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Tag: Fiction (71-80 of 300)

'Seating Arrangements' author Maggie Shipstead on WASPs and exploding whales

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You know who’s cool? Maggie Shipstead, whose debut Seating Arrangements (EW grade: A–) won the Dylan Thomas Award for best novel by an author under 30. In the novel, two preppy families gather on a tony island off the New England coast for a wedding, which gets all that blue blood pumping when several members of the party have epic meltdowns, and the festivities become explosive — literally. Read on for insights on combustive cetaceans and the nomenclature and study of WASPs from one of the most promising breakout authors of 2012. READ FULL STORY

Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes): Gillian Flynn on 'Gone Girl' twists -- 'It's fine with me if people don't like the ending'

Gillian Flynn, a former EW critic and current Entertainer of the Year, has had a dream 2012. Not only has her third novel Gone Girl been a giant critical and commercial success, it’s become part of the zeitgeist, stirring heated conversation. You can’t look at Gone Girl‘s Amazon page without reading endless rants about THAT ending. READ FULL STORY

Goodreads users select best books of 2012 -- FIRST LOOK

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The annual Goodreads Choice Awards are basically the People’s Choice Awards of books. Users of the literary social network voted on their favorite books of the year in 20 categories, and this year, there were some surprises — J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy as best novel? — and some slam dunks (Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl for Best Mystery, John Green for Best Young Adult, and Cheryl Strayed’s Wild for Best Memoir). Once again, Veronica Roth proved that she’s pretty much unbeatable when it comes to reader-voted prizes, winning the Best Goodreads Author award for the first time and the Best Young Adult Fantasy award for the second time with Insurgent, sequel to Divergent.

The closest race occurred in Best Historical Fiction, with M.L. Stedman’s The Light Between Oceans narrowly beating out Man Booker-winner Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel. J.K. Rowling’s first adult novel most likely benefited from a large and devoted fanbase, as Casual Vacancy only became a finalist due to write-in votes — its Goodreads user rating of 3.32 stars wasn’t originally high enough to qualify it — yet it won the biggest honor.

Susan Cain’s Nonfiction win for her best-seller Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking made me smile — partly because I could picture a bunch of Goodreads bookworms really relating to it, and also because introverts, a sizable but often ignored and misunderstood demographic, have had a big year in 2012 with the publication of Quiet, Sophia Dembling’s The Introvert’s Way, and a buzzed-about feature in The Atlantic.

See the entire list of winners below: READ FULL STORY

'Hunger Games' author Suzanne Collins' next book: 'Year of the Jungle'

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No, Suzanne Collins’ next book is not going to revisit Panem and Katniss Everdeen, but like The Hunger Games, it will focus on a young girl dealing with the harsh realities of war. Scholastic announced today that it will release Year of the Jungle, an autobiographical picture book, on Sept. 10, 2013. Illustrated by James Proimos, the book centers on Suzy, who must cope with her father’s absence as he serves in Vietnam. She counts down the days until her father’s return, and when he finally comes back, Suzy finds that the war has changed him but he loves her all the same. In a press release, Collins explained the inspiration behind Year of the Jungle: READ FULL STORY

Bad Sex in Fiction Award: Which books beat out J.K. Rowling, 'Fifty Shades of Grey'

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Think you’ve had enough exposure to bad sex lit lately? (Ellen Degeneres, Kristen Stewart and your Facebook friends made sure you didn’t escape the abundance of Fifty Shades of Grey excerpts floating around the Interwebs this year.) Well, whether you like it or not, there’s more out there. A lot more. Award-worthy more.

But by award-worthy, I mean Razzie-esque awards. That’s right, authors are annually bestowed with the prize that recognizes gag-worthy writing about the bedroom. It’s an award that British magazine Literary Review started in 1993. On Tuesday, the magazine unveiled its 2012 shortlist for the Bad Sex in Fiction Award. Check out the list of eight finalists below:

The Yips by Nicola Barker
The Adventuress: The Irresistible Rise of Miss Cath Fox by Nicholas Coleridge
Infrared by Nancy Huston
Rare Earth by Paul Mason
Noughties by Ben Masters
The Quiddity of Will Self by Sam Mills
The Divine Comedy by Craig Raine
Back to Blood by Tom Wolfe
READ FULL STORY

Gary Shteyngart discusses his upcoming roast, Nabokov, and his sex life

It’s been a decade since the Soviet-born author Gary Shteyngart published his debut novel, The Russian Debutante’s Handbook. (Or, as he likes to call it, The Russian Debutante’s Handjob.) Since then, he’s developed a top-shelf reputation in the publishing world thanks to celebrated novels like 2006’s Absurdistan and 2010’s Super Sad True Love Story, not to mention popular essaysubiquitous book blurbs, and a highly active Twitter account.

To celebrate the tenth anniversary of his debut, the Brooklyn Academy of Music will be hosting a roast of Shteyngart tonight, with high-profile guests like Kurt Andersen, Jay McInerney, and Sloane Crosley getting in on the action. In honor of the writer’s imminent shaming, we got the man on the phone and discussed his career, his fears, and the fate of publishing. He even offered to blurb the interview for us: “Not since Gay Talese failed to interview Frank Sinatra has there been an interview of such importance and scope. The best interview I’ve had since my co-op board.”

Read on to find out more about Shteyngart’s thoughts on sheep, American Airlines, and the person whom he’d most like to roast.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So, where are you?
GARY SHTEYNGART:
I’m in the countryside above New York. Upstate, as some might say. It’s really nice here. There are trees, and sheep. A lot of sheep.

Are they your sheep?
Nah, they belong to a sheep farm. But I’d love to rent a few just to mow the lawn, because they eat a lot of grass.

