Bookloft's blog

Time's Betrayal - Author Meet & Greet

Join us for a meet-and-greet, book signing, and a relaxed informal discussion with the author of a new novel partially set in the Berkshires! David Adams Cleveland will be here to sign some copies of Time's Betrayal and chat with you on Wednesday, October 25th, at 3:00pm.

In a glowing Booklist Starred Review, Sarah Johnson says this about Time's Betrayal:

How are our lives unknowingly motivated by our ancestral past? In its scope, artistry, and depiction of the interlinked cause-and-effect patterns spanning more than a century, Cleveland’s (Love’s Attraction, 2013) third novel raises the bar for multigenerational epics. At its heart is one man’s quest to uncover the truth about his late father, John Alden III, who disappeared behind the Iron Curtain in 1953 for reasons unknown. Peter Alden’s recollections begin with his own 1960s youth at the Etonesque Massachusetts prep school cofounded by his abolitionist great-grandfather: a place where his father’s reputation as a star athlete, archaeologist, and war hero looms large. The expansive yet tightly controlled narrative, in which numerous mysteries are compellingly unearthed, spins out to encompass post-WWII Greece, the race to decipher the ancient Greek script known as Linear B, the Vietnam War, the Berlin Wall’s dismantling, and a Civil War battle’s aftermath. The writing is gripping throughout, incorporating both haunting lyricism in its characters’ yearning to recapture a lost golden age and a high-stakes tension evoking the best Cold War thrillers. Cleveland is particularly strong in presenting the complicated entanglements of love and betrayal and the barrier between freedom and oppression that each generation contends with. While its length may appear daunting, this unforgettable tour de force is well worth the time.

About the Author:
David Adams Cleveland is the author of two previous novels, With a Gemlike Flame and Love’s Attraction, a Barnes & Noble best-seller. His most recent art history book, A History of American Tonalism, won the Silver Medal in Art History in the Book of the Year Awards, 2010, and Outstanding Academic Title, 2011, from the American Library Association. He also works as an art adviser with his son Carter Cleveland, founder of Artsy.net, a website dedicated to making all the world’s art accessible to anyone with an Internet connection. He and his wife live in New York.

2017 National Book Award Finalists

If you're like us, you've been watching as the National Book Awards judges choose their finalists before narrowing it down to one final winner in each category (to be revealed on November 15th). It's just like a literary playoffs bracket! 

Check out the finalists below. (And notice that our 2 Staff Picks have made the cut in the Nonfiction category!)

Fiction Finalists:

Elliot Ackerman, Dark at the Crossing 
Lisa Ko, The Leavers
Min Jin Lee, Pachinko
Carmen Maria Machado, Her Body and Other Parties: Stories
Jesmyn Ward, Sing, Unburied, Sing

Nonfiction Finalists:

(STAFF PICK!) Erica Armstrong Dunbar, Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge 
Frances FitzGerald, The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America
Masha Gessen, The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia
(STAFF PICK!) David Grann, Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI 
Nancy MacLean, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America

Young People's Literature Finalists:

Elana K. Arnold, What Girls Are Made Of
Robin Benway, Far from the Tree
Erika L. Sánchez, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter 
Rita Williams-Garcia, Clayton Byrd Goes Underground
Ibi Zoboi, American Street

Poetry Finalists:

Frank Bidart, Half-light: Collected Poems 1965-2016 
Leslie Harrison, The Book of Endings 
Layli Long Soldier, WHEREAS 
Shane McCrae, In the Language of My Captor 
Danez Smith, Don’t Call Us Dead: Poems 

About the National Book Award

"Established in 1950, the National Book Award is an American literary prize administered by the National Book Foundation, a nonprofit organization. A pantheon of such writers as William Faulkner, Marianne Moore, Ralph Ellison, John Cheever, Bernard Malamud, Philip Roth, Robert Lowell, Walker Percy, John Updike, Katherine Anne Porter, Norman Mailer, Lillian Hellman, Elizabeth Bishop, Saul Bellow, Donald Barthelme, Flannery O’Connor, Adrienne Rich, Thomas Pynchon, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Alice Walker, Charles Johnson, E. Annie Proulx, and Colum McCann have all won the Award." (From www.nationalbook.org)

National Book Award 2017 Longlist

Below is the 2017 Longlist for the National Book Award, divided by category. Keep an eye out for our Staff Picks that made the cut!

