Monday, September 24, 2007

Author TV Appearances

There are some big names here if you'd like to get more of the low-down on some of your favorite authors! Thanks to Amazon Daily (yet again) for the heads-up on these TV spots!
  • I've been hearing some great, though troubling, things about John Bowe's Nobodies. Anyone interested in the current immigration debates should have a look at this new title!
  • The Thomas Friedman train is still full-steam-ahead with The World is Flat. This book hit the ground running at publication and shows no signs of stopping!
  • John Grisham is again leaving the legal arena in his latest novel. Playing for Pizza tells the story of a former third-string quarterback/current national laughingstock who goes farther than he ever imagined for love of the game. Read the raving USAToday review by clicking here!
  • Ken Burns, master historian and storyteller supreme! PBS, and everyone else, just loves this guy! He and Geoffrey Ward have brought you the story of jazz, baseball, the Civil War, and, now, World War II with The War: An Intimate History 1941-1945.
Monday, September 24th
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart-John Bowe, author of Nobodies: Modern American Slave Labor and the Dark Side of the New Global Economy

The Colbert Report-Thomas Friedman, author of The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century

Tuesday, September 25th
The Colbert Report-John Grisham, author of Playing For Pizza

Wednesday, September 26th
The Late Show with David Letterman-Ken Burns, author of The War: An Intimate History, 1941-1945

Thursday, September 27th
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart-Ken Burns, author of The War: An Intimate History, 1941-1945

Happy reading (and viewing)!

World Renowned Exhibit Coming to Birmingham Mid-October ! ! !

The signs that preceeded the eruption of Mount Vesuvius were subtle, passing virtually unnoticed by the people living there in A.D. 79: a powerful earthquake seventeen years beforehand, another more modestly sized earthquake in A.D. 64, and a succession of minor quakes and tremors over the years that did nothing to warn, instead helping to desensitize the Roman citizens to the looming danger....

The only real warning these people had occured mere weeks ahead of the eruption, but these were warnings they had no ways of understanding. Wells and springs dried up and the small earthquakes began to swarm right up until the eruption began on the afternoon of August 24 A.D. 79.

Lasting two days, the eruption of Mount Vesuvius covered Pompeii, Herculaneum, and several smaller nearby towns in up to 75 ft of fine ash and pyroclastic deposits, burning and suffocating the residents who could not make it out or who did not comprehend the certain death they faced by staying.

Archeaological work at Pompeii and surrounding areas has been ongoing for almost 250 years and this October, the Birmingham Museum of Art is bringing some of that work to our fair city! Pompei: Tales from an Eruption...Herculaneum, Oplontis, Terzigno opens October 14, 2007 and runs through January of 2008. Don't miss your opportunity to see the largest collection of artifacts from Pompeii ever to leave Italy, many of which have never been seen outside that country!

The Emmet O'Neal Library has many resources to get you started on your exploration, click here to see them! Also, our book group, The Bookies, will be discussing Robert Harris' novel, Pompeii, on October 9th at 10am. Please join us! As a special treat, the Bookies will be taking a group tour of the exhibit on October 16th. Tickets are $14 and your money must be turned in by October 1st! We will be touring the exhibit, then, for those interested, gathering for lunch at the Museum. The cost of lunch is not included in your group tour ticket.

If you'd like more information about the Bookies and/or the group tour of the Pompeii exhibit, contact Katie Moellering at 445-1118 or


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Wheel of Time rolls to a stop

The world lost another of its greatest authors with the death of sci-fi/fantasy author Robert Jordan.

His heroic battle with amyloidosis, a rare blood disease, ended Sunday afternoon. It was only last year that Jordan announced that he was battling the disease and expressed his intentions of fighting it:

"I have thirty more years' worth of books to write even if I can keep from thinking of any more, and I don't intend to let this thing get in my way."

"Gone, but not forgotten" is forever how his legions of fans will no doubt feel about this legendary author. Already, over 700 comments have appeared on the Jordan's blog.

According the Amazon, Jordan's family has asked that, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made in the name of James Rigney to the Mayo Clinic Department of Hematology--Amyloidosis Research, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905.


Monday, September 17, 2007 sellin' AND bloggin'!

I was delighted to find that Amazon now has a blog, Amazon Daily! I just found it today and have already been hooked with several of the posts, including this one about author TV appearances for the week!

