Posts Tagged ‘ The Flamethrowers ’

Best Books of 2013 Roundup: Oprah, The New York Times, Publisher’s Weekly–See Who’s List You Like Best

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

What were your favorite reads of 2013? I’ll list my Parents picks in the next few days, but today I’ve been having fun with are everyone else’s. Other editors and reviewers from Oprah and The New York Times don’t agree on many of the Best Books of 2013, as you’ll see below. Publisher’s Weekly culled through 9,000 reviews (15 I wrote myself) to come up with their choices–most I haven’t even heard of. So what should you read? I’m thinking about The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner which showed up twice–so did Good Lord Bird. The Interestings gets one nod, and that’s one I loved it this summer.

So stop what you’re doing–work and watching kids can wait. Take time to peruse these awesome reading choices below. I’m sending this list to my book club. (Hi girls!) We need a great new read to ring in 2014.

Oprah’s 10 Best Books of 2013


1.The Isle of Youth
By Laura van den Berg
The gist: A quirky story collection filled with unique and strong female protagonists.

2. Country Girl: A Memoir
By Edna O’Brien
The gist: A memoir by one of Ireland’s most famous fiction writers that has been compared to Angela’s Ashes.

3. The Signature of All Things
By Elizabeth Gilbert
The gist: This one about a strong 19th Century botanist proves that the Eat, Pray, Love writer is at the top of her game. Gilbert makes moss a fascinating subject, I hear.

4. Vampires in the Lemon Grove
By Karen Russell
The gist: This hugely creative collection of short stories–one about a vampire who’s afraid to fly and another about U.S. presidents reincarnated about horses–proves that the author of Swamplandia has staying power.

5. The Flamethrowers
By Rachel Kushner
The gist: The award-winning saga of an electric young woman’s full-throttle pursuit of love amid the class war and cultural upheaval of the late ’70s.

6. The Good Lord Bird
By James McBride
The gist: A slave boy and abolitionist John Brown change the course of American history in this novel that is inspired by real events.

7. The Interestings
By Meg Wolitzer
The gist: Through well-tuned drama and compassionate humor, Wolitzer chronicles the living organism that is friendship, and arcs it over the course of more than 30 years.

8. The Cuckoo’s Calling
By Robert Galbraith
The gist: A book for mystery lovers by J.K. Rowling.

9. Dog Songs
By Mary Oliver
The gist: This Pulitzer Prize-winning author’s combo of woman’s best friend and poetry is irresistible.

10. The Woman Who Lost Her Soul
By Bob Shacochis
The gist: What is the legacy of war—and how long does it last—are the questions behind this brilliant and gripping novel.

Publisher’s Weekly Best Books (gathered in no particular order)

 

1. See of Hooks
By Lindsay Hill
The gist: “Pure reading pleasure on every single page, not to mention a wallop of pathos.”

2. Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood & the Prison of Belief
By Lawrence Wright
The gist: Wright’s prodigiously researched investigation of Scientology does what good reporting ought to do: examine something in search of truth, lay out the findings, and let conclusions be drawn.

3. Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield
By Jeremy Scahill
The gist: The Nation’s national security correspondent surgically exposes how the War on Terror is actually conducted: secret prisons, torture, extralegal assassinations, drone surveillance and warfare, gamesmanship with corrupt regimes. 

4. Men We Reaped
By Jesmyn Ward
The gist: Critically acclaimed novelist Ward (Salvage the Bones) bravely enters nonfiction terrain in this starkly honest and deeply tragic account of the deaths of five important men in her life.

5. People in the Trees
By Hanya Yanagihara
The gist: In this novel, a ccientist who, after graduating Harvard medical school in the 1940s, travels to a remote Pacific island chain where he may or may not have stumbled upon the key to immortality.

6. Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery
By Robert Kolker
The gist: “Even hardened true crime readers will be haunted by New York magazine contributing editor Kolker’s provocative tale of five young escorts who became linked by the tragic circumstances of their disappearances, and the discovery of their remains on Long Island’s Oak Beach.”

