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Top Book Blogs 09/2012

[The Millions] Intellectual Politics: A Book Review
Los Angeles Review of Books managing editor Evan Kindley reviews Michael Szalay’s Hip Figures: A Literary History of the Democratic Party, and says it “reminds us of a time, not long ago, when literary intellectuals set great store by mainstream political parties, and vice versa.” Related

[The Millions] Gosling to Direct His own Film
Hey Girl, Ryan Gosling will direct a “fantasy noir” film he wrote entitled How to Catch a Monster. It’ll star his Drive cast-mate Christina Hendricks. Related posts: Ryan Gosling San Serif Font geeks will get a kick out of this witty Tumblr site... Baumbach to Direct Emperor’s Children

[The Millions] Every Love Story Gets a Book Trailer
The book trailer is out for Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story, D. T. Max’s biography of David Foster Wallace — it features a brief cameo from yours truly. The book’s opening paragraphs appeared on our site this week, too. Related posts: Excerpt: The Opening Paragraphs of D.T. Max’s

[The Millions] On That F*ckin’ “A”
Members of the Word Reference forum contemplate the etymology and meaning of the “A” in the expression, “Fuckin’ A.” Elsewhere Geoffrey Nunberg, linguist and author of Assholism: The First Sixty Years, shares his take on the ubiquitous “a-word,” which he believes originated during

[The Millions] Two-fer from Kiš
Serbian writer Danilo Kiš, recently profiled by Sam Sacks, has two short pieces up on the Bomb! website. Related posts: Leigh Stein Two-Fer Here’s double-shot of The Fallback Plan author Leigh Stein courtesy... Jesmyn Ward Two-fer Electric Literature’s posted a story by Jesmyn Ward, author

[Salon Books] Touring the brain
Evolution has created a staggering range of organisms, each with features cleverly honed for its environmental niche. But while evolution is a fantastic creator, adding almost whatever is needed, it is surprisingly lazy at tidying up after itself, at pruning what is no longer required. In the

[Salon Books] Amish fiction: Put a bonnet on it
With mommy porn bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey whipping up a sadomasochistic storm in the female book market this summer, it might seem safe to assume that old-fashioned romance novels, in which the protagonists prefer hastily confessed feelings and innocent first kisses to heavy petting and

[Lit Saloon] E-book reviews
       They announced this a couple of weeks ago, and presumably the San Francisco Chronicle is only the first of what will be many outlets offering some variation on The E-Reader: reviews of e-books.        As John McMurtrie

[Lit Saloon] English writing in ... Sri Lanka
       In The Nation (Sri Lanka) Vihanga Perera considers English writing (and fiction in general) in Sri Lanka, in Unsold books, noting that: The reality is that in Sri Lanka we do not have a vibrant literary traffic for Lankan authors' English writing. Except for

[Lit Saloon] September issues
       Among September issues of online publications now available online are Words without Borders' September 2012: Writing from the Silk Road issue, featuring: "work from Central Asia, Georgia, and China" (the former two woefully underrepresented any-

[Lit Saloon] Deon Meyer Q & A
       In The Observer Alison Flood has a (disappointingly brief) Q & A with Deon Meyer: 'South Africa just isn't as sexy as Scandinavia'.        I recently posted a review of his new novel, Seven Days, just out (more or less)

[Bookslut] Translator as Transvestite
"Uruguayans: you have to catch them suddenly" begins the poem by Roberto Appratto and it seems like a valid assertion judging by the Uruguayan poetry in Hotel Lautreamont. The title is taken from the John Ashbery poem, referring to the...

[Bookslut] The Forgotten Father of High Fantasy
1922 was one of the biggest years in literary history. Within that twelve-month period, people were reading The Beautiful and The Damned, Ulysses, Babbitt, Jacob’s Room as well as a little poem called The Waste Land. These were risky works,...