Monday, September 17th Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson Alan Alda, author of Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself

Tuesday, September 18th, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Fmr. Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, author of The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World

Wednesday, September 19th The Colbert Report Naomi Wolf, author of The End of America: A Letter of Warning To A Young Patriot

Thursday, September 20th The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Fmr. President Bill Clinton, author of Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World

The Colbert Report Jeffrey Toobin, author of The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court

Friday, September 21st Oprah Jeffrey Eugenides, author of Middlesex

Happy Reading (and viewing)!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Rock the Vote.... participating in The Quill Book Awards, an initiative launched with the support of Reed Business Information and NBC. This "consumer's choice" book award will be open for votes from Monday September 10th through Wednesday October 10th so don't let this opportunity pass you by! Here is a list of the nominees in 19 popular categories ranging in everything from biography to general fiction to cookbooks and graphic novels!

Click this link to see the winners from each category and to vote on the
Let your voice be heard!

2007 Quills Awards
Nominees in 19 categories for the annual book prize.

General fiction

Brothers Da Chen

American Youth Phil LaMarche

The Road Cormac McCarthy

Special Topics in Calamity Physics Marisha Pessl

Jamestown Matthew Sharpe


Simply Magic Mary Balogh

The Kommandant’s Girl Pam Jenoff

Natural Born Charmer Susan Elizabeth Phillips

The Edge of Winter Luanne Rice

Angels Fall Nora Roberts


Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven Fannie Flagg
I Like You Amy Sedaris

Mississippi Sissy Kevin Sessums

Thirteen Moons Charles Frazier

To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee


American Islam: The Struggle for the Soul of a Religion Paul M. Barrett

Gonzo Judaism: A Bold Path for an Ancient Faith Rabbi Niles Elliot Goldstein

The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief Francis S. Collins

Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference? Philip Yancey

Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know — And Doesn’t Stephen Prothero

Graphic novel

Making Comics Scott McCloud

Ode to Kirihito Osamu Tezuka

Alice in Sunderland Bryan Talbot

Exit Wounds Rutu Modan

Aya Marguerite Abouet


Grave of Light: New and Selected Poems, 1970 – 2005 Alice Notley

One Big Self: An Investigation C.D. Wright

Blackbird and Wolf Henri Cole

For the Confederate Dead Kevin Young

A Thief of Strings Donald Revell


Pork & Sons Stephane Reynaud

Joy of Cooking: 75th Anniversary Edition Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker, Ethan Becker

Arabesque: A Taste of Morocco, Turkey and Lebanon Claudia Roden

The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook: Stories and Recipes for Southerners and Would-Be Southerners Matt & Ted Lee

Baking: From My Home to Yours Dorie Greenspan


Is it Hot in Here? Or Is it Me?: The Complete Guide to Menopause Pat Wingert, Barbara Kantrowitz

You on a Diet: The Owner's Manual for Waist Management Michael F. Roizen , Mehmet C. Oz

Rethinking Thin: The New Science of Weight Loss — and the Myths and Realities of Dieting Gina Kolata

How Doctors Think Jerome Groopman

Walking on Eggshells: Navigating the Delicate Relationship Between Adult Children and Parents Jane Isay


The Father of All Things: A Marine, His Son, and the Legacy of Vietnam Tom Bissell
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier Ishmael Beah

Edith Wharton Hermione Lee

Einstein: His Life and Universe Walter Isaacson

William James: In the Maelstrom of American Modernism Robert D. Richardson

Ty and The Babe: Baseball's Fiercest Rivals; A Surprising Friendship and the 1941 Has-Beens Golf Championship Tom Stanton

Crazy ’08: How a Cast of Cranks, Rogues, Boneheads, and Magnates Created the Greatest Year in Baseball History Cait Murphy

Streams of Consciousness: Hip-Deep Dispatches from the River of Life Jeff Hull

The Echoing Green: The Untold Story of Bobby Thomson, Ralph Branca and the Shot Heard Round the World Joshua Prager

The Kings of New York: A Year Among the Geeks, Oddballs, and Geniuses Who Make Up America's Top High School Chess Team Michael Weinreb


I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence Amy Sedaris

25 Questions for a Jewish Mother Judy Gold, Kate Moira Ryan

Spy: The Funny Years Kurt Andersen, Graydon Carter, George Kalogerakis

I Shouldn't Even Be Doing This!: And Other Things That Strike Me as Funny Bob Newhart

