Favorite Books of 2010: Cyndi Edition

With the end of the year upon us, it seems that everyone is publishing their Best Books of 2010 lists (Huffington Post has quick links to 13 lists!). Here at the Writers’ League, we thought we’d share our staff favorites. So here’s my list. I tend to read locally (books by Texas authors) or specifically for events and programs, so I don’t always get to the big books on The New York Times or Publishers Weekly lists.

Fiction: The Passage, by Justin Cronin. I was delighted that this stunning literary thriller lived up to the hype (it was one of the big books flogged at Book Expo). I had sworn off vampires, but when this book came out and I had the chance to interview Justin at his BookPeople appearance, I dove right in and devoured it in less than a week. It’s one of those books that continues to haunt you in between reading sessions; I half-expected to turn around and be in that post-apocalyptic world. Even better, by taking his time unfurling the story via various back story lines and developing some amazing characters, Justin managed to write a story that was something of a throwback, a cross between Michael Crichton and The Road.

Nonfiction: On the Outskirts of Normal: Forging a Family Against the Grain, by Debra Monroe. First off, Debra and I are friends, just so you know. Reading memoirs by friends does make me a bit nervous. What happens if I don’t like the book or I learn some intimate detail that I Continue reading

Friday Filler: Nov. 5 Edition

Here’s our weekly roundup of publishing news, resources, contests, and whatever else struck our fancy this week!

Publishing News

Top 10 Lists: For the first time ever, Library Journal has posted a Top 10 books of the year list, complete with  Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom, Michael Cunningham’s By Nightfall, and the one that has Cyndi jumping up and down, Justin Cronin’s The Passage.

Publishers Weekly announced its own top 10 of 2010, with Franzen (naturally), Michael Lewis’s The Big Short, and Jennifer Egan’s A Visit From the Goon Squad — but we were tickled to see Patti Smith’s Just Kids and Lauren Hillenbrand’s Unbroken on the list too. The full list of 100 books comes out in Monday’s issue of PW.

Why E-Books Aren’t Scary: Stephen King weighs in on ebooks in this interview with the Wall Street Journal. Best quote: “I wonder if one or two atom bombs went off, Continue reading

Enter “The Passage”

WLT Launches New Author Interview Series with Author Justin Cronin

3 p.m., Saturday, June 19
BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar, Austin

The Passage, Houston author Justin Cronin’s new post-apocalyptic novel, finally came out last week to rave reviews. We’re delighted to announce that Justin will kick off the WLT’s new author interview series, “This Writing Life,” at BookPeople on June 19.

He has the biggest book of the summer, and not just because it tops 750 pages — it was all the rage at Book Expo America, and the New York Times just reviewed it.

WLT Executive Director Cyndi Hughes will interview Justin about his book, the art of writing, and, yes, vampires. The epic story of a creepy viral infestation that brings about the end of the world as we know it — and the girl who saves us all — is not just a great read; it’s a literary page-turner. Cyndi reports that The Passage lives up to the hype. “I just can’t put it down, and I’m staying up way too late at night,” she says. “It’s the kind of book you can really sink your teeth into (pardon the pun)!”

A book like this doesn’t come around every day, and we hope you’ll come to BookPeople to see why. Plus, a percentage of sales on June 19 will benefit the Writers’ League of Texas (thank you, BookPeople!).

Visit the BookPeople website for more information about the event. But don’t stop there — come on down and see what The Passage is all about!