About This Blog

Mostly lists and information about award books and other interesting lists of books, color coded as follows:

RED–Read since ~2000
PINK–Read before that
BLUE–To Be Read and Added to Goodreads

NOTE: Listings may not be complete and sources aren't always quoted but I'm working on that.

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Book Montage

Catherine 's to-read book montage

The Endless Steppe: Growing Up in Siberia
The Vanishing of Katharina Linden
Only You Can Save Mankind
Nice and Mean
Cruisers Book 1
The City of Ember
Crispin: The End of Time
Lost Goat Lane
Amelia Rules! Volume 1: The Whole World's Crazy
How I, Nicky Flynn, Finally Get a Life
As Simple as It Seems
Wolf Brother
The Ogre of Oglefort
The Pickle King

Catherine 's favorite books »

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Joseph-Beth's Books of the Year 2005

The Joseph-Beth Group, which has eight stores under the Joseph-Beth and David-Kidd names, has selected its 2005 Book of the Year winners:

Fiction: The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (Little, Brown).
Nonfiction: Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (Morrow).
Kids Illustrated: Leonardo the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems (Hyperion Books for Children).
Kids Non-Illustrated: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling (Scholastic).

Voted on by Joseph-Beth Group booksellers, the winning books will be decorated with gold foil seals and be displayed prominently in each store.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Thematic Maps

Five thematic mapping techniques that are used most often:

  1. choropleth
  2. proportional or graduated symbols
  3. isarithmic or contour map
  4. dot map
  5. dasymetric

From about.com:

Types of Thematic Maps

Although cartographers can use these datasets in many different ways to create thematic maps, there are five thematic mapping techniques that are used most often. The first and most commonly used of these is the choropleth map. This is a map that portrays quantitative data as a color and can show density, percent, average value or quantity of an event within a geographic area. Sequential colors on these maps represent increasing or decreasing positive or negative data values. Normally, each color also represents a range of values.

Proportional or graduated symbols are the next type of map and represent data associated with point locations such as cities. Data is displayed on these maps with proportionally sized symbols to show differences in occurrences. Circles are most often used with these maps but squares and other geometric shapes are suitable as well. The most common way to size these symbols is to make their areas proportional to the values to be depicted with mapping or drawing software.

Another thematic map is the isarithmic or contour map and it uses isolines to depict continuous values like precipitation levels. These maps can also display three-dimensional values like elevation on topographic maps. Generally data for isarithmic maps is gathered via measureable points (e.g. - weather stations) or is collected by area (e.g. - tons of corn per acre by county). Isarithmic maps also follow the basic rule that there is a high and low side in relation to the isoline. For example in elevation if the isoline is 500 feet (152 m) then one side must be higher than 500 feet and one side must be lower.

A dot map is another type of thematic map and uses dots to show the presence of a theme and display a spatial pattern. On these maps, a dot can represent one unit or several, depending on what is being depicted with the map.

Finally, dasymetric mapping is the last type of thematic map. This map is a complex variation of the choropleth map and works by using statistics and extra information to combine areas with similar values instead of using the administrative boundaries common in a simple choropleth map.

To see various examples of thematic maps visit World Thematic Maps

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Random House Summer Reading 2009


Purple Hibiscus
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
“Prose as lush as the Nigerian landscape that it powerfully evokes. . . . Adichie’s understanding of a young girl’s heart is so acute that her story ultimately rises above its setting and makes her little part of Nigeria seem as close and vivid as Eudora Welty’s Mississippi.” —The Boston Globe

by Richard Bausch
“Richard Bausch’s Peace, set at the end of the Second World War in Italy, is a small masterpiece with the same emotional force and moral complexity as Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and Tolstoy's Hadji Murad.” —Colm Tóibín

The Rope Walk
by Carrie Brown
A New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age
In The Rope Walk, Carrie Brown crafts a luminous story of a young girl’s coming of age during a crucial summer in New England.
“Beautifully written . . . . Captures the dignity and grace of a young woman coming into knowledge of herself and the world.” —Chicago Tribune

The Guardians
by Ana Castillo
“A nuanced, vibrant look at the American experience through Mexican-American eyes.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Faulknerian . . . The rhythms of The Guardians are a pleasure to savor.” —San Francisco Chronicle

The Power of One
by Bryce Courtenay
“Unabashedly uplifting . . . asserts forcefully what all of us would like to believe: that the individual, armed with the spirit of independence—‘the power of one’—can prevail.” —Cleveland Plain Dealer

The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman
by Ernest J. Gaines
“Stunning. I know of no black novel about the South that exudes quite the same refreshing mix of wit and wrath, imagination and indignation, misery and poetry.” —Life

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
by Mark Haddon
Narrated by a fifteen-year-old autistic savant obsessed with Sherlock Holmes, this dazzling novel weaves together an old-fashioned mystery, a contemporary coming-of-age story, and a fascinating excursion into a mind incapable of processing emotions.