Some future key dates if you're keeping score at home:
Oct. 4 - Finalists are announced (Shortlist)
Nov. 15 - Winners are announced in each category

The National Book Award

"Established in 1950, the National Book Award is an American literary prize administered by the National Book Foundation, a nonprofit organization. A pantheon of such writers as William Faulkner, Marianne Moore, Ralph Ellison, John Cheever, Bernard Malamud, Philip Roth, Robert Lowell, Walker Percy, John Updike, Katherine Anne Porter, Norman Mailer, Lillian Hellman, Elizabeth Bishop, Saul Bellow, Donald Barthelme, Flannery O’Connor, Adrienne Rich, Thomas Pynchon, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Alice Walker, Charles Johnson, E. Annie Proulx, and Colum McCann have all won the Award." (From www.nationalbook.org)

Click the titles below to read more about each book.

Fiction Longlist:

Elliot Ackerman, Dark at the Crossing 
Daniel Alarcón, The King Is Always Above the People: Stories
Charmaine Craig, Miss Burma 
Jennifer Egan, Manhattan Beach 
Lisa Ko, The Leavers
Min Jin Lee, Pachinko
Carmen Maria Machado, Her Body and Other Parties: Stories
Margaret Wilkerson Sexton, A Kind of Freedom 
Jesmyn Ward, Sing, Unburied, Sing
Carol Zoref, Barren Island 

Nonfiction Longlist:

Erica Armstrong Dunbar, Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge (STAFF PICK!)
Frances FitzGerald, The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America
James Forman, Jr., Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America
Masha Gessen, The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia
David Grann, Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI (STAFF PICK!)
Naomi Klein, No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need
Nancy MacLean, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America
Richard Rothstein, The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America
Timothy B. Tyson, The Blood of Emmett Till
Kevin Young, Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News

Young People's Literature Longlist:

Elana K. Arnold, What Girls Are Made Of
Robin Benway, Far from the Tree
Samantha Mabry, All the Wind in the World
Mitali Perkins,You Bring the Distant Near
Jason Reynolds, Long Way Down (STAFF PICK!)
Erika L. Sánchez, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter 
Laurel Snyder, Orphan Island (STAFF PICK!)
Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give (STAFF PICK!)
Rita Williams-Garcia, Clayton Byrd Goes Underground
Ibi Zoboi, American Street

Poetry Longlist:

Frank Bidart, Half-light: Collected Poems 1965-2016 
Chen Chen, When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities
Leslie Harrison, The Book of Endings 
Marie Howe, Magdalene: Poems 
Laura Kasischke, Where Now: New and Selected Poems 
Layli Long Soldier, WHEREAS 
Shane McCrae, In the Language of My Captor 
Sherod Santos, Square Inch Hours 
Danez Smith, Don’t Call Us Dead: Poems 
Mai Der Vang, Afterland 

Man Booker Prize 2017 Shortlist

CLICK ON A COVER OR TITLE to read more about the finalist. The single winner will be announced on Oct. 17, so stay tuned.

Congratulations to Staff Pick Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders for making the cut!

