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Top Book Blogs 06/2012

[Guardian Books Blog] Madeline Miller's faithful approach to Homer was key to her Orange prize win
The Song of Achilles makes old stories feel fresh while staying true to the literary fabric of the ancient world depicted in the IliadGreek myths have a universal appeal: we half-remember them, and want to hear them again (though it can't have hurt to have a classicist on the Orange prize judging

[The Millions] A Note on the Paper: An Encomium to Larry
This book is printed on 60# white paper with an eggshell finish, processed by Walker Paper, one of Pennsylvania’s six largest paper processors. The human touch of proprietor Norman Walker can be seen throughout the pages, but particularly in the tiny nick on the upper-right hand corner of

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Philosophical politics
Instances of justice being done to people who unmistakably deserve it

[The Millions] Attention Alice Munro Fans
Good news: There’s a new Alice Munro collection coming this fall. Related posts: #9: Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage by Alice Munro Alice Munro has taught us to find literary pleasure in... Attention Menand Fans Louis Menand is one of my favorite regular contributors to...

[Baby Got Books] Friday Links
Summer Reading: NPR’s Summer Books Guide NYT’s books for the beach WSJ’s Summer Reading List Manliest Must-Reads of Summer Summer reading guide for books about to be made into films USA Today Summer Books Preview Don’t hurt yourself clicking on the links to check out the

[Bookslut] Self-Portrait in Trash: Edouard Levé
In Marrakech, in November 2005, in the space behind an arcaded portico at the back of a courtyard in the El Badi Palace, there was an art show. And although the Internet can't seem to remind me of the...

[Guardian Books Blog] The Guardian launches an interactive literary map of the UK
We've built a map showing Britain's best bookshops and literary locations – and we need you to help us expand itThe long bank holiday stretches before us, heralding a feast of literary walks and readings for book lovers across the nation. But where to go, what to see? Hold on to your hats, because

[Bookslut] Blood on the Paper: The Barbed Legacy of Lillian Hellman
Filmmaker Elia Kazan, venting his fury against Lillian Hellman's memoir Scoundrel Time in which she skewers him and other liberal artists and intellectuals for their lily-livered performances during the McCarthy Era, raged against "this bitch with balls" who "went...

[The Millions] Oh, you were the best of all my days.
Zadie Smith reading Frank O’Hara’s “Animals,” by way of the Chicago based ad and design agency, Coudal Partners, and their voice mail based poetry project, Verse by Voice. Related posts: Ask a Book Question: The 65th in a Series (Poetry in the Waning Days of Summer) Michael

[The Millions] The Millions Top Ten: May 2012
We spend plenty of time here on The Millions telling all of you what we’ve been reading, but we are also quite interested in hearing about what you’ve been reading. By looking at our Amazon stats, we can see what books Millions readers have been buying, and we decided it would be fun to use

[Guardian Books Blog] Banning Kindles is no way of celebrating books
Is your e-reader turning you into a 'robot'? A campaign from Hay bookseller Derek Addyman to drive Amazon's Kindle out of town is just sillyWe all love secondhand bookshops, don't we – that heady pleasure of browsing through shelves, or rummaging through boxes to find vintage paperbacks and

[Guardian Books Blog] Reader reviews roundup
Hilary Mantel is lauded in rhyme, / While Updike and Franzen get along just fineExciting times in reader-reviewing. This week I've spotted a review in verse. Yes! A review in the form of a sonnet – Shakespearean to be precise – four quatrains and a couplet. The book under consideration deals

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Drawn into a bitter row
We learned to stop worrying and embrace the abstraction

[Bookslut] A Book of the Book
I've been to libraries looking for it. I'm not sure what it is, why I need it. I check out a book on books, a book on letters, and find myself reading that the letter D "is intimately tied...

[NYT] Graphic Books Best Sellers: The Latest Green Lantern Series
"Green Lantern: Sinestro" hits the hardcover list at No. 4 this week.

