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Top Book Blogs 07/2014

[The Millions] Is This Really Real Life? Christopher Beha’s Arts & Entertainments
Writing about reality television draws on two forms, the recap and the treatise. Recaps work like box scores, recounting the highlights from last night’s episode, from drinks thrown in faces to the number of occupants in a given hot tub, all of it in rat-a-tat language that any sportswriter would

[The Millions] Tuesday New Release Day: Gould; Foster; Netzer; Sohn; Rotert; Jacob; Canobbio; Wallace; Weil; Beckett
Out this week: Friendship by Emily Gould; God Is an Astronaut by Alyson Foster; How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky by Lydia Netzer; The Actress by Amy Sohn; Last Night at the Blue Angel by Rebecca Rotert; The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob; Three Light-Years by Andrea Canobbio;

[Lit Saloon] Literary assassins ?
       No question, on the whole, the violent radicals of previous centuries were more literarily inclined than the current lot -- and at Guernica Selvedin Avdić has an interesting look at some of the literary habits of those behind the assassination of

[Lit Saloon] CWA International Dagger
       The (British) Crime Writers' Association has announced its 'Dagger' awards, with the CWA International Dagger going to The Siege by Arturo Pérez-Reverte, in Frank Wynne's translation.        Admirable: they list all

[Lit Saloon] Replay review
       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Marc Levy's Replay.        Levy -- year in and year out one of the bestselling (in France) French authors -- still hasn't caught on in the English-speaking

[Guardian Books Blog] July's Reading group: Cider With Rosie by Laurie Lee
Commenter Tinsley Collins recently wrote that this book absolutely must be read for its joyful comedy and 'landmine of language'. She's right so let's do it this monthLast week marked the centenary of Laurie Lee's birth. That's reason enough for revisiting Cider With Rosie. Heck, waking up in the

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Norm governed social interaction
Do good actions inspire good actions in others?

[The Millions] I think a lot about myself, therefore I am self.
In the Prospect, an essay on anesthesia, 3D printing, teleportation, LSD, and other thought experiments on self-awareness. Also, this line: “If the spectrum of selfhood begins with the roundworm, surely it ends with Proust.” 

[Guardian Books Blog] Shakespeare blamed for skin conditions' stigma. A poxy idea?
A new report suggests distaste for dermatological problems might have been kept alive by their moral colouring in his playsIt is the sort of headline that makes you do a double take: "Shakespeare accused of causing misery to people with skin conditions," says the Independent; "Is

[The Millions] The real Susan Orlean diet
The Skinny is acclaimed author Susan Orlean’s strangest work, hands down: a half-serious diet book that advises women, among other things, to cover tempting food with bleach. Not one to follow her own advice, Orlean’s diary of a week of eating for Grub Street features yogurt

[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 themWelcome to this week's blog. Here's a roundup of your comments and photos from last week.One of the treats of Tips, Links and Suggestions is when it sparks a critical debate between readers who respect each other enough to

[Book Forum] VIDEO: Rain Taxi talks with Lily King

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Something rare
It's okay to have mixed feelings

[Salon Books] “We’ve got a serious issue right here”: LeVar Burton on the “Reading Rainbow” Kickstarter campaign
Though it still has a few hours left, LeVar Burton’s Kickstarter campaign to expand Reading Rainbow’s presence in American classrooms on Monday became the most-backed Kickstarter ever with almost 100,000 backers. In the final hours, the frenzy is reaching a fever pitch: Seth MacFarlane has

[The Millions] The gun goes off in the end
“Maybe this is a writer thing, having pages and pages of stuff written that has not yet cohered into a completed arc, which, when you finish it, would be a laurel on which you could rest.” A writer considers Chekhov’s dictum.

[NYT] Orwell Birthplace in India to Become a Museum
The bungalo where George Orwell was born, in what is now Motihari, India, is being restored.

[Book Forum] MISCELLANEOUS: F for Fake
What exactly do we mean when we call an artist or writer a charlatan? What manner of truth is in question? Assuredly, an artistic or literary charlatan is not merely a fraud, a forger, or an impostor. Such quasi-criminal categories have their own clear-cut logic: The perpetrator either is or isn't

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: This is "reform conservatism" in a nutshell
What would actually happen if Tea Partiers controlled Congress and Rand Paul was president?

