The social cataloging website for book lovers, Goodreads, has just announced their readers’ Choice Awards for 2016. The Texas Talking Book Program has a good number of them in our collection. Are you looking for a non-fiction book? Goodreads members chose WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR by Paul Kalanthithi (BR 21371; DB 83643) as their favorite memoir. Are you more interested in fiction? Try TRULY MADLY GUILTY by Liane Moriarty (DB 85100). Is young adult fiction more your thing? Ruta Sepetys’ book SALT TO THE SEA (DB 83767) was their selection in that category. Perhaps you’re in the market for a new author to explore. Goodreads readers awarded Alwyn Hamilton the honor of Debut Goodreads Author for her book REBEL OF THE SANDS (DB 84465). No matter which genre you enjoy, the bibliophiles at Goodreads have chosen a favorite book published this year. Contact us and we can help you find your next favorite book.
If you enjoy family dramas written in a moving tone and with a compelling writing style, you may enjoy EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU (DB 80393), the debut novel by Celeste Ng. New York Times Notable Book of 2014 and ALA’s Alex Award winner in 2015, this book reveals the life of teenager, Lydia Lee through the eyes of her parents, older brother Nathan, younger sister, Hannah and ultimately her own.
Book jacket for Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
This book is beautifully crafted and strongly character driven. As the reader learns more about each member of the Lee Family, they are inexorably drawn deeper into the unvoiced hopes, dreams, and fears of each family member and how they affect each other, especially Lydia.
NLS Annotation for EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU by Celeste Ng (DB 80393): Examines the secrets of the Chinese-American Lee family of Ohio before and immediately after the 1977 drowning death of their middle child–high school sophomore Lydia. History professor James and his wife Marilyn–whose medical school plans were aborted by pregnancies–had high hopes for her. Some strong language and some descriptions of sex. 2014.
If you have already read this book or enjoy books that deal with the ways in which a family deals with the death of a loved one try LOVELY BONES by Alice Sebold (DB 54698, BR 14806). Or if you’d prefer another book that looks at the complex dynamics of an immigrant family as they struggle to fit into their community and confront difficult emotions when processing personal losses try SLEEPWALKER’S GUIDE TO DANCING by Jacob Mira (DB 79244).
The recent theatrical release of the movie The Girl With All the Gifts, featuring Glenn Close, brings to life the 2014 post-apocalyptic novel, GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS by M. R. Carey (DB 80678). Nominated for multiple science fiction and horror awards, this story, set twenty years after the event known as The Breakdown, follows a group of survivors as they travel to military headquarters.
Intricately plotted, with an atmospheric and creepy tone, this horror novel is written in a compelling manner that inextricably draws the reader into the dystopian landscape of post-apocalyptic England. The point of view shifts between characters, offering the reader a glimpse at the motivations behind their actions and a view into their inner turmoil.
NLS Annotation for GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS by M. R. Carey (DB 80678): A pandemic has turned countless people into zombies known as “hungries.” The administrators of a military camp studying these hungries must flee when a group of anarchists breach their security. They bring Melanie, a 10-year-old second-generation hungry with incredible strength and intellect, debating the status of her humanity all the while. Some violence and some strong language. Bestseller. Commercial audiobook. 2014.
If you’ve already read this book and enjoy post-apocalyptic novels featuring zombies and young protagonists, you may try PASSAGE by Justin Cronin (DB 71422) or if you’d prefer a zombie horror novel that feels more like a political thriller with science fiction elements, try FEED by Mira Grant (DB 77374).
If you enjoy war stories with authentic characters that are written with a haunting and moving tone, try REDEPLOYMENT by former Marine captain and Iraq veteran, Phil Klay. He won the National Book Award for Fiction in 2014 for this collection of short stories about the complex feelings experienced by soldiers in a war zone as well as the difficulties soldiers face when returning home.
Written in a compelling and candid manner, these stories pack an emotional punch. Whether it’s a story relating the problems a soldier encounters on returning to civilian life or another story describing the aftermath of an IED attack, Mr. Klay has a strong familiarity with the military language and mindset.
NLS Annotation: Twelve stories about soldiers at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the personal wars they fight reintegrating into society at home. In the title story, a soldier who had to shoot dogs on the battlefield must readjust to life in suburban America. Violence. 2014.
If you enjoy this book, but would prefer the stories told from the point of view of the women left at home, try YOU KNOW WHEN THE MEN ARE GONE by Siobhan Fallon, DT 07103. Of if you’d prefer a non-fiction collection of war stories from former soldiers try THINGS THEY CANNOT SAY: STORIES SOLDIERS WON’T TELL YOU ABOUT WHAT THEY’VE SEEN, DONE, OR FAILED TO DO IN WAR edited by Kevin Sites, DB 76432.
