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Top Book Blogs 10/2012

[The Millions] Thirty Years of Re-Reading Lucky Jim
1. The first time I read Kingsley Amis’s classic campus novel, Lucky Jim, I did it to impress a girl. I was in my early 20s, living in Seattle during my first year after finishing college, and had just started seeing a graduate student in English. Compared to me, she and her friends all seemed

[Guardian Books Blog] Are professional book reviewers better than amateurs?
Man Booker chairman Peter Stothard's comment that "not everyone's opinion is worth the same" is worth taking seriouslyThere are just over two weeks to go until the 2012 Man Booker prize judges announce their verdict. As usual, no one really has the faintest idea of the outcome. This year's jury has

[Guardian Books Blog] What do literary agents really want?
Times are tough in the publishing industry, but agents still need to find new authors with a story to tell"Are you completely mad?" one of my authors asked me. "I thought your agency was deluged by manuscripts – why ask for more?"He was wondering why Curtis Brown, one of the UK's largest literary

[Guardian Books Blog] Poem of the week: Among His Books by Edith Nesbit
The author of The Railway Children also did a nice line in Thomas Hardy-esque poetry – before Hardy was publishing his. Here's a wry, novelistic tale of a jilted bachelorFew novelist-poets are as little known for their poetry as Edith Nesbit. An outstanding children's writer, whom most of us

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Transhumanism needs an enhancement
Wake up, deathists, you do want to live 10,000 years

[Bookslut] An Interview with Naomi Alderman
Since her 2006 debut Disobedience won the Orange Award for New Writers, Naomi Alderman has written about technology and human lives. It's a career that has gone from delving into the secret business of partying at Oxford University in...

[The Millions] How Should A Counterpoint Be?
In the LARB, Hannah Tennant-Moore offers up a counterpoint (which our own Emily M. Keeler wrote about on Tumblr) to the raves that greeted How Should A Person Be? when the book came out this year. To hear what the author, Sheila Heti, had to say about the novel, check out our interview from

[Bookslut] An Interview with Hope Larson
One of the bizarre creatures of Madeleine L'Engle’s sci-fi novel A Wrinkle In Time says: “It must be a very limiting thing, this seeing.” But translating the prose into new visuals is exactly what Hope Larson has done in...

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Get about the cheerful business
How to make almost anything

[The Millions] DFW, ctd.
On Friday, the Ransom Center at the University of Texas-Austin opened up its holdings of The Pale King, DFW’s last novel (which our own Garth Risk Hallberg reviewed for New York Magazine). At Page-Turner, D.T. Max picks through the new papers. Related posts: FYI: GRH The editor of the sumptuous

[Bookslut] The Cyclist Conspiracy
Among the names included on the (incomplete) Secret List of Members of the Evangelical Bicyclists that comprises the final appendix of The Cyclist Conspiracy are the names of Michael Moore, Gary Hardwick, and Woody Allen. Granted, the list is also...

[Bookslut] The Bosnian Madame Bovary
Jan Morris wrote somewhere that when she (she might have been he back then, and "James") visited Mostar, she felt the pull of the east, of Islam. There was seduction in all that shaded indolence, the cold green waters, coffees that last hours,...

[Guardian Books Blog] More on Yorkshire's most prolific writer, ever
Calderdale novelist Jill Robinson salutes a man whose output will be very hard to beat - though J.S.Fletcher wrote so fast that he sometimes lost the plotReaders of the Guardian Northerner will have seen our recent piece on North Country Theatre's production of The Lighthouse on Shivering Sands,

[Bookslut] The Bridge to Hecate County
I have a confession to make, and a distressing one at that. Sometimes I can be a very complacent reader. That's embarrassing to admit, but it's also somewhat universal. I think we all can be. I'm not going to shine...

[The Millions] The End of a Myth
When Hanna Rosin published The End of Men this year, the book stirred up a lot of controversy (and a number of parodies, to boot). Now Stephanie Coontz, a historian, takes issue with Rosin’s premise — the “myth of male decline” — in the pages of The New York Times Book Review.

[Bookslut] Go, Go, Go, Go, Go: Theo Ellsworth's The Understanding Monster
Misery makes you to embrace clichés -- one day at a time, dance like no one's watching, et cetera -- but those clichés turn sour as they fail you. Time is the only thing that'll help? Then why are clocks...

[Bookslut] Interview with Paul Stubbs, Poet and Editor of the Black Herald
….re-lung humankind for the upcoming exertions of prayer…. -Paul Stubbs, Afterworldsmen Glancing at my map of current English-language poetry, one of the most tantalizing regions is one that -- at least in my school of cartography -- is centered...

[Bookslut] A Blow Delivered by a Murderer: Reading “The Ego Trick”
Last weekend I saw someone I hadn’t seen in eighteen or nineteen years. He was a wonderful boy then, he’s a wonderful man now. In between the times I saw him, he’d been in an accident. His skull was...

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Who killed the liberal arts?
Scholars in each of the "two cultures" understand that they share a love of discovery and capacity for wonder

[The Millions] The Millions Top Ten: September 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

[The Millions] On Leading the Tiger
Pop quiz! Which former President of a European country came out with a memoir this month? (If you’re stumped, here’s a clue: her country is known for being rainy.) Related posts: Russian Lit Quiz Pop quiz for all you fans of Russian literature: What’s... Tiger, Tiger The second movie

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Once upon a time
There aren't that many takers

[The Millions] “Pointless and trivial.”
“Where, more importantly, is the story? David simply is. He does nothing, desires nothing. He exists, if that, and nothing more.” Shalom Auslander judges the prestigious Three Under Three prize. Related posts: Hello, Shalom. Shalom Auslander believes. He can’t really seem to help it....

