Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Andromeda: Award winner Moustakis and tonight, an evening with librarian Nancy Pearl

Noticed yesterday in a publishing industry tweet the announcement of National Book Award
"5 under 35" winners, and one of the names was very familiar: Melinda Moustakis. You know who Moustakis is of course -- the author of Bear Down, Bear North (stories set in Alaska), the headliner of the next upcoming Crosscurrents talk, "Fictional Truths," on Friday, October 14, as well as teacher of a 49 Writers clinic, "Writing and The Creative Spark," on Saturday, Oct. 15. Readers of this blog have had some luck lately getting to know writers just before they become wildly well-known (David Vann comes to mind), but we should know not to wait too long. I haven't yet read Moustakis's stories but I look forward to catching up soon.

And speaking of reading: I've been full of book lust this year--my latest homemade, half-baked reading project is to "Read the Century," an American book a year starting in 1911. (I'm on 1917 right now -- The Job, a mostly forgotten novel by Sinclair Lewis that features one of American literature's first working women, Una Golden, as the protagonist. Imagine Mary Tyler Moore on the streets of turn-of-the-century New York City.) The more I read, of course, the more I find to read. I appreciate books and essays that help me sort through the riches and find forgotten gems.

Seattle Librarian Nancy Pearl has become famous as an advocate for reading and making book suggestions in her Book Lust series. She'll be speaking tonight at Loussac Library at 6 pm, in another fine event honoring the library's 25th birthday. I checked out the short book reviews on her blog and noticed a slew of books that I hadn't heard about elsewhere -- and that's probably why so many readers and radio listeners turn to Nancy Pearl for reading advice. Like Michael Dirda, the last literary critic to visit, she reads broadly-- everything from quiet literary novels to fantasy, comics, and YA.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a great idea--"reading the century." I often think that I wish I were reading more "old" books, but it's hard to know where to start beyond the well known and loved classics. It's so easy to be drawn in by the newest releases and the buzz from great books published now, and rightly so, as books from our times speak to who we are now. But, a retrospective gaze is also critical for writers, and culture. Thanks for the reminder.