Tribune News Service

Book Budget for Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Updated at 4:30 a.m. EDT (0830 UTC).


^Where to start with Louise Gl ck, winner of the 2020 Nobel Prize in literature<

^BOOK-GLUCK:LA—<The Swedish Academy has awarded this year's Nobel Prize in literature to Louise Gl ck, a former U.S. poet laureate.

The 16th woman to win the prestigious prize and the first American woman since Toni Morrison in 1993, Gl ck is the author of 12 poetry collections and several volumes of essays on literary writing.

"All are characterized by striving for clarity," Anders Olsson, chairman of the Nobel Committee for Literature, said after Thursday's announcement. "Childhood and family life, the close relationship with parents and siblings is a (theme) that has remained central to her."

Her themes are universal, covering life and death, nature and history, desire and isolation.

"Louise Gl ck's voice is unmistakable," Olsson added. "It is candid and uncompromising, and it signals that this poet wants to be understood. But it is also a voice full of humor and biting wit."

If you're just catching up on a half-century literary career, it might be hard to know where to start. Here's a brief primer.

750 by Dorany Pineda. MOVED


^Isabel Wilkerson says her new book 'Caste' is 'an X-ray of our country,' exposing what divides us<

^BOOK-WILKERSON-CASTE:MS—<Researching her new book "Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents" so disturbed Isabel Wilkerson that its acknowledgments thank the music that helped her get through it.

The follow-up to Wilkerson's National Book Critics Circle-winning "The Warmth of Other Suns" details how our country codified a system that insists on the inferiority of "subordinate caste" people, depriving them of employment, economic opportunity, dignity and, sometimes, their lives.

"Caste" compares the United States to India, whose "untouchables" are useful for everyone else to look down upon. And it shows how the Nazis studied the Jim Crow South for tips on how to eradicate their "subordinate caste." Except the Nazis found the U.S. system too harsh.

Wilkerson, a former reporter for the New York Times, began using the word "caste" in "Warmth," her 2010 book about Black people's Great Migration to the North. She thought the term described better than "race" the arbitrary divisions such as skin color and country of origin that are used to categorize us.

As she describes it, "caste is the bones, race is the skin" of American inequality.

1100 by Chris Hewitt. MOVED


^Bestselling author Tana French talks about what makes a good mystery writer and her latest novel<

^BOOK-FRENCH-SEARCHER:SE—<"I'm always looking for the potential mystery in things," said author Tana French, on the phone from her Dublin home. "I think that's what makes a mystery writer."

Being a mystery writer has worked out pretty well for French, who's written eight acclaimed crime-fiction novels; seven of them New York Times bestsellers, and the eighth, "The Searcher," released Oct. 6.

French didn't start out as a writer, despite always being drawn to it. She was born in Vermont, to an "Irish and American and Russian and Italian" family, and grew up "all over the world." Settling in Dublin in her late teens, she studied theater at Trinity College and became a professional actor.

Mysteries, though, kept ticking away in her head. While in her 30s, working on an archaeological dig between roles (she's long had an interest in archaeology), a thought occurred to her.

1050 by Moira Macdonald. MOVED



^Mystery review: Twists and turns as desperate photographer hunts priceless ancient book<

^BOOK-LAMPS-BANNERS-REVIEW:FL—<Unconventional characters often appear in the mystery genre with self-destructive photographer Cassandra "Cass" Neary among the most unusual. Cass' default is being "an aging punk jonesing for a drink and a handful of black beauties." She is not an appealing character, but Elizabeth Hand never makes her character boring.

400 by Oline H. Cogdill. MOVED



^Review: What we got wrong in the fog of MAGA about the white working class<

^BOOK-RICHES-THIS-LAND-REVIEW:LA—<In July 1969, in a bar with a black and white television, Bob Thompson watched Apollo 11 land on the moon. One of 25,000 workers at a North American Rockwell aerospace plant, he had played a small part, spraying foam on the command module.

Nursing a longneck Bud, "Bob was thinking about the moon," writes Jim Tankersley in his book, "The Riches of This Land." "Kings and queens and Jesus Christ himself. They all stared up at that moon. And when the time finally came for people to make the trip to that moon, nearly 240,000 miles from surface to surface, it started right here. In Downey, California."

Half a century later, Tankersley, a Washington-based journalist, finds Thompson, 77, at a small hut housing the Downey Historical Society, answering schoolchildren's questions about what it was like to build flying machines at the long-shuttered plant.

What they weren't asking is how, with just a high school degree, Thompson managed to land a well-paying job, buy a house and retire with a pension — the basic trappings of the middle class so few of their parents can now enjoy without a college education.

1050 by Margot Roosevelt. MOVED


^Review: 'Field Notes From an Unintentional Birder,' by Julia Zarankin<

^BOOK-FIELD-NOTES-REVIEW:MS—<Most birders have a "spark bird," some rare, gorgeous or exotic creature they spot in the wild that hooks them forever on birding.

For Julia Zarankin, it was the common red-winged blackbird.

That lowly bird struck her as magnificent the first time she noticed it. It had "unexpected vermillion patches" on its wings and a sound "so primal it left me marveling: this was as close as I'd ever stand to dinosaurs."

This sense of wonder in the ordinary permeates "Field Notes From an Unintentional Birder," a thoughtful, engaging and sometimes humorous memoir that documents Zarankin's evolution from shy novice birder to confident expert.

500 by Laurie Hertzel. MOVED


^Review: 'Dirt,' by Bill Buford<

^BOOK-DIRT-REVIEW:MS—<The chef's hat on the cover and the subtitle reveal that the former New Yorker fiction editor's book does not deal with grime, although there's some of that, too. It's about "Adventures in Lyon as a Chef in Training, Father and Sleuth Looking for the Secret of French Cooking."

150 by Chris Hewitt. MOVED



^5 paths to continue your Octavia E. Butler discovery after 'Parable of the Sower'<

^BOOK-ROUNDUP-PARABLE-SOWER:LA—<Science fiction writer Octavia E. Butler said the novels in her "Parable" series were meant to be cautionary.

Her 1993 "Parable of the Sower" follows Lauren Oya Olamina, a teenager born with "hyperempathy syndrome" who lives in a walled community outside of Los Angeles in the 2020s. Butler envisioned a world ravaged by climate change and economic injustice where people are just scraping by to survive.

Butler's prescient novel has surged in popularity in recent months as people have sought ways to make sense of the current chaos of the real world. "Parable of the Sower" appeared on the New York Times Best Sellers list for the first time in September and has landed on the Los Angeles Times Bestsellers List too.

850 by Tracy Brown in Los Angeles. MOVED


^Autumn is here! Freshen up your fall reading list with 6 new paperbacks<

^BOOK-ROUNDUP-PAPERBACKS:SE—<The leaves are turning, the air is crisper, the bookstores are open and you need a new paperback, don't you? Here are six freshly minted ones for fall reading.

750 by Moira Macdonald. MOVED




^BOOK-BEST:MCT—<Bestselling books from Publishers Weekly. (Moving Thursday afternoon)


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