September 15, 2011
The Shadow Giller Jury is back (plus one) and in full reading mode. KfC’s most recent review is here. Links to the most recent reviews by other Shadow Jurors here.
What Professional Critics Can Learn From Book Bloggers by Jeff O’Neal of Reading Ape fame.
Booker (and Giller!) coverage is everywhere. Another good place to go (besides the links above) is Just William’s Luck. He has a nice review of the “curiously enjoyable tale of murderous mayhem” that is The Sisters Brothers.
As if I, like any book blogger, needs more objects of desire. (Caustic Cover Critic).
The Fiction Desk (as publisher) is coming out with another anthology of stories: All These Little Worlds.
While I owe Nicholson Baker a debt (see my review of Siste Viator), I now owe Tony for making sure that the next Baker book I read will not be House of Holes. I’m not saying I won’t read it, but it will certainly have to wait until after The Mezzanine, at least. Tony’s list of adjectives describing Baker’s latest seems like a great way to review the book.
“I have no book, and I must read.” A heartbreaking post by Max at Pechorin’s Journal. No, really, it sucks if you’ve ever been there.
If you admire Jane Austen or loathe V.S. Naipaul or simply want to read a long but excellent piece on gender in literature, Audrey Bilger’s “Just Like a Woman” in the Los Angeles Review of Books is for you.
June 23, 2011
“His pale, dignified, unclothed possession: become a tall and very thin greenless nervous system of a frog; probed to life by outside means.” Philip K. Dick writes ribbeting sex scenes….ahahaha…hahahah…ha…umm. Quote excerpted from a nice article at The Millions.
Book rescue in Canada. There must be a better way than burning to deal with 350,000 books collected over a bibliophile’s lifetime. (via The Second Pass)
The Thirty Harshest Author-on-Author Insults in History. (Flavorwire)
If you like such things, maybe you should check out “Hitchens on the Art of the Feud.” (NYT Blog)
Your English is Showing (NYRB)
June 3, 2011
The Top Ten Short Stories according to The Second Pass. Ten is an impossibly small number, so I cannot gripe that they left out some of my favorites, such as: “The Woman in the Rose-Colored Dress” by Gina Berriault, “A&P” by John Updike, “That in Aleppo Once…” by Vladimir Nabokov, “Kew Gardens” by Virginia Woolf, and “A Dog’s Tale” by Mark Twain. I’ll stop at five.
For one on their list, check out the excellent “Jealous Husband Returns in Form of Parrot” by Robert Olen Butler. (Narrative Magazine)
Janet Potter, staffer at The Millions, picks Richard Feynman‘s “Six Easy Pieces”. Excellent. I should re-read it, again.
Kinna Reads rounds up the latest literary awards news.
Kevin From Canada glowingly reviews “Montana 1948″ by Larry Watson, reminding me I need to read it. The Mookse and The Gripes has previously endorsed Watson’s novel as “a special book” and included it on his year-end top 10 list.
“Fascinating books in lovely bodies.” (Caustic Cover Critic on Notting Hill Editions)
June is Dutch Literature Month at Iris on Books. Lizzie’s Literary Life has a nice stack of books for the occasion. (Maybe I should finally get to The Twin by Gerbrand Bakker.)
May 12, 2011
The Reading Ape continues his interesting series on book-blogging. His latest: Whom Do You Review For? (My answer in his comments. And, yes, I will be publishing a review soon.)
Eugene Volokh, a brilliant law blogger (blawger) and the person who recommended the book to me, posts not once but twice in the past week on Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon. [By the way, on re-reading, I realized that I made it sound much more like a personal recommendation that it was. He talked about the book in laudatory fashion, I picked it up when I saw it on a shelf because of his comments. To be clear. heh.]
“Novel rejected? There is an e-book gold rush!” (Washington Post)
Literary Hill BookFest – a new, annual event to celebrate Capitol Hill (Washington, D.C.) writers.
I should have linked to this before, but May is Short Story Month over at the Emerging Writers Network. (Thanks to Sasha for alerting me to this event. And she is participating.)
Whispering Gums is traveling in Japan.
And, finally, another party to which I am late: A Rat in the Book Pile has been ripping through a number of great books recently, including The Master and Margarita which I loved.
May 5, 2011
Infinite Attention – Slate’s Matt Feeney on David Foster Wallace’s The Pale King
Interpolations sparks great discussion and adds two to my TBR with a post on Coetzee’s Foe. (To be fair, anything by Coetzee is already on the TBR, but still….)
Reading Matters makes a compelling case for The Saint, specifically, and Kindle Singles, generally.
Pechorin’s Journal on the brilliance that is Bartleby, the Scrivener by Herman Melville.
A Commonplace Blog on When I Lived in Modern Times by Linda Grant, an author I have neglected.
The Mookse and The Gripes is taken with Alan Heathcock’s Volt. TBR time.
The Reading Ape has several gems. First, a nice cap on his ToB coverage with some Judges’ Awards (something I considered but presciently decided against as The Reading Ape did it so much better than I would have). As a book blogger, I learned that this sentence construction may not be the best for explaining why I found these two posts to be great: The I’s Have It and The I’s Have It, Redux.
April 7, 2011
D.G. Meyers writes powerfully about cancer and living with the disease while discussing In the Valley of the Shadow by James L. Kugel.
On a lighter note, A Rat in the Book Pile has Extreme Reading #12 which features Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber, a personal favorite.
Interpolations has happy new things in his life. “But please know that this hurts me a lot more than it hurts you. And this is the only time that this dumb-ass expression is true.”
