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Top Book Blogs 10/2013

[The Millions] Tuesday New Release Day: Gilbert, Forna, Drabble, Segal, MacFarlane, Winterson, de la Pava, Franzen
New releases this week include The Signature of All Things by Eat, Pray, Love  author Elizabeth Gilbert, which you can learn more about in Steve Almond’s review for the Times. Also out: The Hired Man by Aminatta Forna; The Pure Gold Baby by Margaret Drabble; Half the Kingdom by Lore Segal;

[The Millions] A Slingshot Full of Stories: Malcolm Gladwell’s David and Goliath
In his 2004 New Yorker article “The Ketchup Conundrum,” Malcolm Gladwell tells the story of Jim Wigon, a hapless food entrepreneur trying to market his gourmet brand of World’s Best ketchup against the Heinz ketchup juggernaut. “He starts with red peppers, Spanish onions, garlic, and a

[Book Forum] SYLLABI: Sons and Mothers

[Book Forum] SYLLABI: Margie Cook: Sons and Mothers

[Guardian Books Blog] Under the Volcano: fuelling a thirst for Malcolm Lowry
This book has whetted an appetite for more Lowry – luckily there are some fantastic online resources to aid further studyStrictly speaking, we should be at the end of our Lowry coverage this month, but this book is so good, and there's so much to say about it, I thought it worth posting another

[Salon Books] Stop saying it’s easy to come out!
In 2012, popular media venues such as the New York Times, Huffington Post, and Entertainment Weekly all suggested in feature articles that being gay is not a big deal anymore. The articles argued this was so manifestly true that gay celebrities no longer even needed to come out. As opposed to past

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Being a pop culture nerd is harder than you think
The obscure cult game that's secretly inspiring everything

[NYT] A New Home for Rare Books at Center for Jewish History
The new David Berg Rare Book Room at the Center for Jewish History is to open Sunday.

[The Millions] The Essay Crown
Could James Baldwin be America’s greatest essayist? Ta-Nehisi Coates believes so — at The Atlantic, he argues that The Fire Next Time shows Baldwin committing “amazing acts of intellectual and emotional courage.” (Related: Buzz Poole paid tribute to Baldwin back in 2008.)

[The Millions] This Atrium
The New York Times Magazine published an excerpt of the latest novel by Dave Eggers. The book, titled The Circle, follows Mae Holland, a woman who takes a job at a Google-esque company dubbed “the most influential in the world.” At Reuters, Felix Salmon critiques the book’s take

[Book Forum] VIDEO: Necessary Utterance: Poetry as Cultural Force (Trethewey)

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: On both sides
Is that another misconception?

[The Millions] Keep Them Guessing: An Interview with Maile Meloy
When I was a lowly editorial assistant at Simon & Schuster in 2006, a colleague gave me a galley of Maile Meloy’s forthcoming A Family Daughter, and I was absolutely done for. Within a year, I had exhausted all of her published works. Meloy is just ten years my senior, which means I’ve

[The Millions] Luck of a Genius
At Page-Turner, Willing Davidson interviews Karen Russell, the newly minted MacArthur Genius, Swamplandia! author and 20 Under 40 alum. The conclusion this writer came to after reading their back-and-forth? The phrases “luck lightning” and “King Doomsday” need to be used more often. (FYI,

[Salon Books] Scribd, HarperCollins launch Netflix-like subscription book service
For a small monthly fee, consumers are used to getting unlimited access to all types of content: movies, TV shows, music, news, video games. Could that same model soon become popular in the world of publishing?Given the success of Netflix in video and Spotify in music, it's inevitable that you're

[The Millions] Fin
Shakespeare is required reading for the would-be literary scholar, yet with so many articles, books and monographs on the Bard in circulation, it might be time to ask: have English professors finally said all there is to say?

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: In post-Soviet Russia
Could Russia have been as successful as the United States?

[NYT] Betting on a Nobel Winner
What do bookmakers' odds say about a writer's chance to win the Nobel Prize in Literature?

