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Top Book Blogs 03/2015

[Bookslut] The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty by Amanda Filipacchi
filipacchi amanda unfortunate importance of beauty

[Bookslut] The Age of Acquiescence: The Life and Death of American Resistance to Organized Wealth and Power by Steve Fraser
fraser steve age of acquiescence

[Bookslut] Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera, translated by Lisa Dillman
herrera yuri signs preceding the end of the world

[Bookslut] Black River by S.M. Hulse
hulse s m black river

[Bookslut] Giambattista Bodoni: His Life and His World by Valerie Lester
lester valerie giambattista bodoni

[Bookslut] Moral Agents: Eight Twentieth-Century American Writers by Edward Mendelson
mendelson edward moral agents

[Bookslut] Eye on the Struggle: Ethel Payne, the First Lady of the Black Press by James McGrath Morris
morris james mcgrath eye on the struggle

[Bookslut] The Dream of My Return by Horacio Castellanos Moya, translated by Katherine Silver
moya horacio castellanos dream of my return the

[Salon Books] The 1 percent’s immigration con: How big business adds to income inequality, pits workers against each other
With last November’s elections behind him, President Obama has finally begun making good on promises to defer the deportation of most of the 10 to 12 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States. Four to 5 million will be eligible for a formal stay of deportation

[Bookslut] The Speculative in Poetry
Recently, I lost interest in fiction. Every new novel was a weak version of something familiar. Every short story was uninteresting until the last paragraph, which would hint at a better -- more challenging, more satisfying -- story not in...

[The Millions] Labyrinths
Recommended recommendations: “Five books that are also labyrinths,” including Italo Calvino‘s The Castle of Crossed Destinies and Lily Hoang‘s Changing.

[Salon Books] Is there any case for religion? Christianity, Islam, atheism and my search for balance and truth
Is There Nothing to Be Said for Religion?And yet, of course, there is the other side to the story. The tales of love and compassion, of giving and of sacrifice, of suffering even unto death, all done genuinely by Christians in the name of their Lord. Since we started the downside in England, let us

[Bookslut] An Interview with Kyle Starks
Kyle Starks's black-and-white graphic novel Sexcastle tells one of mankind's oldest stories: The world's greatest assassin gets pulled out of retirement against his wishes, and he squares off against a host of bad dudes who all bear more than a...

[The Millions] From Fantasy to Allegory
“Fantasy is a tool of the storyteller. It is a way of talking about things that are not, and cannot be, literally true. It is a way of making our metaphors concrete, and it shades into myth in one direction, allegory in another.” Neil Gaiman reviews Kazuo Ishiguro‘s The Buried

[Salon Books] I spent 40 years looking for the kid who bullied me: “I think we do carry those childhood injustices with us”
It’s safe to say that Allen Kurzweil doesn’t let sleeping dogs lie. The author undertook a global, decades-long search to find his childhood bully before he was even aware that it all might add up to something beyond personal redemption (or revenge). The resulting book, “Whipping Boy: The

[The Millions] Hugo’s Art
From the Paris Review, a small selection of Victor Hugo‘s four thousand drawings.

[Salon Books] Meet America’s first drug dealer: Arnold Rothstein’s wild, real-life 1920s “Sopranos” story
As I dug deeper, I realized there was a hole in the story of the start of the drug war—a large and cavernous one. It is possible to piece together how this all began through the eyes of the cops, the doctors, and the addicts. But as I read on, I found they were all obsessed with a fourth

[Salon Books] Inside the mind of Machiavelli: The early writings that foretold a revolution
Clues concerning Machiavelli’s thinking as to his own immediate personal path lie in one of the Italian Renaissance’s most beautiful—and in some ways most deceiving—letters, which he wrote to his friend Vettori on December 10, 1513. There had been a brief interruption in their

[Salon Books] “She will dance at her wedding”: Healing the girl born without part of her brain
Origins of the Feldenkrais MethodWhen Moshe Feldenkrais was fourteen, after years of Jews being attacked in anti-Semitic Russian pogroms, he set out alone to walk from Belarus to Palestine. A pistol in his boot, a math text in his sack, and with no official documents or papers, he crossed marshes

[NYT] Marina Abramovic to Publish a Memoir in 2016
The book, to be published by Crown Archetype, will coincide with the artist's 70th birthday.

