Monday, September 30, 2013

More Upcoming Book Releases

Have you signed up for a NextReads email newsletter?  You can find the link below!

So many great books are coming out in the next few months that many of us will have a hard time figuring out which one to read first.  In a previous post we talked about some beloved characters who are returning in brand new stories.  Below is a list of more upcoming releases by authors whose previous books you may have already read.  Click on the book's title to place a hold.  Click on the author's name to see which of their previous books we have available at the library.  You can also keep up with the latest book releases available in the ABC Library catalog by visiting our Nextreads New & Recently Released newsletter.  You can also find free copies of BookPage at your local branch every month - get them while supplies last!


We Are Water by Wally Lamb

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Bellman and Black: A Ghost Story by Diane Setterfield

The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan

Police by Jo Nesbo

Maddaddam by Margaret Atwood

The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri

The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks

Songs of Willow Frost: A Novel by Jaime Ford

W is for Wasted by Sue Grafton

The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon by Alexander McCall Smith

After Dead: What Came Next in the World of Sookie Stackhouse by Charlaine Harris

The Signature of All Things: A Novel by Elizabeth Gilbert

Nine Inches: Stories by Tom Perrotta


David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and The Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell

Double Down: Game Change 2012 by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann

One Summer by Bill Bryson

The Most of Nora Ephron by Nora Ephron

Juvenile and young adult fiction:

The House of Hades by Rick Riordan

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck by Jeff Kinney

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Friday, September 27, 2013

When Your Favorite Author Isn’t as Prolific as You’d Like

Back in 2006, author Marisha Pessl published her debut  novel, Special Topics in Calamity Physics.  The book was named one of "The 10 Best Books of 2006" by the New York Times and won inaugural JohnSargent, Sr. First Novel Prize that year.  Special Topics was a unique book, written with the framework of a college syllabus, with chapters named for works of famous literature, such as Wuthering Heights, The Secret Garden, and One Hundred Years of Solitude. The text even includes an interactive “Final Exam.” The novel follows brilliant, sarcastic Blue van Meer, a high school senior, who, upon moving to a new town with her professor father, finds herself in the midst of a troubling mystery.  I loved this 514 page book both for its structure as much as for its writing.  A new voice had emerged in literature and I couldn’t wait to read what else Pessl cooked up.

Fast forward seven years.  This month, Pessl has finally released her long-awaited follow-up, Night Film. Although Special Topics was a bit of a dark book, it also felt like it could easily cross over into YA territory. Night Film is another animal entirely. The 600+ page novel is about a journalist probing the murky circumstances surrounding the death of the young daughter of cult horror filmmaker Stanislas Cordova. Though I’m only 150 pages in, it’s very clear that Pessl has matured considerably as a storyteller.  Her prose is sharp, her plotting tight, even more so than with the first book.  There is no lag time in this fast-paced, macabre mystery.
On the back cover, a blurbed review proclaims, “Get ready to talk about this book!” and I couldn’t agree more.  I can’t wait to find out where the rest of the book is going to take me.  It’s already getting a lot of buzz –last month it was an Amazon Best Book of the Month and it’s currently the cover story in Bookpage (though if you’re not a fan of spoilers, I recommend holding off on this article/interview, as I came across a few plot details I wish I hadn’t).

If you’re interested in reading Night Film, you’ll want to get on the waiting list sooner rather than later, as it’s growing every day. Though it’s a long book, it reads quickly, so finishing it in three weeks is definitely doable.
Pessl is in good company, as far as authors who knock one out of the park and then leave their readers waiting years for their next great book. After his acclaimed short story collection Drown came out in 1996, Junot Díaz didn’t publish his next book, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao until 2007 (but we’ll cut him some slack since Wao went on to win the Pulitzer). There was a six year gap between Richard Ford’s last two novels, The Lay of the Land and Canada. Margaret Atwood just published MaddAddam, the third and final book in the Oryx and Crake trilogy, which first began in 2003 and also includes The Year of the Flood.  And of course, fans of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice andFire series, eagerly await the final two books, as the publication gaps between the novels only seem to be widening (A Game of Thrones:1996, A Clash of Kings:1998, A Storm of Swords: 2000, A Feast for Crows: 2005,  A Dance with Dragons: 2011).  Though the wait for our favorite authors’ books can sometimes leave us in agony, the work they produce is often better than we could have imagined, and certainly better than if they had rushed to get it on the shelves.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Canongate Myth Series

