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Top Book Blogs 01/2015

[Guardian Books Blog] Just-picture books don’t need 1,000 words to be worthwhile
Stories told with images alone are particularly compelling for pre-literate children, and fire their imaginations for the lettered tales aheadThe idea of wordless picture books might seem slightly baffling – even a waste of time – to adults keen to draw children higher up the literacy ladder.

[Guardian Books Blog] Families in literature: the Lamberts in The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
For all their evasions, their enmities and their missed messages, this is a a family redeemed by loveAlfred is sick. He was once a confident and able man. A man who might have been a little anal retentive, but also someone who could do things. A former railroad engineer, a builder and a planner and

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: The United States at home and abroad
The current US foreign policy mess

[Book Forum] VIDEO: Nikky Finney at the Loft

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Marching on
They have to be part of the solution

[NYT] Proulx Says She Regrets ‘Brokeback Mountain’
"I wish I'd never written the story," Annie Proulx says of "Brokeback Mountain."

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: We are all mutants
Is the human species still evolving?

[Book Forum] PAPER TRAIL: Twitter’s nefarious ad placement; the graying of bookbinding
Since this past summer, the London Review of Books has been serially publishing Jenny Diski’s memoirs. In this installment, Diski describes listening, as a teenager, to Lessing and her friends: “To start with, I couldn’t understand how it was so easy for them to have a point of view, to know

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: As the world grows
Is it possible to meet the "Responsibility to Protect"?

[The Millions] Infographic: Shakespeare, Murder, and Pies
This week in book-related infographics: a look at the deaths and murders in Shakespeare‘s works. Our favorite illustration? The pies that once were Chiron and Demetrius (from Titus Andronicus).

[Guardian Books Blog] 2014: The year when science fiction and fantasy woke up to diversity
A year of unprecedented success for women writers was matched by a flood of new voices from the self-publishing sceneLooking back at 2014, you can sum it up in one word: diversity. The world of science fiction and fantasy saw diversity not only in the voices that found success, definitively turning

[The Millions] Time and Relationships
“When we think of novels, we often think of chunks of time and the action during those periods. But when I think of time, my teenage years particularly, I think of relationships.” Recent Year in Reading alum Darcey Steinke talks with The Rumpus about being a teenage girl, motherlessness,

[The Millions] Literary Resolutions
The new year is, of course, a time for resolutions, and Electric Literature has collected literary resolutions from Alexander Chee, Year in Reading alum Emily Gould, Yelena Akhtiorskaya, and many more. Coming out of the hectic holiday season, Jonathan Lee‘s resolution seems particularly

[Book Forum] VIDEO: Joseph O'Neill at the NYS Writers Institute in 2014

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Up for debate
Important meaning to those within

[NYT] Book Review Podcast: Charles D’Ambrosio’s ‘Loitering’
Phillip Lopate talks about "Loitering," and Sven Beckert discusses "Empire of Cotton."

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Questions about philosophy
The fight against philosophobia can't just stop with a diagnosis

[Bookslut] Texas: The Great Theft by Carmen Boullosa, translated by Samantha Schnee
boullosa carmen texas great theft

[Bookslut] Massacre: The Life and Death of the Paris Commune by John Merriman
merriman john massacre

[The Millions] A Bookish 2014
Recommended reading: Biographile takes a month-by-month look back at the biggest news stories of 2014, and pairs each event with a recommended book.

[Bookslut] Essay Stanzas by Thomas Meyer
meyer thomas essay stanzas

[The Millions] A Bad Poetry Manifesto
“I began to wonder: what would a manifesto for bad poetry look like? Would it differ either superficially or deeply from the art’s graver manifestos? It really wouldn’t have to. It would merely have to persuade, and persuasion sounds very much the same whether it is honest or dishonest. If

[Bookslut] This Luminous Coast: Walking England's Eastern Edge by Jules Pretty
pretty jules this luminous coast

[Bookslut] Love and Ambivalence in The Inheritance Trilogy
The love of books, like most love, is messy. Treacly quotes about reading -- the kind accompanied by drawings of books without titles -- imply a simple love by ignoring the hard-to-write, hard-to-determine specifics. They resist embarrassment by rendering love...

[Bookslut] Eye to Eye by Maria Terrone
terrone maria eye to eye

[Bookslut] For People Whose Souls Are Already Formed
Where was I? Darling asleep. Or is it me that's asleep. The always pane of ice that slides or blooms between. Someone's stomach swells, gets hard like a deep inhale. A nut. I dream of dreaming all day, lying propped...

[The Millions] The Readability Myth
Is readability a myth? In an article for The Atlantic Noah Berlatsky argues that there are no “easy” or “difficult” books, or rather that these are relative terms – a book that gives one person fits may be light reading for someone else. His argument pairs

[Bookslut] Requiem for a Bookstore
The Complete Traveller Antiquarian Bookstore at Madison Avenue and 35th Street closed on December 31 after over thirty years in business. It was a place where the world was lined up on shelves. It was a temple to travel. Now,...