Kevin from Canada pans The Afterparty and gets a visit from the author and the author’s dad. Great stuff in the review and do not miss the comments.
Kinna Reads adds to my TBR with a 1964 short story collection from Mozambique.
“Keep cool but care.” Quote from Pynchon’s V courtesy of Pechorin’s Journal.
Triple Choice Tuesday features on of my favorite bloggers: Steph of Steph & Tony Investigate! Happily, I have read two of her picks, so the TBR grows only slightly.
Speaking of Steph, she has a post on a book exploring (recommendations) website. On a similar note, GoodReads purchased Discovereads and their book recommendation algorithm which promises to be “Netflixy” and, therefore, much better than Amazon which suggests you try more Coetzee if you like Coetzee.
Of course, you can also just follow the preferred route around here: Get new and interesting recommendations from bloggers you trust, like Whispering Gums who introduces several writers from Tasmania worth checking out.
March 5, 2011
Because it is awesome and because entries for my TOB 2011 unofficial contest close on March 7, 2011 (three days, guys), you should go check out The Reading Ape who has posted an awesome breakdown of the odds for each of the 16 Rooster contenders.
March 3, 2011
Reminder: The deadline for submitting your entries for my Tournament of Books 2011 unofficial contest closes on Monday, March 7th, 2011 at 11:59pm (EST).
A Rat in the Book Pile takes an interesting look at Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.
Tor.com releases a list of the best Sci-Fi novels of the decade. (via A Momentary Taste of Being) I have only completed books by two of the authors (Gaiman, Stephenson), though not there selections here. I abandoned China Mieville due to aesthetic disagreements.
ANZ LitLovers Litblog reviews Gerbrand Bakker’s The Twin, the IMPAC Award winning book that catapulted me to a victory in a contest held by Kevin from Canada. It is on the TBR and Lisa’s review reminds me it should be sooner rather than later.
The Bookslut interviews Paul Murray, author of Rooster-hopeful Skippy Dies.
Murder, if You Can Be Bothered (Caustic Cover Critic)
a few words on Franzen’s Freedom (Incurable Logophilia)
Don’t miss Kevin from Canada’s coverage of the Amazon.ca First Novel Award.
Matt Rowan of Bob Einstein’s Literary Equations has a story (“Forevergrad“) published in Metazen, “a really cool web literary zine”.
Max at Pechorin’s Journal posts his Personal Canon, part 1.
Become one of a thousand reviewers of David Mitchell’s The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet (via Reading Matters)
February 24, 2011
“The Best Online Cultural Resources” (The Telegraph via A Momentary Taste of Being). I was mesmerized by Mitchell & Kenyon’s 35mm film footage of the Morecambe Seafront.
A Guy’s Moleskine Notebook posts on The Remains of the Day, a book I am eager to read.
A Commonplace Blog finds Nicole Krauss’s Great House lacking. I included it in my favorite reads of 2010 (though I have been waiting to post a review pending a re-read and finishing the ToB contenders). Mr. Meyers responds to the assertion that Krauss cannot write a bad sentence as follows: “It would be more truthful, though, to say that Krauss cannot write a simple sentence. To borrow a phrase from the late Wilfrid Sheed, as recalled by his friend John Simon in a tribute published in the Weekly Standard, her prose is ‘fine sentence-by-sentence writing at the expense of form.’” Ouch. This definitely gives me food for thought as I re-read.
Modes of Imagining the Writer of the Future (The Millions)
ANZ LitLovers Blog has started a series: Sensational Snippets. The latest contains actually sensational snippets from Bereft. Good stuff!
Egypt’s Protest Comedy Show (The Atlantic via 3 Quarks Daily) Because it is about an incredibly important moment in history.
The inimitable John Self on reviewing a debut author with the same name as an established author:
Clearly there is no writers’ equivalent of the Equity rule which means that no two actors may share the same professional name. This means that (a) the book reviewed here is by Nicholas Royle, Professor of English at the University of Sussex, author of many academic and literary works but now a debut novelist, and (b) I am currently working on a novel of my own to be published under the name Stephenie Meyer.
February 17, 2011
“Main Character: Richard Peabody Has Devoted His Life to Washington’s Writers. At What Cost?” (Washington Post Magazine) Richard Peapody is one of the editors of Gargoyle Magazine, a literary journal based in Arlington, Virginia (suburban D.C.).
Times Flow Stemmed has been reading Simone De Beauvoir lately, which endears the site to me. This week he reviewed Strait is the Gate by Andre Gide. Gide is one of De Beauvoir’s favorite writers. I have only read The Immoralist. I enjoyed it very much and, so, look forward to Strait is the Gate.
The always incisively interesting Reading Ape discusses “VIDA and Amazon: Charting Gender Bias in Reading and Reviewing“
John Self’s review of Bartleby the Scrivener that provided me the push to read the classic Melville novella. If you have not yet read it, let Trevor’s excellent review be your push. If you have, you will likely enjoy Trevor’s take.
Speaking of John Self and his Asylum, he has an excellent review of Saul Bellow’s Him With His Foot in His Mouth, a novella/short story recently published as a stand alone book by Penguin Mini Modern Classics.
Whispering Gums has a new “occasional” feature: Delicious Descriptions. It consists of those quotes she loves that do not fit in her reviews.
Joyce Carol Oates’s A Widow’s Book is described as “perhaps the bravest book I’ve ever read.” (Mostly Fiction)
Ripley Underground by Patricia Highsmith (Kevin from Canada, relentlessly pointing out the holes in my reading…thanks)