Thursday, March 30, 2017

Translation Matters: Larissa Volokhonsky and Richard Pevear

Over three decades of collaboration, Volokhonsky and Pevear have been alone together with Dostoyevsky, Gogol, and Tolstoy, and also with Bulgakov, Chekhov, Leskov, Pasternak, and Turgenev. In a now-famous story, they were brought to the public consciousness when Oprah picked their Penguin Classics translation of Anna Karenina for her book club. As they’ve often explained in interviews since then, their work happens in separate offices. First, Volokhonsky, a native speaker of Russian, produces a complete first draft. Then Pevear, whose spoken Russian is not fluent, revises the draft, working to reproduce the writer’s style coherently in English—'what the French call the language of arrival,' he says. This process is repeated as necessary, draft by draft. 'Translation is a craft that sometimes becomes an inspired craft,' Volokhonsky explains.
~Elina Alter, "Lost in Translation: Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky"

If you read enough books in translation, you start to realize that the translation (and the translators!) are really important. Sometimes, one book in a series will be translated by someone different, and the pacing or dialogue may seem off. People have read the same book translated by different people and preferred one version over another. In 2013, Buzzfeed writer Jason Diamond recommended "50 Works of Fiction in Translation That Every English Speaker Should Read" - if you're not already reading, say, Scandi noir or other translated literature, that list is a good place to start, as it specifies book and translator (Paste came out with a smaller, but more recent, list last year). If you're interested in reading about the process of translating, check out "The subtle art of translating foreign fiction." Lastly, if you think you might want to become a translator - there's a wikiHow for that!

The University of Rochester/Three Percent has presented the Best Translated Book Awards for fiction and poetry since 2007, if you want to find the cream of the translating crop, but for Russian-to-English, we usually recommend translations by Larissa Volokhonsky and Richard Pevear, "lauded for restoring the idiosyncrasies of the originals—the page-long sentences and repetitions of Tolstoy, the cacophonous competing voices of Dostoevsky." Do you have a favorite translator for Russian literature? Let us know in the comments!

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

Notes From a Dead House by Fyodor Dostoevsky  

The Double; and, The Gambler by Fyodor Dostoevsky 

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky [eBook]

The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky [eAudiobook] 

Selected Stories by Anton Chekhov 

Demons by Fyodor Dostoevsky 

Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak [Playaway & eAudiobook]

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy [eBook]

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy [eBook]

What Is Art? by Leo Tolstoy [eBook] 

Selected Stories by Anton Chekhov

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Narrated by Tim Curry

MUPPET TREASURE ISLAND (1996) - CURRY, TIM. Photography. Britannica ImageQuest, Encyclopædia Britannica, 25 May 2016. Accessed 28 Feb 2017.
Actor Tim Curry is one of our favorite audiobook narrators - he's wonderful with voices. His readings of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (he's read all but Book Three) have been called "sublime, the perfect marriage of material and performer and the only audiobook I’ve heard that manages to improve creatively on the print version," and his readings of Garth Nix and Stephen King have led to him being deemed " one of the best fantasy narrators."  In fact, his career as a narrator has been rife with accolades - in 2007, Publisher's Weekly named him Children's Narrator of the Year; Book Riot called his narrative style "expressive and on point" (and recommended listening to the audiobooks he narrates rather than reading the print book!); and no less than the New York Times Sunday Book Review claims Tim Curry was "born to have recorded Lemony Snicket’s sardonically melodramatic 'Series of Unfortunate Events.'" If you are looking for a well-read audiobook, particularly one to share with children, look no farther than the ones below!

Sabriel by Garth Nix [J]

The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket [J]

Nightmares & Dreamscapes: Volumes 1, 2 and 3 by Stephen King 

Peter Pan in Scarlet by Geraldine McCaughrean [J]

Portobello by Ruth Rendell [eAudiobook]

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Grown Up Books for Adults Who Love YA Fiction

Are you an adult who once loved young adult fiction and are starting to get burnt out on it? Or maybe you still love young adult fiction but you want to expand your reading. Either way, I created this list of "grown up" books that pair nicely with young adult books, for anyone who wants to make the jump from young adult fiction to adult fiction or non-fiction, for any reason.

Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi

Charles Manson and the events of August 9-10, 1969 will probably always fascinate people. In the past few years, a couple YA books have come out that are loosely based on Charles Manson, or that have characters who are fascinated by the Manson Girls (Family by Micol Ostow and American Girls by Alison Umminger).