[Bookslut] An Interview with Megan Mayhew Bergman
Megan Mayhew Bergman, author of the much-praised collection of short stories Birds of a Lesser Paradise, has a new collection of short stories out, Almost Famous Women. This book is a bouquet of smart short stories about unusual women,...

[The Millions] The Anti-Tolkien
Tolkien‘s The Lord of the Rings: “a pernicious confirmation of the values of a morally bankrupt middle class”? Michael Moorcock thinks so.

[Bookslut] Always Forever: Reading Widow Basquiat
This month I read two books about white women who hide gross things -- rats in one case, dope the other -- in their hair. The doubling was a coincidence, but it’s cool that both were more like Allerleirauh, who...

[Bookslut] Bitch Planet #1 by Kelly Sue DeConnick, illustrated by Valentine De Landro
deconnick kelly sue bitch planet

[Bookslut] Vanished Walls: On Rome on the Euphrates by Freya Stark
I doubt I'm the only person who reads history mostly to try to draw general lessons about human behavior, rather than to do justice to a particular community or to stock my mental storehouse with specific facts. There's a special...

[Bookslut] GB84 by David Peace
peace david gb84

[The Millions] Can We Keep “Making It New”?
Recommended reading: Pankaj Mishra and Benjamin Moser debate the continued possibility and relevance of Ezra Pound‘s “Make it New” for The New York Times Books Bookends.

[Bookslut] Hall of Small Mammals by Thomas Pierce
pierce thomas hall of small mammals

[Bookslut] The Essence of the Brontës: A Compilation with Essays by Muriel Spark
spark muriel essence of the brontes

[The Millions] All Wrong
“After years of reading, teaching, and writing about the book, though, I’ve come to believe that… our understanding of what is comic and what is serious in Huck Finn says more about America in the last century than America in the time Twain wrote the book.” Andrew Levy writes

[Book Forum] DAILY REVIEW: A Shaky Solidarity
A democratic manifesto from a longtime defender of organized labor

[Book Forum] PAPER TRAIL: Mark Zuckerberg’s new book club
Mark Zuckerberberg is starting what could become the biggest book club in history. The Facebook founder has posted that his “challenge for 2015 is to read a new book every other week—with an emphasis on learning about different cultures, beliefs, histories and technologies.” This will not be a

[Guardian Books Blog] The best books on Algeria: start your reading here | Pushpinder Khaneka
Our literary tour of Algeria explores French colonialism, the war of independence and the opaque politics of the post-independence eraKhadra’s novel of a young Arab boy growing up in 20th-century French Algeria is an epic tale of family, love and war. Continue reading...

[Guardian Books Blog] Families in literature: the Tulls in Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler
By exploring the very different experiences of one household from the viewpoints of each member, this novel throws up some universal truthsIt’salways tempting to look for general truths in literature. So where can I find such truths, it they are there to be found in fiction, about the family?Not

[Guardian Books Blog] Poem of the week: Ballad by Philip Fried
Carol Rumens reconnoitres a work that refracts modern psychological warfare through ancient folk traditionsBalladOnce the social structure has thoroughly been mapped out,staff should identify and analyze the culture …COUNTERINSURGENCY (December2006), Headquarters, Department of the Army Continue

[The Millions] Most Anticipated: The Great 2015 Book Preview
Last year offered many treats for readers: hotly anticipated new books by David Mitchell and Marilynne Robinson; the emergence of our own Emily St. John Mandel as a literary superstar; the breakout success of Anthony Doerr. 2015 offers more riches. This year we’ll get to crack open new books by

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Deconstruction of death
What happens when we all live to 100?

[The Millions] Well-Heeled
A couple years ago, Robert Birnbaum interviewed Edith Pearlman for The Millions, asking why the highly regarded short story writer didn’t hit it big until recently. Now, in the Times, Laura van den Berg reads Pearlman’s book Honeydew, in a piece that nicely complements Steve

[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 themRead more Tips, links and suggestions blogsWelcome to this week’s blog. Christmas provided time for reading and reflection for many of our readers, who also shared fascinating thoughts on their 2014 reads. Here is a small

[Guardian Books Blog] Albert Camus’ The Plague: a story for our, and all, times | Ed Vulliamy
The fascist ‘plague’ that inspired the novel may have gone, but 55 years after his death, many other varieties of pestilence keep this book urgently relevantFew writers kept their work as close to the subject of death as did Albert Camus, one of the greatest novelists and essayists of the 20th

[Book Forum] VIDEO: The FBI as Literary Critic

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: The final time
How to avoid repeating it

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