My Favorite Lit-Blog Things: May 7, 2010

Sarah and her rat are back in the book pile with a Steinbeck review.

Kevin from Canada continues his IMPAC coverage with a review of The Believers by Zoe Heller. Don’t forget to get in on his IMPAC contest.

If you haven’t heard, never use the phrase “beg the question”. Stories on the matter here (via The Rumpus) and here (via me).

This was written months ago, but I found it interesting: “Why books are the length they are.

Washington Monthly has an excellent piece on David Foster Wallace.

The Joy of Unread Books” (The Millions)

The VQR Vault. (Particularly, the Sherwood Anderson piece.)

The Atlantic’s Fiction 2010 – “Stories, poems, and essays by Joyce Carol Oates, Paul Theroux, Richard Bausch, T. C. Boyle, and more.”

David Plotz (Slate) and Ron Charles (The Washington Post) both review Phillip Pullman’s new The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ. I have not read Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy yet, so the new one will wait. But it brings to mind two other recent novels addressing Jesus. One I read and loved: Jim Crace’s Quarantine. The other, Christopher Moore’s Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal, I have not read, but may look into as an alternative to this, apparently, less than satisfying effort by Pullman.

6 Responses to My Favorite Lit-Blog Things: May 7, 2010

  1. Matt Rowan says:

    I had a professor who drilled correct usage of “begs the question” into my head with such fervid effort that even when I wasn’t certain how to use it correctly I knew how not to use it. It’s still one of the phrases that makes me cringe when I hear it misused.

  2. Kerry says:

    Yes, and, apparently, “misuses” are outweighing “correct” uses, so your professor may have won the battle but lost the war. This is lamentable, to me anyway, but so it goes. (See also the youth of today and “literally”, as in: “My mom and dad will literally kill me if I don’t make it in by curfew.” It pains me to write it.)

  3. You do have to read His Dark Materials. It’s one of the best trilogies vie ever read, and each book is fantastic in itself.

  4. Kerry says:


    I certainly will. I have only heard great things about it. Plus, I am always looking for new books to share with my daughter. She wants adventure.


  5. Sarah says:

    Thanks for the mention, Kerry. And congratulations on a superb ‘favourite lit-blog things.’ Loads to follow up here.

    I very much enjoyed the piece on DFW. Since reading Infinite Jest I have interested myself in its author in a quite uncharacteristic fashion. It is a measure of the man and his talent, I think.

  6. Kerry says:

    Thank you, Sarah. DFW is a fascinating man. And apparently brilliant too, though I have not read enough of his stuff to give my independent assent to that widely held judgment. I agree that an interest in an author sparked by reading their work is a good indicator that the writer has talent.

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