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Top Book Blogs 08/2013 (Page 6)

[The Millions] Bright Young Thing
Who is Samantha Shannon, and why should you care about her? Well, for starters, she’s twenty-one years old, her debut novel The Bone Season is coming out next week, and her publisher suspects she may be the next J.K. Rowling. Related posts: Tuesday New Release Day: Rowling, Homes, Stein, Wilson,

[The Millions] Sergio de la Pava Takes Home the Bingham Prize
Congrats are in order for Sergio de la Pava, who just won the $25,000 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Award for his debut novel, A Naked Singularity. For more on the novel, which holds an illustrious place in our Hall of Fame, check out our own Garth Risk Hallberg’s profile of the author from last year.

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: The wait of the world
Doing away with the leap

[The Millions] Wise and Beautiful
As you might expect, this grammar quiz targeted at eighth-graders from 1912 will make you feel depressed about the modern age. (h/t The Paris Review Daily) Related posts: Saul Bellow, “Wise Guy” Writing for The Dublin Review of Books, Kevin Stevens reviews... Vanity Fair’s

[The Millions] Brief Encounters with Sayrafiezadeh
Hot on the heels of our own review of Brief Encounters with the Enemy, Full-Stop publishes an interview with Saïd Sayrafiezadeh. What makes it especially interesting, however, is that their interviewer is Scott Cheshire, who also wrote our review. Related posts: Tuesday New Release Day: Bender,

[NYT] Wide-Ranging Talks at New-York Historical Society
Topics of lectures at the New-York Historical Society include affirmative action, Woodrow Wilson and the New York Armory Show.

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: The British way?
An existential threat to British democracy, a more serious one than terrorism, either external or internal

[The Millions] “Rote lessons before the air raid drill”
At The Atlantic, Caleb Crain (of Necessary Errors and n+1 fame) writes about the galvanizing effects of memorizing his favorite poem. (If you’re wondering, the poem in question is W.H. Auden’s “In Praise of Limestone.”) Related posts: Remodel At What Cost? Caleb Crain has strong

[Book Forum] PAPER TRAIL: Aug 15, 2013 @ 12:14:00 am
Amazon Publishing is launching a new biography series called Icons, which will "will focus on canonical figures in the culture, both historical and contemporary"; Dave Eggers has a new novel coming out in October; the Haruki Murakami novel that's been selling a million copies a week in Japan will

[Book Forum] DAILY REVIEW: World Lite
World Literature certainly sounds like a nice idea. A literature truly global in scope ought to enlarge readers' sympathies and explode local prejudices, releasing us from the clammy cells of provincialism to roam, in imagination, with people in faraway places and times. The aim is unimpeachable.

[Lit Saloon] German Book Prize longlist
       From the (alas, not identified) apparently 201 titles the jury considered, they have now announced that the Jury nominates 20 novels for the German Book Prize 2013 as the longlist has been unveiled. Some familiar names here, though the only two I have are

[Lit Saloon] 2013 PEN Literary Awards
       They've announced the winners of the 2013 PEN Literary Awards.        Sergio De La Pava took the $25,000 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize (for a first novel) for A Naked Singularity, while Frank Deford took the ... PEN/ESPN

[Lit Saloon] Writing in ... Kashmir
       In Kashmir Life Muhammad Maroof Shah diagnoses a Decaying Literary Culture, noting a shift from the previous mystical orientation of Kashmiri literature to what: "can well be described as a literature of lamentation".

[Lit Saloon] I Was Jack Mortimer review
       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Alexander Lernet-Holenia's I Was Jack Mortimer, coming out from Pushkin Press.        It's nice to see Pushkin Press offer this; various Lernet-Holenia works

[Guardian Books Blog] The Song of Achilles: Homer's ownership of his hero
Does a 2,500-year-old author still hold moral copyright on the main character?According to the back cover of my paperback, The Song Of Achilles is "an exciting, sexy, violent Superman version of the Iliad." That sounds good to me. It sounds, in fact, just like the actual Iliad, but that's not to say

[The Millions] The Darkness is Deep Indeed: On Javier Marías’s The Infatuations
1. Maria Dolz sees the same couple at the same café in the same city, Madrid, nearly every morning. “[T]he sight of them together” calmed her, and provided her “with a vision of an orderly or, if you prefer, harmonious world.” Maria works for a book publisher, where she

