Critics’ Lists: Summer 2013 : NPR

July 27, 2013

NPR has been posting some wonderful reading lists on their website The lists cover a broad array of topics and include unique titles. Reading through them is a great way to find some reading recommendations. Examples of the lists include:

On the NPR website readers can find full descriptions of the books included in the lists. There are also links to when the list was discussed on air.

Books included in the most recently published list, “Fact Behind The Fiction: 5 Great Historicals For Summer“, are listed below and linked to their records in the Minuteman Library Network’s online catalog.


A Great Collection of Summer Reading Lists

July 24, 2012

Media outlets often create special sections to highlight summer reading suggestions from their contributors. Here are links to some lists from a range of news outlets:

PBS’s news program Washington Week with Gwen Ifill & National Journal Summer 2012 Reading List:

The Huffington Post’s Reading Lists (organized the theme):

NPR‘s Critics List:

Oprah Magazine‘s Summer Reading Guide:

WBUR’s On Point with Tom Ashbrook radio program, Great Summer Reads:

Some Summer Reading Recommendations from Independent Book Stores

June 24, 2012

NPR has a listing of 15 recently published books recommend by representatives of three independent book stores for reading over the summer. Links to the titles in the Minuteman Library Catalog are below, full descriptions of the titles can be read on NPR’s website:

Titles recommended by Lucia Silva, book buyer at Portrait Of A Bookstore in Studio City, California.

The Mark Inside: A Perfect Swindle, a Cunning Revenge, and a Small History of the Big Con by Amy Reading.

The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make us Human by Jonathan Gottschall.

Hole in My Life by Jack Gantos.

Why be Happy When you Could be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson.

Titles recommended by Rona Brinlee of The BookMark in Neptune Beach, Florida.

Absolution by Patrick Flanery.

The Book of Jonas by Stephen Dau.

A Good American by Alex George.

The Healing: A Novel by Jonathan Odell.

Hit Lit: Cracking the Code of the Twentieth Century’s Biggest Bestsellers by James W. Hall.

Mr G: A Novel About the Creation by Alan Lightman.

Titles recommended by Daniel Goldin of Boswell Book Co. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Coral Glynn by Peter Cameron.

Boleto: A Novel by Alyson Hagy.

Glaciers: A Novel by Alexis Smith.

NERDS: The Cheerleaders of Doom by Michael Buckley ; illustrations by Ethen Beavers.

The Collective: A Novel by Don Lee.

Architecture Inspired by Literature

May 5, 2012

Flavorwire recently published an article entitled, “10 Beautiful Buildings Inspired by Famous Books”. The article describes buildings with designs inspired by a piece of literature or writer. The pictures of the buildings are incredibly beautiful and look like fabulous places to visit! Several are located in New England.Links to the catalog records of some of the books mentioned in the article are below.

Orhan Pamuk, The Museum of Innocence

Franz Kafka, The Castle

Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

Herman Melville, Moby Dick

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Wilhelm Hauff, Lichtenstein

Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods

Writings of Knut Hamsun

Poetry of Luis Cernuda

2012 Pultizer Prize Winners: Letters, Drama and Music

April 21, 2012

The winners of the Pulitzer Prize were announced on April 16th, 2012. To the surprise of many, no award was given in the fiction category. Links to a selection of recent news articles published about the decision not to choose a winner from the 3 finalists (Train Dreams by Denis Johnson (Farrar, Straus and Giroux); Swamplandia! by Karen Russell (Alfred A. Knopf); and The Pale King by the late David Foster Wallace (Little, Brown and Company)) are listed below along with the complete listing of winners in the Letters, Drama, and Music categories.

Fiction: No Award

New York Times, News: Publishing Is Cranky Over Snub by Pulitzers By Julie Bosman

New York Times, Opinion: And the Winner Isn’t … By Ann Patchett

Huffington Post: And the Winner Is — Nobody by Joel Conarroe

The Economist Blog: The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction – Nobody wins


Water by the Spoonful by Quiara Alegría Hudes


Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention, by the late Manning Marable

Biography or Autobiography

George F. Kennan: An American Life by John Lewis Gaddis (The Penguin Press)


Life on Mars by Tracy K. Smith (Graywolf Press)

General Nonfiction

The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt (W.W. Norton & Company)


Silent Night: Opera in Two Acts by Kevin Puts (Aperto Press)

NPR Series: Three Books

January 15, 2012

NPR has a special book series titled Three Books, “in which authors recommend three books on a single theme.” The authors and themes are diverse and the entire series is worth listening or reading. The books from the most recent feature which aired on January 4, 2012 entitled, Hell-Raising Heroines: Three Ladies With Spitfire by Heather Havrilesky are listed below.

The Great Man : A Novel (2009) by Kate Christensen. “The Great Man is a scintillating comedy of life among the avant-garde—of the untidy truths, needy egos, and jostlings for position behind the glossy facade of artistic greatness. Not a pretty picture—but a provocative and entertaining one that incarnates the take-no-prisoners satirical spirit of Dawn Powell and Mary McCarthy.” – description from the publisher, Doubleday. Kate Christensen’s most recent novel, The Astral, was published in 2011.

After Claude (1973) by Iris Owens ; introduction by Emily Prager. “Harriet is leaving her boyfriend Claude, “the French rat.” That at least is how Harriet sees things, even if it’s Claude who has just asked Harriet to leave his Greenwich Village apartment. Well, one way or another she has no intention of leaving. To the contrary, she will stay and exact revenge-or would have if Claude had not had her unceremoniously evicted. Still, though moved out, Harriet is not about to move on. Not in any way.” – description from the publisher, New York Review Books.

The Journal Keeper : A Memoir (2010) by Phyllis Theroux. “Essayist Theroux has long captivated readers with her pitch-perfect rendering of the inner lives of American women. The Journal Keeper is a memoir of six years in her life, covering universal topics such as love, loneliness, growing old, spiritual growth, and death.” – description from the publisher, Atlantic Monthly Press.

The Man Booker International Prize 2011: Philip Roth

December 28, 2011

Philip Roth won The Man Booker International Prize in 2011. The “prize is awarded every two years to a living author who has published fiction either originally in English or whose work is generally available in translation in the English language.”  A description of Roth’s career is below from the Man Booker website along with links to to a selection of his novels available from the Newton Free Library.

“Philip Roth (born March 1933, New Jersey) is an American novelist.  He is probably best known for his 1959 collection Goodbye, Columbus, his 1969 novel Portnoy’s Complaint, and for his late-’90s trilogy comprising the Pulitzer Prize-winning American Pastoral (1997), I Married a Communist (1998), and The Human Stain (2000).”

Goodbye, Columbus 1959 – located in Library of America’s Novels &  Stories, 1959-1962 by Philip Roth

Letting Go 1962

When She Was Good 1967

Portnoy’s Complaint 1969 – located in Library of America’s Novels &  Stories, 1959-1962 by Philip Roth

Our Gang 1971 – located in Library of America’s Novels, 1967-1972 by Philip Roth

The Breast 1972

The Great American Novel 1973

My Life As a Man 1974

The Professor of Desire 1977

The Ghost Writer 1979

Zuckerman Unbound 1981

The Anatomy Lesson 1983

The Counterlife 1986

Deception 1990

Operation Shylock 1993

Sabbath’s Theater 1995

American Pastoral 1997

I Married a Communist 1998

The Human Stain 2000

The Dying Animal 2001

The Plot Against America 2004

Everyman 2006

Exit Ghost 2007

Indignation 2008

The Humbling 2009

Nemesis 2010