Unaccustomed Earth
by Jhumpa Lahiri
“Lahiri writes insightfully about childhood, while the romantic infatuations and obstacles to true love will captivate teens.”
—Donna Seaman, Booklist (starred)

The Last Town on Earth
by Thomas Mullen
Set against the backdrop of one of the most virulent epidemics that America ever experienced—the 1918 flu epidemic—Thomas Mullen’s powerful, sweeping first novel is a tale of morality in a time of upheaval.

When the Emperor Was Divine
by Julie Otsuka
Julie Otsuka’s commanding debut novel paints an unforgettable portrait of the Japanese internment camps. With crystalline intensity and precision, Otsuka uses a single family to evoke the deracination—both physical and emotional—of a generation of Japanese Americans.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
January 1946: writer Juliet Ashton receives a letter from a stranger, a founding member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. And so begins a remarkable tale of the island of Guernsey during the German occupation, and of a society as extraordinary as its name.

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
by Alexander McCall Smith
Now an HBO Series
This first novel in Alexander McCall Smith’s widely acclaimed series tells the story of the delightfully cunning and enormously engaging Precious Ramotswe, who is drawn to her profession to “help people with problems in their lives.”

The Good Thief
by Hannah Tinti
WINNER 2009 - Alex Award
“Every once in a while—if you are very lucky—you come upon a novel so marvelous and enchanting and rare that you wish everyone in the world would read it, as well. The Good Thief is just such a book—a beautifully composed work of magic.”
—Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love

Memoirs, Biography and Other Nonfiction

My Lobotomy
by Howard Dully and Charles Fleming
“Dully’s tale is a heartbreakingly sad story of a life seriously, tragically interrupted. All Howard Dully wanted was to be normal. His entire life has been a search for normality. He did what he had to do to survive. This book is his legacy, and it is a powerful one.” —San Francisco Chronicle

Into the Wild
by Jon Krakauer
Jon Krakauer tells the haunting true story of Chris McCandless, who after graduating from college in 1991, walked deep into the wilderness of Alaska on a fatal odyssey.

Shadow Divers
The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II
by Robert Kurson
In the tradition of Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air and Sebastian Junger's The Perfect Storm comes a true tale of riveting adventure in which two weekend scuba divers risk everything to solve a great historical mystery—and make history themselves.

by Wangari Maathai
In Unbowed, Nobel Prize winner Wangari Maathai recounts her extraordinary journey from her childhood in rural Kenya to the world stage. When Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement in 1977, she began a vital poor people’s environmental movement, focused on the empowerment of women, that soon spread across Africa

The Good Good Pig
The Extraordinary Life of Christopher Hogwood
by Sy Montgomery
“Hilarious, enchanting, and deeply affecting . . . Montgomery writes with extraordinary lucidity, candor, and grace about what this good, good pig taught her and others about life, love [and] happiness.” —Booklist

Graphic Novels

The Complete Persepolis
by Marjane Satrapi
“You've never seen anything like Persepolis—the intimacy of a memoir, the irresistibility of a comic book, and the political depth of the conflict between fundamentalism and democracy. Marjane Satrapi may have given us a new genre.”
—Gloria Steinem

Pride of Baghdad
by Brian K. Vaughan and Niko Henrichon
In the spring of 2003, a pride of lions escaped from the Baghdad Zoo during an American bombing raid. Lost and confused, the four lions roamed the decimated streets of Baghdad in a desperate struggle to survive. In documenting the plight of the lions, this graphic novel raises questions about the true meaning of freedom.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Bernstein Book Award 2009

Jane Mayer, a staff writer for the New Yorker, has won the New York Public Library's 2009 Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism for The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How The War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals (Doubleday), according to the New York Times. The prize, which honors a journalist whose work has brought public attention to important issues, carries a $15,000 award.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Great Lakes Book Awards (2005)

Congratulations! The winners of this year's Great Lakes Book Awards are:

  • In fiction: An Unfinished Season by Ward Just (Houghton Mifflin)
    General: Bound for Canaan by Fergus M. Bordewich (Amistad/Harper Collins)
    Mystery/Intrigue: Tonight I Said Goodbye by Michael Koryta (Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's)
    Children's: Bucking the Sarge by Christopher Paul Curtis (Wendy Lamb Books/Random House)

