Shelf Awareness for Readers for Tuesday, June 19, 2018
From My Shelf
The Writer's Life
Reading with... Joanna Cantor
|photo: Sylvie Rosokoff|
World Cup Ranking--With a Twist
McSweeney's ranked the top 10 men's World Cup teams "by how easily the first lines of each country's national anthem could be slipped unnoticed into expository voiceover in a Lord of the Rings movie."
Headline of the day (via Forbes): "Bill Murray Is Going to Recite Poetry at This Ancient Theater in Greece."
Author Caroline O'Donoghue picked her "top 10 lost women's classics" for the Guardian.
"Because everybody has an opinion," Lit Hub shared the thoughts of "14 famous writers on whether or not to have kids."
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle "helped invent the curse of the mummy," Electric Lit wrote.
Literature's great con artists: CrimeReads investigated "9 of the all-time great (fictional) swindlers and grifters."
Rediscover: Rosemary's Baby
When Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse move into their dream apartment at the Bramford, a Gothic Revival building in Manhattan, they meet a group of elderly, eccentric but amicable neighbors--hardly the dour sort who might inhabit a building of dubious reputation. Guy, a struggling actor, makes fast friends with the neighbors, and soon lands a professional break thanks to a rival's misfortune. Rosemary is thrilled when she gets pregnant, but as the doting neighbors turn from nosy to overbearing, and Rosemary's pregnancy takes uncomfortable turns, she discovers the Bram's odd residents are far more ominous than they seem.
Ira Levin's Rosemary's Baby (1967) is a classic work of psychological horror. The book's commercial success, with more than four million copies sold, facilitated a boom in horror novels and films, especially of the Satanic subgenre; in a 2002 interview, Levin attributed The Exorcist and The Omen to Rosemary's Baby, with a rise in such stories perhaps causing a fundamentalist backlash. "Of course," he said, "I didn't send back any of the royalty checks." Roman Polaski's film adaptation starring Mia Farrow remains one of the greatest horror films of the 20th Century. Levin (1929-2007), described by Stephen King as "the Swiss watchmaker of suspense novels," also wrote A Kiss Before Dying (1953), The Stepford Wives (1972) and The Boys from Brazil (1976). A fiftieth anniversary edition of Rosemary's Baby was published on March 7, 2017, by Pegasus Books ($15.95, 9781681774664). --Tobias Mutter
Convenience Store Woman
by Sayaka Murata, trans. by Ginny Tapley Takemori
Discover: A quirky novel about a convenience-store clerk who seems to be the ideal employee.
Days of Awe: Stories
by A.M. Homes
Discover: In a diverse collection of stories, A.M. Homes casts a shrewd eye on modern life.
by Katharine Dion
Discover: Katharine Dion's singular debut is a polished tapestry rich in character and insight.
Mystery & Thriller
The Favorite Sister
by Jessica Knoll
Discover: A reality show reflects on how one of its participants ended up dead.
Science Fiction & Fantasy
The Book of M
by Peng Shepherd
Discover: A plague is stealing people's shadows--and their memories.
Biography & Memoir
Room to Dream
by David Lynch, Kristine McKenna
Discover: Filmmaker David Lynch casts aside his reticence to discuss his life and films in this wildly enjoyable, massive and bracingly candid memoir.
by Dave Itzkoff
Discover: It may not be possible to understand fully the complexity of Robin Williams, but this layered, definitive biography comes close.
Light of the Stars: Alien Worlds and the Fate of the Earth
by Adam Frank
Discover: Recent breakthroughs in exoplanet detection allow an astronomer to apply hard facts to alien life and offer sobering implications for human civilization.
Nature & Environment
The Weather Detective: Rediscovering Nature's Secret Signs
by Peter Wohlleben
Discover: This fun and educational book by the author of The Hidden Life of Trees teaches readers how to be better predictors of weather.
American Eden: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic
by Victoria Johnson
Discover: The story of a visionary New York botanist, doctor and influential teacher in the energetic and competitive young United States.
Children's & Young Adult
The 5 O'Clock Band
by Bill Taylor, Troy Andrews, illus. by Bryan Collier
Discover: A young musician wanders the lively streets of New Orleans in search of the secret to being a great bandleader.
The House That Lou Built
by Mae Respicio
Discover: A Filipino girl with dreams of being an architect determines to build her own tiny house in order to prevent her mother from moving them to another state.