[The Millions] So many wobbly assumptions
Laura Miller pokes some holes in that Dartmouth study about how little classic literature appears to be influencing contemporary writers. Related posts: Contemporary Fiction and the Internet “The internet has altered our lives in ways television never... The Declining Agony of Influence

[Bookslut] People Who Eat Darkness: The True Story of a Young Woman Who Vanished from the Streets of Tokyo--and the Evil That Swallowed Her Up by Richard Lloyd Parry
parry richard lloyd people who eat darkness

[The Millions] His first step was to contact a real estate agent
In this week’s  London Review of Books Elif Batuman has a great piece about Orhan Pamuk’s Museum of Innocence, both the book and the place. It would pair well with our own Lydia Kiesling’s award-winning  essay on the book from 2010. Related posts: The Perils of Contact The Perils

[NYT] Book Review Podcast: 'Animal House,' Dylan, Springsteen and Other Summer Reading
This year's Summer Reading issue includes a look at the making of "Animal House" and new books about two legendary American musicians.

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Changing the climate
Can geoengineering curb global warming?

[The Millions] Canonical Comics
The world’s great literature as comics and visuals. Though, as Steven Heller points out in The Atlantic, defining the canon is a contentious task, comics or no. Related posts: Comics on the Web Some of you may know that I’m a pretty big... Ask a Book Question: The Sixteenth in a Series

[NYT] Hear Tales of Ginsberg in the Very Rooms Where They Happened
Event is part of annual "Howl! Festival" in the East Village.

[Lit Saloon] June issues
       Among June issues of online periodicals now available:         - Open Letters Monthly -- which includes the always interesting look at other reviews, in this case John Cotter looking at the review-reactions to Toni

[Lit Saloon] Digitized review
       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Peter J. Bentley's book on The Science of Computers and How It Shapes Our World, Digitized.

[Bookslut] Nijinsky: A Life of Genius and Madness by Richard Buckle
buckle richard nijinsky

[Bookslut] Promiscuous: "Portnoy's Complaint" and Our Doomed Pursuit of Happiness by Bernard Avishai
avishai bernard promiscuous

[Bookslut] Trash-Gazing: Rachel Hope Allison's I'm Not a Plastic Bag
The North Pacific Subtropical Gyre is an accumulation of garbage gathered by oceanic currents between Hawaii and California. Estimates of its size vary, as it's not exactly a solid -- more a "trash stew" of different densities -- but it...

[Bookslut] This Will Have Been: The Political, the Personal, and the Neon-Bright in 1980s Art
"People love telling stories. I know some I shouldn't repeat," writes curator Lia Gangitano in her introduction to her 1995 exhibition Boston School, which she organized for the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. A group show that studied a small...

[Bookslut] After Freud Left: A Century of Psychoanalysis in America edited by John Burnham and Hidden Minds: The History of the Unconscious by Frank Tallis
burnham john after freud left

[Bookslut] An Interview with Dylan Hicks
When Dylan Hicks first sent me the CD Dylan Hicks Sings Bolling Greene, which serves as a kind of weird backdrop to his new novel Boarded Windows, I just let it sit in my house for a long time without...

[The Millions] He’s Right. Eihi Shiina is Terrifying.
I’ve mentioned my love for the movie recommendation site Netflixia before, but if you find its selection a little predictable or tame, you should give try out some of the titles on Christopher Higgs’ list of “The 50 Best Movies on Netflix Instant.” (Note: some of the list’s images might be

[Bookslut] A Curious Absence: Geoff Dyer's Zona
Reviews of Geoff Dyer's Zona follow a basic pattern. First, the critic spends some time mulling or mauling over the book's form (a critic's account of Tarkovsky's film Stalker, at times unraveling into memoir). Then, if the critic is also...

[The Millions] Two Dollar Radio Gets Some Press
Over at Litreactor, Joshua Chaplinsky checks in with Two Dollar Radio, the publishing outfit responsible for Grace Krilanovich’s The Orange Eats Creeps, which was one of my Year In Reading selections last year. Related posts: The Believer Book Award To add to the awards lists, Believer has

[The Millions] Read Russia 2012
Read Russia 2012 aims to celebrate contemporary Russian literature and book culture, and they’ve scheduled a bunch of events in the NYC area to coincide with next week’s BEA. You should certainly check them out, as well as NYRB Classics’ ongoing coverage of their own Russian literature

[The Millions] “God put the needle on the disc of Saturn / The record he played revealed blueprints and patterns”
GZA has teamed up with top cosmologists and physicists from MIT and Cornell to produce his latest album, Dark Matter. The album is the first in a series “designed to get a wide audience hooked on science.” Related posts: Steal This Record Elvis Costello is calling the hefty price tag on his...

