Friday, February 22, 2008

Tournament of Books

It's almost time for The Morning News 2008 Tournament of Books. The Tournament of Books, now in it's fourth year, is a March-Madness style contest where books go head to head in a fight for one of the strangest literary prizes ever--a live chicken.

Here are the contenders for this year's prize:

Run by Ann Patchett
On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
Tree of Smoke by Denis Johnson
Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris
Petropolis by Anya Ulinich
Ovenman by Jeff Parker
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
You Don't Love Me Yet by Jonathan Lethem
New England White by Stephen L. Carter
Remainder by Tom McCarthy
The Shadow Catcher by Marianne Wiggins
The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolano
Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name by Vendela Vida
Shining at the Bottom of the Sea by Stephen Marche
What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman
An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England by Brock Clarke

You can view the list of judges here.

This literary prize with a sense of humor kicks off Friday, March 7.

(Image courtesy of

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Spotlight on Charles Baxter

"Award-winning writer Charles Baxter is best known for his fiction -- brilliantly crafted, non-linear stories that twist and turn in unexpected directions before reaching surprising yet nearly always satisfying conclusions. He specializes in portraits of solid Midwesterners, regular Joes and Janes whose ordinary lives are disrupted by accidents, chance encounters, and the arrival of strangers; and his books have garnered a fierce and loyal following among readers and critics alike."
(From the Barnes & Noble Meet the Writers series.)

PCLS has the following Charles Baxter books:

The Soul Thief
Saul and Patsy
The Feast of Love
Shadow Play: A Novel
A Relative Stranger: Stories

For more information on Charles Baxter:

The author's website
Author interview

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Black History Month

February marks the celebration of Black History Month. Here are some resources of interest:

The Library of Congress African American History Month
A&E's Biography Series
The History Channel

And, for the kids, the Just Read, Florida Black History Month Recommended Reading List

Saturday, February 2, 2008

ALA's Notable Books

The Notable Books Council of the American Library Association recently released its list of outstanding books for 2008.

Since 1944, the goal of the Notable Books Council has been to make available to the nation's readers a list of 25 very good, very readable, and at times very important fiction, nonfiction and poetry books for the adult reader. (From the Notable Books Council press release)

Away by Amy Bloom
Five Skies by Ron Carlson
The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabon
An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England by Brock Clarke
Finn: A Novel by John Clinch
The Ministry of Special Cases by Nathan Englander
The Five-Forty-Five to Cannes by Tess Uriza Holthe
Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones
On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
Complete Stories by David Malouf
Out Stealing Horses by Per Pettersen
Cheating at Canasta by William Trevor

The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story by Diane Ackerman
The Canon by Natalie Angier
Super Crunchers by Ian Ayres
When a Crocodile Eats the Sun by Peter Godwin
How Doctors Think by Jerome Groopman
Gertrude Bell: Queen of the Desert, Shaper of Nations by Georgina Howell
Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver
Oil on the Brain by Lisa Margonelli
The World Without Us by Alan Weisman

A New Hunger by Laure-Anne Bosselaar
In a Prominent Bar in Secaucus by X.J. Kennedy