October 6, 2011
The Book Riot (brought to you by The Reading Ape). This new project has started strong with things like:
“Books We ‘Like’: Uncollected Thoughts on Facebook and Reading”
“Reading Pathways: Toni Morrison” (A regular feature that will suggest a three-book reading sequence for becoming acquainted with an author. I like the idea and the start.)
“DNFing Makes Me Feel Dirty“
Other favorites of the week:
“Mistakes Are Made (but Using the Passive Isn’t One of Them)” (Lingua Franca)
For a timely article on the place of dueling in Russian life and literature: “Dueling in Russia: Myth, Veracity, and Literature” (The Millions)
Keep hitting refresh at Interpolations for Number One on his list of favorite opening lines. Tolstoy, Dickens, Bradbury, and Faulkner took positions five through two. My favorite would be: “Maman died today.” The Stranger by Camus.
September 29, 2011
Sasha reviews How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive in her post: The Engineheart of Christopher Boucher’s Debut.
KfC is featuring a guest-post by Giller Shadow Juror Alison Gzowski.
Kevin A. Gonzalez has won the Narrative Prize 2011 for “Christmas Eve“.
Writers from Victoria are featured in Monday Musings on Australian Literature (Whispering Gums)
Times Flow Stemmed continues to spur me on towards more Beckett. The last quote he mines about, not by, Beckett, is golden.
The Quarterly Conversation has a nice review of Cesar Aira’s work The Seamstress and the Wind. Aira is definitely on my TBR after making the year-end best lists of several bloggers I admire.
The Guardian posits a list of The Ten Best Songs Based on Books
My least favorite thing: Infringement on and/or Punishment of Free Speech.
In Australia, newspapers are not permitted to run opinion pieces deemed offensive or “not…in good faith”. I am no expert on Australian politics, racial or otherwise, nor do I want to step in the hornet’s nest of the racial issue at the heart of this matter. However, the matter is a legitimate subject for discussion, even if the articles come across, to an American, as sometimes tactless. I definitely do not believe judges should be empowered to edit newspapers for good taste or the “reasonableness” of their content.
In a similar vein, “Turkish cartoonist to be put on trial for renouncing god.“
September 22, 2011
My most favorite thing: A magic 600. Congratulations!
My least favorite thing: I haven’t yet read Patrick White, though I have meant to, am meaning to, and will be meaning to do so. Sooner is necessary. (ANZ LitLover with an enticing review of The Eye of the Storm, but maybe I need to start somewhere else?)
Given my newfound appreciation for poetry, Interpolations chose a good time to debut this original work of his former self. I liked it. Manguso has done a number on me.
9 Ways of Looking at a Single Paragraph (The Millions)
Sarah’s Review of Lighthousekeeping by Jeannette Winterson (A Rat in the Book Pile)
I loved The Vagrants and A Striped Armchair has an excellent review of Yiyun’s short story collection: Gold Boy, Emerald Girl. The book is a finalist for the 2011 Frank O’Connor Prize (last link to The Mookse and The Gripes).
Kinna Reads has a comprehensive roundup of literary prizes and awards the world over.
Umm, this is old (one month ago!), but Maud Newton wrote a great piece on David Foster Wallace’s influence on writing on the internet.
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.