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Top Book Blogs 05/2013

[The Millions] The Book That Didn’t Break Out and the Disease That Did
1. You hope that when your book is published, it will break out. It will reach some sort of tipping point, and suddenly you’re selling not piddling hundreds but thousands of copies. Success will breed more success; it will spread. You know that the chances of it happening are slight, and that

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Realising a Left alternative
What is to be done with the actually existing Marxist left?

[The Millions] “My life work decided”
“The most important year of life. Every emotion and my life work decided. Miserable and ecstatic but a great success.” What F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote in his financial ledgers the year he married Zelda Sayre and sold This Side of Paradise. Related posts: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tax

[NYT] ‘Big, Hot, Cheap and Right’: Erica Grieder Talks About Texas
Ms. Grieder's new book analyzes the Lone Star state's past, present and future.

[Salon Books] Secret to happiness: “I want this job for a week”
Looking for meaningful, fulfilling work? Good luck. With unemployment at 7.7 percent, anything that keeps us off the bread lines should be counted as a victory.So it seems like an inopportune time to think about changing jobs, if you’re lucky enough to have one, or being very picky if you don’t.

[Salon Books] Claire Messud to Publishers Weekly: “What kind of question is that?”
In Salon this week, Laura Miller raved that Claire Messud's new novel, "The Woman Upstairs," is "claustrophobically hypnotic" and "a ferocious portrait of creative and spiritual frustration."The author's feeling some of that frustration as well, with reductive media questions about the likability of

[Guardian Books Blog] What are you reading today?
The space to talk about the books you are reading, and find out which ones we are reviewingThanks to mattjcuk_photography for posting the above picture in our Flickr group. If you'd prefer to show us what you're reading rather than posting a comment, please do so by visiting our What are you

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: A reality soon
A guided tour of hell

[The Millions] The Count
“And who could disagree? Joyce Carol Oates expressed her view on Twitter: ‘Wikipedia bias an accurate reflection of universal bias. All (male) writers are writers; a (woman) writer is a woman writer.’” Wikipedia has got a women writers problem. Related posts: Joyce Carol

[The Millions] Go Fish
Why yes, a Moby Dick card game does exist. Related posts: “Moby Ick’s more like it.” “Selections from One-Star Amazon Reviews of Melville’s Moby-Dick“... “A damp, drizzly November in my soul” On this day in history: Herman Melville publishes Moby-Dick.... Why Read

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: The nature of mathematics
Is mathematics a criterion for truth in the natural world?

[The Millions] Slow Down
“And journalists, the ones who do it for a living, will continue to have their faith in the profession shaken, as they panic and let their own standards slip in order not to be embarrassed by Reddit at 2:43 in the morning. But unlike high-frequency traders, Internet entrepreneurs, and online

[The Millions] The Millions Top Ten: April 2013
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

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: New things to say
Taking some initial steps

[NYT] The Testament of Toibin: A Tony Nod, and a Closing Notice
The writer Colm Toibin reflects on his first experience as a Broadway playwright with "The Testament of Mary," which was nominated for a top award and announced its closing on the same day.

[The Millions] The From Scratch Club
“Claiming that feminism killed home cooking is not just shaming, it’s wildly inaccurate from a historical standpoint…As should be obvious to anyone who’s peeked at a cookbook from the late 1940s or early 1950s that promotes ingredients like sliced hot dogs and canned tomato soup,

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Between two Americas
As the United States grows more Latino

[Book Forum] DAILY REVIEW: This Is Your Brain, On
Two books seek to explain how our minds work their way through the maze of consciousness

[Book Forum] PAPER TRAIL: May 1, 2013 @ 3:20:00 pm
Moscow-based journalist Masha Gessen has signed on with Riverhead to write the first book about the Tsarnaev brothers; Routledge announces the first critical studies journal devoted to porn; Steven Soderbergh is currently writing a crime mystery on Twitter.

[Book Forum] PAPER TRAIL: May 2, 2013 @ 3:20:00 pm
Moscow-based journalist Masha Gessen has signed on with Riverhead to write the first book about the Tsarnaev brothers; Routledge announces the first critical studies journal devoted to porn; Steven Soderbergh is currently writing a crime mystery on Twitter.

[Lit Saloon] Dan Brown's translators' inferno
       Surely it should already be punishment enough for any translator to have to work with Dan Brown's prose, but his publishers have -- appropriately enough, I suppose -- found new circles of hell for them: love german books has the story and the links in

[Lit Saloon] May online issues
       May issues of several publications are now available online: Words without Borders' May 2013: North Korean Defectors issue -- with a dose of New Swahili Writing, too The first issue of the new-look transcript has Armenia as a theme Open Letters Monthly

[Lit Saloon] Best Translated Book Award ceremony
       Tomorrow (Friday) at 17:30 the winner of the Best Translated Book Award will be named; see Chad Post's explanation of the where and when.        I expect to be there; hope to see you there as well.

[Lit Saloon] Library of America's best-selling titles
       The Library of America updates it's look at The Library of America's Best-Selling Titles.        Always interesting to see -- and not much change from two years ago (but no updated actual sales-numbers, unfortunately ...).

[Lit Saloon] While the Women are Sleeping review
       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Javier Marías' While the Women are Sleeping.        I'm pretty much just trying to fill in some of the blanks here while I wait for The Infatuations (not

[Lit Saloon] Susan Bernofsky Q & A(s)
       Shaun Randol interviewed translator-from-the-German Susan Bernofsky, and the conversation is divided up between Words without Borders -- his Interview with Susan Bernofsky -- and The Mantle, where there's PEN 2013: Susan Bernofsky and Franz Kafka.