[Book Forum] DAILY REVIEW: Resentments of Things Past
The art of not letting go.

[Book Forum] PAPER TRAIL: Vice media looks to broaden its female audience
When the New York Post reported Jill Abramson’s new book deal with Simon and Schuster last week, it noted that some at the New York Times might be “nervous” about the book (Abramson was “abruptly dismissed” from her position as the paper’s executive editor last year). The New York Times

[Bookslut] An Interview with Kerry Howley
In Kerry Howley's debut, Thrown, a graduate student in philosophy wanders from the staid atmosphere of a phenomenology conference in downtown Des Moines to discover two closed doors with a framed sign: "Midwest Cage Championship." Inside, she watches one, two,...

[The Millions] On Forgetting: Kazuo Ishiguro’s ‘The Buried Giant’
Kazuo Ishiguro writes novels set in a diversity of realms — the Japanese underworld, the Central Europe of Franz Kafka, the English countryside of Oswald Mosley. But no matter their territory, his stories share a few key features: they all deal with the complexities arising from a seemingly

[Bookslut] An Interview with Erika Krouse
Erika Krouse's debut novel, Contenders, tells the story of street fighter Nina Black who earns a living by stealing wallets from unsuspecting men in Denver. Nina is tough, strong, and fearless, her actions are as addictively unpredictable as Krouse's...

[Bookslut] Selected Letters of Langston Hughes by Langston Hughes, edited by Arnold Rampersad, David Roessel, and Christa Fratantoro
hughes langston selected letters

[Bookslut] Walking, Talking, Planning: The Friendship of Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne
My first year fresh out of college with a dual B.A. in Philosophy and Literature, I headed to Riverside, CA for a year's stay with my sister who was completing her PhD in Dance History and Theory at UC Riverside....

[Bookslut] An Interview with Minae Mizumura
In The Fall of Language in the Age of English, Japanese novelist Minae Mizumura examines the role of English as universal language, asking about the future of the other languages whose speakers have to adapt to living in a bilingual...

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Labor, power, and politics
What workers really need are higher wages

[Guardian Books Blog] The Road to Little Dribbling: Bill Bryson is releasing a new book and I can’t wait
This autumn sees the publication of Bryson’s first travel book in 15 years, and it’s about the British. Twenty years after Notes from a Small Island, what will he make of us?News from The Bookseller that Bill Bryson is due to deliver his first travel book in 15 years has me itching to dig out my

[Bookslut] Birdland
“Dear Susan Sontag,” writes Kathy Acker in Great Expectations, “Would you please read my books and make me famous?” My copy, which my friend Katija gave me wrapped in Cookie Mueller’s advice columns, is soggy with pink highlighter. I read...

[The Millions] Thirty Princes
In every country except France, the copyright for The Little Prince expired at the end of last year, which explains why Turkish publishers chose the first two weeks of January to publish a huge number of new translations of the book. At the LRB blog, Millions contributor Kaya Genc writes about the

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Whatever else is going to be
Worried a little about the lesson

[Book Forum] VIDEO: Kim Gordon and Elissa Schappell | Girl in a Band

[The Millions] A Thousand Hands Will Grasp You with Warm Desire: On the Persistence of Physical Books
The Gutenberg Bible is a book of extraordinary beauty. One might even say it exudes beauty: its gleaming hand-tooled leather cover beckons to the hands to touch, to open, to reveal what lies inside. The day I saw it, it was sitting on the library table like a fat monarch laid in state, a foot wide

[The Millions] The Hunted
Veterans of writing workshops will know that a good story has a heavy dose of conflict. One can add it to a story in many ways, but one of the best and most reliable is to add a predator, either in the form of a threatening organisation or an animal or person with malicious intent. At the

[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. Here’s a roundup of your comments and photos from last week.Brooke Sherbrooke shared her cheerful discovery:Life is difficult, reading dark literature

[The Millions] “Its seeming ability to live without food and family”
Recommended Reading: “Out on the Coast” by David Rice.

