Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Cuz We're Such Self-Aggrandizing Press Whores...

Cape Booksellers Predict This Summer's Favorites
By Laurie Higgins
Originally published in The Cape Cod Times, 6/22/8

Summer is a great time to catch up on your reading, whether you're on vacation or just spending your day off at the beach. With that in mind, we asked local booksellers for their predictions for big books in the coming season. The five booksellers we interviewed didn't just choose the obvious blockbusters like the latest by James Patterson, who always sells millions of copies. Instead, they focused on excellent reads that will get people talking. There's a good reason for that.

"Word of mouth sells more books than anything," says Michelle Lemay of Inkwell Bookstore in Falmouth. Lemay and co-owner Kathleen Thut's favorite book of the season is "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society," co-written by Mary Ann Shaffer, who died recently, and her niece Annie Barrows. The book takes place just after World War II, and it follows the correspondence between a writer and a book club on the island of Guernsey that was formed to survive the Nazi occupation.

Both Lemay and Thut read the book in a day. "It is the most remarkable story about how books and literature can help you through the darkest times," Lemay says.

For folks who loved Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code," Lemay recommends "Final Theory" by Mark Alpert, a thriller about the quest for Einstein's unified field theory. "It's smart, it's fun and the pages literally just fly by," Lemay says.

In women's fiction, she predicts that popular women's author Jane Green's new novel "The Beach House," set on Nantucket, will fly off the shelves because it's like experiencing summer in a book.

A paperback best-seller that Thut highly recommends is "The Boys in the Trees" by Mary Swan, about a man who commits an unthinkable crime and the ripple effect it has on an entire town.

In nonfiction, Thut says "The Legend of Colton H. Bryant" by Alexandra Fuller is simply amazing. It's the true story of a young man who grows up in the hardscrabble hills of Wyoming and works on an oil rig. The characters were so vivid, Thut didn't realize it was nonfiction until the last chapter.

To continue reading this article, click here.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Book News, In Brief

Comedian, author George Carlin is dead at age 71. R.I.P.

A lock of Jane Austen's hair recently sold for £5,640. The buyer wishes to remain anonymous, probably cuz they're embarrassed about wearing a weave.

Ian McEwan said he despises militant Islamism for its homophobia and sup-par treatment of the hunnies. The newspapers caught wind of it, and this was the resulting headline: I Despise Islamism, Says Brit Award Winning Author. And they wonder why people prefer blogs.

Turkish Islamic scholar, Fethullah Gülen, has been voted the world's top intellectual in a poll to find the leading 100 thinkers. Gülen, the author of more than 60 books, won a landslide triumph after the survey - which is organized by the British magazine, Prospect, and Foreign Policy, a US publication. The top 10 thinkers were all Muslim.