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Write a Novel with BCPL! (You know you want to.)

posted by: November 10, 2015 - 7:00am

Cover art for Book in a Month Cover art for No Plot? No Problem!Cover art for The End, Part 1It’s that time of year again: The time when the air cools down and the writing heats up. At BCPL, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is coming to a branch near you. Everyone has a story inside them, and November is the time to let it out! With that in mind, check out the following titles that have helped others reach deep inside themselves to let their own words out.

 

Need structure? No idea where to begin? Afraid that the middle will fall completely out of the story? Never fear! Victoria Lynn Schmidt’s Book in a Month provides all the instruction a person could want about how to put together an outline, assemble ideas and even generate new ones! Schmidt brings order, structure and worksheets to the chaos that is a house when a novel is being written inside.

 

What if you have no idea what to write, only that you want to write it right now, immediately? Talk to Chris Baty. The founder of NaNoWriMo (going strong since 1999) aims his book No Plot? No Problem! at anyone who thinks it might be fun to write a novel but has no idea what to write about. Or anyone who has just discovered that NaNoWriMo is a thing and wants to do it.

 

Unsure if you can be successful writing a readable novel in a month? T. Styles, popular author extraordinaire, demonstrates her prowess in The End, Part 1. This short book (155 pages) takes the aspiring author one day at a time through the process of creating a novel.

 

Make “some day” become this day, right now.

 


 
 

The 2015 Fall Literary Awards Update

posted by: October 14, 2015 - 12:00pm

 

 

Cover of A Brief History of Seven Killings

 

 

Congratulations to Marlon James who won the Man Booker Prize last night in London for his novel A Brief History of Seven Killings. James is the first Jamaican author to win the prestigious award which promotes the finest in fiction and comes with a £50,000 prize. Spanning three decades, the novelist was inspired by the true story of the attempt on the life of reggae star Bob Marley to explore the unsettled world of Jamaican gangs and politics. The Guardian calls the winning novel “an epic, uncompromising novel not for the faint of heart. It brims with shocking gang violence, swearing, graphic sex, drug crime but also, said the judges, a lot of laughs.” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The National Book Award finalists were announced today. The winners will be announced on November 18th. 

 

Fiction 

Cover of RefundCover of The Turner House Cover of Fates and Furies Cover of Fortune Smiles  Cover of A Little Life

 

Nonfiction 

Cover of Between the World and Me  Cover of Hold Still Cover of If the Oceans Were Ink Cover of Ordinary Light  Cover of The Soul of an Octopus

 

Poetry 

Cover of Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude Cover of How to Be Drawn  Cover of Voyage of Sable Venus Cover of Bright Dead Things  Cover of Elegy for a Broken Machine

 

Young People's Literature 

Cover of The Thing About Jellyfish  Cover of Bone Gap Cover of Most Dangerous Cover of Challenger Deep Cover of Nimona

 

 

 

 

 


 
 

Banned Books Week

posted by: September 30, 2015 - 11:00am

Cover art for The Bluest EyeCover art for The Kite RunnerCover art for The Perks of Being a WallflowerThis week, the national reading community celebrates “Banned Books Week.” Established in 1982 in response to a sudden increase in challenges to books in schools, Banned Books Week is a celebration of our freedom to read as well as the diverse writers who challenge, provoke and even offend us.

 

Here is a list of the most challenged books in libraries, schools and bookstores for the year 2014:

 

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

This novel explores race and identity by focusing on a young cartoonist who leaves his reservation school to attend an all-white high school whose mascot happens to be an Indian. It’s been challenged for its explicit language, depictions of sexuality and bullying.

 

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

This autobiographical graphic novel has received much acclaim for humanizing Iran for western audiences, and was turned into an animated film in 2007. It is often challenged for its depictions of the torture of Iranian dissidents.

 

And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell

This picture book tells the story of two penguins unable to conceive who raise a neglected egg as their own. Why the controversy? Roy and Silo are both dads!

 

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

Morrison’s classic novel deals with internalized racism during the Great Depression. It is controversial for its exploration of racism as well as child abuse.

 

It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex and Sexual Health by Robie Harris

A guide to puberty for children narrated by a cartoon bird and bee (get it?). Many people find the illustrations of naked bodies offensive, but if you’re on board it’s much less terrifying than those educational videos they show in gym class.

 

Saga, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

This graphic novel follows two alien soldiers who abandon their war to start a family together. It has been challenged for being “anti-family,” which is ironic because family is such a strong theme in the book. Maybe they’re just against people with horns marrying people with wings?

 

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

This coming of age story set in Afghanistan has been challenged for “desensitizing students to violence.”

 

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Chbosky’s book has been challenged since its publication for its depictions of teenage depression, yet has still struck a chord with young readers and was turned into a film in 2012. Visit the Banned Books Week website to read testimonies from students who have literally had the book taken away from them while they were reading it!

 

A Stolen Life: A Memoir by Jaycee Dugard

Trigger warning: This book deals with the author’s experience of being kidnapped as a child. It is frequently challenged for the upsetting nature of this story.

 

Drama by Raina Telgemeier

Teenagers! Kissing! Unsupervised! Telgemeier’s light-hearted graphic novel has been challenged for its focus on teenage relationships as well as its homosexual themes.

 


 
 

Carnegie Medal Longlist Announced

posted by: September 30, 2015 - 11:00am

Carnegie MedalThe longlists for the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction were announced yesterday, and 20 outstanding titles have made each list. Congratulations to Baltimore’s own Anne Tyler, whose A Spool of Blue Thread made the fiction list, while another Baltimore native, Ta-Nehisi Coates, was selected for the nonfiction list with Between the World and Me. It’s been a very good year for Coates, who is also on the National Book Award longlist and was named a 2015 MacArthur Fellow on Monday.

 

The Carnegie committee is a joint project between RUSA, a division of the American Library Association, and Booklist. A shortlist will be announced on October 19, and the winners will be announced on January 10, 2016.


 
 

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