Thursday, September 13, 2007

Just Desserts - Sept and Oct 2007

Mystery Fans -- you're invited to join us for the September and October meetings of the Just Desserts mystery fiction discussion group. Just Desserts meets the final Thursday evening of every month, January through October, at the Bennett Martin Public Library at 14th & "N" in downtown Lincoln, from 7:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Each month, we have a preselected mystery fiction title for everyone to read, which we then discuss as a group. We always try to spare some time at the end of our meetings for attendees to share their reviews of recent mysteries with each other as well.

In keeping with our theme of Just Desserts (i.e. "the killer got their just desserts"), we encourage attendees to bring a small sampling of dessert to share with the other mystery fans. Coffee and juice are provided.

If you're interested in attending, here are the books we'll be discussing as a group at our final two meetings for 2007 (reading the selected titles is not a requirement to attend --you must only be a fan of mystery fiction!):

September 27th -- Walter Mosley's "Black Betty"

October 25th -- Mignon Eberhart's "The Mystery of Hunting's End"

Multiple copies of both books are available in various editions from your local city library. If you have questions or would like further information about the Just Desserts group, you can contact us at 402-441-8530, or visit the Book Groups page on the BookGuide web site.

Fall Books Talk schedule for Gere Branch Library

Everyone is welcome at Gere's BooksTalk book discussion group! Each week during our Fall/Winter session, we hear about some great reading material from a featured presenter. Popular topics include mysteries, biographies, classic literature worth rereading, time travel books and romance fiction. Our presenters range from Lincoln City Libraries staff, to local authors, to members of the public with special interests to share. Several times a year, we participate in a book-share session, with each participant bringing several titles to talk about with the group. There's no need to sign up in advance-we're casual, friendly and always happy to see a new face, so join us, on Monday afternoons from 2:30-4:00 p.m. at the Gere Branch Library -- 56th & Normal, and broaden your reading horizons. Approximately 5-10 regular attendees. Call 441-8560 for more information.

September 10
Welcome Back! -- The group will share favorite summer reads and we will preview the upcoming Books Talk schedule.

September 17Solve it at the Library -- Come listen to Julee share titles of mystery and suspense set in the library. [Note: This booktalk went by the title "Booked to Die" when presented at the Courtyard Book Chats previously.]

September 24
Recent and Re-readable -- Erin will share some of her recent favorites and some titles that were so nice, she had to read them twice.

October 1
Books to Keep You Up at Night!* -- Marcy will bring books that you won't want to put down, even to go to bed! (*not scary)

October 8
'Tis a Tale Too Sweet -- Layne explores the world of Medieval Romances. It's more than just chastity belts.

October 15
A Bushel of Books -- A booksharing day -- Bring a book you enjoyed, to share with the group.

October 22
Brush Up on a Good Book -- Shannon will take us on a tour through the fascinating world of art.
October 29
The Not-So-Quiet Countryside -- Donna G., from the Eiseley and Walt Branch libraries, will discuss mysteries that take place in rural areas.

November 5
Tender Vittle -- Scott, from the Reference Department downtown, shares a number of titles related to cooking, the culinary world and the food industry.

November 12
Library closed for the Veterans Day holiday

November 19Mostly the Truth - Sometimes Not -- Carol will bring some interesting non-fiction titles, with a few fiction thrown in.

November 26
Westward Ho! -- Hold onto your hat! Rayma will take us back in time into the wild and untamed West.

December 3
An Assortment of Authors -- Come hear Sean talk about some of the books he's read lately.

December 10
Holiday Tea and Bookshare! -- We wrap up the fall/winter Books Talk season with our traditional season finale!

Booklists for some of these talks, given previously, are already available for your perusal at BookGuide's Book Talk Booklists page.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

R.I.P. John E. Gardner

John E. Gardner, the British thriller writer who became the official authorized James Bond novelist from 1981 until 1996, died August 3rd in England, from suspected heart failure.

Gardner established himself as a proper thriller writer from his first book (The Liquidator, 1964), which introduced series character Boysie Oakes (star of 8 books), and was an impressive choice to pick up where Ian Fleming had left off with the iconic espionage character. Between 1981 and 1996, Gardner wrote 16 original James Bond adventures, though he was quoted in interviews as being somewhat ambivalent about writing adventure novels featuring a character not of his own creation.

Retiring from "Bond-age" in 1996, Gardner returned to writing his own completely original fiction, although from 1997 until 2001 he went unpublished, dealing with both medical issues and the death of his wife in 1997. He had recently achieved critical acclaim for his historical mystery series featuring a 1930s female Detective Sergeant named Suzie Mountford.

