Best Books of 2012

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It's that time of the year: the listing of the “Best Books of 2012” is available from Random House Publications.

Three of “ The 10 Best Books of 2012” according to the New York Times Book Review are

PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Nominees

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Here are five finalists for the 2014 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.  The winner will be announced on April 2.  

George Saunders is the winner of the 2013  PEN/Malamud Award.  His new book Congratulations, by the Way  Some Thoughts on Kindness will be released on April 22, 2014.  It is a convocation speech he gave at Syracuse University.  Kind thoughts are always welcome.

All Business: Financial Times Longlist

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The Financial Times released their longlist for the Business Book of the Year 2014.  The shortlist will be announced on September 24.  The winner on November 11.  Two of the titles on the list are forthcoming: 

  • A new book by biographer Walter Isaacson, The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers,Geniuses,and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution will be released in October.  
  • Hack Attack: The Inside Story of How the Truth Caught Up With Rupert Murdoch by Nick Davies is out this week.

Can't We Talk Like A Pirate Day? National Book Awards & Roz Chast

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Yo Ho Ho and a new book by Roz Chast!  

September 19 is Talk Like A Pirate Day.  The National Book Awards Longlists were just announced and Roz Chast's Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? is on the list. I just love Scrabble so I'm rolling three posts into one. 

Roz Chast is “the first cartoonist to be honored by the National Book Awards in the adult categories (three graphic novels have been Finalists in the Young People's Literature catergory).”   

101 Two-Letter Words by singer-songwriter Stephin Merritt of the Magnetic Fields, with illustrations by Roz Chast, will be released at the end of September.  It's a book of poems about the two-letter words allowed in Scrabble.  Scrabble is a big deal at my house.  The news that four new two-letter words ( DA, GIPO, TE) were added to the  Official Scrabble Players Dictionary edition released in August was greeted with a hearty, ” AY, AYNOAR, AR!”


  • Word Freak by Stefan Fatsis is the classic book on the crazy world of competetive Scrabble playing.  It inspired the documentary Word Wars.
  • Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay contains her essay “To Scratch, Claw or Grope Clumsily or Frantically” about her foray into the world of word freaks.
  • As You Wish by Cary Elwes is the story of making the film The Princess Bride.  The Dread Pirate Roberts is guy pretending to be a pirate for a while.  

Golden Globes - A case of nerves

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The Hollywood Foreign press handed out the Golden Globes last night and many of the recipients were very nervous. Jennifer Lawrence was nervous. Jacqueline Bisset forget how to speak for several minutes. Even Jon Voight seemed a bit overwhelmed. The only person who didn't seem nervous was Adam Samberg, a surprise winner for Best Actor in a TV Series, Music or Comedy. It was both fun and strange to see professional actors and actresses behaving like they had stage fright.

The show also featured a spirited tribute to Woody Allen (winner of the Cecil B. Demille award) by Diane Keaton.

Many of the winning films are not yet available on DVD, but you can still put your name on the holds list for:

And check out these winners from the TV & Mini Series categories:

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