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Top Book Blogs 02/2014

[Salon Books] What makes Rupert Murdoch tick? The science behind media greed
As the scandal over Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation’s illegal phone hacking activities broke to television audiences around the world, I could not help but wonder 'why?' And I am sure many others asked themselves the same question. What prompted Murdoch’s executives to condone illegal

[Bookslut] Essay as Inquiry: Rebecca West
"I liked her vitality and inquisitiveness and hardness," wrote Virginia Woolf of Rebecca West, "or so I thought it, but we never got within twenty miles of each other, and I don't suppose we shall ever meet again." It may...

[Bookslut] Silence Once Begun by Jesse Ball
ball jesse silence once begun

[The Millions] VQR Debuts Redesigned Website, Lifts Paywall
The Virginia Quarterly Review launched their redesigned website this week, and it’s a sight to behold. To celebrate the occasion, the magazine has dropped its paywall through Valentine’s Day, so start exploring. I recommend starting with Kevin Young’s recent poem, “There Is a Light That

[The Millions] An Experiment In Crowdsourced Development
Palgrave Macmillan is posting sample chapters from book proposals online, inviting comment “from anyone who feels they can contribute to the development of the works in question.” The trial will continue for the next six weeks.

[The Millions] Twitter’s Poetics, Twitter’s Bots
As Teju Cole demonstrated with his real-time ghazals (one, two, and three) this past week, Twitter is a medium ripe for linguistic experimentation. And far from being the exclusive domain of human beings, the social network can also produce “found poetry” at the behest of computer programs – a

[Salon Books] Bill Clinton’s LGBT shame: Where was he then?
POZ magazine did its best to be a thorn in the side of the Clinton administration, and hold the president accountable for promises he’d made during his campaign. They could not entirely ignore us because our criticism was on target.Like many other people with HIV, I felt betrayed by

[The Millions] “In such circumstances, how could there fail to be a swarm of ghosts?”
Recommended Reading: People Who Eat Darkness author Richard Lloyd Parry’s stunning essay on Reverend Kaneda, a Japanese monk performing exorcisms to solve his region’s “ghost problem.”

[The Millions] The Tables Have Turned
First humans wrote poems made of computer code, and now computers are writing poems made of English words.

[Bookslut] The Invention of Influence by Peter Cole
cole peter invention of influence the

[Bookslut] New York Pizza Minus the New York
There's a scene in an episode of Louie where Parker Posey's character takes Louis C.K. on a date to Lower East Side delicatessen institution Russ & Daughters. For a good solid minute, you witness the two them ecstatically eating herring,...

[Salon Books] Love, sex, Iraq: A roadside bomb won’t kill my marriage
The ten-year anniversary of Brian’s injury is coming up. A lot of people in the veterans’ community call it their Alive Day. Brian calls it his Phoenix Day—I strongly prefer that term. The imagery of the phoenix arising from its own ashes is powerful. It isn’t just about staying alive,

[Bookslut] Women of the Fifties Redux: A Mad Men Antidote
"One of the great up-sides of being the first of a kind," journalist Rachel Cooke writes in her chatty, informative, and inspirational book Her Brilliant Career: Ten Extraordinary Women of the Fifties, "was that guilt, at least as it pertained...

[The Millions] Who Should Readers Root For In The Super Bowl?
Need a team to root for during today’s Super Bowl? Might I suggest cheering on the team that represents a city angling to become America’s second UNESCO City of Literature? (Related: A few months back, Krakow, Poland, became the seventh city to join the UNESCO bunch.)

[Bookslut] Graphically
As I hope many of you are aware, we are witnessing a good moment for graphic novels, and Sara Ryan's outstanding Bad Houses is a perfect example of why. This coming-of-age story takes readers into the complicated worlds of...

[The Millions] “I’m thousands of miles away, and you can’t get to me”
The Yale Literary Magazine caught up with the reclusive author Denis Johnson to discuss the poets who made him want to write poetry, his favorite mass cultural product, and the chief reason he avoids giving interviews.

[Salon Books] Labor pains: The racist policies that set workplace equality back decades
On a cold winter morning in Memphis, in January of 1919, a committee of four white switchmen marched into the office of one Edward Bodamer, superintendent of the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad. The switchmen were there, they said, to discuss a demand by the area yard workers: fire all black

[The Millions] Two Newly-Discovered Sappho Poems
A researcher unearthed two never-before-seen poems by Sappho. To fans of Classics and Greek poetry, this is bigger than the secret release of Beyoncé’s secret album.

[The Millions] “I Do (Plan To Read That)”
Attention, lovebirds! Amanda Bullock put together a list of “29 Things You Must Read Before You Get Married.”

[The Millions] “Mookie Blaylock dresses up as Mookie Blaylock for Halloween.”
What better way to celebrate the Super Bowl than by reading a poem about basketball?

[Bookslut] "Monsieur is Lighthearted and Charming": On Child of All Nations by Irmgard Keun
Sometimes I think the most overrated quality in literature must be ponderousness -- which indicates the writer's fear that the work won't be taken seriously unless the reader gets slapped in the face and told, "This is important, damn it!...

[Bookslut] The Third Space of Nnedi Okorafor's Kabu Kabu
I like to believe there is a living room inside my head. I think I first started decorating the room when I was around ten or eleven, maybe younger. The private room inside my head contains only the things that...

