Sunday, March 28, 2010

Book Buzz with Nancy Pearl

This past week, the Public Library Association held its annual meeting in Portland, Oregon. The highlight for many attendees was a talk given by the infamous Nancy Pearl titled, "Book Buzz with Nancy Pearl." 

If you're not already familiar with Nancy Pearl, she is a well-known librarian, author and book critic who formerly was the Executive Director of the Washington Center of the Book for the Seattle Public Library.

In short, she loves to read. And recommend. 

Hence, she has a blog that details her current reads, is a regular contributor to on NPR and...has an action figure.  When she gives a talk about new books she is excited about, people tend to listen. Here are a few of the upcoming releases that she highlighted at the conference:

Kelly O’Connor McNees’s The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott (Amy Einhorn: Putnam, April 1, 2010)

This is the debut of Kelly O'Conner McNees, and it is sufficient to say that it is thought to be a great one. Her website details her first work:

"Kelly O’Connor McNees deftly mixes fact and fiction as she imagines a summer lost to history, carefully purged from Louisa’s letters and journals, a summer that would change the course of Louisa’s writing career—and inspire the story of love and heartbreak between Jo and Teddy “Laurie” Laurence, Jo’s devoted  neighbor and kindred spirit."

Justin Cronin’s, The Passage 
(Ballantine, June 2010)

This apocalyptic tome, (and it is a tome, at over 600 pages), is apparently "so big" that the unpublished manuscript caused a studio bidding war a few years back - of which Fox 2000 and director Ridley Scott were the winners.

The story is a enthralling mix of fantasy, sci-fi and thriller that weaves the story of government experiments gone awry. From the official website:

"First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos and carnage gives way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered. All that remains for the stunned survivors is the long fight ahead and a future ruled by fear—of darkness, of death, of a fate far worse."

Guy Gavriel Kay, Under Heaven
(Penguin Group Canada, Late April 2010)

This new work from the best-selling author fuses history and fantasy that was inspired by the Tang Dynasty of China in the eighth century. 

"Under Heaven is a novel on the grandest narrative scale, encompassing the intimate details of individual lives in an unforgettable time and place."

You can read parts of the first chapter and learn more about the book on the official website.

You can also get a taste of this author by reading some of Mr. Kay's previous works. Check them out at your local branch - two of his most recent titles that we have in the catalog are:

Guy Gavriel Kay

ISBN: 0451461290
The Last Light of the Sun
Guy Gavriel Kay

ISBN: 0451459652

Nathaniel Philbrick's The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull and the Battle of the LittleBig Horn
(Viking Adult, May 2010)

 From the author of the National Book Award-winning Mayflower, this historical work sheds new light on one of the most iconic stories of the American West known as Custer's last stand. Philbrick follows the stories of two legendary figures: George Armstrong Custer, the infamous Union cavalry officer and Sitting Bull, savvy leader of the Plains Indians.

Previous Nathaniel Philbrick works to check out:

Nathaniel Philbrick
ISBN: 9780143111979

From the catalog:

"In Mayflower, Philbrick casts his spell once again, giving us a fresh and extraordinarily vivid account of our most sacred national myth: the voyage of the Mayflowerand the settlement of Plymouth Colony. From the Mayflower’s arduous Atlantic crossing to the eruption of King Philip’s War between colonists and natives decades later, Philbrick reveals in this electrifying history of the Pilgrims a fifty-five-year epic, at once tragic and heroic, that still resonates with us today."

Charles Todd's An Impartial Witness
(Harper Collins, August 2010)

The second in the series featuring Bess Crawford, a British nurse during World War I. 

You can find the first Bess Crawford novel by this mother-son writing duo at your RPL:

A Duty to the Dead
Charles Todd

ISBN: 9780061791765

From the catalog:

"The winning first in a new WWI series introduces Bess Crawford, a resourceful British army nurse who's injured when her ship is sunk in 1916. While convalescing in England, Bess is tormented because she's put off delivering a message from Arthur Graham, a dying soldier under her care for whom she'd developed strong feelings, to his family. Her own brush with death prompts her to travel to Kent and transmit Arthur's cryptic last words to one of his three brothers. Bess becomes further enmeshed in the family's affairs after she learns the obscure message may relate to Graham's half-brother, Peregrine, who was committed to a local asylum for a girl's murder years before."

Of course, this is only a sampling of new releases from publishers, so you can check out the PLA's website for more titles that people are anticipating.

We'll also keep you updated about the books that the Richmond Public Library will have available upon the release of these upcoming titles, so don't forget to check out our upcoming "New Materials" posts!

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