The awards, recognizing "excellence in the writing and publishing of books that capture the spirit and enhance awareness of the Great Lakes region," will be presented at a luncheon on Friday, September 30, during the GLBA fall trade show in Rosemont, Ill. Winners will receive $500 and an award designed and produced by Pewabic Pottery, a Detroit maker of art tiles, ceramics and glazes. Winning titles are also featured in the association's holiday catalogue, From Our Shelves to Yours: Books for Giving.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Irish Book Awards 2009

Sebastian Barry's The Secret Scripture won both the Hughes & Hughes Irish Novel of the Year Award and The Tubridy Show Listeners' Choice Award at the "glittering Irish Book Awards 2009 ceremony in the Mansion House in Dublin," the Irish Independent reported.

Marian Keyes won the Easons Popular Fiction Award for her novel, This Charming Man. Seamus Heaney took the Argosy Non-Fiction Award for Stepping Stones: Interviews with Seamus Heaney. Dennis O'Driscoll and Edna O'Brien was honored with the Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award.

Other winners included Ronan O'Gara's autobiography (Energise Sports Book of the Year), Alice Taylor's The Parish (Best Irish Published Book of the Year), Alex Barclay's Blood Runs Cold (Ireland AM Crime Fiction Award), Ronan O'Brien's Confessions of a Fallen Angel (Newcomer of the Year), Derek Landy's Playing with Fire (Skulduggery Pleasant, Book 2) (Children's Award, senior section) and Benji Bennett's Before You Sleep [picture book] (Children's Award, junior section).

Friday, May 1, 2009

Summer Reading '09

You know you've been waiting for this. The Bookseller.com reported that Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan--whose handselling reign as the U.K. equivalent of Oprah's Book Club has been somewhat in decline of late--unveiled their Summer Reads for 2009:

Summer Reads for 2009 from Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan.

Past Imperfect by Julian Fellowes
Guernica: A Novel by Dave Boling
Palace Council by Stephen L. Carter
Mr Toppit by Charles Elton
The Great Lover by Jill Dawson
Mystery Man by Colin Bateman
The Senator's Wife by Sue Miller
The Piano Teacher by Janice Y. K. Lee

Best English Translations of French Prose in 2008

The French-American Foundation and the Florence Gould Foundation announce Finalists of 22nd Annual Translation Prizes

Best English Translations of French Prose in 2008 Honored

New York, NY (April 27, 2009) – The French-American Foundation and the Florence Gould Foundation announce the finalists for their 22nd Annual Translation Prizes for superior English translations of French works published in 2008. There will be one award for translation in fiction, and a second for non-fiction.

Translator is finalist for French-American Foundation Annual Translation Prizes for superior English translations of French works published in 2008.

The FICTION* finalists are

Alison Anderson for The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery (Europa Editions)
John Cullen for The Only Son by Stephane Audeguy (Harcourt)
Jody Gladding & Elizabeth Deshays for Small Lives by Pierre Michon (Archipelago Books)
Douglas Parmée for Afloat by Guy de Maupassant (New York Review Books)
Julie Rose for Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (Modern Library)

Roger Whitehouse for The Beast Within by Emile Zola (Penguin Books)

*due to tie in votes, the fiction selection garnered six finalists instead of five.

The NON-FICTION finalists are
Ryan Bloom for Notebooks 1951-1959 by Albert Camus (Ivan R. Dee)
Matthew Cobb & Malcolm Debevoise for Life Explained by Michel Morange (Yale University Press/Odile Jacob)
Janet Lloyd for Comparing the Incomparable by Marcel Detienne (Stanford University Press)
Jeremy Mercer for Abolition by Robert Badinter (University Press of New England)
Richard A. Rand for Corpus by Jean-Luc Nancy (Fordham University Press)

Winners of the fiction and non-fiction prizes will receive a cash prize of $10,000 each, funded by the Florence Gould Foundation. They will be honored at a special ceremony on May 26 in New York.
Jurors for this year’s competition include Linda Asher, Tom Bishop, Antoine Compagnon, Linda Coverdale, Richard Howard and Lily Tuck.

About The French-American Foundation
The French-American Foundation is the principal non-governmental link between France and the United States at leadership levels and across the full range of the French-American relationship.
About The Florence Gould Foundation
The Florence Gould Foundation is an American foundation devoted to French-American exchange and friendship. Born of French parents in San Francisco in 1895, Florence Gould lived both in the United States and France during her lifetime. At her death in 1993, Florence Gould left the bulk of her fortune to the foundation bearing her name.