This is the first American to win the award.  Here’s the announcement. We have three copies and now 41 holds, 40 of which were placed  yesterday or today.  We’ll get more copies.


The selloutA biting satire about a young man’s isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court, Paul Beatty’sThe Sellout showcases a comic genius at the top of his game. It challenges the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement, the father-son relationship, and the holy grail of racial equality–the black Chinese restaurant.
Born in the “agrarian ghetto” of Dickens–on the southern outskirts of Los Angeles–the narrator of The Sellout resigns himself to the fate of lower-middle-class Californians: “I’d die in the same bedroom I’d grown up in, looking up at the cracks in the stucco ceiling that’ve been there since ’68 quake.” Raised by a single father, a controversial sociologist, he spent his childhood as the subject in racially charged psychological studies. He is led to believe that his father’s pioneering work will result in a memoir that will solve his family’s financial woes. But when his father is killed in a police shoot-out, he realizes there never was a memoir. All that’s left is the bill for a drive-thru funeral.

Tomorrow night at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park. This has a growing holds queue, too.


Bleed, Blister, Puke, and Purge : The Dirty Secrets Behind Early American MedicineRiots over the medical use of cadavers. Public access to institutions for the insane. And full-blown surgeries without the aid of anesthetics or painkillers. Welcome to the middle ages of American medicine. Bleed, Blister, Puke, and Purge exposes the extraordinary practices and major players of American medical history, from the colonial era to the late 1800s. It’s hard to believe that today’s cutting-edge medicine originated from such crude beginnings, but this book reminds us to be grateful for today’s medical care, while also raising the question: what current medical practices will be the horrors of tomorrow?

Potentially appealing to readers far outside his Daily Show fan base, South African Trevor Noah is coming out with a book about his childhood as the mixed race son of a German Swiss father (who could never openly acknowledge him and was never asked to) and a fanatically religious, shrewd, headstrong and affectionately tough Xhosa mother, who told authorities when he was born that he was from Swaziland. Born a Crime is surprising, tense, thoughtfully original, and so often very funny, especially the correspondence between him and his mother, who insisted at one point that he could only argue with her if he wrote formal letters explaining himself.  Cat lovers advised (Noah himself doesn’t hurt them).  Arc for first commenter.

Noah, Trevor.  Born a Crime.  Random House. November 15th.

Born a CrimePublisher Summary: …Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.  Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother–his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life. The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother’s unconventional, unconditional love…

The Academy has announced its 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature goes to none other than Bob Dylan.

“for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”.

Several news and media sources are covering this announcement and Dylan’s output and career, among them Publisher’s Weekly, The New York Times, and NPR.

We probably don’t own all of his opus but I’ll highlight a few books we do own and some particularly relevant music (thanks Jim!), though we own much more. Don’t forget Hoopla! as a vehicle for connecting to his work.

Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits – Volumes 1 and 2.  [Contain early significant tracks]

Bob Dylan's greatest hitsBob Dylan's greatest hits. Volume II


Chronicles. Volume One. Simon & Schuster, 2004. [Confirmed volume 2 never yet completed]

Chronicles. Volume one

The first volume in a series of memoirs by a musical and political icon. Circa 1965, arguably the high point in his creative genius, Bob Dylan writes about the beginning of his music career, his early loves, and offers a very personal, anecdotal view of this time of creativity, innovation and music history.





Tarantula.  Scribner, 2004. 


Music legend Bob Dylan’s only work of fiction–a combination of stream of consciousness prose, lyrics, and poetry that gives fans insight into one of the most influential singer-songwriters of our time. Written in 1966, Tarantula is a collection of poems and prose that evokes the turbulence of the times in which it was written, and gives a unique insight into Dylan’s creative evolution. It captures Bob Dylan’s preoccupations at a crucial juncture in his artistic development, showcasing the imagination of a folk poet laureate who was able to combine the humanity and compassion of his country roots with the playful surrealism of modern art. Angry, funny, and strange, the poems and prose in this collection reflect the concerns found in Dylan’s most seminal music: a sense of protest, a verbal playfulness and spontaneity, and a belief in the artistic legitimacy of chronicling everyday life and eccentricity on the street.

Katherine Arden’s The Bear and the Nightingale seems to have gotten a lot of mentions in this week’s EarlyWord Galley Chat and has supernatural elements. It doesn’t come out until January but is already generating holds in our system.

Books for Living is a biography by Will Schwalbe, famous for The End of Your Life Book Club, a perennial favorite in our discussion kit collection as well as a power circulater (over 500 times) in the regular nonfiction collection.

Please comment to claim.

Arden, Katherine.  The Bear and the Nightingale. Del Rey.

