Monday, March 9, 2015


For 35 years the Los Angeles Times has awarded prizes for literature. Several categories are considered and finalists have been announced. Winning authors will be congratulated at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, held Saturday and Sunday, April 18 and 19, on the University of Southern California campus. Check out the link for this free public festival with author and book presentations for all ages.

The Monrovia Public Library owns several of the nominated books. Let’s take a look at a few of them in various categories.

In the History category is The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution. Author Walter Isaacson also wrote the biography Steve Jobs. Innovators is not dry, but a sweeping history that is fun to read. Covering the panorama of personalities that contributed to the rise of computers, the author includes little known women and men as well as the all-star experts we can easily name.  

American author Siri Hustvedt’s The Blazing World is nominated in the Fiction category. This is a novel for readers that love multilayered books whose dense plots are puzzling mazes. This is the story of an artist whose attempt to fool the public results in her own mysterious death.

In Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate the author makes the argument that the world can avoid global warming, but not with a carbon hungry system where business trumps science. Her book is nominated in the Science and Technology category.

Compared with To Kill a Mockingbird, Current Interest nominee Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson is a plea that the legal system be fair. Focusing on one person unfairly convicted and serving on death row, the author looks at how poverty, race and background limit justice.

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