About the Man Booker Prize:

"First awarded in 1969, the Man Booker Prize is recognised as the leading prize for literary fiction written in English. The list of former winners features many of the literary giants of the last four decades: from Iris Murdoch to Salman Rushdie, Ian McEwan to Hilary Mantel. The rules of the prize were changed at the end of 2013 to embrace the English language ‘in all its vigour, its vitality, its versatility and its glory’, opening it up to writers beyond the UK and Commonwealth." (From themanbookerprize.com)

4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster
History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
Elmet by Fiona Mozley
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (STAFF PICK!)
Autumn by Ali Smith

The Long and the Short of it

In the past couple weeks we saw some big-time book award lists announced. The National Book Award released their 2017 Longlist, and the Man Booker Prize finally announced their shortlist finalists. (You may remember seeing their longlist from a couple months ago.)

Some of the selections are Bookloft Staff Picks! (We're obviously rooting for those to win.)

CLICK THE ICONS below to be taken to the lists for each award:

                                 

Read some more information about each award below:

The National Book Award

"Established in 1950, the National Book Award is an American literary prize administered by the National Book Foundation, a nonprofit organization. A pantheon of such writers as William Faulkner, Marianne Moore, Ralph Ellison, John Cheever, Bernard Malamud, Philip Roth, Robert Lowell, Walker Percy, John Updike, Katherine Anne Porter, Norman Mailer, Lillian Hellman, Elizabeth Bishop, Saul Bellow, Donald Barthelme, Flannery O’Connor, Adrienne Rich, Thomas Pynchon, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Alice Walker, Charles Johnson, E. Annie Proulx, and Colum McCann have all won the Award." (From www.nationalbook.org)

The Man Booker Prize

"First awarded in 1969, the Man Booker Prize is recognised as the leading prize for literary fiction written in English. The list of former winners features many of the literary giants of the last four decades: from Iris Murdoch to Salman Rushdie, Ian McEwan to Hilary Mantel. The rules of the prize were changed at the end of 2013 to embrace the English language ‘in all its vigour, its vitality, its versatility and its glory’, opening it up to writers beyond the UK and Commonwealth." (From themanbookerprize.com)

Fall Staff Picks

It feels like fall, and here at the Bookloft we're getting ready to curl up with blankets and warm books. Here are just some newest staff picks you'll see when you walk in the store.

Just click any cover to read each staffer's thoughts on that book.

Two New Berkshire-Based Novels Are Here

Authors and publishers have heard your cries for some more mainline fiction set in The Berkshires! Here are two new novels that take place right here in Western Massachusetts:

Time's Betrayal

"By a Berkshire lake on a September morning in 1953, John Davenport Alden III, classical archaeologist, war hero, and blue-blooded New England Yankee, hugged his two-year- old son, took a last drag on his Lucky Strike, and walked away from his life. A year later, his body was returned by the KGB. John Alden was not only exposed as a CIA agent, but branded by some in the Agency as a traitor. His young son, Peter Alden, was condemned to grow up in the shadow of a man he barely knew....David Adams Cleveland unfolds the turbulent saga of four generations of Aldens—from Peter to his great-grandfather, a Civil War general and railroad builder—and the Williams clan, their idealistic cousins and sometime bitter rivals. Anchored in historic moments from the Battle of Antietam to the fall of the Berlin Wall, this sweeping family drama encompasses many of the contradictions of the American experiment, including the plague of racism, American exceptionalism, and the triumph and tragedy of America’s intervention on the world stage in wars and conflicts throughout the 20th century." (From the Publisher)


David Adams Cleveland is the author of two previous novels, With a Gemlike Flame and Love’s Attraction, a Barnes & Noble best-seller. His most recent art history book, A History of American Tonalism, won the Silver Medal in Art History in the Book of the Year Awards, 2010, and Outstanding Academic Title, 2011, from the American Library Association. He also works as an art adviser with his son Carter Cleveland, founder of Artsy.net, a website dedicated to making all the world’s art accessible to anyone with an Internet connection. He and his wife live in New York.

SPECIAL NOTE: 
Meet author David Adams Cleveland! On Wednesday, October 25th, at 3:00pm he will be here at The Bookloft to for an informal book-signing and a meet & greet event! Consider yourself invited.


