My Favorite Lit-Blog Things: September 16, 2009

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.


2 Responses to My Favorite Lit-Blog Things: September 16, 2009

  1. Sarah says:

    Many thanks for the link to my review, Kerry. And I enjoyed the additional material on The White Guard which you highlight.

    In fact, a whole raft of fascinating articles this week. I loved the article on the number of worthy books published each day, although I know some people who might crawl into a hole faced with that kind of information, never to be seen again!

    The item on reading by choice in schools was also very interesting. It would be lovely to think that initial freedom would result in literature loving kids. There’s a whole philosophy of trusting our children to know what’s good for them tied up in there somewhere…

    And finally, Lorrie Moore. I have never read any, and only heard the name recently, but you are quite right to use the word rave. I am starting to feel anxious about what I may be missing out on.

  2. Kerry says:


    You are more than welcome regarding the link. It truly was the highlight of my lit-blogging week. Interesting takes on books I love is why I read lit-blogs.

    I am glad you enjoyed the other links too. I obviously enjoyed them. I must say, I have not really heard of Lorrie Moore before (or I heard and forgot), so this recent attention has me feeling anxious about what I am missing too. I am pretty sure I am going to read this one. If nothing else, I want to find out what the fuss is about. (Plus, it will probably be a contender in the Tournament of Books, my favorite (though not the best) literary award of the year…mainly because it is interactive.)

    Thanks for the comment!

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