10 South Emerson, Mount Prospect, IL 60056 | 847/253-5675

Check It Out

National Book Award Winners

Salvage the Bones book cover“You owe it to yourself to read this book,” wrote Library Journal, and the judges emphatically agree. Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn West is the newly announced winner of the National Book Award for Fiction. In this powerful story, a pregnant 14-year-old living in dire poverty tells of her family’s struggle to prepare their rural Mississippi property for a hurricane that happens to be called Katrina. Stephen Greenblatt took top Nonfiction honors for The Swerve: How the World Became Modern, and Thanhha Lai’s Inside Out & Back Again won in the Young People’s Literature category. Click here for a complete list of finalists and interviews with the authors.

By MPPL on November 19, 2011 Categories: Awards, Books, Literary, Nonfiction

Out-of-This-World Entertainment

Blackout book coverThe 2011 Hugo Awards, the leading honor in the field of science fiction and fantasy, were announced this weekend in a culmination of record voter turnout.  The big winner? The one-two punch of Blackout and All Clear, from the always excellent Connie Willis, in which time-traveling historians discover that World War II is spiraling out of control.

Best Novel - Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis

Best Novelette - “The Emperor of Mars” by Allen M. Steele (included in The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Eighth Annual Collection)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form - Inception, written and directed by Christopher Nolan

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form - Doctor Who, “The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang”, written by Steven Moffat, directed by Toby Haynes

Best Professional Artist - Shaun Tan

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer - Lev Grossman

By MPPL on August 24, 2011 Categories: Awards, Books, Fantasy & Sci-Fi, Movies and Television

Award-Winning Romance

Welcome to Harmony book coverIf summer puts you in the mood for romance, snuggle up to one of the new winners of the 2011 RITA Awards.  Given by the Romance Writers of America, the RITA Awards celebrate outstanding published works in diverse categories of the romance genre.  Among this year’s honorees:

Best Regency Historical Romance – The Mischief of the Mistletoe by Lauren Willig

Best Inspirational Romance – In Harm’s Way by Irene Hannon

Best Young Adult Romance – The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Best Romantic Suspense – Silent Scream by Karen Rose

Best First Book – Pieces of Sky by Kaki Warner

Best Novel with Strong Romantic Elements - Welcome to Harmony by Jodi Thomas

By MPPL on July 6, 2011 Categories: Awards, Books, Romance

Audie-dacious Audiobooks

Life audiobook cover June is Audiobook Month, and there’s no better time to open your ears to the winners of the 2011 Audie Awards.  In honor of its win as Audiobook of the Year, listen to the fascinating Life of Keith Richards as voiced by Johnny Depp.  Other winners:

Nonfiction – The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Thriller/Suspense – The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson

Mystery – The Reversal by Michael Connelly

Personal Development – Put On Your Crown by Queen Latifah

Biography/Memoir – Life by Keith Richards

Narration by the Author – Nanny McPhee Returns by Emma Thompson

Solo Narration (Male) – Alan Cumming, narrator of Zorgamazoo

Teens – The Rock and the River by Kekla Magoon

Children (Ages 8-12) – The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

By MPPL on June 15, 2011 Categories: Audiobooks, Awards, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense, Nonfiction

Mystery Solved!

The Lock Artist book coverIt’s no longer a mystery.  The winners of the 2011 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, honoring the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction, and television have been exposed:

Best Novel – The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton

Best First Novel – Rogue Island by Bruce DeSilva

Best Paperback Original – Long Time Coming by Robert Goddard

Best Biographical – Charlie Chan: The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and His Rendezvous with American History by Yunte Huang

Best Young Adult – The Interrogation of Gabriel James by Charlie Price

Best Juvenile – The Buddy Files: The Case of the Lost Boy by Dory Hillestad Butler

Best Television Episode – Luther by Neil Cross

Mary Higgins Clark Award – The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths

By MPPL on May 11, 2011 Categories: Awards, Books, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense

Pulitzer Time

The Best of It book coverHave you heard?  The 2011 Pulitzer Prizes, which honor excellence in journalism and the arts, have been announced!  Check out these winners:

Poetry – The Best of It: New and Selected Poems by Kay Ryan

Nonfiction – The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Biography – Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow

History – The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery by Eric Foner

Fiction – A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

By MPPL on April 20, 2011 Categories: Awards, Books, Literary, Nonfiction

Critics' Choice

A Visit from the Goon Squad book coverWant to read a winner?  Try one of the newly announced 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award recipients.  Taking top prize for fiction is Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad, a bold novel with overlapping stories about youth and life and what might be lost along the way.  The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson won Best Nonfiction for chronicling one of the great untold stories of American history.  Best Biography honors were bestowed on the intriguingly titled How to Live: Or, A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer by Sarah Bakewell.  Last, but by no means least, is Darin Strauss’s heartbreaking autobiography Half a Life about coming to terms with an long-ago accident that cost a girl’s life.

By MPPL on March 14, 2011 Categories: Awards, Books, Literary, Nonfiction

And the Nobel Goes To…

The Bad Girl book cover Mario Vargas Llosa, a Peruvian author who stands among the giants of Latin American writing, has been named the recipient of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature.  Novelist, essayist, playwright, journalist, and politician, Llosa often explores questions of power and its dangers.  Best known internationally for works such as The War of the End of the World and The Feast of the Goat, he has dabbled successfully in mystery, historical fiction, and parody.  He believes that “literature gives readers a kind of third eye and enables them to see what is lacking in the real world.”  Llosa is the first Latin American author to win the literature Prize in twelve years, and only the seventh since the award was first given in 1901.

By MPPL on October 11, 2010 Categories: Awards, Books, Literary, Nonfiction

It’s a Tie!

The Windup Girl book coverThe 2010 Hugo Awards, given for excellence in science fiction and fantasy, have just been announced. This year two novels will share top honors.

Best Novel:  The City & the City by China Miéville AND The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form:  Moon

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form:  Doctor Who, “The Waters of Mars”

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer:  Seanan McGuire

By MPPL on September 11, 2010 Categories: Awards, Books, Fantasy & Sci-Fi, Movies and Television

Prize Romance

One Scream Away book coverIn the mood for love?  Try one of the winners of the 2010 RITA Awards, given by the Romance Writers of America.  Kate Brady was honored with Best First Book for One Scream Away, an exciting story of romantic suspense.  A Western historical, The Inheritance by Tamera Alexander, took the prize for Best Inspirational Romance, and Barbara O’Neal’s The Lost Recipe for Happiness was named Best Novel with Strong Romantic Elements.  Julia Quinn won Best Regency Historical Romance for What Happens in London, and Laura Griffin was awarded Best Romantic Suspense for Whisper of WarningPerfect Chemistry, a modern tale of star-crossed lovers by Simone Elkeles, won Best Young Adult Romance.  Find your true match with one of these stories of strong heroines and the men who dared to love them.

By MPPL on August 23, 2010 Categories: Awards, Books, Historical Fiction, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense, Romance