New Year, New Book Award Nominations

Check out the finalists for the Man Asian Literary Prize.

It’s a new year, and that means new book award nominations. Earlier in the month, the Man Asian Literary Prize, honoring the best novel by an Asian writer written in or translated into English, announced its 2012 shortlist. The nominees represent the nations of Pakistan, Japan, Turkey, Malaysia and India. You can read more about the finalists here, and the winner will be announced on March 14.

Check out the contenders!  

Silent House
 by Orhan Pamuk 
The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng 


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Reading the Oscars

Several of this year's best picture nominees were books before they were movies, and you can find them at the library!

The 2013 Oscar Nominees have been announced. If you enjoy reading as much as movie watching (or more) here is a round up of books and other sources that inspired the current crop of best picture nominees.

The Movie: Argo
The Article: How the CIA Used a Fake Sci-Fi Flick to Rescue Americans From Tehran
Argo was inspired by an article by Joshuah Bearman that appeared in Wired Magazine in 2007. A new book, co-written by one of the CIA operatives involved in the rescue operation, was released just before the launch of the movie this past fall. The book is called Argo: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled Off the Most Audacious Rescue in History by Antonio Mendez and Matt Baglio.

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Reading the Oscars

Several of this year's best picture nominees were books before they were movies, and you can find them at the library!

The 2013 Oscar Nominees have been announced. If you enjoy reading as much as movie watching (or more) here is a round up of books and other sources that inspired the current crop of best picture nominees.

The Movie: Argo
The Article: How the CIA Used a Fake Sci-Fi Flick to Rescue Americans From Tehran
Argo was inspired by an article by Joshuah Bearman that appeared in Wired Magazine in 2007. A new book, co-written by one of the CIA operatives involved in the rescue operation, was released just before the launch of the movie this past fall. The book is called Argo: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled Off the Most Audacious Rescue in History by Antonio Mendez and Matt Baglio.

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10 Great Reasons to Read Fiction in January

What's on your reading list for the new year? Here are our top choices for new fiction in January.

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie
by Ayana Mathis
This debut novel chronicles the life of Hattie Shepherd, a young woman who migrates from the South to Philadelphia, and the lives of her children. The Twelve Tribes of Hattie was originally scheduled for release this month, but when the book was selected for Oprah’s Book Club the publisher moved the date up to early December. The novel is receiving rave reviews, even from the hard-to-please New York Times reviewer Michiko Kakutani, who compared Mathis’ work to that of Toni Morrison and Louise Erdrich.

Tenth of December: Stories
by George Saunders 
George Saunders is a writer of

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Oakland Public Library “Best Sellers” List

Ever wonder what the most popular books in our collection? Here's a list of the most wanted items right now.

Here’s a current list of the books with the most holds in the OPL catalog. Your holds nudge us to purchase more copies, so don’t hesitate to get in line!

FICTION

  1. Telegraph Avenue
    by Michael Chabon
    When ex-NFL quarterback Gibson Goode, the fifth richest black man in America, decides to open his newest Dogpile megastore on Telegraph Avenue, Nat and Archy, the owners of Brokeland Records, fear for their business until Gibson's endeavor exposes a decades-old secret history.
  2. The Casual Vacancy
    by J.K. Rowling
    When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty facade is a town at war. Rich at war

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It’s that time of year again…

What were the best books you read this year?

This is the season for end-of-the-year book lists, where book reviewers highlight the “best” books of the year. These lists are usually dominated by literary fiction and serious nonfiction, but they can also venture beyond that to include popular titles, Young Adult books and graphic novels. Sometimes snarky rebuttals to these best-of lists follow, such as Slate Magazine’s Overlooked Books of 2012.

I use these lists as a good reminder of some of the books I’ve meant to read over the last 12 months but haven’t found the time. I’m hoping to tackle a couple over the last couple of weeks of the year.  

What are your favorite books of 2012?

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10 Great Reasons to Read Fiction in December

The Intercept, Me Before You, A Possible Life, Pow!, and Safe House top our list of December must-reads.

  • December’s most high-profile debut novel comes from Dick Wolf, creator and executive producer of TV’s Law and Order series. The Intercept sounds like a nail-biter. So far this thriller about a NYPD Intelligence officer trying to thwart a terrorist plot is receiving enthusiastic praise from reviewers and will probably continue to get lots of media attention.
  • Me Before You is the second novel from British author Jojo Moyes, in which a young caretaker attempts to quash the suicidal plans of her quadriplegic patient, a former playboy, adventurer and business tycoon. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly called it “a lovely novel, both nontraditional and enthralling.”
  • Sebastian Faulks, bestselling author of Birdsong and Charlotte Gray

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2012 National Book Award Winners

Louise Erdrich, Katherine Boo, David Ferry, and William Alexander are this year's National Book Award winners.

Congratulations to the 2012 winners of the National Book Awards, announced last night.

Fiction: Louise Erdrich, The Round House

Nonfiction: Katherine Boo, Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity

Poetry: David Ferry, Bewilderment: New Poems and Translations

Young People's Literature: William Alexander, Goblin Secrets

Read more about the awards here and 

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Ten Great Reasons to Read Fiction in November

What's on your November to-read list? Here's ten new suggestions to add to it.

Place your holds now on these upcoming hits:

  • Oakland readers are lining up for bestselling author Barbara Kingsolver's newest novel, Flight Behavior. Following her 2009 Orange Prize-winning novel The Lacuna, Kingsolver “performs literary magic, generously illuminating both sides of the culture wars, from the global-warming debate to public education in America” (Library Journal). Read or listen to a preview of Flight Behavior here.
  • The holds list is also mounting for Ian McEwan’s latest, Sweet Tooth. The author of acclaimed novels such as Atonement (2002) has received numerous awards, including the six nominations for the Booker Prize, which he won in 1998 for AmsterdamSweet Tooth has been described as “multilayered and labyrinthine” and “masterful” by

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Book Awards Season Mysteriously Continues

Looking for a good mystery to read? Check out these award-nominated titles.

Earlier in October, approximately 1500 authors and fans gathered in Cleveland, Ohio for the 2012 Bouchercon World Mystery Convention. This year’s event featured appearances by a number of mysterious luminaries such as John Connolly, Elizabeth George, Robin Cook and Mary Higgins Clark. A number of annual prizes are awarded at Bouchercon, including the Anthony, Macavity, Barry, Shamus and Dilys Awards. Here is a roundup of all of the winners. Congratulations to all!

The Anthony Awards are literary awards for crime and mystery fiction. The winners are selected by Bouchercon attendees. They are named for the author, editor and critic Anthony Boucher, who is also the namesake for the convention. Fun fact: Anthony Boucher was born in Oakland!

  • Best Novel
    A Trick of the Light 
    by Louise Penny 
    Investigating a murder at a solo artist's Quebec village home, Chief Inspector Gamache and

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