By Deb A.
For anyone who lacks Pantone's confidence in predicting the future (get ready for the "life-affirming" Living Coral), there is always the calm comfort of a look back into the recent past with the intent of crowning a champion. And so this year, we once again scrape through a series of 'best books of 2018' lists in order to see what titles pop up again and again. Please note that what you are about to read may be helpful if you're looking for a last-minute Christmas gift or a treat for yourself, but it is completely and utterly emancipated from scientific rigour.
This year we consulted sources that skew American: the New York Times, the Washington Post, the New Yorker, NPR staff picks, Publishers Weekly, and the New York Public Library, along with the CBC, the Financial Times, and the Guardian's favourite authors. Here's what they think you should read.
Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
From the publisher: "A dazzling adventure story about a boy who rises from the ashes of slavery to become a free man of the world."
Esi Edugyan's third novel pleased Americans, Brits, and Canadians alike—hardly surprising for a book that won the Scotiabank Giller Prize and was shortlisted for the Man Booker.
Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday
From the publisher: "...explores the imbalances that spark and sustain many of our most dramatic human relations: inequities in age, power, talent, wealth, fame, geography, and justice."
Lisa Halliday's debut juxtaposes a May-December affair between an editor and a Philip Rothlike novelist with the detention of an Iraqi-American at Heathrow airport.
There There by Tommy Orange
From the publisher: "a stunning novel that grapples with a complex and painful history, with an inheritance of beauty and profound spirituality, and with a plague of addiction, abuse, and suicide."
Championed by Margaret Atwood, Tommy Orange's first novel follows 12 Urban Indians at the Big Oakland Powwow.
From the publisher: "An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University."
Tara Westover didn't go to school until she was 17. Educated is her story of her life in a fundamentalist Mormon family and her relentless quest for knowledge.
From the publisher: "A brilliant and brave investigation into the medical and scientific revolution taking place around psychedelic drugs–and the spellbinding story of his own life-changing psychedelic experiences."
Coming off a hypnotically stylish Netflix documentary series based on his book, Cooked, Michael Pollan's next step after years of examining food and our relationship to it is a first- and third-person examination of mind-altering drugs and human consciousness.
By Deb A.
What makes a book difficult, and is that a bad thing? (The Guardian)
The Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation has announced its shortlist for next year's prize.
Behind the scenes with the impressive list of celebrities reading children to sleep on CBeebies Bedtime Stories. (BBC)
Jawohl! The Deutsche Welle has put together a list of 100 must-reads translated from German into English.
Artist Tania Willard's recent work turns the wind into a poet. (CBC)
The science is in on how to become a successful artist. (artnet; full study, published in Science, available here)
The 2018 New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children's Books are here!
By Deb A.
For young readers
I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy; illustrated by Elizabeth Baddely
Turning Pages: My Life Story by Sonia Sotomayor; illustrated by Lulu Delacre
The Beloved World of Sonia Sotomayor by Sonia Sotomayor
My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg with Mary Hartnett and Wendy W. Williams
Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik
Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Life by Jane S. De Hart (out October 16, 2018)
Elena Kagan: A Biography by Meg Greene
My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor
By Deb A.
Here are some tidbits you may have missed this week.
"Alas for me! I am dead!": Ancient speech bubbles have been discovered in Jordan. (Atlas Obscura)
World of WearableArt celebrates its 30-year anniversary this year. (World of WearableArt)
Film, sculpture, performance, installations, activist architecture—but not a paintbrush in sight. The Turner Prize shortlist is here. (Tate)
Speaking of shortlists, the Photobox Instagram Photography Awards has one and there isn't a single shot of brunch to be seen. (PIPA)
Caitriona Lally won this year's Rooney Prize for Irish Literature for her debut novel, Eggshells. The award is given by Trinity College Dublin, Ms. Lally's alma mater and current employer; she has been working there as a cleaner since 2015. (CBC Radio)
How to probably not corrupt your child: Read them books that have been banned. Julia Pistell celebrates Banned Books Week. (Shondaland)
And now that you've reached the end, stop scrolling and get back to your book—but take a look at Joe Moran's examination of slow reading first. (The Guardian)
By Deb A.
Fall is here, and with it come fond memories of elementary school book fairs. Fortunately adults can have their fun too: No matter what continent you're on, there's a book fair for you this year.
South African Book Fair
September 7–9; Johannesburg, South Africa
The SABF takes place at the end of South African's National Book Week and will feature a storytelling festival, poetry and philosophy cafés, and even a magic tent alongside over 40 exhibitors.
Brooklyn Book Festival
September 10–17; New York City, U.S.A.
New York City's largest literary celebration will include over 50 events highlighting the city's literary diversity.
Indonesia International Book Fair
September 12–16; Jakarta, Indonesia
"It's a book affair" is the tag line of this event, which was established in 1980.
The 39th International Manila Book Fair
September 12–16; Manila, Philippines
Visitors can check out over 100 exhibitors, including an entire floor of children and young adult titles.
NY Art Book Fair
September 20–23; New York, U.S.A.
Printed Matter's 13th edition of the NY Art Book Fair is a free event with 365 exhibitors and a range of programme highlights.
21st Nairobi International Book Fair
September 26–30; Nairobi, Kenya
The theme for this year's event is "Books for Nurturing Skills."
Göteborg Book Fair
September 27–30; Gothenburg, Sweden
The Göteborg Book Fair bills itself not only as "the most important event in Scandinavia for people in the book business," but also "an arena for debate."
Baltimore Book Festival
September 28–30; Baltimore, U.S.A.
Hundreds of authors will converge in Baltimore for three days to take part in nonstop readings on multiple stages, panel discussions, and workshops.
Oak Knoll Fest XX
October 5–7; New Castle, U.S.A.
Over 40 printers are due to exhibit at this fine press book fair, whose theme for 2018 is "Bringing it on Home."
October 10–14; Frankfurt, Germany
Perhaps the world's best known book fair, this year the Frankfurter Buchmesse celebrates its 70th anniversary.
Vancouver Art Book Fair
18–21 October; Vancouver, Canada
Canada's very first international art book fair is a festival of artists' publishing that will include over 100 local, national, and international publishers this year.
Miami Book Fair
11–18 November; Miami, U.S.A.
The Miami Book Fair includes a week of readings and discussions with over 450 authors, a street fair, and a partnership with The Children's Trust that delivers around 3,500 free books to children every week.
Literary, art and photography publications, and publisher of fine books. Quarterly magazines are available online and in print, and feature contributors from around the globe. For current book titles, visit our homepage.
Copyright © Agave Magazine + Press, 2018