A magical The bear and the nightingale : a noveldebut novel for readers of Naomi Novik’s Uprooted, Erin Morgenstern’sThe Night Circus, and Neil Gaiman’s myth-rich fantasies, The Bear and the Nightingale spins an irresistible spell as it announces the arrival of a singular talent with a gorgeous voice. At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind–she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest thatprotect their homes from evil. After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows. And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for marriage or confinement in a convent. As danger circles nearer, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed–this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales. Advance praise for The Bear and the Nightingale “An extraordinary retelling of a very old tale. A Russian setting adds unfamiliar spice to the story of a young womanwho does not rebel against the limits of her role in her culture so much as transcend them. TheBear and the Nightingale is a wonderfully layered novel of family and the harsh wonders of deep winter magic.”–Robin Hobb, bestselling author of the Fitz andthe Fool trilogy “A beautiful deep-winter story, full of magic and monsters and the sharp edges of growing up.”–Naomi Novik, bestselling author of Uprooted”– Provided by publisher.

Schwalbe, Will.  Books for Living. Knopf.

Books for Living
From the author of the best-selling and beloved The End of Your Life Book Club –a wonderfully engaging new book: both a celebration of reading in general and an impassioned recommendation of specific books that can help guide us through our daily lives.  “I’ve always believed that everything you need to know you can find in a book,” writes Will Schwalbe in his introduction to this thought-provoking, heartfelt, and inspiring new book about books. In each chapter he makes clear the ways in which a particular book has helped to shape how he leads his own life and the ways in which it might help to shape ours. He talks about what brought him to each book–or vice versa; the people in his life he associates each book with; how each has led him to other books; how each is part of his understanding of himself in the world. And he relates each book to a question of our daily lives, for example: Melville’s Bartleby, the Scrivener speaks to quitting; 1984 to disconnecting from our electronics; James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room to the power of finding ourselves and connecting with one another; Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s Gift from the Sea to taking time to recharge; Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird to being sensitive to the surrounding world; The Little Prince to making friends; Paula Hawkins’s The Girl on the Train to trusting. Here, too, are books by Dickens, Daphne du Maurier, Haruki Murakami, Edna Lewis, E. B. White, and Hanya Yanagihara, among many others. A treasure of a book for everyone who loves books, loves reading, and loves to hear the answer to the question: “What are you reading?”

The National Book Foundation has announced its shortlist for the National Book Award.  This link includes the non-fiction and poetry candidates as well, which will probably trigger purchases or additional for the winners.  I’ll highlight  the fiction that hasn’t already been highlighted before in the  previous post on the longlist.


Besides Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad and Jacqueline Woodson’s Another Brooklyn, we also have

Jiles, Paulett.  News of the World. William Morrow.

News of the world : a novelPublisher Summary: It is 1870 and Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels through northern Texas, giving live readings to paying audiences hungry for news of the world. An elderly widower who has lived through three wars and fought in two of them, the captain enjoys his rootless, solitary existence.  In Wichita Falls, he is offered a $50 gold piece to deliver a young orphan to her relatives in San Antonio. Four years earlier, a band of Kiowa raiders killed Johanna’s parents and sister; sparing the little girl, they raised her as one of their own. Recently rescued by the U.S. army, the ten-year-old has once again been torn away from the only home she knows.  Their 400-mile journey south through unsettled territory and unforgiving terrain proves difficult and at times dangerous. Johanna has forgotten the English language, tries to escape at every opportunity, throws away her shoes, and refuses to act “civilized.” Yet as the miles pass, the two lonely survivors tentatively begin to trust each other, forging a bond that marks the difference between life and death in this treacherous land.


Bachelder, Chris. The Throwback Special. W. W. Norton.

The throwback special : a novelPublisher Summary: The Throwback Special is the story of twenty-two ordinary guys who gather each fall to reenact what ESPN has called the most shocking play in NFL history: the November 1985 play in which Joe Theismann of the Washington Redskins had his leg horribly broken by Lawrence Taylor of the New York Giants on Monday Night Football. (The play was known by the Redskins as the Throwback Special.) Over the course of a weekend we follow the men as they choose roles; spend a long night of the soul revealing their secret hopes, fears, and passions as they prepare for the game; and finally enact their strange and yet oh-so-American ritual for what may be the last time. With his trademark microfine sense of humor and tragic sense of history (Michael Chabon), Chris Bachelder’s moving and very funny tale is filled with pitch-perfect observations about manhood, marriage, and middle age.



Mahajan, Karan.  The Association of Small Bombs. Viking.

The association of small bombs

Publisher Summary: After witnessing his two friends killed by a “small” bomb that detonated in a Dehli marketplace, Mansoor Ahmed becomes involved with a charismatic young activist, whose allegiances and beliefs are more changeable than he could have imagined.







Author Standing Order Revision

September 26, 2016

Becky and I have tweaked the Author Standing Order, adding several authors and reducing somewhat the initial quantities designated for us. We began noticing this year that some of the old favorites’ newest works generate holds in the area of 1:2 or 1:3 rather than anything close to 1:5.  A recent Beverly Lewis order of 30 copies (The Atonement) came in and only about half went out to fill holds in the first place.  As a result, we have pulled back on many of these orders for the end of this year and continuing into next year. This way we are hoping to have more fiction funds dedicated to backfilling popular series and getting plenty of copies of those new surprise sleeper titles, like Noah Hawley’s Before the Fall and Ruth Ware’s The Woman in Cabin 10, to name just two examples. Leanne has posted the new list to the intranet.