If you enjoy literary historical Biblical fiction that is realistic in nature, you may enjoy THE SECRET CHORD. Nominated for the 2016 Women’s Prize for Fiction as well making Booklist’s Best Historical Fiction for 2016 list, THE SECRET CHORD tells the story of the Old Testament warrior, King David, from the viewpoint of Natan, his prophet and advisor.
Ms. Brooks, who won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for fiction for MARCH (DB 64617), provides a vivid, richly detailed view of the land of Israel a millennium prior to the birth of Christ. Amid this setting, she places a variety of characters who each relate a part of David’s life.
NLS Annotation: King David rules Israel during the Second Iron Age. As he moves from a lowly shepherd to the leader of the Israelites, the lives of those he impacts, including the prophet Natan, his wives, and his son Solomon, reflect back on him. Violence, strong language, and descriptions of sex. Commercial audiobook. 2015.
For a non-fiction look at the life of King David try KING DAVID: THE REAL LIFE OF THE MAN WHO RULED ISRAEL by Jonathan Kirsch DB 56945. Or if you’d enjoy another historical fictional account of this legendary man, try the Children of the Lion series by Peter Danielson. The eighteenth and nineteenth books in the series, THE SHINING KING DB 51108 and TRIUMPH OF THE LION DB 51109, both deal specifically with the life of King David.
Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, has just announced his summer reading list for 2016. The Texas Talking Book Program has the majority of the list in our collection. Although many of his selections deal with math and science, Mr. Gates emphatically states that he chose books that made him think and kept him up at night reading instead of sleeping. He explains that he only chose ones that he genuinely loved.
For more information directly from Bill Gates himself, click on the video below.
In TBP’s collection:
Author: STEPHENSON, NEAL
A catastrophic event forces humanity to band together to survive, though only a handful succeed and flee Earth. Five thousand years later, their descendants number three billion and comprise seven distinct races. They embark on a journey into the unknown, to an alien world–Earth. Some strong language. Bestseller. 2015.
Title: SAPIENS: A BRIEF HISTORY OF HUMANKIND
Author: HARARI, YUVAL N
A discussion of the development of human culture and history, from the emergence of the first species of the genus Homo over 2 million years ago to the twenty-first century. Examines progress from the standpoints of biology, anthropology, paleontology, and economics. Translated from the 2011 Hebrew edition. Bestseller. 2015.
Title: HOW NOT TO BE WRONG: THE POWER OF MATHEMATICAL THINKING
Author: ELLENBERG, JORDAN, 1971-
Mathematician–and former child prodigy–reveals the mathematical patterns and principles that underlie everyday life. Ellenberg argues that math is an extension of common sense and can be learned by paying attention to aspects of the world around us–including electoral politics, the stock market, and grocery shopping. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2014.
Title: VITAL QUESTION: ENERGY, EVOLUTION, AND THE ORIGINS OF COMPLEX LIFE
Author: LANE, NICK, 1967-
Biochemist theorizes the emergence of morphologically complex life two billion years ago, two billion years after simple bacterial life arose. Discusses the basis for the question he is trying to answer, and presents evidence for his hypotheses, including cellular morphology and biochemistry, genetic divergence–including sex–and a 2010 discovery. 2015.
BR 21297; DB 83289
After a brief battle with pancreatic cancer, author Pat Conroy died on Saturday March 4, 2016. Best known for his books THE GREAT SANTINI and THE PRINCE OF TIDES, Mr. Conroy wrote lyrically about troubled families set amid the coastal marshes of South Carolina. These stories were greatly inspired by his own dysfunctional childhood and were later made into Oscar nominated films.
Mr. Conroy was also known for his memoirs. Two of these, THE BOO and MY LOSING SEASON, documented his personal experiences as a student at The Citadel. His most recent memoir, THE DEATH OF SANTINI, related the effect his novel THE GREAT SANTINI, had on his family and especially his relationship with his father. At the time of his death, he was at work on both a novel and a memoir about living in Atlanta in the 1970s.
Titles by Pat Conroy in the TBP collection
Title: BEACH MUSIC
DB 40753 & BARD
Title: GREAT SANTINI
DB 30051 & BARD
Title: LORDS OF DISCIPLINE
DB 23429 & BARD
Title: PRINCE OF TIDES
DB 25248 & BARD
Title: SOUTH OF BROAD
DB 69381, BR 18480 & BARD
DBC 00088 (BARD only)
Title: DEATH OF SANTINI: THE STORY OF A FATHER AND HIS SON
DB 77742 & BARD
Title: MY LOSING SEASON
DB 55514 & BARD
Title: MY READING LIFE
DBC 05157 (BARD only)
Title: PAT CONROY COOKBOOK: RECIPES OF MY LIFE
DB 67321 & BARD