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Top Book Blogs 12/2012

[Bookslut] Two-Part Inventions by Lynne Sharon Schwartz
schwartz lynne sharon two-part inventions

[Bookslut] Bleak
schwarzenbach annemarie death in persia

[Bookslut] Death in Persia by Annemarie Schwarzenbach, translated by Lucy Renner Jones
schwarzenbach annemarie death in persia

[The Millions] The Millions Top Ten: November 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] Andrei Tarkovsky’s Papers Return to Russia
Following last week’s Sotheby’s auction, the archives of Soviet filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky will soon be headed back to Russia. The collection amounts to “several thousand working manuscripts, personal photographs, recordings and private documents” and it sold for a whopping £1.5 million. No

[The Millions] Love and Death in Miami
The Takeaway hosted two ambitious author panels at last month’s Miami Book Fair International. The first panel covered “love,” and featured Millions contributor Christopher Beha alongside Jami Attenberg and three others. The second panel focused on “death,” and it featured writers and

[The Millions] Oscar Wilde: An Infographic
The Guardian broke down Oscar Wilde’s most enduring and quotable aphorisms, and presented the entire thing as an infographic. For serious fans of the Irish wit, perhaps the effect of this chart may lead to an “infogasm.” Related posts: Oscar Wilde’s Love Letters Discovered “No

[The Millions] Predictions from the 1930s
In 1936, The Colophon, a now-defunct quarterly for book collectors, asked its readers to list ten authors “whose works would be considered classics in the year 2000.” Their first six answers hold up. The next four? Not so much. Related posts: The Why and How of Colophons Ever wondered why

[Salon Books] Nassim Nicholas Taleb: The future will not be cool
Close your eyes and try to imagine your future surroundings in, say, five, 10 or 25 years. Odds are your imagination will produce new things in it, things we call innovation, improvements, killer technologies and other inelegant and hackneyed words from the business jargon. These common concepts

[The Millions] Hart Crane: Remix Artist
“Samuel Greenberg belongs in the pantheon of literary manqués,” writes Jacob Silverman. The poet was a favorite of Hart Crane, who described him as “a Rimbaud in embryo.” But did Crane take his adoration too far? Did he in fact “remix,” re-purpose, or plagiarize some of Greenberg’s

[Lit Saloon] James Kelman's (paucity of) royalties
       In The Scotsman David Robinson reveals that James Kelman 'made only £15,000 from writing in 2011', as: James Kelman, the only Scottish writer to have won the Man Booker Prize or to have been twice nominated for the International Man Booker Prize, has

[Lit Saloon] Knut Ahnlund's resignation from Swedish Academy now official
       The Swedish Academy selects the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature each year, and after the 2004 award to Elfriede Jelinek one of the members of that august body, Knut Ahnlund, infamously denounced the selection and resigned -- the wind only taken out

[Lit Saloon] An Australian view of the Penguin-Random House merger
       In The Age Jason Steger gives a down-under perspective of the Penguin-Random House merger, in Surviving publishing's perfect storm.        Among the bizarre reactions: Hachette Australia's Sydney-based chief executive,

[Lit Saloon] Science writing
       A decent roundtable at The Observer, led by Ian Tucker and with Steven Pinker, James Gleick, Brian Greene, Lone Frank, and Joshua Foer considers Science writing: how do you make complex issues accessible and readable ?

[Lit Saloon] December issues
       Among the online journals with December issues now available are:         - Open Letters Monthly, who offer 'The Burgess Issue', devoted largely to the work of Anthony Burgess; among the entertaining pieces, John Cotter and

[Bookslut] Berthe Morisot and Masculine Modernity
I lazed over the New York Times Book Review on a late Sunday morning last month. Wondering if Philip Roth actually required a copy of iPhone for Dummies in order to work his new device, I was reading a rather...

