My Favorite Lit-Blog Things: 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)

6 Responses to My Favorite Lit-Blog Things: February 17, 2011

  1. Thanks yet again for the link.

    Interested to read the comment on the Joyce Carol Oates. It’s a book I’ve been tempted by for a while – and, since I haven’t yet read her at all, think that maybe this is the one. I assume you’ve read her Kerry? Do you have a favourite you’d recommend?

    And, I must say, thanks for introducing me to the Reading Ape. I am enjoying the prose techniques series muchly!

    • Kerry says:

      The Reading Ape series is great.

      Joyce Carol Oates is a favorite in my house. I do have a recommendation. Beasts is a very dark, sensual novella. I enjoyed it immensely and shared it with my significant other. She became a Joyce Carol Oates fan. The other Oates book I can whole-heartedly recommend is The Gravedigger’s Daughter. It won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2007. It is longer and less immediately intense than Beasts, but is a very accomplished novel that, I think, you would enjoy.

      She writes a great deal (as I am sure you know) and in many different styles, so liking one does mean you will like another. For that reason, Beasts could be argued not to be the best place to start. If there is a black sheep (in terms of style and feel) among the books of hers that I have read (Solstice, Black Girl, White Girl, The Museum of Dr. Moses), that is the one. Among the others, it is easier to see a common authorial thread.

      She is definitely worth a go. If you do try her, I would be interested in your reaction.

  2. Thanks for this Kerry … I wold like to read her one day so will keep your recommendations in mind. I have a couple of favourite bookstores that have great remainders – where I pick up things like this so I’ll be keeping an eye out. I also have a group doing nominations for next reading quarter right now – I might nominate The gravedigger’s daughter. You never know.

    • Kerry says:

      I think that would make an excellent book club pick. In any case, I think you will like Oates. And she has so many books out, you’re bound to run across one sooner or later….heh.

      • I’ve just done a backflip … I re-checked my TBR bookcase and discover I actually have Beasts. Picked up a hardcover for $10 from the remainder table at my favourite bookshop. I wonder if others will vote for it … cross your fingers for me please!

      • Kerry says:

        My fingers are definitely crossed! If they vote for it, you’ll have some great discussions, I think.

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