Displaying articles for: February 2013

Who Was Nellie Bly Again? A Guest Post by Matthew Goodman

We knew we had a hit on our hands as soon as the first reads of Matthew Goodman’s Eighty Days came in. "Rollicking, fast-paced, enlightening, cinematic," said the Discover selection committee readers. "We think Erik Larson fans will want to give this a whirl."  Matthew Goodman tells the story behind his new book, a Spring '13 Discover pick, in a guest post on the Discover blog.

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Drugstore Inspiration: A Guest Post by Dennis Mahoney

In Dennis Mahoney's debut, Fellow Mortals, a carelessly discarded match ignites a raging fire that destroys a neighborhood and changes the victims' lives in very different ways. In precise, clean prose, this soulful and compassionate debut limns the boundary between atonement and forgiveness, and is a terrific book group pick. 

Dennis not only explains how he found the story that became Fellow Mortals, but also riffs on the unreliable nature of inspiration, and why writers need a toolbox and a muse, among other things, in a guest post for the Discover Blog.

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Everything Offered in the Land of the Living: A Conversation with Ashok Rajamani

Ashok Ramajani's memoir, The Day My Brain Exploded (A Spring '13 pick) is the astonishingly true (and shockingly funny) story of what happened after the author suffered a massive, near-fatal cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 25.  He discusses the continuing, daily consquences of his traumatic brain injury, why he chose to structure the book as he did, and how his sense of humor helps him survive, among other things with Disccover Great New Writers.

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The Problem Has to be Addressed First: A Conversation with Jonathan M. Katz

"With lucidity and great humanity, Jonathan Katz has written THE book on Haiti's devastating earthquake and its bungled reconstruction. For anyone who wants to know why the 'international community' can't fix anything anymore, but who still hope to find solutions to global problems, this book is a must-read." -- Bestselling author Jon Lee Anderson (Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life and The Fall of Baghdad) on Spring '13 Discover pick The Big Truck That Went By

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Get Out of the Way of the Material: Stuart Nadler and Emma Straub in Conversation

Stuart Nadler’s Wise Men (Spring ’13) and Emma Straub’s Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures (Fall ’12) are both  stellar reads, thought-provoking and entertaining in equal measure, easy to recommend.  Good stories, well told, as some say. Both Emma and Stuart have gone from story collections with contemporary settings to ambitious, compulsively readable historical novels about class and identity. Why make the switch from present to past, short to long? They answer that question, discuss the importance of story as well as the perils of the internet -- and more -- in conversation on the Discover blog.

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I was a Little Afraid of the Medium: A Conversation with Lisa O'Donnell

The Discover selection committee readers are absolutely mad for Lisa O'Donnell's smashing debut, The Death of Bees, and the young Doyle sisters, left to their own devices and wanting nothing more to keep the outside world at bay. O'Donnell discusses how she found the story she wanted to tell in The Death of Bees, using humor to make readers pay attention, and hearing Scotland in everything she writes, among other things, with Discover Great New Writers.

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April 19: "What you see first, after the starting gun's crack, is a column of bobbing runners, thousands of them, surging downhill..."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.