[Bookslut] A Hunt for Optimism by Viktor Shklovsky, translated by Sushan Avagyan
shklovsky viktor hunt for optimism a

[Bookslut] Spirit Photography: A Fireside Book of Gurus by Zephyrus Image
zephyrus image spirit photography

[Bookslut] You Were Never in Chicago by Neil Steinberg
steinberg neil you were never in chicago

[Bookslut] A Christmas Ghost Story
I've sent my grandmother's velvet dress to be altered at last. I've had it for years now in a bag in the closet, unworn; she gave it to me before she died. Of course I was married then and everyone...

[Bookslut] Fool's Gold
What the hell happened to Erskine Caldwell? Why has he become a footnote in American Literature? He was one of the early twentieth century's bestselling authors and proto-Oatesean in his output -- with twenty-five novels, over 150 short stories, and...

[Bookslut] On Being Ill with Notes from Sick Rooms by Virginia Woolf and Julia Stephen
woolf virginia on being ill

[Bookslut] An Interview with Sunyoung Lee, Publisher of Kaya Press
Early this year, at almost eighteen years old, Kaya Press flew the nest. Leaving behind the comfort and familiarity of New York's publishing world, the non-profit indie specializing in "books from the Asian diaspora," moved offices across the country...

[Bookslut] An Interview with Andrei Codrescu
Andrei Codrescu is the author of dozens of books: poetry, memoir, philosophy, fiction, criticism, works that fall somewhere between stable categories of writing. He's commented on NPR's All Things Considered, won a Peabody Award for writing and staring in...

[The Millions] Raymond Chandler on How to Write Detective Stories
“The good detective story writer (there must after all be a few) competes not only with all the unburied dead but with all the hosts of the living as well. And on almost equal terms; for it is one of the qualities of this kind of writing that the thing that makes people read it never goes out of

[The Millions] B|ta’arof Magazine Launches
B|ta’arof Magazine recently launched its inaugural issue. The publication arrives “in response to the absence of a printed space, in English, for social comment, reflection and shared experience among the Iranian community.” You can preview the first issue and read their calls for

[The Millions] “It was as though the novel had outstretched arms and I fell in.”
Recommended Reading: Anna Wiener on Speedboat by Renata Adler. Adler’s book, which David Shields recommended on our site two years ago, will be reissued by NYRB Classics in March, 2013. Related posts: Fuck Yeah, NYRB Who says publishers have weak brands?  Someone loves the NYRB... NYRB Classics

[The Millions] Perhaps They’re More Into Non-Fiction
I’m neither a therapist nor a zoologist, but maybe if we want to ward off midlife crises in great apes, we should stop reading them so much Jane Austen. Related posts: What killed Jane Austen? Using the only known painting of Jane Austen to try... Janeites Unite “‘This is a place where

[The Millions] Oppa Sijo Style
Forget “Gangnam Style.” The next Korean musical craze should involve the sijo (pronounced “shee-jo”), a type of poem dating back to the 1300s, and, “up until the 20th century … was mostly composed and sung, not written and published.” You can listen to a performance of Yi

[Salon Books] “The Great Pearl Heist”: True crime in Edwardian London
A tall, elegant crime boss; a mild-mannered but brilliant police inspector; a volatile Spanish jeweler; an elaborately planned theft; a cat-and-mouse game in the streets of Edwardian London and the world's most valuable necklace — how is it that no one has turned the true story told in Molly

[Book Forum] IN PRINT: Dec/Jan 2013

[Book Forum] DAILY REVIEW: Lipstick Traces
Novelist Clarice Lispector's radiant nothingness

[Book Forum] IN PRINT: Acting Up
A new biography evokes the lost world of America's most notorious anarchists

[Book Forum] IN PRINT: Seeing Red
A history of the New Deal posits that Red-baiting turned many leftists rightward

[Book Forum] IN PRINT: Narrative Shortcomings
Errol Morris argues that a prominent murder conviction was dead wrong

[Book Forum] IN PRINT: The Unreal World
Oliver Sacks further maps out the human brain in a book about hallucinatory states

