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Nobel Prize for Literature

“It was like when you make a move in chess and just as you take your finger off the piece, you see the mistake you've made, and there's this panic because you don't know yet the scale of disaster you've left yourself open to.”

Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go

Our next read for the SML Book Club is Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiquro and what a timely choice because it was recently announced that Mr. Ishiguro was awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize for Literature. This prestigious prize always raises the profile of a writer and that will make for a more interesting discussion come December. "Never Let Me Go" is a novel about cloning and is set in a dystopia not altogether unrecognizable. The book was adapted for a movie starring Keira Knightley in 2010. Other works from Mr. Ishiguro include The Remains of the Day which also became a well-known movie starring Anthony Hopkins. We are looking forward to reading and discussion "Never Let Me Go" and we invite anyone who is interested in the book and joining the discussion to attend the next book on the 1st Wednesday in December. If you want to place a hold on the book click here. If you want us to reserve a copy for you give us a call at 920-596-2252. We extend our congratulations and best wishes to Kazuo Ishiguro and look forward to the discussion in December.

National Book Awards Redux

In October I wrote a post about the short list finalists for the 2013 National Book Awards. This is the first year that the awards started off with a "long list" and then narrowed that list down to five books in the categories of Fiction, Nonfiction, Youth and Poetry. The winners were announced at the annual Awards gala on November 20th. Here they are:


The Good Lord Bird by James McBride

The reviews on this book mention that it is "darkly funny" often. The book deals with slavery and features the abolitionist John Brown among its many real life historical figures. The protagonist is a young male slave who is mistaken as a girl and swept along with John Brown's "army".  The Minneapolis Tribune summed it this way

“As in Huck Finn, this novel comes in through the back door of history, telling you something you might not know by putting you in the heat of the action…It is a compelling story and an important one, told in a voice that is fresh and apolitical.” Read more »

National Book Awards

Award season is upon us. I am not talking about the Academy Awards; I am talking about awards much more important than those. November is National Book Awards season and the five finalists for each of the four categories of writing that receive an award have been announced. When you live in a book world, the National Book Awards are kind of a big deal. But like everything in life, and I mean everything, there is oh so much politics involved in the granting of these awards. They were originally started by the American Booksellers Association and over time are now sponsored by the National Book Foundation. The judges are writers who are well respected in their field or genre of writing. The books are submitted primarily by publishers and well over 1,000 books are submitted each year. Previously, those submittals became a "short list" of five books in each of the four categories - Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry and Youth. New this year, was a "long list" that was announced in September, followed by the "short list" that was just announced. The winners in each category will be announced at the National Book Awards Gala on November 20th. Through the years the books that have been chosen in their categories have been deemed worthy, or not - there always seems to be a controversy surrounding the picks. Read more »