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Top Book Blogs 06/2015

[Guardian Books Blog] Poem of the week: All Day It Has Rained by Alun Lewis
The relaxed details of a slow Sunday at a military training camp in ‘Edward Thomas country’ mix with foreboding about what will followAll Day It Has RainedAll day it has rained, and we on the edge of the moorsHave sprawled in our bell-tents, moody and dull as boors,Groundsheets and blankets

[Salon Books] Arianna Huffington: “Fetishizing ‘social’ has become a major distraction”
When it comes to the way we tell stories, the defining factor in the next twenty-five years of media will be the hybrid nature of news. When I heard that Jeff Bezos was buying the Washington Post, one of the first people who came to mind was a fellow countryman of mine, the Greek philosopher

[The Millions] Game Six: On the Sport of Writing
A confession: sometimes, when I can’t seem to muster my prose past some insurmountable stretch in a manuscript, I utter the words “Game Six.” Some writers, in this situation, smoke tobacco. Other writers smoke stuff that is definitely not tobacco. I’ve heard of head-banging and tea-drinking

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: America's unequal retirement
The great 401(k) experiment has failed for many Americans

[Book Forum] MISCELLANEOUS: Of Walking in Ice
At the end of November 1974, a friend from Paris called and told me that Lotte Eisner was seriously ill and would probably die. I said that this must not be, not at this time, German cinema could not do without her now, we would not permit her death.

[The Millions] Subjected
As an Editor-at-Large at Interview Magazine, Christopher Bollen has talked with everyone from Joan Didion to Renata Adler to Michael Stipe. Last Friday, he became an interview subject himself, sitting down with Tom Barbash at Salon to talk about his new novel, Orient. Sample quote: “I know

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Reluctantly uncovered
Theorists will truly believe anything

[The Millions] One After the Other
It’s been seventeen years since Judy Blume published a book for adult readers. Her latest, In the Unlikely Event, brings that streak to an end. In the Times, Caroline Leavitt reviews her new book, which depicts a small town in the fifties reeling in the wake of three consecutive plane crashes.

[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 them• Read more Tips, Links and Suggestions blogsWelcome to this week’s blog. Here’s a roundup of your comments and photos from last week, on subjects ranging from how authors’ personalities influence our reading

[The Millions] Tragicomic
Recommended Reading: Helen Vendler on John Berryman. You could also read Stephen Akey on Berryman’s collection The Dream Songs. 

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Back to the Middle East
Is the House of Saud teetering on the edge of collapse?

[The Millions] Good Luck
Your inner monologue is whip-smart. You can’t imagine life outside Manhattan. You’ve had multiple husbands, all of whom left you for other women. Is it possible you’re in a Grace Paley story?

[The Millions] Tuesday New Release Day: Attenberg; Galassi; Vida; Dave; McManus; Dinerstein; Tremblay; Goolsby; Hughes; Pauls, Parajuly; Charyn
Out this week: Saint Mazie by Jami Attenberg; Muse by Jonathan Galassi; The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty by Vendela Vida; Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave; The Unfortunates by Sophie McManus; The Sunlit Night by Rebecca Dinerstein; A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay; I’d Walk with My Friends

[The Millions] Lines of Light and Dark: On Mowing and Writing
After decades of pushing, my father wanted to ride. He bought a Snapper mower, and I remember running after him while he drove. I liked how the grass would lighten or darken depending on his direction. His stripes and patterns were forms of revision, our home made new. My father cared about our

[Book Forum] PAPER TRAIL: Novelist says she regrets signing petition against PEN
Novelist Jennifer Cody Epstein says she regrets signing the recent letter condemning PEN’s award in honor of Charlie Hebdo magazine. Two students at Northwestern University recently filed Title IX complaints against Laura Kipnis, after the author published an article about “sexual paranoia” on

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: The real corruption in American politics
Everything you thought you knew about fixing American politics might be wrong