[The Millions] Down Goes the Stout
In what was surely one of the most fun experiments of all time, a team of Irish scientists have finally figured out why Guinness stout bubbles fall instead of rise. Related posts: Not Literary, But Awesome Russian scientists claim they’ll be able to clone a mammoth... The Most Accurate Science

[Lit Saloon] Martin Amis profile
       The Lionel Asbo-publicity machine gathers steam with the next looooong profile of Martin Amis, as Tom Lamont reports on Martin Amis: a new chapter in America in The Observer.        (I am looking forward to Lionel Asbo --

[Lit Saloon] Mario Vargas Llosa Q and A
       PBS Newshour has a segment (plus transcript) of Peruvian Writer Mario Vargas Llosa on the Importance of Literature by Jeffrey Brown, as the publicity-machine for his Roger Casement-novel, The Dream of the Celt, comes stateside, too.

[Lit Saloon] Azerbaijani Museum of Literature plans reports that Azerbaijan's head allocated AZN 5 million for construction of Museum of Literature in Gazakh.        Seems kind of an out-of-the-way place for a museum, but better than nothing; on the other hand

[Bookslut] Counterblows: Reading The Uncannily Strange and Brief Life of Amedeo Modigliani
I’m lying on my stomach in bed reading Amedeo Modigliani: An Uncannily Strange and Brief Life, a tiny, beautiful book, and I love tiny, beautiful books. A novel that isn’t really a novel, and I love books that aren’t...

[Bookslut] Yugoslavia Burns Again
There is no document of civilization which is not at the same time a document of barbarism. - Walter Benjamin Yugoslavia burns again. No, not again those images familiar to the West: the mute shriek of witnessing mothers, the...

[The Millions] My Inner Child Just Lost It
There’s a Fraggle Rock movie in the works. No related posts.

[Bookslut] Infinity Net: The Autobiography of Yayoi Kusama translated by Ralph McCarthy
kusama yayoi infinity net

[The Millions] The Finnish Word for Author is “Kirjailija”
Jill Timbers, the translator charged with converting J.K. Rowling’s next book into Finnish, will have to complete the 480-page project in just three weeks. She writes about the work over here, and then adds some more information on the Three Percent blog. Related posts: “The contract gave me

[Bookslut] Authenticity and the Tyranny of Marketing
The manner in which food, cooking, restaurants, and cookbooks have been subsumed by the machinery of aspirational lifestyle marketing is one of the first cultural changes I've noticed that makes me start to feel old. When I was a...

[The Millions] “Something like this has never been created before”
Steve Lee, the product lead heading Google’s Project Glass digital eyewear, explains the development process and his vision for the future. Suffice it to say that it’s a brave new world out there. Related posts: “Murakami, who is nothing if not ambitious, has created a kind of alternative

[The Millions] Why We Can’t Respond To Everything
Are editors more accessible than ever before? (For what it’s worth, we list our editors’ contact details.) Related posts: The Perils of Contact The Perils of ‘Contact Me’: in an essay in the New... 20 Writers to Watch Another response to The New Yorker‘s 20 under 40

[Salon Books] King of the banana republic
Samuel Zemurray, known variously as the Russian, the Gringo and Sam the Banana Man, is the story of the American century -- the best and the worst -- collapsed to the scale of a single life. When Sam emigrated from Russia in 1891, he was tall, intelligent, ambitious and poor. Within a few years,

[Salon Books] “Gone Girl”: Marriage can be murder
What does a good crime novel do? At the very least, it must lure its reader into the classic rhythm of transgression and retribution, mystery and solution. You want to know what happened, as well as what happens next, and you want the ending to feel resolved or satisfying. As a matter of fact,

[Book Forum] IN PRINT: Health Scare
If the high court strikes down health-care reform this month, the political fallout could be severe.

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