Reading Suggestions for Students and Parents from College Admission Experts

June 23, 2013

The New York Times posted an article by Brennan Barnard entitled “28 Summer Reading Suggestions From College Admission Experts.” The article lists numerous books for parents and students about college as well as some general summer reading recommendations. The list is extensive and the contributors numerous, the full article can be read on the New York Times‘ website, a selection of the tiles are listed below along with links to their records in the Minuteman Library Network’s online catalog.

Admission Matters: What Students and Parents Need to Know About Getting Into College by Sally P. Springer, Jon Reider and Marion R. Franck

The Overachievers: The Secret Lives of Driven Kids by Alexandra Robbins

The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness: Five Steps to Help Kids Create and Sustain Lifelong Joy by Dr. Edward M. Hallowell

How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough

I’m Going to College — Not You! Surviving the College Search With Your Child by Jennifer Delahunty

College (Un)bound: The Future of Higher Education and What It Means for Students by Jeffrey J. Selingo

Colleges That Change Lives by Loren Pope







2013 Women’s Prize for Fiction

June 9, 2013

On June 5th the winner of the 2013 Women’s Prize for Fiction was announced in London. American author A.M. Homes won for her sixth novel May We Be Forgiven. The prize, formally known as the Orange Prize, is awarded annually to celebrate “excellence, originality and accessibility in women’s writing from throughout the world.” Due to sponsorship changes the prize will be known next year as the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. Links to the Minutemen Catalog records for the winner and the other finalists on the short list are below.


A.M. Homes, May We Be Forgiven, Granta, American, 6th Novel


Kate Atkinson, Life After Life, Doubleday, British, 8th Novel

Barbara Kingsolver, Flight Behavior, Faber & Faber, American, 8th Novel

Hilary Mantel, Bring Up the Bodies, Fourth Estate, British, 11th Novel

Maria Semple, Where’d You Go, Bernadette, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, American, 2nd Novel

Zadie Smith, NW, Hamish Hamilton, British, 4th Novel

New York Times “Best of 2012” Book Lists

December 1, 2012

The New York Times “Best of 2012” book lists will be published in the December 2nd Book Review section of the print edition. The lists are also available online at:

The book lists include the books named the 10 and 100 best books (nonfiction, fiction, and poetry are all covered) as well as reviews of children’s books and cookbooks. The books on the New York Times “10 Best Books of 2012” list that are available through the Minuteman Library Network are below along with links to their records in the MLN network catalog.

The 10 Best Books of 2012: The year’s best books, selected by the editors of The New York Times Book Review.

FICTION UP THE BODIES By Hilary Mantel. A John Macrae Book/ Henry Holt & Company.

BUILDING STORIES By Chris Ware. Pantheon Books.

A HOLOGRAM FOR THE KING By Dave Eggers. McSweeney’s Books.

NW By Zadie Smith. The Penguin Press.

THE YELLOW BIRDS By Kevin Powers. Little, Brown & Company.

NONFICTION THE BEAUTIFUL FOREVERS: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity. By Katherine Boo. Random House.

FAR FROM THE TREE: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity. By Andrew Solomon. Scribner.

THE PASSAGE OF POWER: The Years of Lyndon Johnson. By Robert A. Caro. Alfred A. Knopf.

THE PATRIARCH: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy. By David Nasaw. The Penguin Press.

WHY DOES THE WORLD EXIST? An Existential Detective Story. By Jim Holt. Liveright Publishing/W. W. Norton & Company.



2012 National Book Award Winners and Finalists

November 17, 2012

“The mission of the National Book Foundation and the National Book Awards is to celebrate the best of American literature, to expand its audience, and to enhance the cultural value of good writing in America”. – The winners of the National Book Award were announced on November 14th, links to the winner and finalists available through the Minuteman Library Network’s catalog are below.



Louise Erdrich, The Round House (Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers)


Junot Díaz,This Is How You Lose Her (Riverhead Books, a member of Penguin Group USA, Inc.)