But then you’d have to store them somewhere.
That’s the big problem. Where do you put them? And then how do you not eat them? They’re so tasty.

You just have to resist these urges, Gary. Moving on — your roast is coming up. Are you excited about that?
I am excited! I mean, it’s time to get roasted, I think. It’s been ten years of being a whatever, and it’ll be nice to… well, maybe not celebrate [my work], but they’ll at least allude to it.

Your dog Felix seems to be a little more nervous than you are. Are there any secrets that you or Felix fear will come out during the roast?
Oh, I think they’ll all come out. I mean, people know that I’m illiterate – that’s not a big secret. But there’s so many other dark things. The sheep, for example. My links to Petraeus. I mean, it’s all very dark.

What’s your darkest secret?
That I sometimes dance. There are pictures. Apparently my upper body doesn’t move, it’s just — I’m all legs.

So, Felix — how often does he write, and what kind of stuff usually?
You know, Felix is a very experimental writer. So he’s not exactly the kind of writer I thought he could be. But it’s all this kind of meta-universe where, you know, he can talk. It’s complicated. He went to Iowa. Which is funny, because I didn’t get into Iowa, but my dachshund did. So he’s a proud graduate. And he’s doing a Ph. D in Comp Lit at Yale now, which is annoying, because he’s always gone. He’s always traveling to New Haven. And he’s editing the canine edition of Granta.

If you could roast any writer living or dead, who would it be?
I’d like to roast Nabokov. Wouldn’t that be great? Because you know, he’d blast us, and you wouldn’t imagine he’d permit himself to be roasted. And then I would just invite the things that he feared the most in his life — like the Red Army Choir, maybe. And then I would have all the members of the New York Psychoanalytic Institute show up and serenade him. That could be great.

Did you get to pick who would be roasting you, or was it beyond your control?
Everything’s beyond my control. You think I just woke up one day and said, hey, roast me? They said, look, you have to do this, because that’s how publicity works these days. Anything that’s happening, you have to do it. I’m on Twitter, I’m on Facebook, I’m on — just, help. Help!

When you Google “gary shteyngart,” some of the first autofill results are “gary shteyngart married” and “gary shteyngart girlfriend.” Any thoughts?
Wow! That’s really shocking. I mean, have you seen me lately? Well, I guess shaving part of my beard worked? I didn’t realize I was going to get this kind of adulation. The first book that I wrote, The Russian Debutante’s Handjob, was written just because I wanted someone to share a bed with me. And I guess with these Google results, it’s worked out. But that’s my life. That’s life as a successful contemporary author: they don’t even mention your novels. It’s all about your sex life. And your tweeting. READ FULL STORY

And the 2012 National Book Award winners are ...

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The 2012 National Book Award winners were announced tonight during a blacktie gala at Cipriani’s in Lower Manhattan. Winning the big fiction prize was Louise Erdrich for her gut-wrenching novel The Round House, which centers on a grave injustice that rocks a Native American community. In a turn that didn’t surprise us whatsoever, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Katherine Boo won for her stunning work of nonfiction, Behind the Beautiful Forevers. David Ferry and William Alexander also won big in Poetry and Young People’s Literature, respectively. See below for a full list of finalists with winners in bold, and click on links for the EW reviews. READ FULL STORY

See the new paperback cover of 'The Age of Miracles' by Karen Thompson Walker -- EXCLUSIVE

Karen Thompson Walker has had an earth-shaking year in 2012. A former book editor herself, Walker’s first novel The Age of Miracles debuted to excellent reviews (including an A– grade from EW) and will likely make it onto several year-end best lists. The novel follows an 11-year-old narrator named Julia, who comes to terms with a subtle but disastrous apocalyptic event: The world’s rotation on its axis has slowed down; days have gotten longer, which leads to all sorts of disturbing changes, both on a global scale and in deeply personal ways for Julia. The paperback edition comes out Jan. 15, and we have an exclusive look at the new cover below. Plus, Walker talks about her big year and gives an update on the possible movie adapation. READ FULL STORY

Ann M. Martin picks her top 10 'Baby-sitters' books

What’s the secret to The Baby-sitters Club‘s phenomenal success? According to Scholastic editorial director David Levithan — who began working on the series as a 19-year-old Scholastic intern — it’s simple: “Girls have always connected with The Baby-sitters Club [because] they feel it’s real. It’s not amped up, action-packed drama or mythology or something that has no bearing on their lives,” he says. “And reading the books now, it’s amazing how relatable it all still is.”

Levithan is right. Any girl — any person, for that matter — can empathize with the struggles BSC members faced, from dealing with divorce to experiencing your first major crush. Relive all of middle-school’s trials, tribulations, and triumphs throughout the following pages, in which author Ann M. Martin selects her favorite titles from the 20 BSC books that are getting an electronic re-release in December. Martin has also added personal commentary about each of her picks, which are accompanied by their classic cover illustrations. You want side ponytails? We’ve got your side ponytails right here.

So, which books made the cut? Find out below!

READ FULL STORY

Say hello to your friends! 'The Baby-sitters Club' gets an e-book rerelease -- EXCLUSIVE

This is so dibble, you guys.

Scholastic is announcing today that the first 20 books in the bestselling Baby-Sitters Club series will be rereleased in ebook form beginning Dec. 1. Each title will feature a classic cover illustration by Hodges Soileau, the artist who illustrated dozens of BSC novels. Additionally, the series’ Facebook page is debuting a new Facebook app, which will allow fans to preview new ebooks, see nostalgic memorabilia, and take quizzes — then retake those quizzes upon learning that the BSC member they’re most similar to is Mallory.

READ FULL STORY

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