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Politics and government in the United States
Why government fails to adopt painless solutions to the nation's problems

[The Millions] 2012′s Literary Geniuses
This year’s “Genius grant” winners have been announced (they haven’t posted them yet at the MacFound site). The MacArthur grant awards $500,000, “no strings attached” to “talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative

[Book Forum] IN PRINT: A Low Dishonest Decade
Ten years after the 9/11 attacks, two books seek to make new sense of them

[Book Forum] IN PRINT: The Not-So-Great Game
A quartet of books catalogs the lessons the US ignored in the Afghan war

[Book Forum] IN PRINT: The Night Album
A memoir and a work of polemical journalism consider death and the ways we approach it

[Book Forum] IN PRINT: Givers and Thieves
A trip to rural France leads to thoughts about Tolstoy, conviction, and conflicted acts of generosity.

[Book Forum] IN PRINT: Beauty and the Feast
A sumptuous series of classic food writing reveals how people have dined—and lived—over the years.

[Book Forum] IN PRINT: Appetite for Deconstruction
Nineteenth-century fiction clashes with poststructuralist theory in a new university-set novel

[Book Forum] IN PRINT: Locked in the Funhouse
A troubling book seeks to make the novel novel

[Book Forum] IN PRINT: The Game of Life
Jean-Philippe Toussaint's felicitous trilogy

[Book Forum] IN PRINT: Another Ventriloquist
Some narrators speak certainly, and others shyly stammer, revealing their stories with reluctance and unease. Think of Moby-Dick, which begins, “Call me Ishmael,” and then consider John Barth’s The End of the Road (1958), which opens on a more jittery note: “In a sense, I am

[Book Forum] IN PRINT: The Art of Fielding
In his debut novel, The Art of Fielding, n+1 cofounder Chad Harbach explores baseball as an art that communicates “something true or even crucial about The Human Condition.” Following the career of Henry Skrimshander, a preternaturally gifted college shortstop who falls victim to Steve

[Book Forum] IN PRINT: Threshold Songs
Peter Gizzi’s poems have always walked a line between stylized opacity and friendly, if melancholy, accessibility, enacting an argument about whether language is esoteric or generic, personal or public, our salvation from commerce or hopelessly commodified. This argument is at the heart of

[Book Forum] IN PRINT: Oleaginous Rex
The center cannot hold in an epic account of the global oil trade

[Book Forum] IN PRINT: Man for All Seasons
Why everybody loves G. K. Chesterton

[Book Forum] IN PRINT: The People of the Abyss
Two new books explore London's less glamorous side

[Book Forum] IN PRINT: Disarray of Life
A zine reissue revels in a riotous mix of art and attitude

[Book Forum] IN PRINT: No Future
Two takes on rock music's past

[Book Forum] IN PRINT: Urban Outfitter
As a practicing architect and a leading critic, Michael Sorkin is a unique voice in the debate over how to construct and sustain the city. His dual vocation allows him to bring a special urgency—and no small measure of poignancy—to the persistent question of how our cities can retain

[Book Forum] IN PRINT: Infinite Quest
An artist conquers the world, one polka dot at a time

[Book Forum] IN PRINT: Dark Knight of the Soul
A new chronicle illuminates the career and crimes of a notorious artist

[Book Forum] IN PRINT: Holmes Sweet Holmes
The most charming thing about perennial Washington Post literary guru Michael Dirda is his near-on phobic aversion to saying anything other than that a book is wonderful and a pleasure (a word for which he has a long-standing affinity, e.g., Reading for Pleasure, Bound to Please, etc.). If we were

[Book Forum] IN PRINT: I'm Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59
Books about corporations tend to stick to a few tried-and-true formulas. Many read like sports stories: Companies win with visionary leadership and by being smarter and showing more gumption than their competitors. Some of these accounts are anthropological treatments—thick descriptions of

[Book Forum] IN PRINT: Moby-Dick in Pictures: One Drawing for Every Page
MOBY-DICK IS ONE OF THOSE WORKS of literature more honored than fully read. Many a bold reader has sailed into its opening pages only to leap overboard in the midst of some lengthy, minutiae-rich account of the whaling business. Melville’s action-adventure scenes, harpooning rather than sperm

[Book Forum] IN PRINT: Are You Experienced? How Psychedelic Consciousness Transformed Modern Art
SOME PEOPLE MIGHT THINK Ken Johnson was hallucinating when he wrote Are You Experienced? But the New York Times art critic’s first book is not a stoner’s kiss-the-sky meditation on visual culture so much as a disarming, sometimes overreaching, memoir of the ways contemporary artists have

[Book Forum] DAILY REVIEW: American Imperiled
A new biography portrays Henry Fonda as a haunted, stoic icon

[Book Forum] PAPER TRAIL: Oct 2, 2012 @ 12:18:00 am
Historian Eric J, Hobsbawm died at his home in London on Monday at the age of 95, A renowned Communist historian, Hobsbawm was the author of several volumes on what he called "the long 19th century": The Age of Revolution: 1789-1848, The Age of Capital: 1848-1875 and The Age of Empire: 1874-1914.

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