[The Millions] The Book in 2100
Lots of publications — The Millions included — have tackled the differences between reading e-books and physical books. It’s hard to know just what these differences mean for the future of literature. In the Chicago Tribune, John Warner proposes a novel argument (registration

[Guardian Books Blog] How to survive literary parties: tips from Francis Plug
The shy but not exactly retiring author offers some tips on getting through publishing bunfights, and meeting the great unwashedA recently unearthed letter from Philip Larkin described literary parties as his “idea of hell on earth”. He saw such gatherings as “a lot of sherry-drill with

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: A big splash
Soon anyone will be able

[The Millions] The New Canon
Is Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life a Great American Gay Novel? According to Garth Greenwell, the book — which came out in March — is one of the most ambitious gay novels to come out in years. At The Atlantic, he makes a case that the book is a classic of its kind. You could also read

[The Millions] Lacework
“The plot, obviously, is kind of difficult to explain, like an earnest, pared-down, hipster Foucault’s Pendulum. Not only are all of the plot turns above laid out through a multiframed narrative, replete with several people’s footnotes, but the events are interwoven with disquisitions on the

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Calculations for a warming world
Blaming all of humanity for climate change lets capitalism off the hook

[The Millions] Flimflam
Here’s a simple poll idea we’re amazed we hadn’t thought of before: asking famous writers to pick their favorite words. In The Guardian, Hilary Mantel, Tessa Hadley and others (including Year in Reading alum Eimear McBride) choose their picks for an exceedingly odd vocabulary list.

[NYT] From New York (Cool) to Palookaville (Melancholy)
New books showcase the work of Jules Feiffer and Seth.

[Book Forum] DAILY REVIEW: Alone Together
A portrait of the Tsarnaev brothers casts their story as a family tragedy

[Book Forum] PAPER TRAIL: Hilton Als and Patti Smith will contribute to new series
The Windham-Campbell Prize and Yale University Press have announced a new book series titles “Why I Write,” which will commence with books by Hilton Als and Patti Smith. Als will also give the keynote speech at this year’s awards ceremony, which will take place on September 28 and will honor

[The Millions] The Mysterious Edges: On Jami Attenberg and ‘Saint Mazie’
In 1940, Joseph Mitchell published a New Yorker profile of “Bowery celebrity” Mazie P. Gordon, a career ticket-taker at the Venice movie theater whose charity toward drunken bums was as legendary as it was mysterious. Seventy years later, the profile came to the attention of novelist Jami

[Guardian Books Blog] Jilly Cooper's Riders: why the toned-down cover?
Small but ‘unsexy’ adjustment to the jacket art for a new edition of horsey bonkbuster has provoked a startlingly big fussThere is a scandal going on in the world of books this week. And it’s not Philip Larkin’s distaste for literary parties, nor the depressing research showing that books

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: How music evolves
All the requisites for a legendary music career

[Guardian Books Blog] How crime fighting provides clues to crime writing
As well as procedural rules, my past life as a police officer taught me how to tell the painful human stories behind the charge sheetsPeople are often surprised when I tell them I used to be a police officer. I’m not sure whether it’s because I don’t look physically capable of wielding a baton

[The Millions] High Art
What happened to the literature of clothing? Writers like Balzac and Proust wrote philosophies of clothing, but nowadays there seems to be a wall between literary writing and fashion. In Public Books, Mary Davis reads Women in Clothes, a collection which reveals a lot about how much our views of

[The Millions] The Millions Top Ten: May 2015
  We spend plenty of time here on The Millions telling all of you what we’ve been reading, but we are also quite interested in hearing about what you’ve been reading. By looking at our Amazon stats, we can see what books Millions readers have been buying, and we decided it would be fun to

[Guardian Books Blog] Craig Raine poem prompts Twitterstorm
Seventy-year-old poet’s Gatwick, fantasising about a young airport worker, unleashes stream of parodiesThe poet Craig Raine is no stranger to the sexually risqué - his very first collection, The Onion, Memory, famously quoted the morning-after fantasy of the lascivious butler who Henry

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: That will change, and quickly
More callous than a drunk finance bro striking out in Murray Hill

[The Millions] Sainthood Etc.
Need something to complement our profile of Jami Attenberg’s Saint Mazie today? Then try this on for size: Year in Reading alum Emily Gould conducts an interview with the author at The Rumpus. Among other things, they talk about historical fiction, writing quickly and doing research on the Lower

[The Millions] Holy Verse
Recommended Reading: Robyn Creswell and Bernard Haykel on why jihadists write poetry.

