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Top Book Blogs 05/2015

[Guardian Books Blog] The best books on Ethiopia: start your reading here
Our literary tour of Ethiopia covers the traumatic overthrow of the monarchy and the bloody revolution that followed, taking in past and present, fact and fiction In 1954, a young Indian nun working at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa dies while giving birth to identical twins. Their father, a

[The Millions] What the New Whitney Museum Says About the New New York City
By Barbara Kruger. Princess Di died on Aug. 31, 1997. I’ll never forget the date — not because I care about the royal family, but because on that day I left my old home in North Carolina, drove 577 miles and moved in with my girlfriend on West 14th Street in New York City’s meatpacking

[Book Forum] PAPER TRAIL: Whither the women in journalism?
As Time magazine’s Baltimore cover recalls 1968, a reminder to the media to think twice about misusing MLK. Obama has announced a new reading scheme for low-income students: US publishers including Penguin Random House, Hachette Book Group and Simon & Schuster will provide $250m in free ebooks. A

[Guardian Books Blog] Is Salman Rushdie a Voltaire for our age?
His fierce defence of PEN America’s prize for Charlie Hebdo’s defiant provocations recalls the Enlightenment hero, but sets Rushdie against other public figuresThe troubles at PEN America have been bubbling up since March, when the US branch of the international organisation that defends

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: European public spheres
The euro is a selfish jerk

[The Millions] Writing Literary Twitter
“Reading Literary Twitter is to witness brief, terse glimpses into the writerly psyche, and how insecure and unsure and thin-skinned we tend to be. As writers, we want to be validated. We want to matter. The published stories and poems and essays, the books we sell, the magazines we edit: all

[The Millions] The Trollope Trend
Why is Trollope trending? Adam Gopnik argues it’s because “Trollope is right here where we are. His subject is always politics and his material is always gossip.” Pair his piece in the New Yorker with Sarah Henary‘s look at “Trollope at 200.”

[Book Forum] VIDEO: Martin Amis: "The Zone of Interest"

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: A lot more
Strategy has come to an end

[NYT] Book Review Podcast: ‘The Life of Saul Bellow’
Sam Tanenhaus talks about Saul Bellow, and Emily Bazelon discusses Jon Krakauer's "Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town."

[The Millions] Romance Incarnate
The best way to celebrate May Day? Read Tennyson‘s “The May Queen,” become “Romance Incarnate.”

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: The dignity of work
This is what you do if you want to start a new union

[Salon Books] Gwyneth Paltrow is wrong about everything: My adventure in Goop-endorsed cleanses
Dieting, Gwyneth, and My CleanseDonna Karan and Demi Moore are just two among many celebrities who have raved about the diet regime that just about everyone associates with Gwyneth Paltrow. Indeed, if celebrity endorsements were proof of a product’s effectiveness, the Clean Cleanse that Gwyneth is

[Salon Books] “When it got to the murders, I think I was surprised by that”: An abortion provider’s story
Rodney Smith has worked in abortion care for decades. He went to medical school for general surgery while in the Air Force and then served in the Air Force until the mid-1980s. When he retired from active duty, he opened his own private general surgery practice. In the late 1980s, Rodney started

[The Millions] Cat’s TV
This week in book-to-film adaptation news: Kurt Vonnegut‘s Cat’s Cradle is slated to become a TV show, “which will hopefully be long enough to fill an entire week’s worth of classes” for any desperate English teachers out there.

[Salon Books] “Corporate America still writes the rule book”: Working too much or too little or any time the boss says is not what anyone wants
On Mother’s Day 2013, the New York City Police Department told 911 operators, most of whom  are women, that  they would have to work overtime that day. The women  who were already covering that day’s three eight-hour shifts were told that  they would have to stay  an additional four hours

[Bookslut] Literary Writing in Africa: The Big Small
If you're interested in African literature and you haven't heard much about genre fiction over the past few years, then you've been living under a rock. The topic of genre in Africa -- romance, crime writing, Nollywood, and the like...

[Salon Books] The beautiful mind of Oliver Sacks: How his knack for storytelling helped unlock the mysteries of the brain
“It has always seemed to me that I have lived at a certain distance from life,” author-neurologist Oliver Sacks writes in the final pages of what will possibly be his last book, a memoir, “On the Move.” The reader can be forgiven for doing a double take at that, because anyone who’s read

[Bookslut] A Warm Kitchen After the Snow
I halfheartedly culled my possessions using the trendy, much lauded Marie Kondo method a few weeks ago. While it was fairly easy to apply to items of clothing, books were much harder, despite the section in The Life-Changing Magic of...

[Salon Books] How to get away with calling your wife a “sex kitten” in print
I have written on many themes, but none is so rewarding as my family, who have two qualities I look for in all my subjects, which is that they are both insane and nearby. I firmly believe that all human families are full of crazy people, and if your family doesn't appear to have any, then there's a

[Bookslut] This House of Grief by Helen Garner
garner helen this house of grief

[Bookslut] Gutshot: Stories by Amelia Gray
gray amelia gutshot

[Bookslut] The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic by Jessica Hopper
hopper jessica first collection of criticism by a living female rock critic

[Bookslut] Women in Public by Elaine Kahn
kahn elaine women in public

[Bookslut] Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs by Sally Mann
mann sally hold still

[The Millions] “The Book the Internet Was Invented For”
On the infinite recreation and reimagining of Finnegans Wake, a book that was “crying out for the invention of the web, which would enable the holding of multiple domains of knowledge in the mind at one time that a proper reading requires,” from The Guardian.

