WHIRL (What Have I Read Lately) Books is a site for readers to find books for themselves and their book clubs. Liz at Literary Masters runs book groups and literary salons where we "dig deep" into literary treasures.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Best Books of 2013: Just in Time for Thanksgivukah!

I am feeling conflicted.  It's only mid-November and I am posting a "Best of 2013" reading list.  I feel like this is almost wrong--like seeing Christmas decorations in the stores before Thanksgiving!  However, it's an unusual holiday season this year with Hanukkah coinciding with our annual turkey day celebration--an event, according to the Mail Online, that last occurred in 1888 and won't occur again for another 79,000 years!  Wow!  I can see why their headline read "Happy Thanksgivukah!"--this is something to celebrate!

And while we're at it, let's celebrate some wonderful books that have been written, read, and discussed in 2013.  I will be posting more titles and "Best of 2013" lists throughout the coming weeks and into the new year, but for now, here's the first.  It's from Publisher's Weekly, and you can click here to find out more about each of these intriguing titles.

Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2013

Seas of Hooks by Lindsay Hill

Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright

Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield by Jeremy Scahill

Men We Reaped: A Memoir by Jesmyn Ward

The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara

Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery by Robert Kolker

Miss Anne in Harlem: The White Women of the Black Renaissance by Carla Kaplan

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra

The Silence and the Roar by Nihad Sirees, translated by Max Weiss

The Good Lord Bird by James McBride

Wow!  What a list--we are spoiled for choice.  Something for every reader on your holiday list!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Samuel Johnson Prize: We Have a Winner!

I think you know by now that Literary Masters book groups and literary salons focus mainly on fiction, but each season we 'dig deep' into a non-fiction treasure.  My favorite so far, and I think my LM members would agree, is Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick, which won the Samuel Johnson Prize, the UK's premier award for non-fiction work, in 2010.

The 2013 winner of this prestigious award has just been announced, so let's congratulate Lucy Hughes-Hallett, author of The Pike.  Her account of "a celebrated poet and Italian nationalist who was simultaneously repugnant and alluring" is evidently a form-breaking type of biography that escapes the restrictions of the genre.  Sounds intriguing.  The book won over an impressive shortlist of titles:


For more information on the Samuel Johnson Prize, including past winners, click here.

What good non-fiction have you read recently?