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June, 2010:

National Book Awards 2009 Finalists

Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann“On March 16, 1950, publishers, editors, writers, and critics gathered at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City to celebrate the first annual National Book Awards, an award given to writers by writers. The American Book Publisher’s Council, The Book Manufacturers’ Institute, and The American Booksellers’ Association jointly sponsored the Awards, bringing together the American literary community for the first time to honor the year’s best work in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry”. – Source the National Book Foundation

Novel Suggestions has listed below the 2009 winner and finalists in the fiction category which you are sure to want on your reading list. (more…)

Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner

Crossing to Safety Wallace StegnerWallace Stegner was born in Lake Mills, Iowa in 1909, and in a writing career spanning over sixty years he produced somewhere in the region of thirty books. Crossing to Safety was Stegner’s last novel, and a lifetime’s worth of insight, humanity and experience is clearly evident to anyone lucky enough to find themselves reading it.

One of those books which could happily have been twice as long, I know I’m not the only one to have felt a tangible sense of loss on finishing the last page. Truly a modern classic by one of the finest authors of the last century, if it fails to move you then you must have a heart of stone!

Read on for a full review….

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Illywhacker by Peter Carey

Illywhacker by Peter CareyPeter Carey has been a favourite author of mine since I first read Illywhacker more years ago than I care to remember. Some people just don’t get Illywhacker and seem to prefer Carey’s other early novels such as Oscar and Lucinda, and whilst I have to agree that it is at times a very strange book, I have always found it magical. My old copy is terminally worn out from being re-read and loaned out to friends, which has got to be a testament to a fine book in my view!

Read on for a full review…. (more…)

Ham on Rye by Charles Bukowski

Ham on Rye by Charles BukowskiI’m not quite sure how I’ve managed to get to this stage of my life without having previously stumbled across Charles Bukowski, but I suppose that is one of the great joys of being a reader. You don’t have to keep looking at the new releases, there’s bound to be thousands of books and authors that have just passed you by.

So yes, I’m afraid I have to admit that Ham on Rye is my first Bukowski, but it has bowled me over to such an extent that it is certainly not going to be my last!

Published in 1982 Ham on Rye is the fourth of Charles Bukowski’s novels.

Read on for a full review…. (more…)