If you are a fan of myths, fairy tales, and literary fiction, here is a great series you may not have heard of: The Canongate Myth Series.  This series was organized by Jamie Byng, owner of the publisher Canongate Books.  The series features retellings of classic myths by contemporary authors from around the world.  There are meant to be 100 books altogether, with the last book in the series said to come out sometime in 2038.  Click here for a full list of the titles published so far.

Each book will be written by a different author, and so far the series features stories written by Margaret Atwood, Jeanette Winterson, Alexander McCall Smith, Karen Armstrong, Ali Smith, and A.S. Byatt.  The latest one, published just this year, is The Goddess Chronicle by Natsuo Kirino, the author of internationally bestselling crime novels Out, and Real World.  Although The Goddess Chronicle is a departure from her usual work, Kirino beautifully retells the story of the Japanese goddess of the Realm of the Dead, Izanami, and her consort, Izanaki.   

Unfortunately, not every book in this series is available in English.  A few of them were only published in certain countries, under their native language.  Also, the ABC Library system does not carry every book in the series, but the ones we don't have are often available through our Interlibrary Loan services.

This mass storytelling effort is a way to bring new life to old parables (while passing on their ancient lessons) to a whole new millennia of people who can't resist a good story!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Breaking Bad & Beyond: Off the Beaten Track in New Mexico

“Breaking Bad” is arguably the first TV show of any quality to embrace the Albuquerque-ness of Albuquerque, cutting through the Southwest chic stereotype to find our gritty realness.
~Joline Gutierrez Krueger, "Albuquerque's grit makes 'Breaking Bad' shine"

As many of you know, Breaking Bad, the show that has come to be synonymous for "Albuquerque" for so many, draws to its series finale later this month (spinoffs notwithstanding). Like the Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau, "[t]he topic of the show is not our favorite thing", and like Mayor Berry, we are "confident that viewers have no difficulty distinguishing fiction from reality", but we cannot deny the impact this show has had on television and in our town!

As long-time Albuquerque residents, we do feel that Albuquerque has a "gritty realness" that is not found in our picturesque neighbor to the north, Santa Fe, for so long the face of New Mexico and perhaps its biggest draw. Breaking Bad has made our gritty realness an attraction rather than something detrimental.  For that, we bring you not just a Breaking Bad reading list, but we would also like to showcase some of the other facets of Albuquerque and of New Mexico that might be a little offbeat, but which we think help make our local culture shine.

If you like Breaking Bad...

Desert America: Boom and Bust in the New Old West by Rubén Martínez

Alburquerque by Rudolfo Anaya

A Place to Stand by Jimmy Santiago Baca

Almanac of the Dead by Leslie Marmon Silko

Breaking Bad and Philosophy edited by David R. Koepsell and Robert Arp [eBook]

Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution - From The Sopranos and The Wire to Mad Men and Breaking Bad by Brett Martin

Albuquerque: Breaking Bad by Richard Joseph

A Career Guide to Your Job in Hell edited by Robert E. Vardeman and Scott S. Phillips

Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell

Fallout by Ellen Hopkins

Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction by David Sheff

Local Culture

The Wild West Never Died: True Crime Tales of 20th Century New Mexico by Jack Kutz

New Mexico Curiosities: Quirky Characters, Roadside Oddities & Other Offbeat Stuff by Sam Lowe

Forgotten Albuquerque by Ty Bannerman

Albuquerque Trivia by Arthur and Cynthia Romero

La Llorona = The Weeping Woman: An Hispanic  Legend Told in Spanish and English by Joe Hayes

Indigenous Albuquerque by Myla Vicenti Carpio

Tasting New Mexico: Recipes Celebrating One Hundred Years of Distinctive Home Cooking by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison

Alternative Lifestyles in New Mexico

Anarchy and Community in the New American West: Madrid, New Mexico, 1970-2000 by Kathryn Hovey

A Breaking Bad (and Beyond) Reading List

Breaking Bad's chemistry cooks up tourism in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Breaking Bad: Popular Television Show Brings Tourist Attention to Albuquerque

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Old Favorites, New Books!

