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Top Book Blogs 01/2014

[Guardian Books Blog] The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge: a fairytale of middle-aged love
This gently witty 1946 story about reconciliation and the restoration of equilibrium is an enduring treat, albeit one that reads differently at different stages of lifeThere's a good one just off Kensington High Street, a fine one in Hampstead, and a fabulous one near my mother's house in Dublin,

[Guardian Books Blog] New year reading: which books are your hot tips for 2014?
Whether fact or fantasy light your fire, let us know which literary delights you are looking forward to next yearThe new year is upon us, so it's time to kiss goodbye to the celebrity-stuffing of the christmas season and get ahead of the game once more. Where would we be without the recommendations

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: A serious sport
Organized sports get pushed further out of reach of many poorer kids

[Salon Books] 8 books I bailed on in 2013
De gustibus non est disputandum — there's no arguing over taste — is a maxim worth quoting in its original Latin as a reminder of just how long the idea has been around. As with many aspects of human nature, the Internet only makes this disconcerting fact more visible, in, for example, the

[Book Forum] VIDEO: John Updike on Family Affairs | Blank on Blank | PBS Digital Studios

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Don't go there
Can game theory solve a decades-old dispute?

[NYT] Danielle Steel Awarded French Legion of Honor
The writer, who has sold some 600 million books worldwide and lives in San Francisco and Paris, was made a “chevalier” of the Legion of Honor.

[Salon Books] Your brain is making you fat!
The limits of self-control are key factors in our poor eating habits. One reason self-control is limited is because the capacity of the brain’s information-processing system is relatively minuscule.Scientists generally agree that our brain has two operating systems: a cognitive system and a

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: The beauty of Americana
America is increasingly down with the clown

[Book Forum] PAPER TRAIL: Books to look for in 2014; Danielle Steel wins French Legion of Honor; Blockbuster bites the dust
Shall we begin? The Guardian’s guide to the coming year runs through the likely literary landmarks of 2014: Hanif Kureishi on a fading writer being vexed by his young biographer, Alain de Botton on the news, Masha Gessen on the passion of Pussy Riot, retracing E.M. Forster’s travels in India,

[The Millions] Leaked Literature: Why We Should Respect Salinger’s Wishes
Literature fans have doubtless heard about the three unpublished J.D. Salinger stories leaked online last month. A scanned manuscript entitled Three Stories in a style reminiscent of the Bantam Salinger editions surfaced on a torrent site in November, and the stories, “The Ocean Full of Bowling

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: The rough-and-tumble financial world
Wall Street's favorite-son status is gone

[The Millions] The Paris Review and McSweeney’s Collaborate on a Dual Deal
All month long, The Paris Review and McSweeney’s are offering a special dual deal in which you can order year-long subscriptions to both magazines for 20% off of their individual rates.

[The Millions] Lit Mag Happenings
Just released: the latest issue of DIAGRAM, which is consistently one of the most interesting magazines in publication. Coming soon: Hobart‘s 15th issue, which is focused on “Hotel Culture,” and will hit shelves in February/March. (Although you can preorder a copy now.)

[Guardian Books Blog] Lilit Marcus only read books by women last year. Would you follow suit? | Diane Shipley
With books coverage skewed in favour of men, female authors are often overlooked. Should we change our reading habits?Last month, American author and journalist Lilit Marcus wrote a piece for US culture site Flavorwire about her decision to read only books by women in 2013. A commenter soon came

[Book Forum] VIDEO: OED Symposium 2013: Welcome and opening remarks

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Some of the same issues
If it happened there

[The Millions] The Writing on the Museum Wall: When Artists Channel Writers
“Trouble” (1989) by Christopher Wool, courtesy of the Guggenheim Museum. 1. We tend to think of words as the exclusive raw material of writers. But this has been a season of sparkling reminders that artists from many camps — cubism, conceptualism, minimalism, realism and pop

[The Millions] Aspen Public Radio’s First Draft Radio Show
Forgive us for being slow on the uptake, Colorado residents, but this is the first I’m hearing of Aspen Public Radio’s First Draft radio show, which features interviews with numerous authors of wide acclaim. A casual glance at the show’s online archives, for instance, turns up the

[The Millions] He Linked To A Site That Wasn’t Literary. What Happened Next Will Shock You.
OK, it’s not exactly “literary,” but nevertheless I promise that “Upworthy Springfield” is worth your time.

[NYT] Lawyer Is Fined for Revealing Rowling as Author of Detective Novel
The lawyer, Chris Gossage, was fined and rebuked for breaking client confidentiality rules.

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Modern Anglo-Saxons just can't get enough
A reveille call to the slumbering Anglosphere

[The Millions] David Simon Working on a Pogues Musical
The Wire creator David Simon is at work on a Pogues musical, reports Rolling Stone. Where will they possibly find a Broadway star with the right teeth to play Shane MacGowan?