7. Miss Anne in Harlem
By Carla Kaplan
The gist: In this beautifully written, empathetic, and valuable addition to the history of the Harlem Renaissance, scholar Kaplan (Zora Neale Hurston: A Life in Letters) presents the untold story of six notable white women (including Fannie Hurst and Nancy Cunard, members of a larger group known collectively as “Miss Anne”) who embraced black culture—and life—in Harlem in the 1920s and ’30s.

8. Constellation of Vital Phenomena
By Anthony Marra
The gist: A Chechen village, a young girl watching her father taken by Russian soldiers and her house burned to the ground: so begins Marra’s startling debut, in which a tough doctor ponders the extent of her obligation to help Havaa, an eight-year-old girl who has been brought to the doctor’s wretched and abandoned hospital by Akhmed, the girl’s neighbor.

9. The Silence and the Roar
By Nihad Sirees
The gist: “Sirees’s deeply philosophical and satirical novel echoes Kafka and Orwell.”

10. The Good Lord Bird
By James McBride
see details above

The New York Times 10 Best Books of 2013

FICTION:
1. Americanah
By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi

2. The Flamethrowers
By Rachel Kushner

3. The Goldfinch
By Donna Tartt

4. Life After Life
By Kate Atkinson

5. Tenth of December
By George Saunders

NONFICTION
6. After the Music Stopped: The Financial Crisis, the Response, and the Work Ahead
By Alan S. Blinder

7. Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House
By Peter Baker

8. Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital
By Sheri Fink

9. The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914
By Christopher Clark

10. Wave
By Sonali Deraniyagala

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National Book Awards Finalists Announced: Great Picks for Your Reading List

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

I love the National Book Awards. They always give me great ideas for what to read next. I’m just bummed that two of my favorite young adult books on the longlist (that was new this year) didn’t make the shortlist! You simply must read Flora and Ulysses to your kids and Two Boys Kissing for you!

In the meantime, check out the NBA picks and stay tuned for the winners which will be announced Nov. 20.

Fiction

FINALISTS:

Rachel KushnerThe Flamethrowers (Scribner/Simon & Schuster)
Jhumpa LahiriThe Lowland (Alfred A. Knopf/Random House)
James McBrideThe Good Lord Bird (Riverhead Books/Penguin Group USA)
Thomas PynchonBleeding Edge (The Penguin Press/Penguin Group USA)
George SaundersTenth of December (Random House)

LONGLIST:

- Tom DruryPacific (Grove Press)
- Elizabeth GraverThe End of the Point (Harper/HarperCollinsPublishers)
- Anthony MarraA Constellation of Vital Phenomena (Hogarth/Random House)
- Alice McDermott, Someone (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
- Joan Silber, Fools (W.W. Norton & Company)

Young Adult

FINALISTS:

Kathi AppeltThe True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp
(Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster)
Cynthia KadohataThe Thing About Luck (Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster)
Tom McNealFar Far Away (Alfred A. Knopf/Random House)
Meg RosoffPicture Me Gone (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, a division of Penguin Group USA)
Gene Luen YangBoxers & Saints (First Second/Macmillan)

LONGLIST:

- Kate DiCamilloFlora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures (Candlewick Press)
- Lisa Graff, A Tangle of Knots (Philomel, A division of Penguin Group USA)
- Alaya Dawn JohnsonThe Summer Prince (Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic)
- David LevithanTwo Boys Kissing (Knopf Books for Young Readers/Random House)
- Anne UrsuThe Real Boy (Walden Pond Press/an Imprint HarperCollinsPublishers)

Nonfiction

FINALISTS:

Jill Lepore, Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin (Alfred A. Knopf/Random House)
Wendy LowerHitler’s Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
George PackerThe Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Alan TaylorThe Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832 (W.W. Norton & Company)
Lawrence WrightGoing Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, & the Prison of Belief  (Alfred A. Knopf/Random House)

LONGLIST:

- T.D. AllmanFinding Florida: The True Story of the Sunshine State (Atlantic Monthly Press)
- Gretel EhrlichFacing the Wave: A Journey in the Wake of the Tsunami (Pantheon Book/Random House)
- Scott C. JohnsonThe Wolf and the Watchman: A Father, a Son, and the CIA (W.W. Norton & Company)
- James OakesFreedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861-1865
(W.W. Norton & Company)
- Terry TeachoutDuke: A Life of Duke Ellington (Gotham Books)

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