There are a lot of character comebacks in the works lately! Stephen King is bringing back The Shining's Danny Torrance in a new novel. Helen Fielding has written another adventure for Bridget Jones - can it really be 15 years since Bridget last flew the chick lit flag? Even John Grisham is returning to a character from his debut novel, A Time to Kill - Jake Brigance. There will also be a new book about Jeeves and Wooster, courtesy of author Sebastian Faulks.  On top of that, there are rumors that there will be new works from the estate of J.D. Salinger published in the next few years, including works that reportedly revisit favorite characters such as Holden Caulfield and the Glass family (especially Franny and Zooey).

But ABC Library is most delighted to see the return of Tony Hillerman's iconic Southwestern detectives, Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee.  Hillerman's daughter Anne, already the author of several nonfiction titles, has decided to continue his mystery series. Spider Woman's Daughter is due for publication on October 1, and you can join ABC Library and the Albuquerque Public Library Foundation at the KiMo Theatre that night for a special reading and book signing event with the author!

Here are a list of the upcoming literary retreads so you can place your holds now:

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding

Sycamore Row by John Grisham

Jeeves and the Wedding Bells by Sebastian Faulks

Spider Woman's Daughter by Anne Hillerman


Character Comebacks: King, Fielding, Grisham & Doyle Catch Up With Old Favorites

New Salinger Books Will Arrive in 2015, Authors Say

Agatha Christie sleuth Poirot to return in a new novel

Anne Hillerman: Book Signing and Readings from Spider Woman's Daughter at the KiMo information

Sunday, September 15, 2013


It's September, the chill of autumn has touched us, there's a smell of roasting green chile in the air...of course your mind has turned to global music! Why, you ask?  Because September 20 -21 marks the the 9th annual ¡Globalquerque! celebration of world music and culture at the National Hispanic Cultural Center.

As their promotional material promises, "If this is your first ¡Globalquerque! - you are in for a real treat! At its heart,
¡Globalquerque! is a festival of discovery, with new and unexpected
surprises around every corner." Set on 3 stages, with 19 performances from around the world, this global dance party is guaranteed to have something for everyone - but music is not even all the festival offers! On Saturday the 21st there will be free daytime programming, also at the NHCC.  Want to learn Irish step-dancing? Find out what a kayamb is?  Join a drum circle? Watch a movie or attend a street performance?  The schedule is jam-packed from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.! Additionally, the festival features a global village, with crafts, culture, and cuisine representing far-flung corners of the world, including crafts from Pakistan, Nicaragua, and Uganda; members of local Irish and Scottish cultural groups, folks from Kadampa Meditation Center, and more organizations will be on hand; and for the foodies amongst us, there will be a chance to sample South Indian delicacies, Argentine grill, and Italian-style street pizzas - just for starters.

This year's lineup looks like another great assortment of performers - it'll be hard to decide which to check out!  Local bands Sons of the Rio Grande and Las Flores del Valle will be there; so will T.O. Combo (from the Tohono O'odham of Arizona) playing waila or "chicken scratch"; Argentine singer Sofia Rei "explores connections between the various traditions of South American folklore, jazz, flamenco and electronic sounds";  A Moving Sound are a performance company based in Taipei "that fuses Taiwanese, Chinese and neighboring Asian musical ideas in inspired and engaging modern song compositions"; the Krar Collective from Ethiopia feature a 5 or 6 stringed harp (the "krar" of their name); and we hear DakhaBrakha from the Ukraine is not to be missed. Most bands are scheduled to perform either Friday and Saturday, so for a complete lineup for each night, be sure to check the ¡Globalquerque! schedule page.

