Featured Authors - ABCReads

A selection of recommended books from the ABCReads blog


abc reads is the organizational blog of the Public Library. On this Featured Authors page, we repost and reinvigorate contributions from the past several years. Scroll to see recommendations of great authors and click the green ABCReads link to visit the original blog post!


Mary Roach
Originally posted March 8, 2013

abcreads blog

Mary Roach is consistently entertaining, whether recounting how one might pack for living on Mars, how the digestive tract works, or researching the paranormal. Her writing breaks down common science -- or things that everyone wonders about -- into prose that is both readable and informative, which is a great service to ever-curious nonfiction readers. While some of her subject matter is graphic and describes functions we may not want to read about in plain text, Roach writes with a sense of humor that relieves the reader of being grossed-out or frightened away from what turns out to be interesting everyday science.

  1. "Germs, Germs Everywhere" in The New York Times; November 9th, 2004
  2. Reviewing Grunt for The Guardian newspaper, Michelle Dean recounts how the book reveals some strange military challenges such as bird damage to a plane, disease and food on the battlefield, and an atypical reconstructive surgery that only Roach could fully expose. Read the article in the Guardian Newspaper.
  3. Roach talks about her book Packing For Mars on the Jon Stewart Show. Recorded in August, 2010.


library catalog links

Sheila Kohler
Originally posted November 26, 2013

abcreads blog

Sheila Kohler is a South African author who currently teaches at Princeton and writes novels, short stories, and articles for Psychology Today. Her work focuses on violence in relationships and the dynamic of power and privilege. Awarded several the O. Henry prize and several other honors for her work, Kohler exposes how our relationships germinate, how they evolve, and the how social and political structures negatively affect them.

  1. "The Transitional Object" (c) Boulevard; Spring2007, Vol. 22 Iss. 2/3. From EBSCO Literary Reference Center
  2. . Reviewing Becoming Jane Eyre, Jane Ciabattari talks vampires, sex, and the Brontë sisters with Kohler in the "The Unstoppable Cult of Jane Eyre." - Jan 2010
  3. New York Times Book Review of Once We Were Sisters - Jan 2017

library catalog links

Studs Terkel
Originally posted May 19, 2014

abcreads blog

Today is the birthday of Studs Terkel, who advocated for working-class Americans and documented the experiences of common people in Chicago and elsewhere in the US. He became well known for interviewing famous as well as not-so-famous Americans on a syndicated radio show, and established himself as an authority in the field of oral history. Part of a tradition that began with workers' rights advocates at the turn of the 20th century, Terkel gave a voice to our diverse workforce and gave perspective to the relationship between our work and our personal lives.

Terkel was born in the Bronx, NY but moved to Chicago at age nine, where he attended law school but decided against practicing law and instead followed his interest in the theater and radio. In the course of his career, he interviewed many everyday Americans and and believed they were primary to American identity and economic success. His published works include Working (1974), the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Good War: An Oral History of World War II (1984). One of his last works before his death in 2008 was Hope Dies Last (2003), and may offer the positive outlook many need in a tough political climate.

Biography credit: EBSCO Literary Reference Center.

  1. The Great Divide: Second Thoughts on the American Dream Catalog Record
  2. And They All Sang Catalog Record

The above links are easiest viewed from a public workstation at the Public Library; otherwise some links will require users to log in.

Rudolfo Anaya
Originally posted April 16, 2011

abcreads blog

Anaya is the quintessential New Mexico author. Most of Anaya's stories take place in the region and explore the relationship between the native culture and that which arrived with the expansion of the southwest US. His debut novel, Bless Me, Ultima, won the Premio Quinto Sol literary award, establishing Anaya as a critical voice for Chicano issues. Born in 1937 in Pastura, New Mexico, Anaya moved around the state and finally settled in Albuquerque, where he earned several degrees from UNM and found his style in a variation of Magical Realism and "the duality of Chicano identity — an Aztec-Spanish past, an English-speaking present." Biography from Literary Reference Center.

Links to reviews of selected titles. Click on the image to view catalog records at the Public Library. Links are best viewed from a branch; otherwise some links will require users to log in.

  1. NEA Big Read Interview
  2. Goodreads reviews of Jemez Spring
  3. LA Times Book Review of Alburquerque
  4. UNM Press Summary of and Acclaim for The First Tortilla

Image: library catalog links

Amy Stewart
Originally posted February 28, 2013

abcreads blog

Amy Stewart's nature writing explores the perils and pleasures of the natural world, ranging from her first gardening experience, to darkly comical books about plants and bugs, to an investigation into the flower business. An avid gardener, her well-researched books display passion for her subjects as well as a fascinating array of information, and she is multi-disciplinary in her approach, including history, mythology, and commerce as well as science. Stewart's use of humor and her sense of connection to people and places keep her books engaging. Start with: Wicked Bugs: The Louse that Conquered Napoleon's Army & Other Diabolical Insects. Biography from NoveList Plus.

Links to catalog records at the Public Library Albuquerque Bernalillo County and to reviews of selected titles. Links are best viewed from a library branch.

  1. Lady Cop Makes Trouble OneClickdigital eAudioBook

  2. Girl Waits With Gun Library Catalog Record

  3. Wicked Plants: The weed that killed Lincoln's mother and other botanical atrocities Library Catalog Record

Image: library catalog links

Lev Grossman
Originally posted March 10, 2015

abcreads blog

The son of two English professors, Grossman has been writing for periodicals and penning his own creative stories since the mid 1990's. With his Magicians series, he joined the company of writers like R.R. Martin and Robert Jordan; some have likened the series to Harry Potter, except for adults. But the complex plots and even more complex characters -- who fight with the modern maladies of depression, a longing for creativity, and escapism via technology -- set the author apart and make for an outstanding read.

Links to the catalog record at the Public Library Albuquerque Bernalillo County, interviews with the author, and author homepage.

  1. The Magicians: Season One (Video) Library Catalog Record

  2. The Codex (Ebook and Bound Copy) Library Catalog Records

  3. The Magician King (Also available as eBook) Library Catalog Record

Sigrid Nunez
Originally posted May 31, 2016

abcreads blog

Sigrid Nunez published her first book, A Feather on the Breath of God in 1995. It was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award for First Fiction and also received the Association for Asian American Studies Award for best novel of the year. More information from NPR author/subject page.

Links to the catalog record at the Public Library Albuquerque Bernalillo County and to reviews of selected titles. Links are best viewed from a library branch; otherwise Novelist will require users to log in.

  1. Last of Her Kind New York Times Book Review & Library Catalog Record

  2. Naked Sleeper NoveList Review & Library Catalog Record

  3. Salvation City (Available as eBook) NoveList Review & Library Catalog Record

Image: library catalog links

Pat Barker
Originaly posted September 20, 2016

abcreads blog

Barker dramatizes the events and circumstances of WWI through character-driven stories and powerful dialogue that will keep readers moving through her single works and trilogies. Biography from Literary Reference Center.

Links to the catalog record at the Public Library Albuquerque Bernalillo County and to reviews of selected titles. Links are best viewed from a branch; otherwise some links will require users to log in.

  1. Noonday NoveList Review & Library Catalog Record

  2. Toby's Room Library Catalog Record

  3. The Ghost Road NoveList Review & Library Catalog Record

library catalog links

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