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*NEW COLUMN*: ‘At the Nobel Prize Banquet’ by Pia de Jong

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BookTrib.com is happy to welcome prize-winning Dutch literary novelist and newspaper columnist Pia de Jong. Pia’s memoir, Saving Charlotte: A Mother and the Power of Intuition, is her first book in English.  The Nobel Prize is Pia’s latest installment as a BookTrib featured columnist. Her first article, All the Glittering Prizes, kicked off this series with rave reviews. You will enjoy her work as much as we do!   At the Nobel Prize Banquet  The trumpets sound a fanfare, and I walk with 1,300 invited guests into the courtyard of the City Hall of Stockholm, which has been transformed into a dining room. Students wearing sailor hats and blue-yellow sashes lead us to festive tables that stretch from wall to wall.…

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BookTrib Exclusive: ‘All the Glittering Prizes’ by Pia de Jong

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BookTrib.com is happy to welcome Pia de Jong, prize-winning Dutch literary novelist and newspaper columnist. Pia moved to Princeton, NJ in 2012 from Amsterdam.  Her memoir, Saving Charlotte: A Mother and the Power of Intuition, is her first book in English.  We hope you will find Pia’s stories as delightfully charming as we do. All the Glittering Prizes When I walk into my son’s room one afternoon at 5 p.m., his friend Justin is sprawled fast asleep on the bed, still wearing his shoes and coat. “He came to do his homework,” he explains, “but before he put down his bag he collapsed.” “What happens now?” I ask. “Let him sleep,” my daughter says. “Do not wake him up. He is…

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Interview with Maisey Yates, author of The Last Di Sione Claims His Prize

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Watch our author video interview, “15 minutes with… Maisey Yates,” now! Here, we discuss Yates’ writing process, her Copper Ridge series and what she has slated for the rest of 2017! You don’t want to miss this interview brought to you by BookTrib.com, a Meryl Moss Media production. “I want that painting. It is my last Lost Mistress. My Lost Love.”  Alessandro Di Sione is renowned for being cold and unsentimental, but even he can’t deny his grandfather’s dream of retrieving a painting steeped in royal scandal. Yet the key to its return is the outspoken Princess Gabriella. While traveling together to Isola D’Oro to locate the mysterious painting, Gabby is drawn to the man tortured by guilt from his past. Her innocence makes…

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Eyes on the prize! Giveaways!

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Comment for a chance to win one of this week’s brand spanking new titles. A Man of Genius by Lynn Rosen Samuel Grafton-Hall is a man of genius who demands reverence from all. A renowned architect, his point of view is not universally shared by students, critics, and colleagues – but this is of little consequence to Grafton-Hall, for he revels in his misanthropy. Immune to the barbs of the masses, Grafton-Hall also suffers no qualms about his personal peccadilloes and perversions. An unrepentant womanizer, Grafton-Hall leaves colleagues, friends, and lovers deeply scarred from having known him. And then there is the murder. The question of guilt is of less consequence than the question of whether the gift of genius…

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Eyes on the Prize! Giveaways!

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Comment for a chance to win one of this week’s brand spanking new titles. A Thousand Miles from Nowhere by John Gregory Brown Fleeing New Orleans as Hurricane Katrina approaches, Henry Garrett is haunted by the ruins of his marriage, a squandered inheritance, and the teaching job he inexplicably quit. He pulls into a small Virginia town after three days on the road, hoping to silence the ceaseless clamor in his head. But this quest for peace and quiet as the only guest at a roadside motel is destroyed when Henry finds himself at the center of a bizarre and violent tragedy. As a result, Henry winds up stranded at the ramshackle motel just outside the small town of Marimore,…

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Dear Reader Contest Grand Prize Winner

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I personally call the winners of the Write a Dear Reader Contest every year. After I say, “Hello, this is Suzanne Beecher. Your entry in this year’s Write a Dear Reader Contest was a winner. Congratulations!” most of time folks are tongue-tied, reprocessing what I just told them, but not Debbie Perloff, this year’s First Place Winner. “I hate to write,” were the first words out of Debbie’s mouth and she continued, “Even writing a postcard is a chore for me. I am so excited. When I finally decided to enter the contest, I sat down, started writing, and 45 minutes later I was finished. I was so inspired by your writing Suzanne, and also reading the entry of last…

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Review: Pulitzer Prize Winner Siddhartha Mukherjee’s Laws of Medicine

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We’ve been trained—from childhood—to trust our doctors; some patients trust their doctors absolutely. For many, it can be unnerving to hear a doctor discuss what he or she doesn’t know—and admitting that what we do know about medicine is a tiny speck in the vast universe of what has yet to be discovered. It’s strangely refreshing, then, to hear a doctor address this fundamental truth about medicine so directly and reassure us that the human element of navigating the unknown might be the most valuable resource we have in medicine, the so-called “youngest science.” “I had never expected medicine to be such a lawless, uncertain world,” writes Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee in his book The Laws of Medicine: Field Notes from…

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Man Booker Prize 2015 Shortlist Announced

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On Tuesday, September 15, six novels were chosen and put on the shortlist that are currently in contention for the 47th Annual Man Booker Prize. On October 13, the winner will be chosen at the annual ceremony taking place at London’s Guildhall and will be broadcast by BBC. A Brief History of Seven Killings, Marlon James (Oneworld Publications, September 2015)             Satin Island, Tom McCarthy (Jonathan Cape, February 2015)             The Fishermen, Chigozie Obioma (Pushkin Press, April 2015)           The Year of the Runaways, Sunjeev Sahota (Picador, June 2015)             A Spool of Blue Thread, Anne Tyler (Chatto & Windus, February 2015)             A Little Life, Hanya Yanagihara (Picador, March…