 

The Locals

"Mark Firth is a contractor and home restorer in Howland, Massachusetts, who feels opportunity passing his family by. After being swindled by a financial advisor, what future can Mark promise his wife, Karen, and their young daughter, Haley? He finds himself envying the wealthy weekenders in his community whose houses sit empty all winter. Philip Hadi used to be one of these people. But in the nervous days after 9/11 he flees New York and hires Mark to turn his Howland home into a year-round "secure location" from which he can manage billions of dollars of other people's money. The collision of these two men's very different worlds - rural vs. urban, middle class vs. wealthy - is the engine of Jonathan Dee's powerful new novel....Here are the dramas of twenty-first-century America - rising inequality, working class decline, a new authoritarianism - played out in the classic setting of some of our greatest novels: the small town. The Locals is that rare work of fiction capable of capturing a fraught American moment in real time." (From the Publisher)

Jonathan Dee is the author of six previous novels, most recently A Thousand Pardons. His novel The Privileges was a finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize and winner of the 2011 Prix Fitzgerald and the St. Francis College Literary Prize. A former contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, a senior editor of The Paris Review, and a National Magazine Award-nominated literary critic for Harper's, he has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. He lives in Syracuse, New York.


 

The Man Booker Prize 2017 Longlist Announced

The Man Booker Prize longlist was announced today. In an exciting battle for only one to rule them all, the road to winning the Man Booker Prize is not easy. From this "longlist," six books will be chosen later this year by a panel of judges for the "shortlist," and then eventually a single winner will emerge. Exciting! 

Which of the books are your favorites?
Who do you think should win?

About the Man Booker Prize:
"First awarded in 1969, the Man Booker Prize is recognised as the leading prize for literary fiction written in English. The list of former winners features many of the literary giants of the last four decades: from Iris Murdoch to Salman Rushdie, Ian McEwan to Hilary Mantel. The rules of the prize were changed at the end of 2013 to embrace the English language ‘in all its vigour, its vitality, its versatility and its glory’, opening it up to writers beyond the UK and Commonwealth." (From themanbookerprize.com)

The 2017 Man Booker prize longlist

         
  
         

4321 by Paul Auster 

Days Without End by Sebastian Barry

History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

Solar Bones by Mike McCormack (available Sept. 19th, 2017)

Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor (available Nov. 14, 2017)

Elmet by Fiona Mozley

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie (available Aug. 15, 2017)

Autumn by Ali Smith

Swing Time by Zadie Smith

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Children's Summer Reading Bingo

This summer we've merged our Children's Summer Reading Challenge with Reading Without Walls' Bingo!

Will you meet the challenge?

Come in to get a Bingo sheet (or print one by downloading it here) to get started. Then, get reading and start winning!

Complete as many rows as you want (diagonals included!) and win a prize for each one. Multiple Bingos are allowed. Complete the whole card to get an extra special prize! Please bring your card in by September 1st to claim prizes.

Plus, get 15% OFF any five books that you buy here at The Bookloft that let you complete a row for Bingo!

Summer Author Series

We are proud to be hosting several author events this summer. Each author will be in our store for either a short talk, a short reading, a book signing, or all of the above! Here's who we've got on the lineup for our Summer Author series...


MAY 13, 2017
4:00pm

Joselin Linder, author of The Family Gene

The Family GeneJoselin Linder is a regular contributor to the New York Post, whose work has also been featured on This American Life, Morning Edition and Life of the Law. She spoke at the TEDX GOWANUS event in Brooklyn in 2014, presenting for the first time on the subject of her family gene and the deadly illness to which it leads. Exclusive to just fourteen people, the story of the gene will be told in Linder’s new book, The Family Gene. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two dogs.

About the Book
A riveting medical mystery about a young woman’s quest to uncover the truth about her likely fatal genetic disorder that opens a window onto the exploding field of genomic medicine.