[The Millions] What your next-beach-umbrella neighbor is reading
Yes, but what’s everyone else reading this summer? Bookstores in beach towns know better than to stock “business, personal finance, or diet” books–though poetry does pretty well–but they are looking forward to these bestsellers. The print-disinclined can take heart

[The Millions] Fiction by Allegra Goodman
Recommended reading: elderly sisters contend with the youngest dying, in a quietly wry new story by Allegra Goodman at the New Yorker. “She pretended to sleep, and then she really did drop off. When she woke, her sisters were hovering over her. Some of us have overstayed our welcome,

[Salon Books] Bernice McFadden: Racism in publishing “is often quite blatant”
I attended the Anguilla Literary Festival in late May.  It was a wonderful locale, warm and lush, to relish the love of books and writers.  While there, I got to spend time with some lovely writers, both new and experienced, and I started thinking about how lost I feel navigating this new world

[Lit Saloon] July issues
       July issues of online periodicals now available include Words without Borders' Migrant Labor issue (with bonus coverage of 'Folktales from Sindh') and the July issue of Open Letters Monthly.        Also available: selected

[Lit Saloon] Literary Censorship in ... Afghanistan
       At Fair Observer Omar Sadr find: 'Literary censorship in Afghanistan has always been part of a larger cultural project of nation-building' and offers an overview, in The Politics of Literary Censorship in Afghanistan.

[Lit Saloon] Translator Q & A: Denise Newman
       Denise Newman's translation of Naja Marie Aidt's Nordic Council Literature Prize-winning Baboon is forthcoming from Two Lines Press -- see their publicity page, or pre-order your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk; I just got the ARC, and it looks very nice

[Lit Saloon] Translator Q & A: Alex Zucker
       At English PEN they have a Q & A with Alex Zucker about his translation of Jáchym Topol's The Devil's Workshop.

[Book Forum] DAILY REVIEW: Command and Control
A new biography examines what lay behind William Tecumseh Sherman's rage for order

[Book Forum] PAPER TRAIL: n+1′s Carla Blumenkranz moves to the New Yorker
Carla Blumenkranz is moving from n+1, where she was managing editor, to a position as senior online editor at the New Yorker. Dayna Tortorici, currently a senior editor, will take her place. At the London Review of Books, Benjamin Kunkel takes on the much-discussed French economist Piketty. Capital

[Guardian Books Blog] Books about town: find London's literary benches and share your photos
London has become a literary playground: a project by the National Literacy Trust has scattered 50 book-shaped benches across the capital for the whole summer, each dedicated to an iconic London-related author or character. Will you help us find them? Find the benches and share your photos via

[The Millions] Looking from Across the Room: An Interview with Rebecca Makkai
At my wedding last September, my theme — beyond the necessary trilingual nature of the event due to being Russian and marrying an Israeli — was books. For the centerpieces, I chose my favorite literary works, stacked ten copies of them on top of each other, tied them with a large gold ribbon,

[Guardian Books Blog] London literary benches: who should be number 51?
The National Literacy Trust has installed 50 illustrated book benches in London for the summer to celebrate the city's literary heritage and promote reading. But who should feature on the 51st? Make a case for your favourite and help us to create a Guardian readers' benchFind London's literary

[Guardian Books Blog] Reading lessons of a religious upbringing without modern books
I was raised by Strict Baptists, so I was deprived of any recent literature, but blessed from very early on by a huge library of classics, writes Sarah PerryJohn Burnside reviews After Me Comes the Flood by Sarah PerryWhen I was eight I searched for something to read and found a white-jacketed book

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: The Internet as we know it
Meet the thinkers trying to teach the Internet to forget

[The Millions] A writer by any other name…
Using pen names has been a common practice for, well, a very long time. George Eliot is a nom de plume, as are George Orwell and George Sand. Though not a George, journalist Sarah Hall chose to publish her fiction under a different name. She writes for The Guardian about this decision, the history

[The Millions] On people braver than us:
Erika Anderson recites her teenage poetry at readings and shares her reasoning for doing so. “I want to live where irony meets kindness, where daring meets bullshit, where everything that failed meets the hope that something might not. I hope my readers do too.”