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: On social media
Social media and bullshit

[The Millions] “Depressing day”
A while back, I linked to a contentious letter between Saul Bellow and Jack Ludwig, written not long after Bellow found out Ludwig was sleeping with his wife. Now, here’s a (somewhat) less angry piece of correspondence, sent from Philip Larkin to Barbara Pym. Sample quote: “Has anyone ever done

[Salon Books] More reasons to hate Amazon: Ursula Le Guin is right about their model of books as commodities “written fast, sold cheap, dumped fast”
The author Ursula K. Le Guin has written novels and stories set in almost every century and kind of world imaginable. In one of her novels, people change genders every month or so; other books describe a world of islands and wizardry where Jungian ideas take on literal form. She’s sketched all

[Salon Books] George R.R Martin fires back at critics of sexual violence on “Game of Thrones”: “I don’t think we should pretend it doesn’t exist”
There has been a lot of talk about the brutal, often gratuitous depictions of sexual violence on “Game of Thrones,” particularly in the wake of Sansa’s traumatic rape two episodes ago. As our own Sonia Saraiya wrote at the time, "the problem, as ever, with 'Game Of Thrones' rape is not that it

[Salon Books] Inside the passionate “girl-topia” of BookCon: Where authors are rock stars and geek-chic girls rule
“I’m so excited I feel like I’m going to explode,” a girl who looked to be about 15 said to her friends as they skipped toward the entrance of the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City on Saturday morning. “I can’t believe we actually just saw him!” The “him” in question

[Salon Books] A nude cruise brought us closer
Even though she has worked in publishing for her entire adult life, I don’t think my wife really knew what she was getting into when she agreed to marry me.  She’d been a publicist, she’d listened to writers confess their fears, rejoice at hitting the bestseller list, complain about room

[Book Forum] PAPER TRAIL: The Future of the Huffington Post
The in-progress takeover of AOL by Verizon has left the future of the Huffington Post in doubt. AOL is HuffPo’s parent company, and while Arianna Huffington has unveiled ambitious plans for the site’s future, she is currently between contracts and, according to New York Times sources, isn’t

[The Millions] Four Uneasy Pieces: How Detroit Moved Beyond Ruin Porn
Not so long ago, Detroit tended to enter the popular imagination through one of three routes: pictures in coffee-table books, in art galleries, or on the Internet. You’ve seen those ubiquitous images of the city’s decline that fall under the banner of “ruin porn” — such default

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Exploit the rich and help the poor
Why conservatives are able to pass such harsh restrictions on the poor

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: A stunning discovery
For the love of God

[NYT] Ali Smith Wins Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction
Ms. Smith won the prize for her novel "How to Be Both."

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: In Marxist thought
What is a Marxist organization?

[Book Forum] PAPER TRAIL: Gawker unionizes; Ali Smith awarded the Baileys prize
In the wake of yesterday’s announcement that Gawker’s editorial employees have voted to unionize—joining the Writers Guild of America, East—a Politico staffer has asked his colleagues to redouble their efforts to unionize as well. As Erik Wemple pointed out on his blog earlier this year, it

[The Millions] Five Millions-Approved Books You Can Read on Oyster
Oyster is the best way to read books digitally. For just $9.95 a month, you can read as many books in the Oyster Unlimited library (over a million in total, far more than what Kindle Unlimited offers), all within the most beautiful reading app ever designed. It works across your devices—iPhone,

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