Dave Eggers, A Hologram for the King (McSweeney’s Books)

Ben Fountain, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers)

Kevin Powers, The Yellow Birds (Little, Brown and Company)



Katherine Boo, Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity (Random House)


Anne Applebaum, Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1945-1956 (Doubleday)

Robert A. Caro, The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Volume 4 (Knopf)

Domingo Martinez, The Boy Kings of Texas (Lyons Press, an imprint of Globe Pequot Press)

Anthony Shadid, House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)



David Ferry, Bewilderment: New Poems and Translations (University of Chicago Press)


Cynthia Huntington, Heavenly Bodies (Southern Illinois University Press)

Tim Seibles, Fast Animal (Etruscan Press)

Alan Shapiro, Night of the Republic (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Susan Wheeler, Meme (University of Iowa Press)



William Alexander, Goblin Secrets (Margaret K. McElderry Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing)


Carrie Arcos, Out of Reach (Simon Pulse, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing)

Patricia McCormick,Never Fall Down (Balzer+Bray, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers)

Eliot Schrefer, Endangered (Scholastic)

Steve Sheinkin, Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon (Flash Point, an imprint of Roaring Brook Press)

2012 Man Booker Prize

November 3, 2012

Hilary Mantel won the 2012 Man Booker Prize for her novel, Bring up the Bodies. As described on the Man Booker Prize website, Mantel’s win is quite unique, “Hers is a story unique in Man Booker history. She becomes only the third author, after Peter Carey and J.M. Coetzee, to win the prize twice, which puts her in the empyrean. But she is also the first to win with a sequel (Wolf Hall won in 2009) and the first to win with such a brief interlude between books. Her resuscitation of Thomas Cromwell – and with him the historical novel – is one of the great achievements of modern literature. There is the last volume of her trilogy still to come so her Man Booker tale may yet have a further chapter.” –

The judges started with 145 novels and narrowed them down to a longlist which was released in July. Links to the Minuteman catalog records for the winning books by Mantel and those on the longlist are listed below.

2012 Winner:

Bring Up the Bodies, Hilary Mantel. Bring Up the Bodies is the sequel to Wolf Hall by Mantel, which won the Booker Prize in 2009.

Link to all of Mantel’s books available through the Newton Free Library.

2012 Man Booker Prize Longlist:

Nicola Barker, The Yips

Ned Beauman,The Teleportation Accident

André Brink, Philida

Tan Twan Eng, The Garden of Evening Mists

Michael Frayn, Skios

Rachel Joyce, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry 

Deborah Levy, Swimming Home

Hilary Mantel, Bring up the Bodies (WINNER)

Alison Moore, The Lighthouse

Will Self, Umbrella

Jeet Thayil, Narcopolis

Sam Thompson, Communion Town

12th Annual Massachusetts Book Awards

October 20, 2012

Every year the The Massachusetts Center of the Book publishes a book list of “Must Reads” in four categories: fiction, nonfiction, poetry & children’s/young adult literature. To qualify, the books need to have been written by Massachusetts writers or have Massachusetts themes.  As stated on the Massachusetts Center for the Book website, “the Massachusetts Book Awards highlight the work of our vital contemporary writing community and encourage readers to do some ‘close reading’ of those imaginative works created by the authors among us.” The award winners for books published in 2011 were announced on September 14, 2012. Links to the catalog records of the winning books in the Minuteman Library Network are below. A full list of the books nominated as “Must Reads” can be located on the Massachusetts Center for the Book website:

Fiction: Alice Bliss by Laura Harrington
Nonfiction: Killer Stuff and Tons of Money by Maureen P. Stanton
Poetry: The Trouble Ball by Martin Espada
Children’s/Young Adult Literature: Chasing the Nightbird by Krista Russell

Banned Books Week

October 7, 2012

“Banned Books Week is the national book community’s annual celebration of the freedom to read. Hundreds of libraries and bookstores around the country draw attention to the problem of censorship by mounting displays of challenged books and hosting a variety of events. The 2012 celebration of Banned Books Week will be held from September 30 through October 6. Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982. For more information on Banned Books Week, click here.” –

The 10 most challenged titles of 2011 are listed below along with links to their catalog records in the Minuteman Library Network. – List derived from

  1. ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
    Reasons: offensive language; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  2. The Color of Earth (series), by Kim Dong Hwa
    Reasons: nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  3. The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins
    Reasons: anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence
  4. My Mom’s Having A Baby! A Kid’s Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy, by Dori Hillestad Butler
    Reasons: nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: offensive language; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  6. Alice (series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
    Reasons: nudity; offensive language; religious viewpoint
  7. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
    Reasons: insensitivity; nudity; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit
  8. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
    Reasons: nudity; offensive language; sexually explicit
  9. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily Von Ziegesar
    Reasons: drugs; offensive language; sexually explicit
  10. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
    Reasons: offensive language; racism