¡Globalquerque! is also broadcast live and on the internet on KUNM Saturday from 7 p.m. to midnight if you can't make it in person,  and the ABC Library catalog has a good sampling of current and past ¡Globalquerque! performers' music available for checkout, if you'd like to get a taste of all the great global sounds that founders and producers Tom Frouge (Avokado Artists) and Neal Copperman (AMP Concerts) have traveled the world to find for you.

This year's ¡Globalquerque! performers in the library catalog

The Best of Leon Russell

Ethiopia Super Krar by Krar Collective

A Moving Sound (eponymous)

Reina by Kinky

Shamrock City by Solas

De Tierra y Oro by Sofia Rei

Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars [DVD]

Past ¡Globalquerque! performers in the library catalog
Fire Away by Ozomatli
Haïti colibri by Ti-Coca & Wanga-Nègès
Un fuego de sangre pura by Los Gaiteros de San Jacinto from Colombia
Agadez by Bombino
Commercial by Amigos Invisibles

Una y otra vez by Sergent Garcia
In Frank's Studio by Frank McCulloch y Sus Amigos
Under the Rose by Rahim AlHaj ... [et al.].

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Heroines in Young Adult Fiction

After so many years of stories about girls falling in love with mythical creatures, young adult fiction is shifting  toward strong young women who pull themselves out of tough situations with their ingenuity.  The boys they love are often in the background, and even when love takes center stage the girls who star in these books never lose focus of who they are, or what they want to become.   Here is a list of YA books that have come out in past year or two that feature girls determined to better themselves and their families. 

Historical Fiction:

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Belle Époque by Elizabeth Ross
Keeping the Castle: A Tale of Romance, Riches, and Real Estate by Patrice Kindl
Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson
Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
The Wicked and the Just by Jillian Anderson Coats

Contemporary Fiction:

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
Endangered by Eliot Schrefer
Ask the Passengers: A Novel by A.S. King
45 Pounds (More or Less) by K.A. Barson
Fingerprints of You by Kristen-Paige Madonia

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Counting Down to the 2013 Man Booker Prize: The Shortlist

"The six books on the list could not be more diverse. There are examples from novelists from New Zealand, England, Canada, Ireland and Zimbabwe – each with its own highly distinctive taste. They range in size from the 832 pages of Eleanor Catton's The Luminaries to the 104-page The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín. The times represented stretch from the biblical Middle East (Tóibín) to contemporary Zimbabwe (NoViolet Bulawayo) by way of 19th-century New Zealand (Catton), 1960s India (Jumpha Lahiri), 18th-century rural England (Crace) and modern Tokyo (Ruth Ozeki). The oldest author on the list, Jim Crace, is 67, the youngest (indeed the youngest ever shortlistee), Eleanor Catton, is 28. Colm Tóibín has written more than 15 books, The Luminaries is only Catton's second."
~from the Man Booker website

I always look forward to this time of year - the countdown to the Man Booker Prize!  The Telegraph said the longlist, announced on July 23rd, "is an incitement to read...[it] is dominated by epic tales that criss-cross the globe" - what do you think of the shortlist, announced today? Your ABC Library catalog has these titles your holds now!

We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
The Harvest by Jim Crace
The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín

The winner of this year's Man Booker prize will be announced on October 15th.

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Artistry of Hayao Miyazaki & Studio Ghibli

Did anyone out there check out the Studio Ghibli Festival at the Guild Cinema recently? I revisited Princess Mononoke - 16 years down the road, it was a like a new movie to me, and still great! (Plus, the kodama - tree spirits - are quite adorable.) I was very sad to learn that Hayao Miyazaki, writer and director of Princess Mononoke and co-founder of the studio, has recently announced his retirement from filmmaking.

