fact: “Of 3,200 children’s books published in 2013, just 93 were about black people.” Myers expertly parses through how this might have happened despite lots of talk about diversity from practically all publishers, and then comes to:

The closest I can get to the orchestrator of the plot — my villain with his ferret — is The Market. Which I think is what they all point to because The Market is so comfortably intangible that no one is worried I will go knocking down any doors. The Market, I am told, just doesn’t demand this kind of book, doesn’t want book covers to look this or that way, and so the representative from (insert major bookselling company here) has asked that we have only text on the book cover because white kids won’t buy a book with a black kid on the cover — or so The Market says, despite millions of music albums that are sold in just that way.

This is completely correct, in my experience. Despite the fact that almost everybody I talk to about children’s books is involved in their creation and marketing—(it’s a small world)—almost all conversations turn on how hamstrung everybody feels by The Market. Everyone holding the reins and complaining about the horse at the other end.
I think, unfortunately, Myers is right when he says “I will make a fantastic world, a cartography of all the places a girl like her can go, and put it in a book. The rest of the work lies in the imagination of everyone else along the way, the publishers, librarians, teachers, parents, and all of us, to put that book in her hands.” This is unfortunate because so far, we have not been up to that challenge. But hopefully it is also inspiring. Looking to do something besides blame The Market? Reading and promoting Jason Reynolds’ stellar book would be a good place to start.

I was lucky enough to have When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds, the story of three Bed-Stuy boys who get in over their heads when they try to be cool, as my traveling partner on the trek home from PLA yesterday. It’s great—I haven’t read such a funny and heartbreaking voice in YA since Absolutely True Diary. I have become increasingly uninterested in YA in the last few years, but books like this remind me why I loved it in the first place. Just fabulous.

Which is ironic, in light of Christopher Myers’ article today: The Apartheid of Children’s Literature. It opens with a depressing fact: “Of 3,200 children’s books published in 2013, just 93 were about black people.” Myers expertly parses through how this might have happened despite lots of talk about diversity from practically all publishers, and then comes to:

The closest I can get to the orchestrator of the plot — my villain with his ferret — is The Market. Which I think is what they all point to because The Market is so comfortably intangible that no one is worried I will go knocking down any doors. The Market, I am told, just doesn’t demand this kind of book, doesn’t want book covers to look this or that way, and so the representative from (insert major bookselling company here) has asked that we have only text on the book cover because white kids won’t buy a book with a black kid on the cover — or so The Market says, despite millions of music albums that are sold in just that way.

This is completely correct, in my experience. Despite the fact that almost everybody I talk to about children’s books is involved in their creation and marketing—(it’s a small world)—almost all conversations turn on how hamstrung everybody feels by The Market. Everyone holding the reins and complaining about the horse at the other end.

I think, unfortunately, Myers is right when he says “I will make a fantastic world, a cartography of all the places a girl like her can go, and put it in a book. The rest of the work lies in the imagination of everyone else along the way, the publishers, librarians, teachers, parents, and all of us, to put that book in her hands.” This is unfortunate because so far, we have not been up to that challenge. But hopefully it is also inspiring. Looking to do something besides blame The Market? Reading and promoting Jason Reynolds’ stellar book would be a good place to start.

Filed under books ya when i was the greatest jason reynolds christopher myers kidlit

20 notes &

Ironically, now that publishers have stopped pinning “for readers who loved Gone Girl!” to any thriller with a complex female protagonist that stays put long enough, a book that is actually for readers who loved Gone Girl has popped up its head. That book is Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty. Chockablock with moral ambivalence and thoughtful examination of the relationships between men and (strong) women, this book will string you along slowly and then go for a punch that you know is coming, and which will surprise you anyway. One scene actively repulsed me (like, I was making weird lizardy motions with my neck trying to get away from it), which I always love in a book. Great smart thriller.