Oy!: The Ultimate Book of Jewish Jokes David Minkoff

History/Current Events/Politics

Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power Robert Dallek

The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million Daniel Mendelsohn

The Atomic Bazaar: The Rise of the Nuclear Poor William Langewiesche

Infidel Ayaan Hirsi Ali

The Assault on Reason Al Gore


Small Is the New Big: and 183 Other Riffs, Rants, and Remarkable Business Ideas Seth Godin

Women & Money: Owning the Power to Control Your Destiny Suze Orman

The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t Robert I. Sutton

Send: The Essential Guide to Email for Office and Home David Shipley and Will Schwalbe

Chocolates on the Pillow Aren’t Enough: Reinventing the Customer Experience Jonathan M. Tisch, Karl Weber


The Collaborator of Bethlehem Matt Beynon Rees
What the Dead Know Laura Lippman

Body of Lies David Ignatius

The Overlook Michael Connelly

A Welcome Grave Michael Koryta

Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror

Farthing Jo Walton

The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day One) Patrick Rothfuss

Getting to Know You David Marusek

Brasyl Ian McDonald

The Execution Channel Ken MacLeod

Children's Picture Books

The Adventures of the Dish and the Spoon Mini Grey

Fancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy Jane O’Connor

Flotsam David Wiesner

Orange Pear Apple Bear Emily Gravett

Owen & Mzee: The Language of Friendship Isabella and Craig Hatkoff, Dr. Paula Kahumbu

Children's Chapter/Middle Grade

Clementine Sara Pennypacker

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Jeff Kinney

The Invention of Hugo Cabret Brian Selznick

Pick Me Up Jeremy Leslie and David Roberts

The Titan’s Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 3) Rick Riordan

Young Adult/Teen

American Born Chinese Gene Luen Yang

The Green Glass Sea Ellen Klages

Incantation Alice Hoffman

Life as We Knew It Susan Beth Pfeffer

Sold Patricia McCormick

Debut Author

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier Ishmael Beah

No One Belongs Here More Than You: Stories Miranda July

This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession Daniel J. Levitin

The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel Diane Setterfield

Love is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time Rob Sheffield

Happy Reading!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Giant Fall Book Preview from USAToday ! ! !

Hot off the presses or, in some cases, not even on the press quite yet!

You must, must, must follow this link to USAToday's peek at the hot books due out this fall...John Grisham, Ann Patchett, Ann Packer, James Patterson, Gregory Maguire, Dick Francis, Tess Gerritsen, Nicholas Sparks, Richard Russo, Phillip Roth and many, many more!

Plus, the little bespectacled leaf guiding your literary tour is terribly cute!

Happy Reading!


Madeleine L’Engle, Gone but Never to be Forgotten...

Sad news arrived today about the death of famed author Madeleine L’Engle, who died of natural causes yesterday at the age of 88. Her wide-ranging career spanned nearly the entire breadth of her life, beginning from the age of 5, and she wrote some of everything: poetry, plays, autobiographies and books on prayer in addition to many books for children. Amazingly enough, the work that would personify her fame, A Wrinkle in Time, was initially rejected by 26 publishers before L'Engle saw her characters come to life for the general public. Talk about perseverance.... L'Engle had a very straightforward approach to writing what was in her heart:

“Why does anybody tell a story?” Ms. L’Engle once asked, even though she knew the answer. “It does indeed have something to do with faith,” she said,
“faith that the universe has meaning, that our little human lives are not irrelevant, that what we choose or say or do matters, matters cosmically.”

The New York Times has a lovely, very flattering article out about L'Engle's life and work and from which I pulled the above quote.


Uncharted Territory

In the vast, mist-shrouded depths of the world wide web it can be both difficult and cumbersome to find new, informative websites for your use and entertainment. Luckily there are plenty of others out there with the resources and know-how to get the job done for the benefit of all Internet users! That being said, PC Magazine has just released their Top 100 Undiscovered Websites of 2007, the new or under-the-radar websites you may not have encountered but should definitely know about! They offer a download option to get all 100 sites in your bookmark/favorites menu or you may peruse them one-by-one at your leisure. There is a table of contents for all the sites on the right side if you'd rather focus on particular areas of interest.

Happy Hunting!