MAY 27, 2017
4:00pm

Jennifer Browdy will be speaking on two of her books: What I Forgot….and Why I Remembered and The Elemental Journey of Purposeful Memoir: A Writer’s Companion

Jennifer Browdy, Ph.D., is a pioneer of purposeful memoir and a leading voice in the field of feminist spiritual ecology, focusing especially on activism through media and the arts. She teaches and lectures widely on social and environmental advocacy, social transformation and the necessity of aligning the personal and political in the journey to planetary stability.

About What I Forgot….and Why I Remembered
An honest, lyrical and hard-hitting memoir that sets one American woman’s journey against the larger backdrop of the personal and planetary landscape into which she was born, and uses the intimate details of one life story to represent the larger story of a whole generation of Americans.

A “nature girl” as a child, Jennifer recalls how she was seduced into forgetting her love of the natural world as a young adult in Manhattan entering the dominant cultural stream. She remembered this primary connection to the Earth much later in life when she woke up to the reality of global climate change and environmental degradation. Through her own experience of denial and avoidance, as she resisted change both personally and professionally, she shows the challenges of getting privileged Americans to wake up and confront the realities of our time.

About The Elemental Journey of Purposeful Memoir: A Writer’s Companion
Warm and informal, this month-by-month guide to writing memoir is like having an experienced writing coach at your elbow. With a year’s worth of thought-provoking, carefully structured writing prompts and essays on craft, Jennifer offers guidance and companionship for the aspiring memoirist, encouraging you to dig deep into the storehouse of your memories to share the wisdom that only life experience can bring.


June 10, 2017
2:00pm

Leslie T. Sharpe, author of The Quarry Fox: And Other Critters of the Wild Catskills

Leslie T. Sharpe is the former Vice President of the New York City Audubon Society, an environmentalist, and a lifelong naturalist living on Lazy Hawk Mountain in the Great Western Catskills. She has taught writing and editing at Columbia University, New York University and the City College of New York. Her book Editing Fact and Fiction: A Concise Guide to Book Editing is a staple text for writing students.

About the Book
A red fox stands poised at the edge of a woodchuck den, his ears perked for danger as two pudgy fox cubs frolic nearby. A mother black bear and her cubs hibernate beneath a felled tree. A barred owl snags a hapless cottontail from a meadow with its precise talons. In The Quarry Fox, Leslie T. Sharpe trains her keen eye and narrative gifts on these and other New York wildlife through her tales of close observations as a naturalist living in the Great Western Catskills. The Quarry Fox is the first in-depth study of Catskill wildlife since John Burroughs invented the genre of nature-writing, in which Sharpe weaves her experiences with the seasons, plants, and creatures with the natural history of each organism, revealing their sensitivity to and resilience against the splendor and cruelty of Nature.
 


July 15, 2017
2:00pm

Raymond P. Sinibaldi, author of John F. Kennedy in New England

Raymond P. Sinibaldi, whose grandfather worked as Kennedy’s East Boston campaign secretary in both 1946 and 1952, poured over thousands of photographs to capture moments of President Kennedy at home in New England. Those moments provide a fresh look at our nation’s 35th president and his enduring legacy, the heart of which is found at the JFK Library on the shores of Boston Harbor.

About The Book
On May 29, 1917, John F. Kennedy was born in the Kennedy home in Brookline, Massachusetts. As a toddler, he wandered the sands of Nantasket Beach in Hull. When he was a little boy, he swam in the Atlantic waters of Sandy Beach in Cohasset, and as a teenager, he learned to sail on Nantucket Sound off the Cape Cod hamlet of Hyannis Port. He was married on the lawn of the Auchincloss Estate in Newport on the shores of Rhode Island Sound, and as president, he sailed the waters off John’s Island in Maine, while the Navy’s Blue Angels flew over in a salute to their commander in chief. John Kennedy was marked and then defined by his time sailing the seas off New England’s shores, and as his brother Ted once said, it was Hyannis Port where he enjoyed his “happiest times.”

 

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