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Tournament of Books 2019

It's back!

I like to read all the books in The Morning News' Tournament of Books annually, so that I can ensure I've read at least some well-regarded adult fiction. This is my favorite way to do that, as the list is usually diverse in terms of genres, perspectives and styles. You can find my picks from last year's tournament here. I have to admit, this year's overall list was not my favorite - three of my top five picks are from the play in round!

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal

How to Read Like a Librarian

Peek at our staff's reading list

There are a lot of librarian stereotypes out there: we’re all women (false), we’re all either uptight and impersonal or coding nerds with tattoos (false), we like to shush people (false), and we have either read everything in the library or we only read books you’d find on lists of importance (definitely false and false).

Where'd You Go Bernadette

The Book was Better

Books being adapted into Movies and TV in 2019

Sourdough by Robin Sloan

Read It, Cook Eat, Eat It

Pairing Novels with Cookbooks

There is always something eminently enticing about a description of food. A good author brings you right into the kitchen or dining table as they conjure the smell, taste and experience of a good meal. For me, reading about food makes me want to drop everything and experience it myself. Here are three fabulous novels paired with three fabulous cookbooks that’ll take you from your reading nook and straight into your kitchen!

The Lost Vintage by Ann Mah

La France des Mystères

Mysteries of all types in the land of wine and cheese

Get swept up in the land of wine, cheese...and mysteries. This collection of novels, murder mysteries, and non-fiction all take place in France where the background has no shortage of terrior (or sense of place). There is something for everyone, whether you like true crime, cozy mysteries, or dark puzzles. Bon Voyage!

Book Club Tea and Jane Austen Action Figure

The Pride and Prejudice Book Club: Truths Universally Acknowledged

Over 200 years old, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is one of the most beloved novels in the English language. The first line of the novel, "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife," sets up our expectations and the plot immediately, and we know that there will be some single, well-off men who will fall in love. Or marry, at the least.

The Carrying by Ada Limon

Year End Reads

As the official winter season gets closer, the weather slows things down and instills a heaviness that really makes us feel ourselves in our bodies. When we are not as frenetic, books are a great companion to the new (but cyclical) rhythm. It’s a vista from which to take stock, particularly with a new year on the horizon line. The books below offer characters or writers who are speaking to a centeredness, steadiness, or timeliness.

a doorway with glowing lights around it stands open in the middle of the woods

Quick Fiction Listens for Your Commute

I have a confession to make--I love audio books, and I especially love the convenience and flexibility of downloading audiobooks to my phone via Overdrive and listening to them on the go--however, (you knew that was coming, right?) I often find it difficult to finish audiobooks before the end of the 3 week checkout period--A Game of Thrones, which clocks in at a cool 34 hours, I’m looking at you.

Image of Pachinko book cover

Set in Japan

As a group, these novels do not have one thing in common, other than all being set in Japan. Most, but not all, were written by Japanese authors. Most, but not all, were written in the 20th century. Most, but not all, are narrated by a female character. All of them are commendable though, and I learned something about Japanese history or culture from each one.

Image of Perfect Little World book cover

It Takes a Village?

Fiction that explores communal living experiments

If humanity could restart society from scratch, what would we prioritize, what would we reconsider, and how would we position ourselves to thrive? The following novels all consider these questions via their portrayals of characters whose answers have at their cores a belief in the value of living communally -- and who have created or are taking part in living situations that reflect this belief.

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