Saturday, March 17, 2018

Six YAs set in Ireland

At the BN Teen Blog Dahlia Adler tagged six YA novels set in Ireland, including:
The Spellbook of the Lost and Found, by Moira Fowley-Doyle

Olive, Rose, Hazel, Laurel…it seems none of the girls of Balmallen managed to hold onto their possessions at their town’s last bonfire. Relationships are disintegrating, items are going missing and odd new ones are turning up in their place, and secrets abound. A mysterious spellbook may be key to moving forward, but magic isn’t made to be messed with, and retrieving a lost item means sacrificing something else. Fowley-Doyle’s magical realistic sophomore novel explores what happens when you find something that cannot be unfound.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Denise Mina's 6 best books

Denise Mina's latest novel is The Long Drop.

One of her six best books, as shared at the Daily Express:
THE BETRAYAL by Helen Dunmore

Dunmore will be remembered in 200 years. Her descriptions of small, strange worlds are heartbreaking and her prose style is incredible.

This is about the Stalinist persecution of a doctor.

A lot of crime novels are spectacular and gory. This isn’t but has the same narrative pace.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, March 16, 2018

Six outstanding standalone fantasy novels

Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon are the co-authors of Blood of the Four. At they tagged six outstanding standalone fantasy novels. One of Golden's picks:
Mythago Wood by Robert Holdstock

It’s probably cheating, because Holdstock went on to write numerous other novels that are tied to this one, but Mythago Wood reads very much as if those expansions and further explorations were additions. Second thoughts. He finished this one and decided he had more to say—at least that’s how I’ve always viewed it. A beautiful journey and a fantastical mystery, this is The Lost City of Z, with every acre of forest peeling back centuries of ancestral memory and digging at the roots of folklore. A classic.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Top 10 books about Kenya

Peter Kimani is an award-winning Kenyan author and journalist. He works in fiction, non-fiction, poetry and plays. His latest novel, Dance of the Jakaranda, is a New York Times Editors’ Choice.

One of his top ten books about Kenya, as shared at the Guardian:
A Grain of Wheat by Ngugi wa Thiong’o

The last of his foundational trilogy on culture and society – the others are Weep Not, Child, and The River Between – this novel evaluated what political independence heralded for ordinary citizens in the early 60s. Mugo is a hermit whom locals mistake for a freedom hero, but who is privately burdened by other troubles, and his unravelling signals the denouement of one of Ngugi’s finest novels.
Read about the other entries on the list.

A Grain of Wheat is among Pushpinder Khaneka's three best books on Kenya.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Six YA novels starring evil (and irresistible) magical ladies

At the BN Teen Blog, Nicole Brinkley tagged six YA novels featuring magical ambitious ladies willing to do whatever it takes to get what they want, including:
The Shadow Queen, by C.J. Redwine

Let’s get the most important thing out of the way: this reimagining of Snow White features a dragon huntsman. A huntsman who is a dragon shapeshifter. Nobody told me this when the book first came out, and now I feel the need to shout it from the rooftops. But this list is about magical evil ladies, and The Shadow Queen has two: Lorelai (our Snow White) and Irina (our Evil Queen). Lorelai will do anything to destroy Irina and retrieve her crown, and Irina will do anything to keep it, both using the only thing they have in common: magic.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Five books to help us understand the future

Michio Kaku's newest book is The Future of Humanity: Terraforming Mars, Interstellar Travel, Immortality, and Our Destiny Beyond Earth. At the Guardian, he tagged five books to help you understand the future, including:
Working for Google, Ray Kurzweil has made many predictions that have surprised and amazed others, because he believes in the exponential rise of technology, leading to the singularity. In The Singularity Is Near, he predicts that computers may begin to rival or surpass human intelligence. Also, computers may one day be so small they will circulate in our blood, repairing cellular damage, giving us health and perhaps some form of immortality. Should we fear these computers, or celebrate their arrival?
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Eight books guaranteed to make kids SFF fans for life

At the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog Ross Johnson tagged eight books guaranteed to make kids SFF fans for life, including:
City of Ember, by Jeanne DuPrau

Ember was built underground in order to spare mankind from a coming disaster. The problem is, 241 years after the city’s founding, the city is dying—its stores running low and its machinery failing—and no one remembers why they’re even down there in the first place. The secret set of instructions has been lost—or has it? Lina Mayfleet is a young woman whose baby sister uncovers the tattered documents that were intended to guide humans out of the city at the proper time. Reconstructing them with her friend Doon, Lina uncovers the history of Ember as well as a way to a promised future on the surface. But, because nothing is ever easy, she and Doon are declared fugitives by the greedy Mayor and forced to decide if they can save both themselves and the people of Ember itself.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, March 12, 2018

Jesse Ball's 6 favorite books

Jesse Ball's latest novel, Census, is a fable about the travels of a father and an adult son with Down syndrome. One of the author's six favorite books, as shared at The Week magazine:
The Story of a Brief Marriage by Anuk Arudpragasam

Arudpragasam's elegant debut novel takes place in a refugee camp being rained with bombs. The book's great power, though, lies in the author's awareness of the meaning embedded in simple things. There is no need to search for what is marvelous in the sensational; the marvelous is already present.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Seven YA novels starring fierce female pirates

At the BN Teen Blog, Nicole Brinkley tagged seven YA novels that feature powerful lady pirates, including:
Pirates!, by Celia Rees

When I was younger and would devour every book in the library, I kept trying to check out Pirates!—but it was never on the shelves. Turns out, other kids wanted to read it, too. After her father dies, Nancy Kington is sent to live on her family’s plantation in Jamaica, and finds herself in a disgusting situation—both in terms of how her brother treats slaves and in his willingness to marry her off to the highest bidder. Alongside slave girl Minerva, Nancy flees Jamaica and join a band of pirates—one that breaks all the rules she thought unbreakable.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Four inspirational memoirs

Tara Westover's new book is Educated: A Memoir. One of four memoirs that moved her as a reader, then as a writer, as shared at the Waterstones blog:
Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal by Jeannette Winterson

This is a beautiful book about one woman’s journey to accept herself despite never being accepted by her adoptive parents. It is her reckoning with herself—with how she sees herself, and the fact of that being so different from how her mother sees her, and of all the ways she will be forever marked by that difference. Winterson writes, “Where you are born—what you are born into, the place, the history of the place, how that history mates with your own—stamps who you are, whatever the pundits of globalisation have to say.”
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Twenty-five must-reads for Women’s History Month

At B&N Reads Tara Sonin tagged twenty-five must-reads for Women’s History Month, including:
Hidden Figures, by Margot Lee Shetterly

The book that became a box office smash is a must-read. The story of the NASA mathematicians—and African-American women—who changed the face of the race to space was lost to time and whitewashed history. But now you can read about the brilliance and ambition of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, Christine Darden, and Gloria Champine.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, March 9, 2018

The ten scariest books of all time

At at The Strand Magazine Ania Ahlborn tagged the ten scariest books of all time. One title on the list:
Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin: I can gush on and on about how masterfully Ira Levin can weave a sinister undercurrent into an otherwise mundane tale, but if you want to experience it for yourself, look no further than Rosemary’s Baby. Yes, there’s a movie, but the book is so much better. It’s a quick read that’ll leave you wondering why you haven’t read more of Levin’s work. I highly recommend it, as long as you aren’t pregnant.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Rosemary's Baby is among Jeff Somers's "twenty-five books that might not necessarily be the best horror novels, but are certainly the scariest," Christopher Shultz's top ten literary chillers, and Kat Rosenfield's top seven scary autumnal stories.

--Marshal Zeringue