 Columbine by Dave Cullen

Why: School shootings are a hot topic in YA fiction. Columbine is an excellent look at what happened and why. It's a great book to pair with This Is Where It Ends, Hate List, and Violent Ends: A Novel in Seventeen Points of View.
Hawkes Harbor by S.E. Hinton

Why: S.E. Hinton wrote The Outsiders, which is considered the first young adult book. Hawkes Harbor is a great book to read if you like vampires but have read everything the young adult genre has to offer. It's not a paranormal romance, though, so if you prefer your vampires with a side of romance, Hawkes Harbor might not be what you're looking for.

Christine by Stephen King

Why: Christine takes place during the main characters' teen years, which make it an easy way to jump from reading young adult fiction to adult fiction. It's also a beautifully haunting, and of course terrifying, story.

Dexter series by Jeff Lindsay

Why: Just like the I Hunt Killers trilogy by Barry Lyga, the Dexter series offers a different perspective on serial killers.

Books in this series (in order): Darkly Dreaming Dexter, Dearly Devoted Dexter, Dexter in the Dark, Dexter by Design, Dexter is Delicious, Double Dexter, Dexter's Final Cut, Dexter is Dead

All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

Why: Megan Miranda was a young adult author before she started writing adult fiction. All the Missing Girls is reminiscent of novels like Never Missing, Never Found, a YA mystery with plenty of twists and turns, just like All the Missing Girls. As a bonus, it's the first book in a series.

Books in this series (in order): All the Missing Girls, The Perfect Stranger

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Why: Stephanie Garber's YA debut, Caraval, has been pitched as The Hunger Games meets The Night Circus. Both feature competitions, romance, and plenty of magic.

The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

Why: Mental illness is also a hot topic in young adult fiction. Matthew Quick has also written YA fiction, and The Silver Linings Playbook is a great look at what adulthood is like for someone who has a mental illness.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Biographies of Children's Books Authors For Adults

Book Saleswoman . Fine Art. Britannica ImageQuest, Encyclopædia Britannica, 25 May 2016. Accessed 27 Jan 2017.
Thomas Wolfe said you can't go home again, and that often applies to your favorite children's books when you're an adult (though we think the Moomins stand the test of time quite well). We had a friend who found The Lonely Doll a bit disturbing as an adult, though she loved the book as a child, and this month's Smithsonian magazine has an article titled "The Little House on the Prairie Was Built on Native American Land," a critical look at Laura Ingalls Wilder's work; other books might contain ideas and/or situations that are less acceptable than they used to be, so sometimes you have to decide whether or not you want to share them with the children in your life. But what about you? How do you get your nostalgia fix if the treasured classic of your childhood no longer pulls at your heartstrings in the same way?

How about some backstory for your favorite children's literature? There are many biographies of children's authors in the library catalog. Sometimes you can learn more than you want to know about your idols - we know someone who was troubled by the T. H. White vein that runs through Helen Macdonald's H Is for Hawk - but often learning about the authors you love can be illuminating and can enhance your understanding of their books. The books on the following list tackle a bevy of different authors, some as straight biography, some as memoir, some approaching an aspect of their work. Who's the favorite author from your childhood? Let us know in the comments!

In the Great Green Room: The Life of Margaret Wise Brown by Amy Gary

Libertarians on the Prairie: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Rose Wilder Lane, and the Making of the Little House Books by Christine Woodside

Looking for Betty MacDonald: The Egg, the Plague, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, and I by Paula Becker 


Saturday, March 18, 2017

Top Circulating Music CDs

The Yellow Books, 1887 . Fine Art. Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest. Web. 18 May 2016.
“Knowledge is like money: To be of value it must circulate, and in circulating it can increase in quantity and, hopefully, in value.”
― Louis L'Amour, Education of a Wandering Man  

In the library, "circulation" means a lot of things.  What's sometimes called the "library card desk" is also known as "circulation".  When we look at a book's record, we count how many times it has checked out as its "circs". The library's collection floats (items checked out at one branch and returned at another stay at the branch at which they are returned), but its items circulate.

For this month's top circulating, we're looking at music CDs! Our staff orders new music monthly, with quarterly World Music orders. Is there a CD you think the library should have? Suggest a purchase. With your valid library card, you can also stream music on our eResources Freegal and hoopla, and we also feature the eResources National Jukebox (from the Library of Congress) and Naxos Music Library (classical and six other genres). This list is the top 25 circulating music CDs system-wide. Any surprises on the list for you?

