Friday, April 18, 2014

Book News Roundup: April 18, 2014

Many Years Later, As He Faced The Firing Squad...

He'd been sick for fifteen years but that didn't lessen the blow of yesterday's news that Gabriel Garcia Marquez, novelist, journalist, Nobel Laureate, had died at the age of 87. There have been countless beautiful obituaries and tributes, Jonathan Kandell in the New York Times and Mandelit del Barco on NPR, to cite just two, and I know my words could never do justice to the depth of my feelings for the man and his work, so I'll leave it at this: if you haven't read, at the very least, One Hundred Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera, then you are missing out on two of the most beautiful, meaningful--and, dare I say, fun--works of literature in any genre, of any period.

And The Winner Is

The Pulitzer Prizes were announced on Monday. There are prizes given out in many categories, and all are, of course, important. But since books are our first love, we'll just concentrate on those (you can click on the link for the complete list).

  • Fiction: The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt
  • Drama: The Flick, Annie Baker (not available in book form until 8/14)
  • History: The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1172-1832, Alan Taylor
  • Biography: Margaret Fuller: A New American Life, Megan Marshall 
  • Poetry: 3 Sections, Vijay Seshadri
  • General Nonfiction: Tom's River: A Story of Science and Salvation, Don Fagin

Real Books Rule

At least, according to the study cited in this New York Times Motherlode blog post and to this article, also in the Times, about Amazon employees in Seattle who--who'd'a thunk it?--shop indie for their book needs. And to us, of course.

Libraries Fight for Intellectual Freedom

In its annual State of American Libraries Report, the American Library Association discusses, among other things, challenges to books and access to them. In the Intellectual Freedom section of the report the ALA publishes its list of most-challenged books of the preceding year. For the second year in a row, Captain Underpants tops the list, closely followed by the usual suspects: Toni Morrison, Sherman Alexie, John Green, and their dubious ilk. Here's the list:
  1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
    Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group, violence
  2. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violenc
  3. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  4. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James
    Reasons: Nudity, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  5. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
    Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group
  6. A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl, by Tanya Lee Stone
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit
  7. Looking for Alaska, by John Green Reasons:
    Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
    Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  9. Bless Me Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
    Reasons: Occult/Satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
  10. Bone (series), by Jeff Smith
    Reasons: Political viewpoint, racism, violence


EnriqueFreeque said...

Your words do justice for Marquez just fine!

Had no clue that Bless Me, Ultima has got some good occult/satanism in it. Thanks for the tip! I'll need to get reading it right away.

Rebecca Glenn said...

I know! I always love the challenged books list. You learn a little something about the books and you learn an awful lot about what teachers and librarians (and readers!) are up against.