[The Millions] Capital G
“Good TV is not merely good TV (i.e. better-than-average TV), but TV that is so good it deserves to be taken as seriously as great films and even great Literature (yes, with a capital ‘L’). As such, watching Good TV and discussing Good TV are qualitatively different than watching

[NYT] Ziggy Stardust’s Reading Habits
David Bowie recently revealed a list of 100 of his favorite books.

[Salon Books] What Stanley Kubrick got wrong about “The Shining”
It's no secret that Stephen King dislikes Stanley Kubrick's film adaptation of his 1977 novel, "The Shining," but now that King is publishing a sequel, "Doctor Sleep," he's being asked once again to explain why. "I felt that it was very cold, very, 'We're looking at these people, but they're like

[Book Forum] IN PRINT: Time Heals No Wounds
Jonathan Lethem traces a family's radical legacy

[Book Forum] DAILY REVIEW: Time Heals No Wounds
Jonathan Lethem traces a family's radical legacy

[Lit Saloon] Ilija Trojanow denied entry to US
       With the current Republican Party-sponsored hissy-fit paralyzing the American federal government there likely won't be answers too soon (and, let's face it, this is something the US authorities like doing in the best of times), but another prominent author

[Lit Saloon] Zimbabwe International Book Fair
       Originally meant to take place more than a month ago, the Zimbabwe International Book Fair was re-scheduled to accomodate the snap national 'election' held in Zimbabwe at that time, and now the show is finally going on (through 5 October).

[Lit Saloon] Goldsmiths Prize shortlist
       The Goldsmiths Prize is a new prize that hopes to: "to reward fiction that breaks the mould or opens up new possibilities for the novel form", and they've now announced their first shortlist, six titles selected from the 123 entries (which are,

[Lit Saloon] Comics in ... India
       "English-language graphic fiction aimed at adult Indian readers is still a small scene", notes Rakesh Khanna in Cross Border Kathas, as he looks at: 'Retelling history through graphic fiction' in this month's issue of The Caravan.

[Lit Saloon] The Village Indian review
       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of German-writing Iraqi author Abbas Khider's The Village Indian, just out from Seagull Books.        As I mentioned recently, Khider was just awarded the

[Book Forum] PAPER TRAIL: Oct. 2, 2013
In a puzzled and negative review of Jonathan Franzen’s The Kraus Project, Dwight Garner wonders how Franzen “could loom so tall in his novels yet seem so shriveled in his nonfiction,” and notes that while Franzen’s “drive-by pea shootings” on technology fall short, the author’s

[The Millions] It Has Always Been Thus
The debate between writers and critics over authorial intent is literally a life and death struggle. By literally, I mean figuratively. On the one hand, you have critics who have trumpeted “the death of the author” for several decades now, the view that holds that authors can’t be the true

[Salon Books] Reaching for the pillars: The conservative plan is sabotage
Conservative crusaders have often taken up the question of what to do about government. The utopian dream is to wreck it, an impossible goal that is nevertheless the frequent object of conservative reverie. “The mystery of government is not how Washington works,” writes the humorist P. J.

[Guardian Books Blog] Women in trousers: fiction's sartorial trailblazers
From Agatha Christie to Bridget Jones women wearing trousers has been a developing story in the world of fiction. Who were the pioneers of the pant?One of the tantalising details to emerge from newspaper extracts of the latest Bridget Jones novel is that fifty-something-year-old, widowed Bridget

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Headlines about the government shutdown
Who is affected when the government doesn't show up for work?