[Salon Books] Woody Allen’s romanticized rain (and Hemingway, and Toni Morrison and James Joyce)
Writing his iconic novel A Farewell to Arms in the 1920s, Ernest Hemingway famously tried out forty-seven different endings. He considered the so-called nada ending and the live-baby ending, the spiritual closer and the romantic finale. Ultimately, he settled on terse tragedy. After killing off

[Salon Books] How Rupert Murdoch built up to Fox News: “It clearly isn’t a free media”
The media play a crucial role within Britain’s Establishment. By focusing their fire at those at the bottom – often with coverage based on distortions, myths and outright lies – they deflect scrutiny from the wealthy and powerful elite at the top of society. All of which is hardly a surprise,

[Bookslut] An Interview with Lisa A Phillips
In her latest book, Unrequited: Women and Romantic Obsession, Lisa A. Phillips delves into the notion of obsession, how it affects women, and how they can use the experience to empower themselves. Phillips sympathetically disregards the cringe-factor associated with one-sided...

[The Millions] The Illustrated Giant
Recommended reading: Horn! reviews The Buried Giant for The Rumpus. Pair with our own Lydia Kiesling‘s take on the novel here.

[The Millions] Serial
“What the novel needs again is tension. And the best source for that tension is serialization.” An argument for bringing back the serialized novel in the spirit of Dickens, Thackeray and Arthur Conan Doyle from The Washington Post.

[Salon Books] Marijuana is my business: My wild adventures in the legal pot trade
When I left my house on a beautiful morning in February 2013, I was carrying $40,000 in cash in my backpack. The sun was just hitting the foothills of the Rockies as I drove out of Lowry, the neighborhood where I live in Denver. As you might surmise from the contents of the backpack, it was going to

[Salon Books] Why can’t we remember dreams? The neuroscience of ecstasy and sadness
There’s no time to lose, I heard her say Catch your dreams before they slip away.When we sleep, wrote English psychiatrist Havelock Ellis over a hundred years ago, we enter a ‘dim and ancient house of shadow’. We wander through its rooms, climb staircases, linger on a landing. Towards morning

[Book Forum] PAPER TRAIL: Remembering Ruth Rendell
Rhapsody, says the New York Times, is not just an airline magazine but a “lofty” literary journal. “An airline might seem like an odd literary patron,” the article claims. “But as publishers and writers look for new ways to reach readers in a shaky retail climate, many have formed

[Book Forum] SYLLABI: J.C. Hallman: The Nicholson Baker Course

[The Millions] High Style and Desperate Love: On the Life and Work of Eileen Chang
Everyone has her own Eileen Chang story. For many readers, the story crystallizes in a single horrifying detail. First you gasp. Then you thrill. When I mentioned Chang’s name to a Chinese friend, she smiled wickedly: “In one of her stories, there is a woman so thin, she can slide her jade

[Guardian Books Blog] Poem of the week: Selling His Soul by Sophie Hannah
The formal conservatism of Sophie Hannah’s Selling His Soul does nothing to restrict this elegant love poem’s unsettling messageSelling His SoulWhen someone says they have a poet’s soulYou can imagine laughing in their face –A sensible reaction on the wholeBut he convinced me that it was the

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: From Ferguson to Baltimore
Wasn't electing Barack Obama supposed to fix this?

[Guardian Books Blog] Recipes for the perfect picture-book blends of writer and illustrator
With the right personal alchemy, a writer and illustrator working together can produce storytelling goldThe best illustrated books add up to a great deal more than the sum of their parts. Alchemic interaction between the right words and the right images creates a soaring sense of departure, or total

[The Millions] Dreamland
Anyone who’s ever forgotten a million-dollar idea will attest to the maddening tendency of the subconscious to forget things. For many people, this extends to dreams, where the best ideas can pop up and die before the morning. But why is it so difficult to remember them? At Salon, the neuroscience

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Only one
More serious than you think

[Book Forum] VIDEO: Lani Guinier and Deborah Bial | Talks at Google

[The Millions] Back to School
Need your monthly dose of Hilary Mantel? The two-time Booker Prize winner has a new story in the London Review of Books (which you can read at their website). The story is a nice complement to our interview with the author from last year.

[Bookslut] What Can't Be Known in Wylding Hall
The Photographs Wylding Hall, the new short novel from Elizabeth Hand, culminates in two sightings. The very last, the moment that ends the novel, is a glimpse of two people through a crowd. The moment is brief, ephemeral --...

[Bookslut] Avengers: Rage of Ultron by Rick Remender, Jerome Opeña, Pepe Larraz, and Mark Morales
remender rick avengers

[Bookslut] Testimony: The United States (1885-1915): Recitative by Charles Reznikoff
reznikoff charles testimony

[The Millions] Brunonia
Recommended Reading: Chris Power on Maxim Biller’s Inside the Head of Bruno Schulz.

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Of religious identity
Our biggest religious questions

[Bookslut] An Interview with Anne Roiphe
Anne Roiphe is the author of Ballad of the Black and Blue Mind and eighteen previous works of fiction and nonfiction. She writes for Tablet Magazine and was a columnist for the New York Observer for many years. Your new...

[Bookslut] Find Me by Laura van den Berg
van den berg laura find me

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