[Salon Books] How to learn philosophy painlessly
Over the last two years I’ve been enjoying the audiobook rollout of the “Very Short Introduction” series originally published in print by Oxford University Press. My resolution for the new year is to listen to more of them—an easy thing to do, since several new titles seem to appear every

[Book Forum] DAILY REVIEW: The Democratic Republic of Congo by Michael Deibert
The cover of Michael Deibert's examination of Congo bears a striking image of a young woman in flip-flops playing the cello in a bleak, grubby yard surrounded by a bleak, grubby city. She focuses on the notes on a sheet music stand, seemingly oblivious to the potholes and grime and rain-bellied

[Book Forum] PAPER TRAIL: Lawyer who revealed J.K. Rowling’s pseudonym has been fined; David Simon’s new musical
The lawyer who outed J.K. Rowling as the author of detective novel published under a pseudonym last year has been fined in the UK for breaking client confidentiality rules. Rowling wrote The Cuckoo’s Calling under the name Robert Galbraith in April 2013. The lawyer, Chris Gossage, told his wife,

[The Millions] January Books: A Reading List for the First Month of the New Year
What really begins in January, besides the calendar? Winter isn’t even close to ending, and nothing but the new year is being born. But we do, nevertheless, like to start things when the year starts. Maybe it’s that the quiet hibernation of the time, after the excess of the holidays,

[Guardian Books Blog] Poster poems: Anniversaries
For the 100th Poster poems, we look back at 10 of the most popular blogs in the series and invite entries on a commemorative themeThe first Poster poems blog was posted on 28 March 2008. It was a bit of an experiment, something that had been in the air, and my original agreement with the good people

[Guardian Books Blog] Elizabeth Jane Howard: jade perfection and complete dedication
The English author, who has died, aged 90, was admirable not simply for the polish of her style but for the humility and constancy with which she approached her artMany writers can fire a literary ambition. Elizabeth Jane Howard quenched mine. When I read The Long View, at the age of 23 or so, I

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: The right bits of Washington insider information
Far-sighted policymaking is hard

[The Millions] The Elmore Enigma
Elmore Leonard was a very cinematic writer, yet why are most adaptations of his work so bad? Christopher Orr explores what he calls the “Elmore Leonard paradox” in The Atlantic. “Most of the early adaptations of Leonard’s crime work missed his light authorial touch, opting

[The Millions] Photographic Thaw
If you’re going to accidentally leave almost two dozen unprocessed photo negatives out for 100 years, there’s no better place to store them than a block of ice in Antarctica. Conservationists restoring an Antarctic exploration hut found the negatives left from Robert Falcon Scott’s

[Bookslut] Nothing New Under the Sun: Reading Urban Fantasy
Let's take as a first proposition that most of what is considered contemporary fantasy, as well as work that could be called fantasy but is fitted to some other related category, gains its power from the conversion of the...

[Book Forum] VIDEO: Michael Ignatieff | Dec 11, 2013 | Appel Salon

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: It could happen again
Devoted to the idea of openness

[The Millions] Danticat’s Definition
Edwidge Danticat gives us one of the best definitions of the short story in an interview with Kima Jones at The Rumpus. “The short story is like an exquisite painting and you might, when looking at this painting, be wondering what came before or after, but you are fully absorbed in what

[The Millions] Ten Who Left Us: Select Literary Obituaries from 2013
In 2013 we lost two Nobel laureates, a revered editor and teacher, plus writers of crime fiction, literary fiction, poetry, history, essays, biographies, screenplays, mega-bestsellers, movie criticism, and memoirs. Here is a highly selective compendium: Evan S. Connell While it may not be accurate

[NYT] Book Review Podcast: Diving Into the Wreck
Chang-rae Lee discusses his new novel, “On Such a Full Sea.”

[Bookslut] Brown Dog: Novellas by Jim Harrison
harrison jim brown dog

[Bookslut] The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly by Sun-mi Hwang, translated by Chi-Young Kim
hwang sun-mi hen who dreamed she could fly

[The Millions] The Humanity of Hobbits
Are hobbits human? Matthew Yglesias asks this question at Slate and mines J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings to find out. The answer is yes; they are just shorter.

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: In the Americas
Why Canada and the U.S. should merge

[The Millions] Prophet Asimov
It’s 2014, but we still don’t have self-driving cars despite Isaac Asimov’s predictions. In 1964, Asimov contemplated what the world would be like 50 years later. He was fairly accurate according to David Wogan at Scientific American. “Asimov got a lot right…about how

[Salon Books] “People are at their most vulnerable when they’re naked together”: The rise of erotic romance
In green pajamas, I rushed through the elegant lobby of the Westin hotel near Seattle and followed the sound of pop music to a large, dim room, with balloons, streamers and sparkly confetti. I hovered at the entrance to the Jammies Jewels Soiree as attendees of the Emerald City Romance Writer’s

[Salon Books] How baby boomers screwed their kids — and created millennial impatience
"This Be the Verse" They fuck you up, your mum and dad. They may not mean to, but they do. They fill you with the faults they had And add some extra, just for you. But they were fucked up in their turn By fools in old-style hats and coats, Who half the time were soppy-stern And half at one

[Bookslut] An Interview with Don Waters
In his debut novel, Sunland, Don Waters takes us on a wild picaresque journey in the company of a good-hearted, thirty-something drifter named Sid Dulaney. On a mission to care for a sickly grandmother, his only real family, Sid finds...

[The Millions] Lost Ideas
Remember that story you were going to write about your neighbor’s dog but never did? When you’re a writer, you have to know when to ditch both the bad and good ideas. At The Atlantic, Bob Brody laments all the stories he’ll never write and concludes: “It’s taken me a long

[Bookslut] Paula Modersohn-Becker: The First Modern Woman Artist by Diane Radycki
radycki diane paula modersohn-becker

[Bookslut] Mongol by Uuganaa Ramsay
ramsay uuganaa mongol

[Bookslut] How To...
The biggest literary surprise for me last year was what I found between the covers of Kate Lebo's A Commonplace Book of Pie. I expected a small but quirky cookbook, which makes sense because Lebo is a pie maker....


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