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Once Reinvented, Eight Times Rewarded

Once: A New Musical CD cover

Remakes seem to be the norm of late, rather than the exception. To be successful, they need to bring something new to the story, and that is certainly the case with the Broadway production of Once: A New Musical. Staying true to the original, but playing with instrumentals and a cappella performances, the 2012 Tony Award winner for Best Musical (and in seven other categories, too!), enchants with beautiful stringwork and Steve Kazee’s especially soulful performance as The Guy. Since the actors also serve as the band, the collaborative effort rings with authenticity, and the international influences are enhanced. Fall slowly in love all over again with the original Broadway cast recording of Once: A New Musical.

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on July 9, 2012 Categories: Awards, Music

Locus Awards Honor Readers’ Favorites

A Dance with Dragons book cover

The people have spoken! The 2012 Locus Awards, honoring winners of Locus: The Magazine of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Field’s annual readers’ poll, have been announced. Why not choose your summer reading from books selected by fans themselves? Click to see a complete list of winners and other finalists.

Fantasy Novel: A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin

Science Fiction Novel: Embassytown by China Miéville

First Novel: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Young Adult BookThe Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

Novella: “Silently and Very Fast” by Catherynne M. Valente 

Novelette: “White Lines on a Green Field” by Catherynne M. Valente

Short Story: “The Case of Death and Honey” by Neil Gaiman

Anthology: The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Eighth Annual Collection, edited by Gardner Dozois

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on June 20, 2012 Categories: Awards, Books, Fantasy & Sci-Fi

Celebrate June is Audiobook Month

Bossypants audiobook cover

Just in time to highlight great listens for summer reading, the winners of the 2012 Audie Awards have been announced! Honoring the year’s best recordings in a rich mix of categories, these awards are a perfect source of listening suggestions while traveling on vacation, basking in the sun, or making everyday routines more exciting. Try one of the most recent winners below or sample past Audiobooks of the Year. Need more incentive? Don’t forget that listening to an audiobook counts as reading in our Summer Reading Program!

Audiobook of the Year: Bossypants by Tina Fey

Solo Narration (Male): Simon Vance, narrator of The King’s Speech

Biography/Memoir: Bossypants by Tina Fey

Fantasy: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Humor: Shatner Rules by William Shatner with Chris Regan

Literary Fiction: State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

Multi-Voiced Performance: A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

Mystery: Feast Day of Fools by James Lee Burke

Narration by the Author: Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Personal Development: Prime Time by Jane Fonda

Romance: New York to Dallas by J.D. Robb

Thriller/Suspense: The Nightmare Thief by Meg Gardiner

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on June 11, 2012 Categories: Audiobooks, Awards, Fantasy & Sci-Fi, Humor, Literary, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense, Nonfiction, Romance

New Stars in the Nebula

Among Others book coverThe Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America announced the winners of the 2012 Nebula Awards this weekend.  Expand your universe with one of these stellar honorees:

Best Novel: Among Others by Jo Walton

Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy: The Freedom Maze by Delia Sherman.  [Bonus: read an original interview with author Delia Sherman and MPPL!]

Best Novella: The Man Who Bridged the Mist by Kij Johnson (Asimov’s Science Fiction, October/November 2011 – available to read online)

Best Short Story: “The Paper Menagerie” by Ken Liu (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, March/April 2011 – available to read online)

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on May 23, 2012 Categories: Awards, Books, Fantasy & Sci-Fi

Edgar Award Winning Mysteries

Gone book cover

Follow the clues to discover the best mystery writing of the year.  The Mystery Writers of America recently named the winners of the 2012 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, and it would be a crime for you to leave these cases unsolved:

Best Novel: Gone by Mo Hayder

Best First Novel: Bent Road by Lori Roy

Best Fact Crime: Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard

Best Critical Biographical: On Conan Doyle: Or, The Whole Art of Storytelling by Michael Dirda

Best Young Adult: The Silence of Murder by Dandi Daley Mackall

Best Juvenile: Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on May 9, 2012 Categories: Awards, Books, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense

LISTS: Orange Prize for Fiction

Spell of Winter book coverAs Women’s History Month draws to a close, be sure to check out the best in women’s contemporary writing. The Orange Prize for Fiction was created in 1996 to celebrate excellence, originality, and accessibility in women’s writing throughout the world.  Honorees include Bel Canto by Ann Patchett and On Beauty by Zadie Smith.

Click here to see a complete list of the winners of the Orange Prize for Fiction.

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on March 30, 2012 Categories: Awards, Books, Lists

A Book for Every Taste

The Devotion of Suspect X book coverWe understand that not everyone is interested in books that win important literary prizes.  Sometimes you just want to find a thrilling new story in your favorite category.  If you can relate, be sure to check out the recent winners and nominees of the The Reading List, which honors the best in genre fiction.  These must-reads are selected by librarians who know which titles not only have the best buzz but also live up to the hype.  See below for the winners and click here for readalikes and the runners-up.

AdrenalineBefore I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson
FantasyThe Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Historical FictionDoc by Mary Doria Russell
HorrorThe Ridge by Michael Koryta
MysteryThe Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino
RomanceSilk is for Seduction by Loretta Chase
Science FictionLeviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
Women’s FictionThe Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on February 13, 2012 Categories: Awards, Books, Fantasy & Sci-Fi, Historical Fiction, Horror, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense, Romance

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 TV

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