Books

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Memo from David O. Selznick edited by Rudy Behlmer

This book provides a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes of many classic movies via the memos of producer David O. Selznick.  A notorious micromanager, Selznick had plenty to say about casting, costumes, dialog and every other aspect of a film's creation.  Of course Gone with the Wind, his greatest success, is covered thoroughly, but there are plenty of other movies, including Rebecca, Duel in the Sun, David Copperfield, and people, Alfred Hitchcock, Jennifer Jones (his mistress then wife) that are given their due.

Julian Barnes Wins 2011 Man Booker Prize

London-based author Julian Barnes has won this year's Man Booker Prize for his novel The Sense of an Ending.  The book is a story of a seemingly ordinary man who, when revisiting his past in later life, discovers that the memories he holds are less than perfect.  This was Barnes' eleventh novel.  Check Our Catalog

National Book Award Finalists Announced

The National Book Foundation today announced the finalists for the 2011 National Book Awards.  Awards are given in the following categories:  Fiction, Nonfiction, Young People's Literature, and Poetry.  There are some great titles on the list.  Check it out on the NBF website.

Swedish Poet Wins Nobel Prize for Literature

Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer won the Nobel Prize for literature today. Transtromer has published more than fifteen poetry collections, which have been published in over 60 languages.

This Beautiful Life by Helen Schulman

What if your teenage son made a typical stupid teenage mistake--and the whole world found out about it? This compelling story of a modern American family shattering amid the fallout of a social media-driven sex scandal thoughtfully explores themes of identity, privacy, family, and loyalty.

The Dog Who Came in From the Cold by Alexander McCall Smith

Another funny, whimsical and thoroughly enjoyable read in this author's Corduroy Mansions series, which is a bit like the 44 Scotland Street series but set in London instead of in Edinburgh. McCall Smith has no peer when it comes to gently yet relentlessly skewering his motley assortment of characters, exposing everyday human failings and foibles. You will chuckle, and wince, and probably recognize yourself a few times.

One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus

In 1875, 25-year-old May Dodd is released from an insane asylum and, along with 40-odd other fertile female misfits, travels West to become a Cheyenne bride, part of a U.S. government program to pacify and assimilate the Indian tribes, the better to seize their land in violation of existing treaties. This engaging, insightful and exciting story is told through May's fictional journal entries and mostly unsent letters home to her family.

Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock by Sammy Hagar

In this entertaining autobiography, the Red Rocker takes you from his humble beginnings in Fontana, CA to his dream life in Cabo San Lucas.  While glossing over his own failings he doesn't hold back on his negative observations about members of Van Halen, especially Eddie.  Full of interesting tidbits, it's definitely worth a look. Check Our Catalog

 

 

Colonel Roosevelt by Edmund Morris

With Colonel Roosevelt, Edmund Morris finally concludes his brilliant history of the life of Theodore Roosevelt.  In his third book, Morris picks up Roosevelt's story in the days after he leaves the White House.  Roosevelt, who has chosen the name 'colonel' for his post-presidential years, sets off on adventures both exotic and political.  Roosevelt leaps out of the pages of Morris' work and you can see yourself watching Teddy stumping his Progressive platform.  An excellent read. 

Daughters-in-Law by Joanna Trollope

Another absorbing and insightful contemporary family story from Joanna Trollope, this one focusing on the sometimes fraught relationships between parents and their adult children.  When Rachel and Anthony's youngest son marries, the arrival of a third daughter-in-law into the extended family mix brings new complications and power struggles.  Trollope excels at switching viewpoints from one character to another and you will find yourself sympathizing and becoming exasperated in turns with Rachel and her sons and daughters-in-law.

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© 2011 Thomas Crane Public Library

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