Here are some links to additional John E. Gardner information:

Gardner books in the Lincoln City Libraries collection
John E. Gardner's official website
Obituary and Tribute on MI6 Bond fansite

Friday, September 7, 2007

R.I.P. Madeleine L'Engle

From the AP newswire feed earlier today:

photo at the official Madeleine L'Engle siteHARTFORD, Conn. - Author Madeleine L'Engle, whose novel "A Wrinkle in Time" has been enjoyed by generations of schoolchildren and adults since the 1960s, has died, her publicist said Friday. She was 88. L'Engle died Thursday at a nursing home in Litchfield of natural causes, according to Jennifer Doerr, publicity manager for publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

The Newbery Medal winner wrote more than 60 books, including fantasies, poetry and memoirs, often highlighting spiritual themes and her Christian faith.

Although L'Engle was often labeled a children's author, she disliked that classification. In a 1993 Associated Press interview, she said she did not write down to children.

"In my dreams, I never have an age," she said. "I never write for any age group in mind. When people do, they tend to be tolerant and condescending and they don't write as well as they can write.

"When you underestimate your audience, you're cutting yourself off from your best work."

"A Wrinkle in Time" — which L'Engle said was rejected repeatedly before it found a publisher in 1962 — won the American Library Association's 1963 Newbery Medal for best American children's book. Her "A Ring of Endless Light" was a Newbery Honor Book, or medal runner-up, in 1981.

In 2004, President Bush awarded her a National Humanities Medal.

"Wrinkle" tells the story of adolescent Meg Murry, her genius little brother Charles Wallace, and their battle against evil as they search across the universe for their missing father, a scientist.

L'Engle followed it up with further adventures of the Murry children, including "A Wind in the Door," 1973; "A Swiftly Tilting Planet," 1978, which won an American Book Award; and "Many Waters," 1986.

Here are some links to additional L'Engle information:

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Read...Discuss...Repeat for September 2007

September 2007
Manhunt: The Twelve Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer
James Swanson [2006]

The September 2007 selection for Read...Discuss...Repeat! has been posted to the BookGuide site, but we're also going to start posting them here in the BookGuide blog as well.

You can find some background information, including links to related websites and some "readalikes" for this month's title, by visiting: This month's Read...Discuss...Repeat! page.

We then encourage you to leave your thoughts about this month's selected title either via the comments form on the linked page, or by replying in comments here in our blog!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

A September Staff Recommendations - The Speed of Dark

Check out the 10 new reviews at BookGuide's Staff Recommendations page for September 2007. Here's a taste of what you'll find:

The Speed of Dark
by Elizabeth Moon

This Nebula-Award-winning novel is ostensibly a science fiction tale, however its setting and level of technology place it sometime "next week", and should thus be accessible to even non-genre readers. A group of functioning autistics faces the possibility of undergoing a scientific procedure that would improve their abilities to interact successfully with the world around them, but may fundamentally alter the way their brains work...possibly eliminating their current personalities. Told primarily in first-person narrative form from the perspective of Lou Arrendale, one of the most functional (and brilliant) of the autists, this is a compelling fictional exploration of what makes us "us", and what the values are that we place on our predictable interactions with our fellow human beings. What would you choose to do, if you might be able to fit into society more effectively but you might not be "you" anymore?. -- Reviewed by Scott C. [Reference - Bennett Martin Public Library]

Have you read this one? What did you think?

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

2007 Hugo Awards announced

The Hugo Awards for science fiction works published in 2006 were announced this weekend at Nippon 2007, the 65th annual World Science Fiction Convention. The winners, as voted upon (and previously nominated) by readers and registered members of the Worldcon, were:
  • Best Novel: Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge [Tor, 2006]
  • Best Novella: “A Billion Eves” by Robert Reed [Asimov’s Oct/Nov 2006]
  • Best Novelette: “The Djinn’s Wife” by Ian McDonald [Asimov’s July 2006]
  • Best Short Story: “Impossible Dreams” by Tim Pratt [Asimov’s July 2006]
  • Best Related Non-Fiction Book: James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B Sheldon by Julie Phillips [St. Martin’s Press, 2006]
  • Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form: Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) Screenplay by Guillermo del Toro. Directed by Guillermo del Toro [Picturehouse]
  • Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form: Doctor Who - “Girl in the Fireplace” (2006) Written by Steven Moffat. Directed by Euros Lyn [BBC Wales/BBC1]
  • Best Editor, Long Form: Patrick Nielsen Hayden
  • Best Editor, Short Form: Gordon Van Gelder
  • Best Professional Artist: Donato Giancola
  • Best Semiprozine: Locus ed. by Charles N. Brown, Kirsten Gong-Wong and Liza Groen Trombi
  • Best Fanzine: Science-Fiction Five-Yearly ed. by Lee Hoffman, Geri Sullivan, and Randy Byers
  • Best Fan Writer: Dave Langford
  • Best Fan Artist: Frank Wu

The winner of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, sponsored by Dell Magazines and administered on their behalf by the World Science Fiction Society, is:

You can read more, and find out about the history of the Hugo Awards at the newly established official Hugo Awards website.

Just a note -- This was Lincoln, NE science fiction author Robert Reed's 6th Hugo nomination in 21 years, but his first win. You can find out more about him on the BookGuide Robert Reed booklist page, or on his official web site.