Least Favorite Lit-Blog Thing: December 16, 2011

December 16, 2011

Christopher Hitchens died yesterday. I greatly admire the passion for life he demonstrated, his commitment to individual freedom and dignity, and his love of the written word.

Slate, where he was a regular columnist, has a moving obituary. I can do no better.

Slate writer June Thomas also has a nice piece linking to a number of his writings.

And then there is this by the man himself:

Trial of the Will” – Vanity Fair (January 2012 issue)

The world is a worse place today, December 16th, 2011.


My Favorite Lit-Blog Things: November 17, 2011

November 17, 2011

My Disappointment Critic” – Jonathan Lethem on James Wood. (L.A. Review of Books)

Albert Camus, who died an atheist at 46, had surprisingly deep ties to Judaism in his life, his political activity, and his philosophy.” (Tablet)

The King of Human Error” – Michael Lewis discusses the Nobel-winning researchers who established the scientific foundation for Money Ball(Vanity Fair)

My Favorite Lit-Blog: November 10, 2011

November 10, 2011

The Shadow Giller Prize Winner has been announced! My TBR grows…

The Giller Prize Winner has been announced.

The formation of the Shadow Man Asian Literary Prize has been announced! The Shadow Jury is made up of the wonderful bloggers: Whispering Gums, ANZ LitLovers, Winston’s Dad, Read,Ramble, and A Novel Approach.

As if I need more reasons to read The Sense of an Ending, the excellent review by Tony’s Book World fairly demands I go read it right now.

Australia’s National Year of Reading (via ANZ LitLovers LitBlog): A search for eight books “that together paint a picture of the Australian people and the land [they] live in.” This dovetails well with my plan to start in on some too-long neglected (by me) Australian writers. My selections will come from blogger friends, but this whets my appetite.

Geoff Dyer’s Footnotes are Worth Reading (Times Flow Stemmed excerpts the Paris Review)

Steph of Steph & Tony Investigates has a review of David Guterson’s Ed King in BookPage.

Shelf Love gives some to Pnin (“…Nabokov’s wonderful, delightful, lovely novel…”). I love Nabokov and, by extension, everyone who loves Nabokov.

My Rat’s Chance… (Reviews from a Serial Reader)

Song for Night by Chris Abani (Reading Matters adds to my TBR)

More pieces of Woolf.

Reading parties instead of book clubs?

Do It Yourself: Self-Published Authors Take Matters Into Their Own Hands (The Millions)

My Favorite Lit-Blog Things: November 4, 2011

November 4, 2011

My least favorite thing: Google Ads on my blog. WordPress has to pay the bills, but this does not make me happy. My choices are to pay them for their services, to live with the ads, or to move somewhere else. I will be considering my options, but may just leave the ads.

Favorite things:

The Magic Mountain of German Literature (Lizzy’s Literary Life)

Heinrich Boll Giveaway at Beauty is a Sleeping Cat (hat tip: Lizzy’s Literary Life)

The Kind of Face You Slash – Day 30: Watched it Burn – basically, about Hitchcock and Daphne du Maurier.

A Small Gallery of Literary Giants (The Millions)

Private Book Collectors Try to Preserve History (Kyiv Post) (hat tip: The Literary Saloon)

A Joke From God (Part 1, Part 2) (n+1)

My Favorite Lit-Blog Things: October 28, 2011

October 28, 2011

I love this: The Dalek Game. It’s been going on since May, but that only means there are more sketches to love. (And, no, I was not a huge of Dr. Who, though I did occasionally watch and enjoy the show.)

The Millions has a review of Murakami’s latest: 1Q84. The comments are as entertaining as the review.

A Rat in the Book Pile re-reads and discusses Mrs. Dalloway.

Woolf Project: quick thoughts on Jacob’s Room” (pieces)

While I am on Woolf, A Momentary Taste of Being features her in his “Quotation of the Day“.

Who Am I?: Guess the Author, Enter to Win a Book” Get your guess in by the end of today, Friday the 28th.

I am slow off the blocks on this one, but David Deutsch (physicist and science writer) has a new book out. The Second Pass gauges reactions.

A Guy’s Moleskine Notebook talks about the most challenging book he’s ever read: Ulysses.

A Striped Armchair shares her thoughts on The War Machines by Danny Hoffman.

Another Cookie Crumbles “finished [her] first Nabokov“!!!

Coinciding, intentionally or not, with excellent Giller coverage over at Kevin from Canada, ANZ LitLovers LitBlog reviews the 2005 Giller Prize winner: The Time in Between by David Berger.

The Most Popular Fence in Literature. (Caustic Cover Critic)

The best opening line in Cormac McCarthy. (Interpolations)

Do blog reviews boost book sales? Reading Matters ponders the question.

Last, and possibly best, Reading Matters and Whispering Gums brought to my attention the excellently conceived Meanjin’s Tournament of Books (approved by the original Tournament of Books). Meanjin’s special edition Tournament features “Australian canonical novels written by women” rather than new releases. (Whispering Gums comments on the results from Round 1!).

My Favorite Lit-Blog Things: October 20, 2011

October 21, 2011

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes wins the 2011 Man Booker Prize. (Link to Kevin from Canada who has a great review and further links.)

Broken Kingdom: Fifty Years of The Phantom Tollbooth” (The New Yorker)

Istanbul: Or How I Fell in Love With a Novel” (Salon)

Where good fiction comes from” (Kottke.org) With links to reviews of Eugenides’s latest.

Another Eugenides review, this one by Lydia Kiesling. (The Millions)

A Jewish Writer in America” (The New York Review of Books) (Taken from a lecture by Saul Bellow originally given in 1988.)

My Favorite Lit-Blog Things: October 13, 2011

October 13, 2011

2nd Annual Ghanian Literature Week scheduled to begin November 14, 2011. (Kinna Reads)

National Book Award Finalists Announced

For Austen lovers: A Book Riot Guide.

For David Foster Wallace lovers: King of the Ghosts (a review/essay on his last book and last class.)

More DFW stuff. This time involving Jeffrey Eugenides’s latest novel (an interview with Eugenides, actually).

Stumbled on this late: “Putting ‘The Help‘ in Historical Context“. (Opinions of a Wolf) This was inspired, in part, by “An Open Statement to the Fans of The Help” by the Association of Black Women Historians.

Public library books for Kindle.

This does it, I will read Patrick McGrath soon.

My Favorite Lit-Blog Things: October 6, 2011

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.

My Favorite Lit-Blog Things: September 29, 2011

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.

My Favorite Lit-Blog Things: September 22, 2011

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.