For anyone out there who might be unfamiliar with Studio Ghibli, the studio was co-founded in 1985 by acclaimed Japanese director, anime, and manga artist Miyazaki and his collaborative partner Isao Takahata.  Miyazaki was virtually unknown in the west until the huge success of Princess Mononoke in 1997, but he has written and/or produced and/or directed much if not all of Studio Ghibli's output. What are the hallmarks of a Miyazaki movie, you ask?  "Miyazaki's films often contain recurrent themes like humanity's relationship with nature and technology, and the difficulty of maintaining a pacifist ethic. The protagonists of his films are often strong, independent girls or young women." [Wikipedia] A couple of his movies are adaptations from novels - Eiko Kadono wrote the novel on which Kiki's Delivery Service is based, Diana Wynne Jones is the author of Howl's Moving Castle, and The Secret World of Arrietty is taken from Mary Norton's Borrowers series.

I missed a lot of the films during the festival this go-around, but I was delighted to discover many of the films and some Studio Ghibli related material available in the library catalog! 


The Animé Art of Hayao Miyazaki by Dani Cavallaro

Hayao Miyazaki: Master of Japanese Animation - Films, Themes, Artistry by Helen McCarthy

Kiki's Delivery Service: Picture Book [English adaptation] by Naoko Amemiya

Anime: From Akira to Princess Mononoke, Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation by Susan J. Napier

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. Vol. 1 by Hayao Miyazaki

International Collection

Ya shang no Boniu  yuan zuo, jiao ben, jian du Gongqi Jun [Chinese]


The Castle of Cagliostro [1979]

Films by Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli

The Secret World of Arrietty [2010]

Castle in the Sky [1986]

Ponyo [2008]

Kiki's Delivery Service [1989]

My Neighbor Totoro [1988]

Howl's Moving Castle [2004]

Porco Rosso [1992]

Spirited Away [2001]

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind [1984]

From Up on Poppy Hill [2011]


Ghibli Museum

Yahoo!'s Beginner's Guide to Studio Ghibli

The Wondrous, Melancholy Worlds of Hayao Miyazaki

Friday, September 6, 2013

New and Novel: Cookbooks with Pictures to Make Your Mouth Water!

Here at abcreads, we know there are a lot of cookbooks out there - ones by celebrity chefs, ones about cooking with special tools or procedures (crockpots, canning, freezing), ones about specific kinds of food or serving up dishes from different cultures.  We find ourselves lately drawn to the cookbooks with the best pictures!  Frankly, we find it hard to concentrate on the recipes in cookbooks these days without a gorgeous, lush photograph next to it - a good photograph can really draw you in!  Here are some newer cookbooks you might enjoy, whether you are looking for some new recipes or just like to look at the pictures, as we do (in fact, the first two cookbooks are by authors who are photographers by trade):

What Katie Ate: Recipes and Other Bits & Pieces by Katie Quinn Davies

Food by Mary McCartney

Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London's Ottolenghi by Yotam Ottolenghi

Roots: The Definitive Compendium With More Than 225 Recipes by Diane Morgan

Very Fond of Food: A Year in Recipes by Sophie Dahl

Tender: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch by Nigel Slater [eBook]

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Science Books that Read Like Novels

When I was in school I didn't really like science, except to watch some of the other kids do experiments.  (I never did them properly, so they didn't work the way they should have.)  When I left school I never wanted to read non-fiction books about science, since I figured it would be just like reading a long boring lecture.  Thank goodness I got over my prejudice and started reading authors like Mary Roach and Oliver Sacks.  Now I can't recommend science books enough since they make subjects I once thought dull seem like fun.

With kids and adults heading back to school, and so many of us giving up our summer reading to pursue more scholarly literature, here is a list of books that make science subjects a little more fun.  These titles read like adventure stories, or mystery novels that keep you turning the pages to find out what happens next.  Most of these would be appropriate reading for high school age or above. 

Medusa's Gaze and Vampire's Bite: The Science of Monsters by Matt Kaplan

This is Your Brain On Music: The Science of a Human Obsession by Daniel J. Levitin

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

The Hot Zone by Richard Preston

Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Joshua Foer

Elephants on Acid: And Other Bizarre Experiments by Alex Boese

The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of Elements by Sam Kean

Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Exploration into the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation, and Time Travel by Michio Kaku

The Science of Harry Potter : How Magic Really Works by Roger Highfield

Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed by Karl Zimmer

Happy scientific exploration!