A friend of mine just told me her book club did not enjoy STIFF by Mary Roach. I just don’t understand this. Even if the subject matter is troubling, you have to give Roach credit for presenting the various things that can happen to a human cadaver in an entertaining and quite humorous way. Whether you want to believe it or not, you will most likely be leaving your body behind when you depart this earth. At the very least, STIFF will give you plenty to think about and more than enough to discuss with other readers.
You’ve probably seen something about this book! Get yourself on the reserve list – this one’s going to be popular.
The book/CD set, Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy, consists of both the transcript and audio recordings of the 1964 interviews Jackie gave historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. just a few months after her husband’s death. The recordings were sealed and later placed in the Kennedy Library. This is the first time they have been released. News stories about the interviews have focused on Jackie’s surprisingly frank comments about LBJ and Martin Luther King. As Caroline Kennedy says, the book also offers an intriguing look at how life has changed since that time.
As the news began to break, the set shot to #1 on both Amazon and B&N.com’s sales rankings, where it remains today. Holds in libraries are heavy.
The New York Post claims that ABC is “furious” because NBC managed to break the book’s embargo, thus undercutting Diane Sawyer’s two-hour “exclusive” which aired last night. The story becomes all the more juicy, if a bit too “inside baseball,” because ABC owns the publisher of the book, Hyperion.
Two titles are receiving a lot if media coverage this week. The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach uses baseball as the backdrop for a much bigger story, according to reviewers. The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh is the story of a woman whose gift for flowers helps her change the lives of others, even as she struggles to overcome her own past.
I saw The Help at the theater this weekend and was generally pleased with how they adapted the book. I read it so long ago, I’m not sure I remember the fine details but it seems that certain elements were adjusted. Overall, however, the movie captures the book pretty well (yes, I cried!) but nothing will ever compare to listening to the audiobook version, in my opinion.
The NBCC Awards announced the following winners:
•Fiction: A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
•Nonfiction: The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
•Biography: How to Live: Or A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer by Sarah Bakewell
•Poetry: One with Others: [a little book of her days] by C.D. Wright
•Criticism: Lyric Poetry and Modern Politics: Russia, Poland, and the West by Clare Cavanagh
If you’re already in the mood for a little holiday reading, browse this list of 2010 Christmas fiction, available at the library.
Remember when Jonathan Franzen refused to let Oprah Winfrey select his novel The Corrections for her book club? Apparently, fences have mended because Oprah just selected Franzen’s latest novel, Freedom, which was already selling and circulating rather well on its own, as the first book of this season. Good news for Oprah Book Club followers – she plans to continue selecting titles through the end of her final season and will carry the club over to the Oprah Network next year.
Get more information about the book, Oprah’s reading calendar and bookmark, and discussion questions HERE.