Sarah read and excellently reviewed Bulgakov’s The White Guard. From the links on Sarah’s blog supplied by WordPress, I also stumbled across a concise summary of a Russian epilogue to the novel which provides information neither I nor Sarah included in our reviews. Finally, this blog post constitutes a deligthful and short historical post script to the novel.
The Second Pass has an interesting post on the publishing industry. And, too, a little encouragement, by way of utter discouragement, for those of us who constantly feel as though we ought to have read more of this author or that. There is, of course, simply too much to read to get to it all.
The New York Times had, back in August, an article on giving choice to seventh and eight graders (generally 12-14 year olds for those unfamiliar with U.S. schools) in their reading selections. The goal of providing choice rather than forcing an entire class to read the same book is to encourage reading. The lack of a common base of literary knowledge is one potential drawback. The Canon rears its head. It would be nice if the empirical data eventually show that the choice approach is the best of both worlds (more enthusiastic readers and better reading/writing proficiency). Anyway, interesting article, particularly if you have a young reader at home.
Narrative Magazine has picked their Top Five Stories of the Week: 2008-2009.
Here’s a great roundup of the Brooklyn Book Festival. I particularly enjoyed the summary of the Gaitskill/Lethem discussion.
People are raving about Lorrie Moore’s A Gate at the Stairs.