Top Circulating Music CDs   

1.  25 by Adele
2. The Very Best of Prince by Prince
3. Hunky Dory by David Bowie
4. Now That’s What I Call the ‘80s by Various Artists
5. Skeleton Tree by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
6. XXIVK Magic by Bruno Mars
7. “…It’s too late to stop now…” by Van Morrison
8. A Moon Shaped Pool by Radiohead
9. PTX (Vols. 1 & 2) by Pentatonix
10. Lemonade by Beyoncé
11. 20 All-Time Greatest Hits by James Brown
12. Artpop by Lady Gaga
13. Joanne by Lady Gaga
14. A Hard Day’s Night by The Beatles
15. The Hamilton Mixtape by Various Artists
16. The Velvet Underground by the Velvet Underground
17. Chapter & Verse by Bruce Springsteen
18. Ash & Ice by the Kills
19. Cleopatra by the Lumineers
20. Dissociation by the Dillinger Escape Plan
21. Hardwired – To Self-Destruct by Metallica
22. Hotel California by the Eagles
23. Please Please Me by the Beatles
24 Dead Man by Neil Young
25. Cosmic Hallelujah by Kenny Chesney

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Our Uneasy Relationship with Sweetness

Turbinado Sugar. Photograph. Britannica ImageQuest, Encyclopædia Britannica, 25 May 2016. Accessed 22 Feb 2017.

Our society's feelings about sugar are complicated, to say the least. We can remember from our childhoods science experiments that taught us to make rock candy, birthday parties awash in sweet treats, and very full trick-or-treat bags at Halloween. Why at a later age is it so wrong to unabashedly say I Love Cake?  We talk about "arm candy" and things being "a piece of cake" or "easy as pie," but even in our own library catalog we can find books about weaning ourselves off sugar published as long ago as 2003 (H. Leighton Steward's The New Sugar Busters!). Certainly in recent times, there has been much talk about the ill effects of too much sugar from respected news sources such as the New York Times and many people have decided to cut it out of their diets for health reasons.

What's your stance on sugar? Do you enjoy sweet treats? Is sugar not an issue for you, or do you crave it? We've put together a list of books from the catalog that stand on both side of the fence - books that wax nostalgic about all things sweet, discussing the process of creating sweets and the history of their consumption, as well as books about quitting the sugar habit and fiction that celebrates confectionery (lots of love out there for beekeepers, bakers, and candy shops). As always, we want to remind you that we recommend checking with a medical professional before starting any diets suggested by books from the library catalog, but we hope you find something on this list that whets your appetite!


Cake: A Slice of History by Alysa Levene

The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets edited by Darra Goldstein

Not So Sweet

The Case Against Sugar by Gary Taubes

Year of No Sugar by Eve O. Schaub

JJ Virgin's Sugar Impact Diet: Drop 7 Hidden Sugars To Lose Up to 10 Pounds in Just 2 Weeks by JJ Virgin, CNS, CHFS, New York Times bestselling author of The virgin diet

Fictional Treats

The Confectioner's Tale: A Novel of Paris by Laura Madeleine

The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert

Cake Shop in the Garden by Carole Matthews 

Wedding Girl by Stacey Ballis 

Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan

The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen 

Life is Sweet by Elizabeth Bass [eBook]

Sweetness of Honey by Kent  

The Cake Therapist by Judith Fertig

The Secret to Hummingbird Cake by Celeste Fletcher McHale

Recipes For Love and Murder by Sally Andrew 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

New & Novel: Crafts

Is there a wrong time of the year to talk about crafting? We don't think so! We've seen lots of interesting crafty titles check in and out around us, and we thought we'd give a shout out to some of the ones we thought looked most interesting. Would you like to hear more about our offerings for a particular craft? Let us know in the comments.

Also, don't forget, besides books, the library has other craft resources for you! Make sure to check out our events calendar for Art events, Fiber Arts events, and more.


Crafting a Colorful Home: A Room-By-Room Guide to Personalizing Your Space With Color by Kristin Nicholas  

DIY Woven Art: Inspiration and Instruction For Handmade Wall Hangings, Rugs, Pillows and More! by Rachel Denbow 

Materially Crafted: A DIY Primer For the Design-Obsessed by Victoria Hudgins

A Year Between Friends : 3191 Miles Apart - Crafts, Recipes, Letters, and Stories by Maria Alexandra Vettese and Stephanie Congdon Barnes
Supercraft: Easy Projects For Every Weekend by Sophie Pester, Catharina Bruns

Cattastic Crafts: DIY Projects For Cats and Cat People by Mariko Ishikawa

Hope, Make, Heal: 20 Crafts to Mend the Heart by Maya Pagán Donenfeld 

Beading: Learn It, Love It by Jean Power

The Big Book of Mod Podge: Decoupage Made Easy by Plaid Enterprises

The Maker's Manual: A Practical Guide to the New Industrial Revolution by Andrea Maietta and Paolo Aliverti