[Book Forum] IN PRINT: Patterns: Divided, Mirrored, Repeated by Gerhard Richter
IN A RECENT TIME magazine profile, the renowned German artist Gerhard Richter confessed his admiration for John Cage, particularly the composer’s famous dictum on poetry, “I have nothing to say and I’m saying it.” Cage substituted silence for actual notes, and Richter, in

[Book Forum] PAPER TRAIL: Dec 3, 2012 @ 12:16:00 am
Amazon's Larry Kirshbaum promoted; the Guardian's list of "top women in publishing"; what happened to unhappy endings?

[Lit Saloon] Beirut International Arab Book Fair preview
       In the Daily Star Wassim Mroueh previews the Beirut International Arab Book Fair, which runs through 16 December, in Fiction, politics set to top book fair.        It's great to hear (even if from what doesn't sound like

[Lit Saloon] Quarterly Conversation - Winter issue
       The Winter 2012 issue of the Quarterly Conversation is now available online, which should keep you busy for a while; there's coverage of lots of interesting titles and authors.

[Lit Saloon] Choose Books gift guide
       At her Isak weblog Anna Clark introduces the third edition of her Choose Books: A Gift Guide for People Who Care About Stories -- and it's also available online, for free; it's in the abomination that is the pdf format, but exceptionally nicely done, so you

[Lit Saloon] Truth or Beauty review
       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of David Orrell's look at Science and the Quest for Order, Truth or Beauty.        Sometimes a book will come out from different US and UK academic presses; this

[Bookslut] Forever Arriving: The Poems of Octavio Paz
He was shot at in the Spanish Civil War. Posted to Paris by the Mexican foreign service, he befriended the likes of André Breton and Albert Camus. He joined the Surrealists at a time when their influence was waning, and...

[Guardian Books Blog] Poem of the week: Musk-Ox by Jane Yeh
With careful observation animated by bright metaphor, this nature study is quite unafraid of anthropomorphismThis week's poem, "Musk-Ox", is from Jane Yeh's second collection, The Ninjas, recently published by Carcanet Press, and deservedly welcomed in a recent Guardian review by Aingeal Clare. Jane

[Bookslut] Dead Already
"Before long, alas, this body will lie on the earth, despised, without understanding, like a useless log." I've been on a strange, dusty hike up to a monastery outside Kathmandu, and now I'm having a pot of masala tea...

[The Millions] A Year in Reading 2012
The end of another year is here (so soon? Ah, I’m getting old), and with it a flood of valedictory lists and wrap ups, accountings and scorecards. Each year, as these lists spill out across the landscape, the onslaught becomes difficult to parse and begins to feel suspiciously (to us, anyway)

[Bookslut] The Real and Unreal: Ursula K. Le Guin, American Novelist
It's been fifty years since Ursula K. Le Guin sold her first short story. Since then her books have been read, taught, quoted, thrust upon acquaintances, put at the top of Occupy reading lists. Over the course of a...

[Guardian Books Blog] Self-published stories: The Black Lake by David J Rodger | Alison Flood
Better editing could have upped the shock voltage of this tale of horror on an isolated Scottish islandSorry for the slight delay in getting this blog to you – it was meant to be last week, but I found I needed to take a short break from self-published books after my last experience, so I've been

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: Stephen Dodson (Languagehat)
Growing up during the Cold War, I envisioned Eastern Europe as a vague collection of entities between Germany and the Soviet Union, the two important countries of the region. Poland, to me, was a land over which German and Russian armies fought, and Ukraine and Belorussia (as it was then) were just

[The Millions] David Foster Wallace’s Last Interview
Coming soon from Melville House’s “The Last Interview” series: the last interviews with David Foster Wallace and Jorge Luis Borges. Related posts: David Foster Wallace’s Papers Opening to the Public The University of Texas, Austin, is opening its acquired manuscripts...

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