Posts Tagged ‘essays’

Books in the News – Sister, Mother…

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

Delia Ephron, author of Sister Mother Husband Dog: Etc. (Find in our catalog) has been in the news, including MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

We have this book in our catalog together with book descriptions and reviews.  Go to the catalog to place a hold.

“In Sister Mother Husband Dog, Delia Ephron brings her trademark wit and effervescent prose to a series of autobiographical essays about life, love, sisterhood, movies, and family. In “Losing Nora,” she deftly captures the rivalry, mutual respect, and intimacy that made up her relationship with her older sister and frequent writing companion. “Blame It on the Movies” is Ephron’s wry and romantic essay about surviving her disastrous twenties, becoming a writer, and finding a storybook ending. “Bakeries” is both a lighthearted tour through her favorite downtown patisseries and a thoughtful, deeply felt reflection on the dilemma of having it all. From keen observations on modern living, the joy of girlfriends, and best-friendship, to a consideration of the magical madness and miracle of dogs, to haunting recollections of life with her famed screenwriter mother and growing up the child of alcoholics, Ephron’s eloquent style and voice illuminate every page of this superb and singular work.” (Penguin Putnam)

Editor

 

John Burroughs Medal for Natural History

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

  Sex and the River Styx by Edward Hoagland (Find in our catalog) has won this year’s John Burroughs Medal,  given by the John Burroughs Association to “the author of a distinguished book of natural history.”

Summary in our catalog: “Named by Amazon.com as a “Best Book of the Month” for February 2011! Edward Hoagland Elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences Called the best essayist of his time by luminaries like Philip Roth, John Updike, and Edward Abbey, Edward Hoagland brings readers his ultimate collection. In Sex and the River Styx , the author’s sharp eye and intense curiosity shine through in essays that span his childhood exploring the woods in his rural Connecticut, his days as a circus worker, and his travels the world over in his later years.  Here, we meet Hoagland at his best: traveling to Kampala, Uganda, to meet a family he’d been helping support only to find a divide far greater than he could have ever imagined; reflecting on aging, love, and sex in a deeply personal, often surprising way; and bringing us the wonder of wild places, alongside the disparity of losing them, and always with a twist that brings the genre of nature writing to vastly new heights.  His keen dissection of social realities and the human spirit will both startle and lure readers as they meet African matriarchs, Tibetan yak herders, circus aerialists, and the strippers who entertained college boys in 1950s Boston.  Says Howard Frank Mosher in his foreword, the self-described rhapsodist “could fairly be considered our last, great transcendentalist.”

Editor

Thurber Prize for American Humor

Monday, November 28th, 2011

  David Rakoff has won the 2011 Thurber Prize for American Humor for Half Empty (Find in our catalog).

Summary:  “The inimitably witty David Rakoff, New York Times bestselling author of Don’t Get Too Comfortable , defends the commonsensical notion that you should always assume the worst, because you’ll never be disappointed. In this deeply funny (and, no kidding, wise and poignant) book, Rakoff examines the realities of our sunny,  gosh­ everyone-can-be-a-star contemporary culture and finds that, pretty much as a universal rule, the best is not yet to come, adversity will triumph, justice will not be served, and your dreams won’t come true. The book ranges from the personal to the universal, combining stories from Rakoff’s reporting and accounts of his own experi­ences: the moment when being a tiny child no longer meant adults found him charming but instead meant other children found him a fun target; the perfect late evening in Manhattan when he was young and the city seemed to brim with such pos­sibility that the street shimmered in the moonlight-as he drew closer he realized the streets actually flickered with rats in a feeding frenzy. He also weaves in his usual brand Oscar Wilde–worthy cultural criticism (the tragedy of Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, for instance). Whether he’s lacerating the musical Rent for its cutesy depic­tion of AIDS or dealing with personal tragedy, his sharp obser­vations and humorist’s flair for the absurd will have you positively reveling in the power of negativity.”

 Judge Ian Frazier, a two-time Thurber Prize winner, said of Half Empty: “These are funny, well-written, and soulful essays. There is a richness of experience here and his humor is both strong and very subtle.” 

Runners-up were: 

  Mike Birbiglia for Sleepwalk with Me and Other Painfully True Stories (Find in our catalog)

Summary:  “Hello, I am Mike Birbiglia and I want you to read my book. Too on the nose? Sorry. Let me dial it back. I’m Mike Birbiglia and I’m a comedian. You may know me from Comedy Central or This American Life or The Bob & Tom Show , but you’ve never seen me like this before. Naked. Wait, that’s the name of another book. Also I’m not naked as there are no pictures in my book. Also, if there were naked pictures of me, you definitely wouldn’t buy it, though you might sneak a copy into the back corner of the bookstore and show it to your friend and laugh. Okay, let’s get off the naked stuff. This is my first book. It’s difficult to describe. It’s a comedic memoir, but I’m only 32 years old so I’d hate for you to think I’m “wrapping it up,” so to speak. But I tell some personal stories. Some REALLY personal stories. Stories that I considered not publishing time and time again, especially when my father said, “Michael, you might want to stay away from the per sonal stuff.” I said, “Dad, just read the dedication.” (Which I’m telling you to do too.) Some of the stories are about my childhood, some are about girls I made out with when I was thirteen, some are about my parents, and some are, of course, about my bouts with sleepwalking. Bring this book to bed. And sleepwalk with me.”

  Rick Reilly for Sports from Hell: My Search for the World’s Dumbest Competition (Find in our catalog).

Summary:  “The most popular sports columnist in America puts his life (and dignity) on the line in search of the most absurd sporting event on the planet. What is the stupidest sport in the world? Not content to pontificate from the sidelines, Rick Reilly set out on a global journey–with stops in Australia, New Zealand, Finland, Denmark, England, and even a maximum security prison at Angola, Louisiana–to discover the answer to this enduring question. From the physically and mentally taxing sport of chess boxing to the psychological battlefield that is the rock-paper-scissors championship, to the underground world of illegal jart throwing, to several competitions that involve nudity, Reilly, in his valiant quest, subjected himself to both bodily danger and abject humiliation (or, in the case of ferret legging, both). These fringe sports offer their participants a chance to earn a few bucks and achieve the eternal glory that is winning–even when the victory in question might strike some as pointless, like the ability to sit in an oven-hot sauna for the longest time. It’s debatable whether these sports push the body or just human idiocy to the outermost limits, but one thing is for sure: Sports in Hell is laugh-out-loud hilarious and will deliver plenty of unabashed fun.”

Editor

The prize is sponsored by Thurber House and honors the author and publisher of the outstanding book of humor writing published in the U.S.

Editor