Reviews and Blog Posts: nonfiction

Waiting for Are You My Mother?

Are You My Mother?

Over the weekend I read Alison Bechdel's new graphic memoir, Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama.

This follow up to her 2006 memoir Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, which focused on her father, concentrates both on her relationship with her mother and on her therapy process. At one point, Bechdel refers to Are You My Mother? as a meta-book, as much of it deals with the time period when she was writing Fun Home, as well as her interactions with her mother around writing both that book and Are You My Mother?

Carlos Fuentes, November 11, 1928 – May 15, 2012

The Writings of Carlos Fuentes

Prolific Mexican intellectual, novelist, essayist, and occasional commentator Carlos Fuentes died suddenly May 15, 2012 at the age 83. The author of The Writings of Carlos Fuentes quotes Fuentes as saying that "writing implies an engagement with history, culture and identity." There is no doubt that Carlos Fuentes engaged generations worldwide in truly seeing and contemplating Mexico.

Carlos Fuentes gave many fascinating interviews and many of them are available to watch online. The library has many titles by and about Carlos Fuentes, in Spanish and English. Here are a few:

Locus Award Finalists Announced

Welcome to Bordertown

The Locus Science Fiction Foundation recently announced the finalists for the 2012 Locus Awards. The Locus Award celebrates science fiction, fantasy, and horror, and nonfiction works related to these subjects. If you're looking for a good read, try some of these!

Science Fiction Novel:

Leviathan Wakes, James S.A. Corey

11/22/63, Stephen King

Embassytown, China Mieville

Rule 34, Charles Stross

Hugo Nominees Announced!

Among Others

The nominees for the Hugo Award, given in 15 categories by the members of the World Science Fiction Convention, were recently announced. For the complete list, check the Hugo website.

Here are some of the nominated novels, works of nonfiction, and films that the Denver Public Library owns:

Best Novel:

Among Others, Jo Walton

A Dance With Dragons, George R. R. Martin

Deadline, Mira Grant

Embassytown, China Miéville

You Must Remember This...

Moonwalking with Einstein

The USA Memory Championship was recently held in New York. Want to learn about the world of competitive memory, or improve your own brain power?

One recent book that looks into what it takes to be a memory champion is Joshua Foer's Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything. Want to see if you can remember the title and author? Picture Michael Jackson & Albert Einstein, both moonwalking, with a number 4 between them. Really concentrate on the image. See if you can recall the title & the author's last name (without looking!) at the end of this post!

2012 Audie Award Nominees

First Grave on the Right

The Audie Awards recognize distinction in audiobooks and spoken word performance, and are presented by the Audio Publishers Association. Here are some of the 2012 nominees owned by DPL:

Bossypants, Tina Fey, narrated by Tina Fey (Biography/Memoir, Humor)

Here Comes Trouble, Michael Moore, narrated by Michael Moore (Biography/Memoir)

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou, narrated by Maya Angelou (Classic)

It's That Time of Year Again...

Blood, Bones & Butter

I enjoyed doing a nontraditional favorites of the year list last year, so thought I'd compile my favorite reads of 2011, in various categories, as the year comes to a close.

Favorite Cookbook:
Martha Stewart's New Pies & Tarts: 150 Recipes for Old-Fashioned and Modern Favorites.
Everything I've done from this book so far has been wonderful. The Brie & Apple Tart will be Christmas morning breakfast at our house, and later we'll have the Rocky Road Pie!

Women's Travel Writing

The Lost Girls: Three Friends, Four Continents... Cover

Women, traveling alone, or with other women, have found that it is always an experience - sometimes a good one, sometimes not so good - but inevitably interesting. When you don't have the time or money to travel, take a trip with these women authors and you'll never have to leave the comfort of your home. After reading some of these books, however, you may be inspired to visit a place you've never considered before.

I have always found that after the jet lag has worn off, the bags are unpacked, and the souvenirs distributed, that what lives on for me are the stories of experiences in adapting to different cultures. People who love to travel will appreciate the stories shared by these authors in their travel memoirs.

Following is a list of some of my favorites that are worth a read:

Change Agents: Bell and Jobs

Derrick Bell

Derrick Bell and Steve Jobs both died on Wednesday but the similarities don't end there. Both men would not be deterred by those who could or would not believe.

Derrick Bell spent his professional life exposing racisim in the legal system and higher education.  He encouraged members of diverse groups to tell their stories as a way of building support and community, something he felt scholarship alone could not do.  

Colorado Authors Series Presents Hannah Nordhaus

The Beekeeper's Lament

The Fresh City Life My Branch Colorado Authors Series presents Hannah Nordhaus on Saturday, September 10 at 2:00 p.m. at Schlessman.

Nordhaus is the author of The Beekeeper's Lament: How One Man and Half a Million Honey Bees Help Feed America, which explores Colony Collapse Disorder and the story of beekeeper John Miller, who is on a mission to save the bees and the future of our food. Nordhaus is also an award winning journalist. Find out more about her on her web site. Special thanks to HarperCollins publishers for arranging this author visit.

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