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Nadine Gordimer, Nobel Prize-winning voice against apartheid

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South African author and Nobel Prize winner Nadine Gordimer passed on Sunday, July 13 at the age of 90. Over seven decades Gordimer penned 15 novels and a plethora of short stories, making her one of the most widely recognized writers in the English language. A member of the African National Congress and a friend of Nelson Mandela—she was one of the first people he asked to see after his release from prison—Gordimer was born in South Africa to Jewish parents in 1923. She did not initially intend to write about apartheid. However, she found it nearly impossible to delve in to South African life and ignore the rampant oppression. Her work addressed the moral and political dilemmas of not…

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First Prize Pies

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Allison Kave made pies as a hobby, until one day her boyfriend convinced her to enter a Brooklyn pie-making contest. She won. In fact, her pies were such a hit that she turned pro. People can’t get enough of her Bourbon Ginger Pecan pie, her whimsical Root Beer Float Pie, her addictive Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Pie. And the crusts—oh, the crusts!—are so impossibly flaky, so utterly delicious, that pie eaters around the world will rejoice that Allison has at last divulged her techniques and tips. Organized by month, the book includes pies for every sweet tooth, from inventive pies like Chocolate Lavender Teatime to old-school comfort pies like Candy Apple. “There are about 100 good reasons to add First…

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“His Favorites” Exposes Guilt and Vulnerability

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With sparse, lyrical language, author of His Favorites (Scribner), Kate Walbert, shines a light on women’s rights as she tells us about Jo’s tragic and unsettling experiences.  After being in a deadly accident at 15 years old with her best friends, Jo, a wild and now emotionally broken high school student is sent off to boarding school. Her life at home crumbled and her friendships broken, the new beginning for her life away at school held the strong potential of not going in the right direction.  Memories and stories weave together our understanding of who Jo is…and how an irresponsible female teenager, faced with tragedy and then coerced by a sweet talking man, may not possess the support needed to fight back…

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Nick Drnaso’s “Sabrina” Goes Where No Graphic Novel Has Ever Been

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It’s the story of a young woman’s murder, and how the crime and its aftermath rock the fragile lives of those who knew her. Not necessarily an unusually rare storyline. Yet for Nick Drnaso’s Sabrina (Drawn and Quarterly), there is something totally unique: it takes its place as the first graphic novel (or comic, as its author calls it) ever been nominated for the Man Booker Prize, the leading literary award for works in English. Among a growing number of graphic novels with increasingly dark themes, Sabrina is now in the running for honors rivaling the 1992 Pulitzer Prize of Maus, the graphic novel about the Holocaust that depicted Nazis as cats and Jews as mice. Since Maus, noted others with serious…

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Finalists Are Named for Southern Fiction Award

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The Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction has announced its finalists. The annual award is given to a writer whose work is set in the South and exemplifies the tenets of Southern literature—quality of prose, originality, and authenticity of setting and characters. This year’s finalists are: Joshilyn Jackson, The Almost Sisters (William Morrow) Bren McClain, One Good Mama Bone (The University of South Carolina Press) J.C. Sasser, Gradle Bird (Koehler Books) Stephanie Powell Watts, No One Is Coming to Save Us (Ecco)  “Originality and creativity are the hallmarks of this year’s shortlist,” said judge Katherine Clark. “The main characters in these novels include a ghost, a cow, a skeleton, and a house. The finalists are indicative of the wide range of talent producing contemporary Southern fiction.” Here’s a…

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This Month’s Pick: Jesmyn Ward’s “Sing, Unburied, Sing”

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For the month of September, all chapters of the Girly Book Club are reading Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Buried, Sing (Scribner). Here’s the review that BookTrib filed shortly after the title was published late last year: Sing, Unburied, Sing is a beautifully written, character-driven, heartfelt novel that takes place in the steamy Mississippi Gulf Coast. The story is about a young black girl, Leonie, who has two children: Jojo 13, and Kayla, a toddler. The children’s father, Michael, is white and in prison. Michael’s family is hopelessly racist and rejects Leonie and the children, so they live with Leonie’s parents. Leonie is a drug addict and she is rarely around, so Mam and Pop have stepped in to raise the kids.…

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Impact On Countries & Time: Joan Silber’s “Improvement”

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Connecting 1970s Turkey and New York today, 72-year-old author Joan Silber, winner of the 2018 Pen/Faulkner Award for Fiction, weaves a tapestry of interpersonal connections and shows how relationships bind us together and decisions have widespread impact across countries and over time in her latest novel, Improvement (Amazon Digital Services). Reyna is a single mother living in Harlem and standing by her not-so-perfect boyfriend, Boyd, as she visits him during his three-month incarceration at Riker’s. Her Aunt Kiki lives in the Village after spending some time in Turkey and traveling the world in her younger days.  Kiki worries about Reyna and her young son Oliver and is unaware of the illegal activities Boyd, Reyna and their friends are involved with. When…

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Multiple Themes for Rabbi’s Scribe In “The Weight Of Ink”

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The Weight Of Ink (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) by Rachel Kadish tells the story of Ester Velasquez, an emigrant from Amsterdam who becomes a scribe for a blind rabbi in London in the 1600s right before the plague.  At the same time we learn about Helen Watt, a close-to-retiring British historian working on translations of some 17th century documents signed by scribe “Aleph.” Even though these women lived in different centuries, both were strong and determined to pursue their interests, fought to be heard, and chose a life to satisfy their minds with sacrifice of the heart. Ester is a product of the Portuguese Inquisition, and although displaced with little family, she feels at home with her job as a scribe for…

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