Monday, June 26, 2017

Alain Mabanckou's 6 favorite books

Alain Mabanckou, a professor at UCLA, may be the world's most celebrated Francophone African writer. His latest comic novel to be translated into English is Black Moses. One of the author's six favorite books, as shared at The Week magazine:
The Palm-Wine Drinkard by Amos Tutuola

This 1952 novel, which draws from the Yoruba tradition of oral storytelling, is about the multiplicity of the African voice, with its beliefs, fables, and enchanting qualities. The storyteller is obviously so drunk that the reader can't help feeling a little intoxicated as well. Tutuola, who died in 1997, remains one of Africa's greatest writers.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Eleven top novels about female artists

At Electric Lit Carrie V Mullins tagged eleven top novels about female artists, including:
The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith

Dominic Smith’s novel is an engaging mix of art heist and art history. In 1957, a painting is stolen from the de Groot family’s home in New York City. The artwork was painted by Sara de Vos, who Smith based on one of the real, though rare, female members of a 17th century Dutch masters guild. Jumping between Holland, New York, and Sydney, this novel intertwines the life of two passionate women painters who have much in common, despite living three hundred years apart.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Eight books in which the gods are having a very bad day

At the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy blog Nicole Hill tagged "eight books [that] deal with deities in the midst of a bad day, week, or eon, as the case may be," including:
The Prey of Gods, by Nicky Drayden

Drayden’s debut novel features one of the most diverse ensemble casts in recent fictional memory. Among the alternating points of view are a couple of disenfranchised demigoddesses, one just budding into an accidental murder machine and another hell-bent on regaining enough power to cause such mayhem. The stage is set for Nomvula, a young Zulu girl with unexpected and devastating abilities, to challenge Sydney, a down-on-her-luck megalomaniac, for the fate of South Africa, and the world. Along the way, there’s also some hallucinogenics, rogue AI, mind control, and crab-on-dolphin sex, as is custom.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, June 23, 2017

Five top books inspired by Norse sagas

Scott Oden's new novel is A Gathering of Ravens.

One of five books inspired by Norse sagas he shared at Tor.com:
Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton

Though perhaps best known as the author of the wildly popular techno-thriller Jurassic Park, in 1976 Michael Crichton explored the Northern thing with Eaters of the Dead: The Manuscript of Ibn Fadlan Relating His Experiences with the Northmen in AD 922. Utilizing as his starting point the actual 10th-century manuscript of Ahmad Ibn Fadlan—who was an emissary from the Caliph of Baghdad to the king of the Volga Bulgars—Crichton skillfully builds a unique tale that mirrors the epic Beowulf. The tale veers from the historical when Ibn Fadlan is taken North against his will by a band of Vikings, led by the mighty Buliwyf, to combat a creeping terror that slaughters their people in the night. Along the way, the reluctant hero bears witness to the curious customs of the Northlands, from ship burials and human sacrifice to single combat and the fatalistic philosophy of the Viking.
Read about the other books on the list.

Eaters of the Dead is among Jeff Somers's top ten SFF books that take on Norse mythology.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Top ten books about lies

Miranda Doyle's new memoir is A Book of Untruths. One of her ten top books about lies, as shared at the Guardian:
Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson (1995)

“Just Ruby” is the kind of narrator that you want to dive back to whenever you can. Her all-knowing, tongue-in-cheek accounts of her ancestors’ sad ends is deeply unreliable. Her brain has robbed her of one terrible early memory. Mysteriously lost for weeks at Auntie Babs’s, she returns home to find everyone changed. Even her big sister (not long for this world) is being nice. A big sister who has lied to save herself.
Read about the other books on the list.

Behind the Scenes at the Museum is among Jenny Eclair's six best books and Ester Bloom's top fifteen books everyone should read before having kids.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Five books celebrating geek culture

Rachel Stuhler and Melissa Blue, along with Cathy Yardley and Cecilia Tan, are the writers of Geek Actually. One of their five top books celebrating geek culture, as shared at Tor.com:
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