[Bookslut] In Violet's Wake by Robin Devereaux-Nelson
devereaux nelson robin in violet's wake

[Bookslut] Ecstatic Reality: George MacDonald's Phantastes
Fantasy is built, in part, from the idea that the world is larger than consensus reality: that a fairy court can exist side-by-side with a mundane city or that there could be countries and whole worlds that exist outside the...

[Bookslut] Season to Taste, or How to Eat Your Husband by Natalie Young
young natalie season to taste

[Bookslut] The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide, translated by Eric Salland
hiraide takashi guest cat the

[Bookslut] The Accidental Universe: The World You Thought You Knew by Alan Lightman
lightman alan accidental universe the

[Bookslut] Reading the Winter
When it’s cold I take comfort in how Louise Fitzhugh drew people wrapped up like onions. She did it at least twice in publication -- once in Harriet the Spy, where Harriet is dancing (as an onion) and once...

[Salon Books] “I Forgot to Remember”: Living with amnesia
"She never knew me, and I know nothing of her except what people have told me. She rebelled; I conform. She broke rules; I follow them. She drank and smoked pot; I don't even know the taste of beer or wine, and the smell of smoke makes me physically ill. I like vegetables; she hated them. She loved

[Salon Books] From good girl to prostitute: My path from ultra-Orthodox Judaism to Craigslist sex ad
I woke in the middle of the night to the sound of shrieking laughter. Someone was banging on the door across from my apartment.Shut the fuck up, I seethed, burying my head under the pillow. I had to be at work before eight to prepare for a presentation, which meant getting up at five forty-five.

[Book Forum] IN PRINT: Feb/Mar 2014

[Book Forum] IN PRINT: Hot Investment Tips
How some speculators plan to cash in on the coming climate Armageddon

[Book Forum] IN PRINT: Temperature Control
Getting a grip on what can be done about climate change

[Book Forum] IN PRINT: The Unbearable Truth
Why we must tell lies.

[Book Forum] IN PRINT: A Woman Escaped
Italian novelist Elena Ferrante lavishly re-creates her hometown's aura of seduction and violence

[Book Forum] IN PRINT: Mother of Invention
In 1999, Jenny Offill published her first novel, Last Things, written in the voice of a girl caught between her passive scientist father and her mother, an increasingly unstable fabulist who takes her daughter on the run to nowhere in particular. Startlingly assured in inhabiting a child’s

[Book Forum] IN PRINT: Get Rich or Die Tryin'
A journalist follows recent graduates into the grim world of entry-level Wall Street

[Book Forum] IN PRINT: The Absurdist Insurgency
A history of American humor finds liberation in the horselaugh

[Book Forum] DAILY REVIEW: Pale Ire
In his long-awaited memoir, Morrissey sheds his wilting-wallflower image

[Book Forum] PAPER TRAIL: Book clubs on the Deep Web; New writing from Afghanistan
Rene Ricard—the artist, critic, and poet—has died. Ricard appeared in films by Andy Warhol and wrote influential Artforum articles about Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, and Francesco Clemente; his poetry collections include God with Revolver. At Hyperallergic, Morton Hoi Jensen reports on

[Guardian Books Blog] Poem of the week: Engram by Ahren Warner
A droll, sophisticated take on first poetic inspiration – including some very adult reflections on its natureAlert to subtle linguistic nuance, a witty and wide-ranging Francophile, Ahren Warner has a claim to be the "poet's poet" of his generation. Even in apparently domestic and personal guise,

[The Millions] February Books: A Reading List for Love and Late-Winter Gloom
“It is February,” Anne Carson once wrote, perhaps from within the polar vortex. “Ice is general.” By the time we get to February, the days may be getting longer, but there is a weariness to the winter. Hibernation’s novelty has long expired, and the fruits of the fall

[Guardian Books Blog] February's Reading group: Junky by William S Burroughs
This month, our look at the avant-garde legend will be based on his more or less conventional autobiographical novelThis month's Reading Group choice is Junky by William S Burroughs. As requested, the titles were chosen out of a beret, and on the whole, I think it's made a good choice. Certainly as

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: The Americanization of the Devil
Satan is real and lives in America

[Guardian Books Blog] Tips, links and suggestions: What are you reading this week?
Your space to discuss the books you are reading and what you think of themGuardian readersClaire Armitstead

[The Millions] Their Etceteras
Whether you admire the work of e.e. cummings or think of him mainly as the inspiration for your high school’s worst poet, you’ll enjoy this excerpt of Susan Cheever’s new biography, which touches on the poet’s later years and his relationship with Cheever’s father. The two (contrasting)

[NYT] Unpublished Chaplin Novella to Be Released
Called “Footlights,” the 1948 novella served as the inspiration for Charlie Chaplin's 1952 film, “Limelight,” widely considered his last great film.

[The Millions] Not a Magical Pairing
Not caught up on the emerging Hermione/Ron scandal? Here’s a recap: a few days ago, J.K. Rowling not only said in an interview conducted by Emma Watson that she regretted pairing up Harry Potter’s best friends, she also said that Harry and Hermione should have ended up together. “[Pairing

[Book Forum] VIDEO: Edwidge Danticat

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: The product of centuries
Surely they can't be serious?


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