[Bookslut] WE WILL CONVERT THE KING IF POSSIBLE: The Greatness of Little Magazines
After getting one's fill of cat pictures, Pavlovian political commentary, and solemn reflection on reality TV shows, it might be worth checking out the Modernist Journals Project, certainly one of the more intriguing literary sites on the great big Web....

[Bookslut] A Cultural History of Heredity by Staffan Müller-Wille and Hans-Jörg Rheinberger
mueller-wille staffan cultural history of heredity

[Bookslut] Philip Roth and the Secret Book
Philip Roth strikes me as a supremely sane man tinged with madness. The madness is crucial -- without it, an artist might as well be a gardener or a breeder of spaniels. Come to think of it, these too require...

[Bookslut] Beauty and the Inferno by Roberto Saviano and A Free Man by Aman Sethi
saviano roberto beauty and the inferno

[Bookslut] The Book of Mischief: New and Selected Stories by Steve Stern
stern steve book of mischief

[Bookslut] Knowledge of Hell
As he was recommended to me, António Lobo Antunes was an author that I really needed to read. "I can't handle many pages of him anymore myself," my Angolan Portuguese friend had told me, "but I think that for you......

[Bookslut] Skagboys by Irvine Welsh
welsh irvine skagboys

[Bookslut] Hostage by Elie Wiesel, translated by Catherine Temerson
wiesel elie hostage

[Bookslut] The Twenty-Year Death by Ariel S. Winter
winter ariel twenty year death

[The Millions] Michael K. Williams’s Charade and Redemption
Michael K. Williams, best known to some as The Wire’s Omar Little or Boardwalk Empire’s Chalky White, talks publicly for the first time about his battles with addiction, and how his stint on the Baltimore crime drama coincided with some of the lowest points in his life. “I suffered from a huge

[Bookslut] Food in Jars
As a cook who gardens (or as a gardener who cooks?) this is my favorite time of year. There's a steady stream of produce coming in that just cries out to be canned, preserved, pickled, or fermented. Home food...

[Bookslut] The Soft Place by Kate Schapira
schapira kate soft place

[Bookslut] The Global Cyber Muslim Feminist Punk Fantasy World of G. Willow Wilson
There is a climactic moment in G. Willow Wilson's new novel Alif the Unseen, in which a female character, Dina, lifts her hijab and allows the protagonist, Alif, inside. Alif is about to be separated from her, perhaps forever, and...

[Salon Books] When Bill met Hillary
When Bill Clinton arrived at Yale in the fall of 1970, one thing was clear: Politics would be the singular focus of his life. Far less clear were his other priorities. He continued to exude charm and affability, drawing to himself potential political allies, personal friends, and devoted acolytes.

[The Millions] Tom Stoppard on life, work, and fly-fishing
Tom Stoppard, recently tasked with writing the screenplays for the new Anna Karenina (six minutes of which can be watched here) and Parade’s End film and television adaptations, speaks at length with Victoria Glendinning about his life and work. At 75 years old, the playwright is hardly slowing

[The Millions] Double Shot of Granta
Here’s a double shot of Recommended Reading courtesy of Granta: Open City author Teju Cole on going blind, and Book of Clouds author Chloe Aridjis on Soviet-era cosmonauts. Related posts: Granta’s Horror Issue Granta‘s “Horror” issue was published just in time for

[Salon Books] Against security
Airports have turned out badly. It takes about the same amount of time to travel through air today as it did dozens of years ago, but a lot longer time to get off the ground. Security procedures not only change the timing, but also exact huge costs in money, mood, and resentments with consequences

[The Millions] Dispatches from the RNC in Tampa
Jonathan Freedland and Christian Lorentzen wrote dispatches from the Republican National Convention for the NYRB and LRB, respectively, but the UK outfit seems to be more committed to the endeavor than does Robert Silver’s. Check out Lorentzen’s two additional updates here and here. Related