[Guardian Books Blog] Edith Nesbit's enduring magic
Earlier generations of children loved Edith Nesbit. So did I, and the ordinarily extraordinary stories still bewitchI loved Edith Nesbit's writing as a child, as did most of my contemporaries. In the school library, the copy of The Phoenix and the Carpet had been mended several times with aged

[Guardian Books Blog] Neil Gaiman leads Not the Booker prize shortlist
After a long night's count, the six finalists for the glittering Guardian mug have emerged. There's plenty for us to talk aboutThe votes are in. They've been counted too. That took a long time and, let me level with you, a couple of strong drinks. By 1am last night (or should that be 1am this

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: The human machine for war
Discomfiting as the reality may be, violence remains the driving force of political change

[Guardian Books Blog] Live webchat: Chris Ware
The graphic novelist will be joining us for a live webchat on Monday 19 August from 1pm BST. Post your questions nowFresh from his appearance at the Edinburgh international book festival, the comic book writer and artist Chris Ware will be joining us on Monday to answer your questions.Chris is one

[The Millions] Game Over
Ever thought that writing a novel was like a video game you just couldn’t win? In the new video game The Novelist, players count pages not bodies as they try to help the protagonist balance writing with his family life. “There’s no winning or losing,” designer Kent Hudson said.

[The Millions] Lacking Lacks
Henrietta Lacks is finally getting some credit for her genome’s contribution to science. The subject of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks was formally recognized by the US National Institutes of Health for her HeLa cells. Related posts: A Year in Reading: Carolyn Kellogg "So did the book

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Very real possibilities
A thing you just found out about

[The Millions] The Song of the Two Walts
Walter White is the new Walt Whitman. “Both are intellectual pioneers in their fields, their legacies—centuries apart—demanding risk, casting them outside of society, gliding out into the world, liberated from societal constraints,” Kera Bolonik writes about Whitman’s influence

[Guardian Books Blog] How to throw readers off the scent of celebrity authors
Gwyneth Paltrow has been stealing literary thunder at a public event. How are plainer authors to take it back?What's a jobbing author supposed to do when overwhelmed at a library book signing by the fragrant Gwyneth Paltrow? After an attempt to claim that she was an up-from-size-zero Gwynnie herself

[Salon Books] Salman Rushdie: We live in a “culture of offendedness”
Award-winning novelist Salman Rushdie, who lived under a fatwa for a decade after the publication of "The Satanic Verses" in 1988, says that we live in a culture where it's too easy to hate. Speaking to a crowd at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on Tuesday, he said,"I do think that one of

[The Millions] London Calling
London is the most popular literary city. Graphic designer Edgard Barbosa made an infographic that visualizes the number of English-language books written about 10 international cities from 1800 to 2000. The locales include Rome, New York City, London, Paris, Tokyo, Madrid, Beijing, Chicago, Cairo,

[Salon Books] Chris Farley’s friends remember: “His greatest love was just the act of laughter itself”
If Chris Farley were still alive, he would be six months from his 50th birthday today. Because he died so young, at age 33, while his movie career was still in its first act, it is impossible to imagine all he might have accomplished beyond the virtuoso “fat guy in a little coat” slapstick for

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: The US States of Emergency
The dilemma of majority tyranny, federalism, and equality of conditions

[The Millions] Recommended Reading: Americca
Recommended Reading: Aimee Bender’s short story “Americca” from her newest collection, The Color Master. Related posts: Recommended Reading is Here! Starting strong out of the gate with a new short... Recommended Reading: Saturday Special Recommended Reading: “Gregory’s Year”

[Lit Saloon] Sławomir Mrożek (1930-2013)
       Sad to hear that Polish playwright (mainly) Sławomir Mrożek has passed away; as the Polskie Radio report has it, that does come close to wrapping things up: President of the Polish PEN club, Adam Pomorski, has told the Polish Press Agency that

[Lit Saloon] Fagunwa, fifty years on
       Nigerian author D.O.Fagunwa died fifty years ago, and they recently held a conference, D.O.Fagunwa: Fifty Years On -- and there are now some extensive account of it: in The Guardian (Nigeria) Gbenga Salau reports Fagunwa's literary exploits in focus, 50

[Lit Saloon] New Swedish Book Review
       A new issue of the Swedish Book Review is now out, Cool Swedish Titles from Finland: 2013/2014 Special Issue, focused on Swedish-writing Finnish authors (such as Monika Fagerholm and Kjell Westö); admirably, they make the whole issue freely available as

[Lit Saloon] Reading in ... China
       At The Atlantic Helen Gao wonders Why Aren't Chinese People Reading Books Anymore ?        A lot of these statistics seem a bit iffy to me -- for example, on the one hand: "the Chinese market is awash in books: The

[Book Forum] PAPER TRAIL: Aug 15, 2013 @ 3:44:00 pm
Boris Kachka talks to the Awl about the ouroboric (and very insidery) process of writing and selling a book about the publishing house Farrar, Straus and Giroux,.