[Lit Saloon] All Those Things We Never Said review
       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Marc Levy's All Those Things We Never Said.        Year in, year out, Levy is one of the bestselling novelists in France (and this one reportedly quickly sold

[The Millions] James Salter’s All That Is: From Dream to Reality
1. At the book party for All That Is, the new novel by James Salter, Paris Review editor Lorin Stein held forth on Salter as a “colossus” for many young writers and declared the book his favorite of Salter’s work. It was significant that Stein, who is barely 40, introduced Salter: the party

[Guardian Books Blog] Clarke award: the rise of sci fi shows you can't judge a book by its genre
Evocative and strange, Chris Beckett's award-winning Dark Eden makes futuristic fantasy feel brilliantly of the momentLast year, most of the excitement at the Clarke award had happened long before the ceremony. The great Christopher Priest (himself a past winner) had declared the shortlist

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: How to prevent and punish crime
Is criminality genetic?

[The Millions] John Williams and John Williams
One John Williams is sitting atop the bestsellers list in The Netherlands following the multi-week (and quite unexpected) success of Stoner. Meanwhile a different John Williams is set to compose music in a galaxy far, far away. Related posts: Video Interview with Dar Williams and Spencer Reece At

[Guardian Books Blog] Porn studies is the new discipline for academics
First peer-reviewed journal invites experts to contribute in time for spring debutPorn Studies needs your contributions. The Routledge academic periodical will debut next spring, and a call for papers appeared this week soliciting submissions for "the first dedicated, international, peer-reviewed

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Trying to come up
An introduction to current debates

[Salon Books] Here’s how to change the world
“How to Change the World” takes as its modest premise the idea that everyone is capable of creating massive, global change -- if only we start small and set manageable goals. It’s just like quitting smoking!The book’s author, British journalist and life coach John-Paul Flintoff, has some

[The Millions] Beastie Boys Books and Beastie Boys Parks
Michael Diamond (aka Mike D) and Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock) have signed on to write a Beastie Boys memoir for Spiegel & Grau. The book is scheduled to publish in 2015. However if you need your Beastie fix now, you can head on over to Brooklyn’s Palmetto Playground tomorrow for its renaming

[The Millions] Masha Gessen Signs on to Write Tsarnaev Book
Masha Gessen will be the first writer to publish a book about the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Previously the author demonstrated her knowledge of Chechnya in her 2012 book The Man Without a Face. Gessen, who is also working on a book about embattled punk group

[The Millions] On the Fall of the House of Orwell
On June 25, 1903, in the tiny town of Motihari amid the torrid heat of the Indian plains, Ida Mabel Blair delivered her second child, a son. Her husband Richard was an Assistant Sub-Deputy Agent in the Opium Department of the Indian Civil Service of the British Raj. The opium trade between British

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: The future of human beings
Is human enhancement disenchanting?

[The Millions] Mount Airy, North Carolina
Carve out some time today, and let Evan Smith Rakoff show you how a wonderful essay about Andy Griffith can also be about Robert Burns, William Shakespeare, John Keats, ambition, nostalgia, the Hollywood blacklist, class, and grief. Related posts: Gay Penguins Cause Trouble in North Carolina Book

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: A contextless disaster
You've been co-opted

[The Millions] May: The Tastiest and Most Literary Month of All
May is National Short Story Month (and also National Barbecue Month) and to celebrate, Graywolf Press is selling all of their short story collections for 20% off. Related posts: Instapoetry Month We’re in the thick of National Poetry Month now, and... “April is the Cruelest

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Path to empire
The imperialist anniversaries you haven't heard about

[Book Forum] DAILY REVIEW: Harvard Square by André Aciman
André Aciman's third novel, "Harvard Square," takes place in Cambridge over the long, scorching summer of 1977. A nameless graduate student, a Jew from Egypt, wades through pages of 17th century literature preparing for crucial exams. One day he visits the tiny cluttered Cafe Algiers off

[Book Forum] PAPER TRAIL: May 3, 2013 @ 12:05:00 am
Paul Thomas Anderson has reportedly started shooting his adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's Inherent Vice; Less than a month after it was announced that John Freeman was resigning as the editor of Granta, the magazine has announced that it's closing its New York office; John Grisham writing a sequel to

[Lit Saloon] 'International Literature Award' shortlist
       The Best Translated Book Awards will be announced today in New York at 17:30 (I will be announcing the fiction winner !) but if you haven't had your fill of international literary prizes the Germans have just announced the shortlist for the 'Internationaler

[Lit Saloon] Edgar® Awards
       They've announced the winners of the 2013 Edgar® Awards, the Mystery Writers of America's awards.        I haven' t read (or, indeed, seen) a one of the winners (or, indeed, nominees ...).

[Lit Saloon] Dylan and the Nobel
       It's the ridiculous idea that won't die: every year as the announcement of the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature approaches some folks convince themselves that Bob Dylan is in the running for the prize -- his closing odds at Ladbrokes last year were a

[The Millions] The Song I Could Not Stop Singing: On “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer”
When I was 10 years old, there was a song I could not stop singing, and that I very much wished that I could. It was “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” by The Beatles, the third track on the first side of their 1969 album, Abbey Road. Though the melody of the song has a catchiness that made it

[Guardian Books Blog] Folio prize: a level playing field for self-published authors
At last, a major literary award is opening its doors to indie writers. But does the news fill you with horror or excitement?All I have really wanted as a self-publisher is to have my work taken seriously for its literary merit (or otherwise). Now, thanks to the new kid on the awards block, the Folio

[Guardian Books Blog] Message for Mars: Nasa seeks haikus
Nasa is looking for haikus in the form of a 'message for Mars' that will accompany their Maven mission in NovemberI have not entered a literary contest since I was 11, when I was utterly convinced my poem was going to win (it didn't). But I think I'm going to have to brush up by poetry skills after

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