2016 Library Challenge: A Pulitzer Prize Winner

Let’s be real. For many, the Pulitzer Prize is not a reading turn-on.

And I understand why. If contemporary literary fiction isn’t your thing, ploughing through some of the past winners may seem like real work.

But I like literary fiction and think many prize-winning books make for a good read, even if you aren’t living in an ivory tower. If nothing else, they always give you plenty to think about!

Don’t forget that Pulitzers are also awarded for nonfiction, history, and biography.

Ready to take the plunge? Here’s a few prize winners that may just draw you in…

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2016 Library Challenge: A Book of Short Stories

Don’t feel like you have the emotional energy to devote to an entire novel?

Still looking for something different but the nonfiction post from last week isn’t really your thing?

Try a short story collection!

Personally, I love a good short story. This may be a form of heresy to many readers, but if I had to pick between a good short story and a good novel, I’d pick the short story just about every time.

To that end, here are a few short story collections released in the last year or so!

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Erica Swyler’s The Book of Speculation

the-book-of-speculation

Simon Watson receives an odd gift from a stranger in the mail one day–an old book that records the travels and business of an 18th century circus. The accompanying note suggests that he might like it because it has a distant family connection. Beyond that, Simon is a man who likes old books–he is a reference librarian in his hometown on Long Island. However, rather than the book merely being a piece of the past, Simon finds some troubling revelations about his family as he researches the topic further.

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Chigozie Obioma’s The Fishermen (2015)

the-fishermen

In the mid-1990s in Akure, Nigeria, 9-year-old Benjamin lives with his 3 older brothers, 2 younger siblings, and his parents. Their lives are going smoothly enough until their father is transferred to another city for his job at the national bank. He doesn’t want to uproot the family, so they stay in their home, and the boys develop a love for fishing at the local river. One day, a local mentally-ill homeless man, who some consider a prophet, predicts that the oldest brother will be killed by one of his siblings. This prophecy destabilizes the family as the oldest brother becomes paranoid and withdrawn and his mother and younger siblings are hurt and confused by his rejection of them.

But is the prophecy true?

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2016 Library Challenge: A Book That Scares You

BOO!

Sorry, I wasn’t trying to scare you.

Well, maybe just a little.

More directly, I was going to recommend some books so you can scare yourself, if you’re in the mood for it and want an early start to Halloween. . . .

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Louise Erdrich’s LaRose

LaRose

I’ve been a Louise Erdrich fan ever since reading her short story “Red Convertible” for a class in college several years ago. I later discovered that the story was actually a chapter from one of her novels, and though I was too busy with school that semester to read any more of her work, the first break I got, I read the original novel. Ever since then, I’ve tried to keep up with her work because I enjoyed her realistic, three-dimensional characters; her lyrical writing style; and her depictions of contemporary Native American life interwoven with stories from the past.

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2016 Library Challenge: A Book By An Author Under 30

I had trouble picking books for this challenge because I kept second-guessing how the instructions define “an author under 30.” Are we talking about someone under 30 now? Or does it just mean someone who was under 30 when their book was published? Or maybe under 30 when it was written? It’s a veritable wormhole!

Anyway, I’ve decided to just include a sampler of books from people who are still under 30 and also those from people who are now in their 30s but were under 30 when the book was published.

Incidentally, in much the same way I realized that books over 500 pages tend to come from a couple of different genres, I realized that a lot of these authors write either speculative fiction or historical fiction. Make of that what you will.

As always, if you’re interested in learning more about one of the books, just follow the link to our online catalog.

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