Titles for your 2013 New Year’s resolutions, one last book on infant sleep, a guide to exercising during pregnancy, and teaching your child how to budget early.
Which of these statements is true? 1. Memoirs are popular. 2. New memoirs are popular. I suspect the latter. As I weeded my library’s biography section last summer, I found many memoirs and other autobiographical writings in nearly pristine condition; most of them had not been borrowed since the year of their publication. Sadly, I also found highly regarded memoirs that had not moved in years. These books had been selected initially to meet current demand, and some had, like the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity, performed beyond expectations, but our readers had lost interest in or awareness of all of them. For a small library needing room for new, in-demand memoirs, it was time to part with the old.
Near the end of each year, I have the pleasure of meeting with lots of university press reps so they can show me their Spring catalogs for the next year, indicating their forthcoming lead trade titles as well as some mid-list treats they feel sure LJ’s readers will find compelling. There’s a lot of exciting stuff coming in Spring 2013 from these publishers. Here are pairs and threesomes that seemed to form themselves from the academic Spring 2013 catalogs that came to me via press appointments.
I’m often asked to name today’s top street lit authors. Look no further than Sister Souljah, Nisa Santiago, and Kiki Swinson, three writers who are surfing the wave of today’s urban fiction. Their intricate stories feature complex protagonists whose stone-cold faces belie the emotional tragedy they are enduring. Tough women, tough times, exciting reads. Pick [...]
Reading nonfiction can sometimes feel like eating your vegetables. You know it is good for you, but finding just the right preparation can be a challenge. This year, we are lucky to have had a wealth of great, true stories out to choose from. Here are just a few of the year’s best offerings. Aronson, [...]
It’s December with temps in the 30s; I guess autumn really is over. I had fun extending my triathlon season into October, but all good things must end, including the only book I really sat down with over the past few months, Color Stories by Benjamin Moore (covered below). I relied on my minions to [...]
Self-help: the term evokes the busier aisles of the bookstore and some of the most popular ranges in any local public library. It is also, as we know, a category of writing, publishing, and reading subjected to a great deal of mockery and satire in the public sphere and, perhaps, deservedly so: there is a kind of rapid reach for easy conclusions and at times a haste in writing and structure that leaves self-help writers and readers vulnerable to the most contemptuous sort of criticism.
K’wan. Animal. Cash Money Content, dist. by Atria: S. & S. ISBN 9781936399253. pap. $14.99; eISBN 9781936399260. Given their author’s unmatched ear for street talk and talent for bringing gritty characters to life, K’wan’s “Hood Rat” stories make up one of the best series in urban fiction. His latest plot will draw readers into an [...]