Monday, April 28, 2014

Winkler wins the 2014 Townsend Prize for Fiction

God Carlos
by Anthony C. Winkler
Winner of the 2014 Townsend Prize for Fiction

Jamaica-born Atlanta resident Anthony C. Winkler was awarded the 2014 Townsend Prize for Fiction for his novel God Carlos in a ceremony at the Atlanta Botanical Garden Thursday night, April 24.

The Book
God Carlos transports the reader to the Santa Inez, a 16th-century Spanish vessel bound for the newly discovered West Indies bearing a ragtag band of fortune-seeking sailors. She is unusual for her day, carrying no provisions for the settlers and no seeds for planting crops, only vain, arrogant men seeking gold in Jamaica. When they make landfall after more than a month at sea, the crew discovers that the island is inhabited by timid, innocent people who walk around stark naked without embarrassment. The adventurers find no gold in Jamaica, only a merciless climate that nourishes diseases that slaughter them. The islanders' belief that the Europeans have come from heaven further complicates an impossible collision of culture, custom, and beliefs, ultimately leading to mutual doom.

See the full list of 2014 Townsend Prize finalists here.

Past Winners of the Townsend Prize
2012 — Thomas Mullen, The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers
2010 — Kathryn Stockett, The Help
2008 — Renee Dodd, A Cabinet of Wonders
2006 — Judson Mitcham, Sabbath Creek
2004 — Terry Kay, The Valley of Light
2002 — Ha Jin, The Bridegroom: Stories
2000 — James Kilgo, Daughter of My People
1998 — Judson Mitcham, The Sweet Everlasting
1996 — JoAllen Bradham, Some Personal Papers
1994 — Pam Durban, The Laughing Place
1991 — Ferrol Sams, When All the World Was Young
1990 — Charlie Smith, The Lives of the Dead
1989 — Sara Flanigan, Alice
1988 — Mary Hood, And Venus Is Blue
1986 — Philip Lee Williams, The Heart of a Distant Forest
1984 — Alice Walker, The Color Purple
1982 — Celestine Sibley, Children, My Children

Click a title or cover to view the catalog or request an item.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Collins Hill Branch Staff Picks

This month's staff picks come from the staff of the Collins Hill Branch in Lawrenceville. GCPL's tenth branch and the last to be built in the twentieth century, Collins Hill opened in 1999. For fifteen straight years now the Collins Hill Branch has been one of the county's busiest. Be sure to wish the staff there a happy crystal anniversary the next time you visit, and don't forget to thank them for sharing these great recommendations.

Basket Case
by Carl Hiaasen

This 2002 novel by native Floridian and newspaperman Carl Hiaasen follows an investigative reporter who has been demoted to the obituary beat yet refuses to give up on his newspaper career. In Hiaasen's typical style, it is a story full of characters so peculiar that the whole tale is entirely probable. A satisfying read that is hard to put down.
Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam Triology #1)
by Margaret Atwood

Initially released in 2003, Oryx and Crake introduces a post-apocalyptic vision of a future America where gene splicing, genetically modified animals, and a yawning gap between rich and poor are commonplace. Told from the perspective of Snowman, the story moves from past to present, slowly weaving a tale of friendship, love, violence, and a social order that is doomed to fail. Snowman’s journey is both enlightening and terrible in a future that is not too difficult to conceive.

The Plantagenets
The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England
by Dan Jones

A single volume covering the Plantagenet dynasty from its founding in the late 12th century under Henry I to Richard III's downfall in the 15th century. We all know how Richard III became King of England after displacing his nephew (one of the princes in the tower). But have you heard about how the ill-suited Edward II was overthrown by his own wife? In many ways, Plantagenet history is a medieval soap opera filled with infighting, betrayals, and shifting alliances that plagued each generation of rulers. A reader can get a bit lost while sprinting through nearly 300 years of English royal history, but this book does something that few history can do: it makes the struggles of long-dead people seem relevant and immediate. Highly recommended for history buffs, Anglophiles and royal watchers.

The Selection (Selection #1)
by Kiera Cass

In a future where America has been remade into a monarchy complete with a strict caste system, when a prince comes of age a bride is chosen for him in a nationwide competition. Low caste America Singer enters the competition and is surprised to be selected to compete against 34 other girls for the chance to marry Prince Maxon. Unsure at first, she soon realizes the importance of winning the competition not just for herself but for the kingdom. Complicating matters, her ex-boyfriend Aspen shows up at the palace as one of the guards. Will America fight for her place as a princess or will she return to Aspen and her old life? Cross a beauty pageant with The Bachelor, add some surprisingly strong characters and a bit of intrigue, and you have one enjoyable read.

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy #1)
by Richelle Mead

One of the better teen vampire series, Vampire Academy is more enjoyable than Twilight. The main charactera half-vampire named Rose Hathawayis brave and fierce and can take care of herself. The series opens after she and her best friend have run away from their exclusive vampire boarding school and been hauled back by the guards. Now they are back and someone is leaving them threatening notes. Rose must figure out who is stalking and harassing her best friend before it is too late. To make matters worse, they live under the constant threat of a vampire gang that wants to kill the students to increase their own power. Full of teen drama as well as action and adventure, this is one not to miss.

Click a title or cover to view the catalog or request an item.