[Book Forum] DAILY REVIEW: Marisha Pessl's "Night Film"
Marisha Pessl's first novel, Special Topics in Calamity Physics, was a maddening, twisty, eventual knockout of a book. It sparkled with showy erudition and the electricity of a true original. A prestigious, successful debut novel, it's a tough act to follow. But here she is, in Night Film, thumbing

[Guardian Books Blog] The best books on Kenya: start your reading here | Pushpinder Khaneka
Kenya's transition from colonial rule to independence and fragile democracy provides the unifying theme across a trio of classicsA Grain of Wheat by Ngugi wa Thiong'oOn the threshold of independence in 1963, the residents of Thabai village prepare to celebrate the ceding of power to Kenyans. Beneath

[The Millions] Skylight Addicts and Private Wonderlands: On the Garret Novel
1. Albert Parry’s Garrets and Pretenders, the best and most colorful cultural history of Bohemian artists and their “skylight-addicts,” was first published in 1933. Over the intervening 80 years, the coffee shop seems to have displaced the garret as the prime source of real or imagined

[Guardian Books Blog] Edinburgh international book festival 2013 takes a stroll down memory lane
From Jane Gardam's forgetful Old Filth to a misremembered Man Booker, this year's festival is all about the power of the mindMemory has been much on the minds of Edinburgh festival-goers this week, with neuroscientist Susan Greenfield exploring its relationship with the imagination, and Chris Ware

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: The future of a movement
Was Laura Ingalls Wilder's beloved children's series written as an anti-New Deal fable?

[Guardian Books Blog] Why is self-publishing still scorned by literary awards?
As an increasing number of DIY authors climb the digital bestseller lists, book prizes will have to rethink their entry criteriaA self-published book reaching the top of the charts is losing its power to surprise. Certainly it's less shocking than it might have been a few years ago to learn that

[The Millions] Where Is My Mind?
Do our brains determine how we write? Joyce Dyer explores the possibility that genre is influenced by how our brains are wired but wonders if that limits us. “The page may be forcing compromises that the brain, in such close relationship with the mind, must rightly refuse,” she writes.

[Salon Books] The grandmothers of “Gone Girl”
Few people know more about crime fiction than Sarah Weinman, a publishing journalist and critic who specializes in searching out and celebrating the best novels of mischief and mayhem. (Just this year she's pointed me to such artful page-turners as A.S.A. Harrison's "The Silent Wife" and Kelly

[The Millions] New Joyce Carol Oates Story
Recommended Reading: “Sex with Camel” by Joyce Carol Oates. As she tweeted, “Never thought, when I was a child in wilds of upstate NY, that I would grow up to write a story with such a title.” Related posts: Joyce Carol Oates Is A Glass of Water “I feel very transparent

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: At least for a moment
This is not a safe way

[The Millions] Meet the Lancasters
Hazel Grace has a family now. True Blood’s Sam Trammell will play Hazel’s dad in the film adaptation of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. Last month, our own Nick Moran reported that Laura Dern joined the cast as Hazel’s mom. With the Lancaster family complete, filming

[The Millions] Emily Dickinson’s iPhone
Emily Dickinson would be a really annoying texter. At The Toast, Mallory Ortberg imagines what texts you would receive if Emily had your phone number. Related posts: Cynthia Nixon to Play Emily Dickinson Sex and the City’s Cynthia Nixon has been tapped to... After great Cake – a formal

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: In college
The debate that's dividing academia

[The Millions] Good Grief
With his depressive musings, Charlie Brown was the original Morrissey. At “This Charming Charlie” tumblr, Lauren LoPrete pairs The Smiths lyrics with Peanuts comics to hilarious effect. Related posts: “How an ordinary Asian fell in love with The Smiths” You may not expect

[Lit Saloon] 10 Forgotten Classics ?
       Steven Moore's The Novel: An Alternative History: 1600-1800 is due out soon -- the second volume in his novel survey, after The Novel: An Alternative History: Beginnings to 1600 (which I continue to enjoy, even though I haven't managed to put up a review yet

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