Ironically, now that publishers have stopped pinning “for readers who loved Gone Girl!” to any thriller with a complex female protagonist that stays put long enough, a book that is actually for readers who loved Gone Girl has popped up its head. That book is Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty. Chockablock with moral ambivalence and thoughtful examination of the relationships between men and (strong) women, this book will string you along slowly and then go for a punch that you know is coming, and which will surprise you anyway. One scene actively repulsed me (like, I was making weird lizardy motions with my neck trying to get away from it), which I always love in a book. Great smart thriller.

Filed under books apple tree yard louise doughty gone girl gillian flynn readers' advisory bookadvice fiction

54 notes &

I believe that great librarianship, the kind you should expect, crosses boundaries. Great librarianship is great whether it is in academia, or the public sphere, or K–12 schools. For that reason, this book is not about expecting more from public libraries or from school libraries, but from all libraries. School libraries have a lot to teach all good libraries about issues of assessment and learning. Public libraries have a lot to share about working with a wide range of demographics. Academic libraries understand the power of knowledge creation. Corporate libraries, and the ever-present bottom line, can teach us all about measuring impact…My goal in this book is to show you the potential of libraries. That potential will never be realized if libraries or their communities build up rigid boundaries.
From the intro of the complete text of R. David Lankes’s Expect More: Demanding Better Libraries for Today’s Complex Worldnow up on Medium. I have a printed copy of this book that is heavily highlighted, so obviously, I recommend it. (Tho you will undoubtedly, no matter who you are, disagree with some of it.) Now that it’s so easy to access, maybe we should start a tumblarian book group?

Filed under books libraries tumblarians r david lankes expect more medium

64 notes &

http://sarazarr.tumblr.com/post/77192646612/i-love-independent-book-stores-i-want-them-to

sarazarr:

I love independent book stores. I want them to succeed, and I hear and understand their frustrations about the Amazon situation. Over the years as an author, I’ve worked with some great, great indies and indie people who are on point with their management, strategy, customer relations, marketing, event planning. I have also worked with indies who are angry and distraught about Amazon but still running their businesses like there is no Amazon. Stores that make silly mistakes when it comes to using social media or don’t use it at all, stores that don’t communicate consistently or clearly with existing customers, or don’t try to figure out how to reach out to new ones, stores whose web sites don’t display their location and hours on the front page, stores that sell Kobos without explaining to customers how to set up an account so it actually benefits their store, stores that don’t hire smart, stores that have gone out of business two months after opening because they’re not creatively problem-solving how they can offer customers something Amazon can’t—because they have an attitude that says it’s the customer’s job to support and patronize them in solidarity against The Man (yeah, there was this one store that basically blamed local authors and its potential customers for its failure). I want indies to succeed and I do what I can to see that happen. But dude, in this climate, you gotta bring your A game. 

Observe: Sara gets into one paragraph more compassion and pragmatism about the current state of indie bookselling than most people can manage in a full article.

Filed under books bookselling amazon indie bookstores sara zarr

23 notes &

I finished Red or Dead by David Peace weeks ago and I still don’t know what to say about it, which was really bugging me, because I enjoyed it beyond all reason and wanted to write something that would convince all of you to give it a try. Luckily for me, Toby went ahead and wrote a highly literate and thoughtful review of the book, so I no longer feel I need to write about it.
So let me just say this, then. This book is a fucking masterpiece, okay? It’s worn me down and that is all I can say, because I’d rather think about it than talk about it. I have nothing thoughtful to offer you, nothing insightful, no new connections, no nothing, because this book is smarter and better than me, and I loved every second of it. I do hope it is the same for you.

I finished Red or Dead by David Peace weeks ago and I still don’t know what to say about it, which was really bugging me, because I enjoyed it beyond all reason and wanted to write something that would convince all of you to give it a try. Luckily for me, Toby went ahead and wrote a highly literate and thoughtful review of the book, so I no longer feel I need to write about it.

So let me just say this, then. This book is a fucking masterpiece, okay? It’s worn me down and that is all I can say, because I’d rather think about it than talk about it. I have nothing thoughtful to offer you, nothing insightful, no new connections, no nothing, because this book is smarter and better than me, and I loved every second of it. I do hope it is the same for you.

Filed under books red or dead david peace