[The Millions] Not a Soirée
At The Guardian, Susanna Rustin interviews the Irish writer Edna O’Brien, whose new anthology of stories, The Love Object, comes out as an e-book this week. Among other things, she compares a writer who works on a book for only one day a week with a parent who leaves a toddler unsupervised:

[Salon Books] Bestselling spy novelist Tom Clancy dead at 66
Bestselling novelist Tom Clancy, one of the world's best known espionage thriller writers, died in a Baltimore hospital on Tuesday. He was 66.His publisher, Penguin imprint G.P. Putnam’s Sons, confirmed the death to the New York Times, but did not provide a cause.All of Clancy's novels have books

[The Millions] RIP Tom Clancy
The Times is reporting that bestselling author Tom Clancy has died. The Baltimore native, who became famous for writing novels (including The Hunt for Red October and The Sum of All Fears) that inspired blockbuster movies, passed away last night in Johns Hopkins Hospital at the age of 66. (His next

[The Millions] Medium Vice
Year in Reading alum Maud Newton has a new short story up on Medium. Titled “Nobody’s Stranger,” the “Miami noir love story” somewhat wonderfully features a bar, “the most incongruous bar in Little Haiti,” in which the patrons are mostly “aging emo kids and British soccer fans and

[Book Forum] VIDEO: Linda Ronstadt Talks About Her Career and New Memoir

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Double down
Extract the full surplus

[The Millions] Card Collection
Now that the Library of Congress is shut down, it’s as good a time as any to remember why we have it in the first place. At Brain Pickings, Maria Popova looks through a collection of vintage catalog cards, two of which include early entries for A Room of One’s Own and Ulysses.

[The Millions] Popping the Question: A Survey of Literature’s Non-Traditional Marriage Proposals
1. “Will you marry me?” Four simple words, but the question provides ample opportunity for playful novelists to wreak havoc on the marriage plot. One such famously mischievous writer, J.M. Coetzee, does just that in his new novel, The Childhood of Jesus. After acclimating to Novilla, the

[Guardian Books Blog] Record books: Art Garfunkel's reading matter revealed – now who's next?
Garfunkel's reading list from 1968 onwards is available online, and it's strong on the classics. But who else's book collection would you like to see?A piece about David Bowie's top 100 books, revealed as part of the David Bowie Is exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario, has led to a tip-off about

[The Millions] “Vague enough to be useful”
At Full-Stop, Nicholson Baker talks with David Burr Gerard about his new novel, Henry James and the envy he feels for Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald. (Related: our own Bill Morris reviewed Baker’s House of Holes.)

[NYT] A Poet Reckons With Her Inheritance
Tess Taylor, a descendant of Thomas Jefferson, talks about her new collection, "The Forage House," her ancestors and race.

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Instability in American politics
We all want more of everything — except taxes

[The Millions] Do They Get Screeners?
Noting the rise of the television recap, the folks at The Paris Review Daily, aided by promising early reviews by Teddy Roosevelt and T.S. Eliot, are recapping Dante’s Inferno. Their suggestion for readers looking to follow along? Sit down with a Canto every Sunday at 9 p.m.

[Salon Books] Dave Eggers says he has never read the book he’s accused of plagiarizing
McSweeney's founder and writer Dave Eggers has denied plagiarism allegations that parts of his tech start-up-themed novel, "The Circle," was lifted from former Mark Zuckerberg ghostwriter Kate Losse's memoir "The Boy Kings."In September, Losse wrote that "Dave Eggers decided to rewrite my book as

[Book Forum] DAILY REVIEW: The Case Against the Global Novel
Between 1952 and 1957, Naguib Mahfouz did not write any novels or stories. This was not a case of writer's block. Mahfouz, who had completed his masterwork, The Cairo Trilogy, in the early 1950s, later explained that he had hoped Egypt's revolutionary regime would fulfil the aims of his realist

[Book Forum] PAPER TRAIL: Oct. 3, 2013
In a thinly veiled attempt to make sure that nobody ever turns off their Kindle, Amazon has been prodding the Federal Aviation Administration to revise their rules about turning off electronic devices during takeoff and landings. Recent tests conducted both by Amazon and an FAA panel have found that

[Bookslut] A Guide for the Perplexed by Dara Horn
horn dara guide for the perplexed

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