On the other end of the spectrum is the granddaddy of geek, Hitchhiker’s Guide. It isn’t just a touchstone of the culture, it’s also a celebration of it. Arthur Dent has a best friend named Ford Prefect and that doesn’t strike him as bizarre. Sure, he’s dismayed when he discovers the world is about to end, but he catches up to the whole “Don’t Panic” philosophy pretty quick. Trillian gives up an average life to rocket through the stars with an alien moron, and bad poetry is used as a form of torture for the Vogons. And who among us wouldn’t like to build luxury planets in our spare time? Adams created a cast of nerd-tacular characters who wouldn’t seem at all out of place at a con.
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy appears on Fredrik Backman's six favorite books list, Jon Walter's top ten list of heroes of refugee fiction, Becky Ferreira's list of the six most memorable robots in literature, Charlie Jane Anders's lists of the ten most unbelievable alien races in science fiction, eleven books that every aspiring television writer should read and ten satirical novels that could teach you to survive the future, Saci Lloyd's top ten list of political books for teenagers, Rob Reid's list of 6 favorite books, Esther Inglis-Arkell's list of ten of the best bars in science fiction, Don Calame's top ten list of funny teen boy books, and John Mullan's list of ten of the best instances of invisibility in literature.

--Marshal Zeringue

Seven great YA books about reproductive choice

At the BN Teen Blog Dahlia Adler tagged seven great YA books about reproductive choice, including:
Ask Me How I Got Here, by Christine Heppermann

Probably my favorite YA novel in verse, this book may only take an hour or two to read, but Hepperman definitely knows how to make the story stick with you. Everything in Addie’s life is pretty smooth sailing, from her running career to her relationship with her boyfriend, until the night they’re not so careful. When she makes the decision to terminate, she has full support, but life after the procedure has Addie feeling different, even as she completely stands by her choice. Suddenly none of the things that used to fulfill her do, and the only thing that keeps her going is hanging out with Juliana, a former teammate who has returned to town and is dealing with her own issues.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Six top books set in California

Emma Cline is the author of the acclaimed best-seller The Girls. One of her six favorite books set in California, as shared at The Week magazine:
Private Citizens by Tony Tulathimutte

I loved this novel, a very funny book that perfectly nails the subcultures of the Bay Area, and the ways Silicon Valley intersects with the counterculture to produce a strange ecosystem of self-righteous capitalism. Tulathimutte's writing crackles with manic intelligence.
Read about the other books on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, June 19, 2017

Nine books for fans of "Wonder Woman"

At the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog Ross Johnson tagged nine books "with positive, powerful, and patriarchy-busting female heroes," including:
Fallout, by Gwenda Bond

It takes guts, drive, and verve to stand up to the strongest man on Earth, and if there’s anyone in the DC universe who can do it, it’s Wonder Woman—but in line right behind her? Lois Lane. No, she doesn’t have superpowers, but she is super smart, and savvy, and resourceful, and in this YA-targeted series launch, she’s a new transplant in Metropolis, ready to take the city—and high school—by storm. Her first task is fighting back against a group of bullies harassing another girl at school, targeting her via the immersive video game they all play. Using all of her skills, and her new status as the school paper’s hotshot reporter, Lois will save the day. We always knew she was better at her job than that doofus Clark Kent.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Thomas Dolby's six best books

Thomas Dolby is an English musician and producer. His hit singles include "She Blinded Me with Science." Dolby is the author of The Speed of Sound: Breaking the Barriers Between Music and Technology: A Memoir. One of his six best books, as shared at the Daily Express:
CITY OF THIEVES by David Benioff

This is set during the siege of Leningrad and is about a pair of Russian youths arrested by their own troops. Instead of being shot, they are given the task of getting eggs for the colonel’s daughter’s wedding cake. The only way is by sneaking behind German lines.
Read about the other books on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Twelve books to read if you loved "The Handmaid's Tale"

At Entertainment Weekly, Isabella Biedenharn and Nivea Serrao tagged twelve books to read if you loved The Handmaid's Tale, including:
The Beast is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale

Children are forced to defend their puritanical village from soul-eating monsters that devour adults — but one young girl feels a strange and magnetic kinship with the darkness outside the village, and the monsters that lurk there.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Writers Read: Peternelle van Arsdale (March 2017).

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, June 16, 2017

Eight romances for foodies

At B&N Reads Amanda Diehl tagged eight romances for foodies, including:
Hot in Here, by Sophie Renwick

For anyone who has had a crush on bad boy chef Gordon Ramsay, meet Bryce Ryder. A celebrity chef who loves the limelight, Bryce is dealing with a recent bout of bad publicity, and there’s only one person who can fix it: Jenna McCabe. Jenna’s been Bryce’s best friend for years. She also happens to be a public relations whiz. However, she’s never thought about mixing business with pleasure before.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue