World’s Smallest Library Fits Into a Phone Booth…Literally

Phone booth libraries are the next big…okay, the next little, tiny thing.  After the bookmobile program shut down in a small English town, the residents set up a community-run, 24/7, book-swapping library in a defunct phone booth.

Read more and see photos at inhabitat.com.

What’s Barack Reading?

According to an article titled Barack Obama’s Favorite Books at abebooks.com, the President’s summer reading list included:

The article has a lot more information about Barack Obama’s reading habits, including Obama’s own list of favorite writers and books, so be sure to visit the link above to learn more.

Five 2009 Novels

I’m always looking for the latest thing to hit the bookstands.  Here are 5 knockout novels recently published:

1. Burn by Linda Howard – Money changes Jenner Redwine’s life when she wins a lottery jackpot. But it also costs her plenty: Her father rips her off and disappears, her fortune-hunting boyfriend soon becomes her ex, and friends-turned-freeloaders give her the cold shoulder when she stops paying for everything.

2. The Neighbor by Lisa Gardner – It was a case guaranteed to spark a media feeding frenzy–a young mother, blond and pretty, disappears without a trace from her South Boston home, leaving behind her four-year-old daughter as the only witness and her handsome, secretive husband as the prime suspect.

3. The Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick – When Catherine Land, who’s survived a traumatic early life by using her wits and sexuality as weapons, happens on a newspaper ad from a well-to-do businessman in need of a “reliable wife,” she invents a plan to benefit from his riches and his need.

4. City of Thieves by David Benioff – Having elected to stay in Leningrad during the siege, 17-year-old Lev Beniov is caught looting a German paratrooper’s corpse. The penalty for this infraction (and many others) is execution.

5. Angels & Demons by Dan Brown – Robert Langdon, a Harvard specialist on religious symbolism, is called in by a Swiss research lab when Dr. Vetra, the scientist who discovered antimatter, is found murdered with the cryptic word “Illuminati” branded on his chest.

22 Year Old Author Publishes 9th Novel!

I want this book:  A Madness of Angels: Or The Resurrection of Matthew Swift by Kate Griffin.  Here’s a description of the plot:

“Two years after his untimely death, Matthew Swift finds himself breathing once again, lying in bed in his London home.  Except that it’s no longer his bed, or his home. And the last time this sorcerer was seen alive, an unknown assailant had gouged a hole so deep in his chest that his death was irrefutable…despite his body never being found.”

Not only does the book look interesting, the author seems pretty interesting herself.  Although she is just 22 years old, this is her 9th novel!   She published her first novel when she was just 14 (Mirror Dreams, a young adult novel, published under the name Catherine Webb).

Here is what Kate/Catherine says about the book, which is set in London, in her author interview at Neth Space (where you can also see a somewhat dated photo of her):

It’s (I hope) funny enough to make the tired commuter smile, strange enough to make the mundane seem peculiar, real enough to catch at the memory of pretty much anyone who’s ever waited for the last train on a cold night in December while wearing the wrong kind of shoes…

(If you’d like to see a more recent photo, go to the author interview at Yatterings.)   You can also read the Kate Griffin blog here.

Angels of Destruction, a Book by Keith Donohue

Author, Keith Donohue, sent me an email to let me know his new book, Angels of Destruction, is out (thanks, Keith!).  You might remember that name from a previous post I did about his book, The Stolen Child.

If you’re interested in finding out more about this author, you can read his blog, called Pluck’s Bicycle.  If you’d like to know more about Angels of Destruction, check out this book review at The Washington Post, from which the following excerpt was taken. 

“Sean Fallon, a boy bereft by his father’s abandonment, befriends the peculiar new student in his third-grade class…But Sean soon witnesses strange manifestations of Norah’s distinctly unchildlike talents: She folds origami cranes, then makes them fly; she blows smoke rings that would make Gandalf envious. More disturbingly, one night Sean glances into her mouth and sees a galaxy of stars.”

Stephen King, Werewolves, and a Literary Meem

Grab the book closest to you.  Turn to page 31.  Count down to the eighth sentence.  Write down the next 5 lines (keep writing into the  next line, if needed, until you finish the last sentence). 

“Later, no one will be able to say where the sound came from; it was everywhere and nowhere as the full moon painted the darkened houses of the village, everywhere and nowhere as the March wind began to rise and moan like a dead Berserker winding his horn, it drifted on the wind, lonely and savage.”

That was from Stephen King’s Cycle of the Werewolf.  This is a great book full of short stories about werewolves; I highly recommend it.

What book are you currently keeping close by?

Book: The World Without Us

Alan Weisman’s book, The World Without Us, is described by The New Yorker as “a sort of pop-science ghost story.”  And we are the ghosts.  Ever wonder what the earth would be like were we all to disappear?  According to Weisman, much much better.

Nicholas Lezard, in his book review at The Guardian, writes:

“What Alan Weisman does, quite simply, is imagine what would happen to the world if we were all wiped out…The book is, moreover, designed to be readable. It really is quite hard to close it and get on with other things.”

Katie Q, in her book review at the blog Pen to Paper, writes:

“The World Without Us is a good read with an intriguing topic…The message is important, and there are plenty of “wow” statements that will keep the reader interested. For example, the length of time it will take to erase the faces on Mount Rushmore, the visual of a future ocean turned green with sea turtles, and the resistance of the Hoover Dam to crumble are all astounding talking points.”

This sounds like a really interesting book, and one that’s going on my amazon wish list.  If you want to put it on your wish list, too, go to The World Without Us by Alan Weisman at amazon.com.

Have you read this book? Do you want to read this book?  Leave a comment and tell me what you think.

Display Your Love for All Things Kelley Armstrong

You already knew Kelley Armstrong writes terrific books, but did you know you can now display your love for all things Kelley Armstrong with t-shirts, sweat-shirts, mugs, and steins from her cafepress.com store?  Everything is currently being sold at cost, but may be marked up after Halloween to cover administrative costs, so go buy stuff today.

And remember to come back and visit A Bunch of Wordz on October 28, 29, and 30, 2007, when Kelley Armstrong will be guest blogging.

American Literature Abuse Society

Literature abuse, or “readaholism,” is a very serious problem.  Okay, it’s actually a silly one that was totally made up, but this great website for the American Literature Abuse Society (ALAS) is very funny and worth a read.  They also have a special section for when the problem gets completely out of control — that’s right, when the readaholic spirals into the depths of becoming (insert ominous music here) an English Major:

“Within the sordid world of literature abuse, the lowest circle belongs to those sufferers who have thrown their lives and hopes away to study literature in our colleges. Parents should look for signs that their children are taking the wrong path – don’t expect your teenager to approach you and say, ‘I can’t stop reading Spencer.’ By the time you visit her dorm room and find the secret stash of the Paris Review, it may already be too late. What to do if you suspect your child is becoming an English major:

1) Talk to your child in a loving way. Show your concern. Let her know you won’t abandon her- but that you aren’t spending a hundred grand to put her through Stanford so she can clerk at Waldenbooks, either. But remember that she may not be able to make a decision without help; perhaps she has just finished Madame Bovary and is dying of arsenic poisoning.

2) Face the issue: Tell her what you know, and how: ‘I found this book in your purse. How long has this been going on?’ Ask the hard question- Who is this Count Vronsky?’

3) Show her another way. Move the television set into her room. Praise her brother, the engineer. Introduce her to frat boys.

4) Do what you have to do. Tear up her library card. Make her stop signing her letters as ‘Emma.’ Force her to take a math class, or minor in Spanish. Transfer her to a Florida college.”

If you’re a regular visitor to A Bunch of Wordz, then chances are, you already fall into the category of a chronic readaholic.  I’d say you should probably read up on it — but, maybe not.