Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Howard Jones asked the musical question...

...What Is Love? and since it's Valentine's Day, I thought I'd offer a few suggestions for some great love stories.

High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
Rob loves Laura, no doubt, but unless he grows up, he'll never really know the depths of love.  Hornby hits a homer here. 

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
I've said it a million times but I think this is the most romantic book, perhaps ever, and it made me want to hug Mrs. Next.  Ignore the movie (even though I find it most difficult to ignore actress Rachel McAdams--yowza!) and read this stunning debut novel. 

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
One of my absolute favorites of the last twenty years, I can't say enough about Krauss or this challenging read but the payoff is gigantic.  There is great love, loss, and pain in these characters.  Be patient and you will be amply rewarded. 

Now go love a book.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Of Office Girls, Honey Badgers and How To Be Black

There are several new books about which you should be aware.  Most have just published and one is forthcoming but they are all likely to be of interest to 'reeders' of this blog.  And so:

Out now

How To Be Black by Baratunde Thurston

Several years ago, while I was promoting a book entitled Your Negro Tour Guide, I had the good fortune to meet Baratunde, at the time a self-published author, stand-up comic and political blogger.  He continues to blog and perform stand-up but he has gotten bigger, especially since becoming digital director of The Onion and making himself a presence on Twitter, on campuses, on TV and all over the Web.  Imagine how thrilled I was to hear him interviewed on Fresh Air this week to discuss How To Be Black from bigfamouspublisher, Harper Collins 
(Listen here: http://goo.gl/ILnMu)

His history is an amazing amalgam of culture clashes--raised in DC during the heyday of crack by a crunchy, pan-Afrikan mother, his father killed in a drug deal, Baratunde attended the tony Sidwell Friends school and later Harvard.  Needless to say, he is smart and insightful and, best of all, funny.  I so look forward to reading the book in its entirety.  The author photo alone is worth the price of the book.  

Honey Badger Don't Care: Randall's Guide to Crazy, Nastyass Animals

YouTube phenom Randall has had millions of hits since last spring with the hilarious Honey Badger video.  Now comes the inevitable, cross-platform book. Dangerous waters here since how is a video with narration going to succeed as a book? 

Voice, baby.  That distinctive Randall voice.  You can almost hear the lisping, dramatic Randall describing the assemblage of strange creatures through words and color photos.  It's funny and informative and a great gift for the legion of Honey Badger devotees.  (Thanks to the good folks at NetGalley and publisher Andrews McMeel for online access to the book)

The Coincidence Agent by Sam Leith

From the sound of the summary, this could be a Jasper Fforde-like romp and I am all for Jasper Fforde-like romps.  We need all the Jasper Fforde-like romps we can get these days.  So let's romp, Fforde-like or otherwise.  

Coming Soon: 
I love Joe Meno and you should, too.  He writes with an honesty and a sadness I find remarkable.  Office Girl won't be out until this summer but check out his other work in the meantime, especially The Boy Detective Fails.  The good folks at Akashic Books will be glad to help you out.