[Book Forum] VIDEO: The Story of Aaron Swartz: "The Internet's Own Boy" Director Q&A

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Over the years
People persist in believing things

[The Millions] The new Brooklyn novel
“Like characters in a somewhat less swashbuckling Jack London novel, these are all characters, and writers, who are grappling with their environments.” Our own Lydia Kiesling writes for Salon about the “caucasian, Ivy-educated writers of literary fiction set in Brooklyn” and the

[The Millions] Reading at Wimbledon
Though it’s long been known as the gentleman’s sport, tennis seems to be slipping a little bit in its cultural refinement. Melville House has a blog post on the reading habits of elite players, and they’re spotty at best, though Dostoyevsky, Nietzsche and Camus are all mentioned,

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Africa, as a continent
Why do Western media get Africa wrong?

[The Millions] Color in Poetry
Recommended reading: “What is Color in Poetry” by Dorothea Lasky for Poetry. It’s a lengthy article but a thoughtful one, and, as a bonus, it includes some of Lasky’s childhood poetry. Pair with our earlier post about reading teenage poetry to crowds and you’ve got a

[NYT] The Words, and Works, of Walter Dean Myers
A collection of coverage of Mr. Myers's work and his contributions in The Times.

[Book Forum] DAILY REVIEW: Reality Hunger
Pasolini's seductive utopian vision

[Book Forum] PAPER TRAIL: ‘Vice’ grows in Brooklyn
Vice Media is moving to a 60,000-square-foot former warehouse in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, which will reportedly help it add 525 more employees to its current staff of 400. The Wall Street Journal has laid off between 20 and 40 employees in recent weeks. Gawker has launched a new vertical,

[Baby Got Books] オンラインゲームは信頼のあるフレンドとプレイするのがおすすめ
オンラインゲームは信頼のおけるフレンドとプレイすることをオススメする。だからと言って日本産のストーリーが良いかと聞かれると悩む。基本オンラインゲームのストーリーに当たり無い。色んなオンラインゲームやってると思う事がある。ストーリーで国民性が出るんだな。ぶっちゃけ韓国産ゲームなんだけど。ストーリー見てると『何でこうなるの?』って思う事が結構ある。そういう違いを楽しめる事もあるんだけど、あんまり受け入れられない事が多い・・・。オンゲのお友達いい人ばっかり。魔法少女大戦タクティクスってゲーム。詳しくはDMMオンゲTOPチュートリアルやって気に入れば続ければいい。オンゲなのに一回もPT組んでないどころか発言すらしたことないしこのままテスト終了までぼっち貫きそう。

[The Millions] The Prizewinners 2013/2014
With last month’s awarding of the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the 2013/2014 literary award season is now over, which gives us the opportunity to update our list of prizewinners. Literary prizes are, of course, deeply arbitrary in many ways; such is the nature of keeping score

[Lit Saloon] Translating from ... Korean
       In The Korea Herald Kim Hoo-ran looks at the spread of Korean literature abroad, in Lost in translation ? as: Speaking at a meeting with the Korean press in London, author Hwang Sok-yong was quoted as citing the lack of skilled translators who can

[Lit Saloon] Premio Strega Europeo
       The final vote for the Premio Strega, the major Italian book prize, only takes place today, but they've figured out who gets the Premio Strega Europeo, from a five-title shortlist that includes Georgi Gospodinov's forthcoming-from-Open Letter (and much

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Contrasting anti-political with political
Assessing contemporary agonistic democratic theory

[The Millions] California in The New York Times
The Millions‘s own Edan Lepucki, whose first novel California will be released next week, was featured in The New York Times following the promotion of her novel on The Colbert Report.  We recommend you read the article, read more from Edan here and here, read the first chapter of California

[The Millions] Poems in Extremity
Recommended reading: Sean Singer reviews Poetry of Witness for The Rumpus and calls for readers to see “poems as ethical and political act[s] in the face of extremity.” Pair with selections from editor Carolyn Forché‘s essay on 20th century poetry of witness.


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