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Scare them with drones
Now, anyone can buy a drone — heaven help us

[The Millions] Dear Frank
Saul Bellow met Frank Ludwig at Bard College in the fifties. The two became friends, and founded a magazine together, called The Noble Savage. Then, not long after the magazine began running, Ludwig started an affair with Bellow’s wife. Here’s the letter Bellow sent him when he found

[Salon Books] Dragons aside, Ishiguro’s “Buried Giant” is not a fantasy novel
To understand why Kazuo Ishiguro’s ambitious new novel, “The Buried Giant,” doesn’t quite work, it helps to understand what it’s trying to do. Unlike his two best-known works, “The Remains of the Day” and “Never Let Me Go,” this book takes place not in a recognizably modern world,

[Salon Books] Inside the pope’s bedroom, Vatican secrecy and the lives of married priests: My 11-year quest to write “The Fifth Gospel”
On the face of papal summer palace, which looms over the public square of a sleepy town near Rome, is a large clock from pre-Napoleonic times.  It has one hand rather than two, and a face divided into six hours instead of 12.  Its purpose is to remind the world that time passes very differently at

[Guardian Books Blog] Baddies in books: Woland, Bulgakov’s charming devil
The seductive rogue who haunts the pages of The Master and Margarita is a very complex kind of SatanTwo men, an editor and a poet, walk through Moscow’s Patriarch’s Ponds one afternoon in Stalinist Russia. As the editor lectures his friend on the non-existence of Jesus Christ, a foreigner

[The Millions] Fixed by Camel: On Gender, Books, and Children
1. Count weather among the forces that I move through life without fully understanding. On a recent frigid Saturday, a sharp chill hunted my joints through worn thermals and cheap gloves. Forget grocery shopping, not with the stroller, not in this cold. My 16-month-old son and I retreated to the

[The Millions] Tuesday New Release Day: Barrett; Gurganus; Levy; Vann; Beatty; McGuane; Ishiguro
Out this week: Young Skins by Colin Barrett; Decoy by Allan Gurganus; The Unloved by Deborah Levy; Aquarium by David Vann; The Sellout by Paul Beatty; Crow Fair by Thomas McGuane; and Kazuo Ishiguro’s first new novel in ten years (which our own Lydia Kiesling reviewed yesterday). For more

[Book Forum] PAPER TRAIL: CJR on plagiarism; TNR on race beats
At the New Republic, Jamil Smith discusses the New York Times’s coverage of race, specifically its reassignment of Tanzina Vega from the race beat, which she had suggested herself, to the metropolitan section, and the more general tendency of papers across the country to shutter their race beats.

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: The animal world at large
A strange new gene pool of animals is brewing

[Guardian Books Blog] Game of Thrones on Business, and other career lessons from literature
George RR Martin’s saga is the focus of a new manual for career success – but it’s not the only book to provide useful tips for getting aheadWith 11,000 business books published each year, titles have had to be lavish with their promises – How to Be a Star at Work, How to Win Friends and

[The Millions] A Visual Mind
To get a full sense of the legacy of William Blake, you need to see his paintings alongside his famous poems. The Wordsworth contemporary did much of his best work — including the covers of his own collections — with a brush. At the New York Review of Books blog, Jenny Uglow pays a visit

[Book Forum] VIDEO: Guantanamo Diary: An Evening of Reading and Conversation


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