[The Millions] James Salter: Swimming Pool Salesman
Just in time for Labor Day, the folks at Open Road Media have assembled their annual video of writers talking about the day jobs they’ve left behind. Did you know James Salter sold swimming pools? Or that Edna O’Brien used to weigh babies in a chemist’s shop? This year’s installment can be

[Salon Books] “A Wilderness of Error”: The murder in question
"The case has been disastrous for almost everyone who touched it. It's like a third rail." So says Harvey Silvergate, an appellate attorney for Jeffrey MacDonald, who has been imprisoned for 33 years for the murders of his wife and two young daughters in 1970. The person Silvergate says this to is

[The Millions] Mary Ruefle in Conversation
New Yorkers: don’t miss your chance to catch Madness, Rack, and Honey author Mary Ruefle in conversation with Alice Quinn. Also, be sure to read Ruefle’s essay, “I Remember, I Remember” if you haven’t yet done so. Related posts: “The realization that none of us can ever be free from

[Lit Saloon] Reading in ... South Africa
       It's National Book Week in South Africa (sorry, there doesn't seem to be any link to any central site ...) and in The Times (South Africa) Siphiwo Mahala suggests We are what we write -- and that: Book Week offers literary enthusiasts a glorious opportunity,

[Lit Saloon] Reading in ... India
       Okay, this is a headline that I could probably dig up every other day, in a different newspaper in a different nation each time: yes, it's that old standard, Critics regret death of reading habit.        This report happens

[Lit Saloon] The Quarterly Conversation - Fall issue
       Issue 29 of The Quarterly Conversation is now available -- a great batch of Labor Day holiday reading.        Besides some reviews and a bit by Enrique Vila-Matas, there are several pieces that are part of a 'Harry Mathews

[Lit Saloon] Blindly review
       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Claudio Magris' novel, Blindly, just out in Yale University Press' great Margellos World Republic of Letters series (though it was already published in a Canadian edition in 2010, by Hamish

[Guardian Books Blog] Point Horror's grim fascination
It seems that many readers shared my morbid childhood enthusiasm for Christopher PikeCopies of Christopher Pike novels were prime bargaining material at my school. I can clearly remember sitting in a maths lesson, reading whichever one I was most recently obsessed with under the desk, trying

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Things about America
The beautiful artificiality of the American

[The Millions] An Interview with D.T. Max
D.T. Max, author of Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story, the recently released biography on David Foster Wallace, discusses writing his much-anticipated look at the late author’s life. Further whet your appetite for DFW’s biography with our exclusive look at the book’s opening

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Falling out
Unfortunately for the movement

[The Millions] Read Yourself Saintly
Though the world may never know whether reading the greats makes you a better person, according to a recent study, those who take an active interest in the arts are more likely to be altruistic. Related posts: So wait, does this mean Martin Amis has read 50 Shades of Grey? Thus spoke Martin Amis:

[Guardian Books Blog] Choose September's Reading group book
After the unrepresentative and elitist choices of recent months, this time we'll go for bestsellersThe last two months on the Reading Group have been among my favourite so far. The discussions of André Gide and Alan Garner have been fascinating, intelligent and enlightening – and everything you

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: On marriage
Marriage no longer really exists

[The Millions] How to Get Out of a Sticky Situation
From a professional archivist: A solution to the classic problem of removing stubborn sticker glue off the back of your books. No related posts.

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: This divide between
In search of the living, purring, singing heart

[The Millions] I Contain Multitudes
What is the role of the writer in the age of globalization?  No related posts.

[The Millions] “Did you know that the Bosphorus is drying up?”
Orhan Pamuk paints a nightmarish picture of the land laid bare when the Bosphorus dries up. Related posts: Congrats Lydia! Congratulations to Millions contributor Lydia Kiesling whose thoughtful essay “Proust’s... Lydia Takes the Bronze! Congratulations to our own Lydia Kiesling whose essay

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: The new sound of Central Asia
The clash of Eurasian grand strategies


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