Book Reviews

Authors take top nods in gay literary awards

Houston Voice Online reports on the 'Lammys'. The ceremony in New York honored literary achievements for books published in 2004 with gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender themes, characters and authors. Winners were chosen in 20 categories from more than 500 initial entries and 100 finalists. Gay booksellers, writers and members of the foundation from across the country vote to determine the recipients.


New Book Authored by a Librarian: Cancer Etiquette

"Cancer Etiquette:What to Say, What to Do When Someone You Know or Love Has Cancer," is a newly released book by former librarian Rosanne Kalick, a cancer survivor.

When a casual friend said "At least you'll be symmetrical" after Kalick told her about her impending double mastectomy, she decided to reach out to other cancer survivors, and discovered that they, too, had endured insensitive comments and awkward gestures. She understood that the comments were made to be supportive, but that sometimes they weren't quite appropriate.

Her book is packed with stories from other survivors and practical communication strategies for friends and family, such as when to make a joke, when to use religious comments or when to simply say nothing at all. Kalick also delves into appropriate humor, gifts and other methods to comfort, along with explaining the surprising physical and mental changes cancer can bring. Story from the Journal News .


New Book of Nursery Rhymes and Their Meanings

From Publishers Weekly a review of a new non-fiction title written by librarian/tour guide Chris Roberts: "HEAVY WORDS LIGHTLY THROWN: THE REASON BEHIND THE RHYME" a compendium of nursery rhymes, variations on rhyme themes and the history behind them (Gotham $20 208p ISBN 1-592-40130-9).

Sounds like a blast for both Jack and Jill, Bye Bye Baby Bunting, Georgy-Porgy and all their pals.


Book critic divulges secrets, attempts to help - The Daily Texan - Entertainment

Anonymous Patron writes "Book critic divulges secrets, attempts to help - The Daily Texan - Entertainment"

This is a good one! It includes reasons to "For the love of God, read a book" and how to, such as:

"... go to a library and ask a librarian. Tell them what you like, and they will help you . They are magic people."

and "Texas books that don't suck"

For the Love of God, go read it now!


The latest "Bookman" - murder and signed 1st editions!

Cortez writes "John Dunning took 10 years to release his latest work: Reports. The Sign of the Book is definitely Dunning's best "Bookman" novel since Booked to Die, the auspicious debut, and with its mix of noirish elements, legal thriller scenes and forensic details, The Sign of the Book has the ability to appeal to all sorts of mystery buffs - not just the bibliophile sort."

Daniel is happy to see the return of Cliff Janeway.


An electrifying new novel from Alice Hoffman - with a librarian

Cortez writes "Alice Hoffman seems to have scored well, with her latest novel "The Ice Queen," reviewed in the Chicago Sun Times.

"The child, who loses her mother at a far too early age, grows up to be a young librarian who retreats to the safety of books and caring for her grandmother while her older brother, Ned, becomes a meteorologist, professor and project adviser for a study of lightning."

Books are safe?


Meet Harriet Klausner,'s most prolific reviewer.

ecorrado writes "The has a nice article on's most prolific reviewer in Tuesday's Leisure & Arts section. It appears that Harrriet Klausner reads an average of 4 or 5 books a day. Interestingly, one of the reasons she usually gives a lot of high reviews is if she doesn't like the book she'll stop reading it (and thus not review it). Anyway, check out the article if you want to know more."


Memoirs and More Memoirs

In the last decade, publishers have brought a plethora of memoirs to the reading public, but as New York Times critic William Grimes asks, "We all have a life. Must we all write about it?"

Here's his analysis, which includes authors from the sublime to the ridiculous to the ordinary, with subject matter from the traumatic-memory memoir, to the vanished-era memoir to the sexual-exploit memoir.


Persepolis: an extraordinary achievement

Submitted by Cortez. Highlighting Persepolis and Persepolis 2.

Iranian illustrator Marjane Satrapi has documented her life in prose and pictures from comfortable childhood before the revolution to an exile and a return to Iran. From (April 7, 2005):
"The art department of her university in Tehran, under the supervision of mullahs, was forbidden to offer traditional anatomy classes. Female models posed covered head to toe in sheets like black chadors, while male models were allowed to pose in marginally more revealing street clothes. When Satrapi, an indefatigable student, stays late to draw a seated male model, she is challenged by a supervisor, who tells her it is against the moral code for her to look at the man she is drawing. When she asks with incredulous flippancy if she should look instead at the door while drawing the man, the supervisor replies, 'Yes.'"


Vanity or sanity?

Anonymous Patron writes "While "vanity" and other variations of self-publishing are often looked down upon, it's still a way to get into print. But those with hopes of leveraging their books into something bigger face a tough reality.

The Greater Baton Rouge Business Report Has a good look at How three local authors took books from concept to customer in the hit-or-miss world of self-publishing."



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