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Top Book Blogs 06/2015 (Page 2)

[Guardian Books Blog] Poster poems: marriage
For Shakespeare it is an ‘ever-fixed mark’, for Larkin it is a source of cynicism and renewal. This month, vow to reflect on wedlock with all its passions, trials and tribulations, then post your poems in the commentsIn the wake of last month’s historic Irish referendum vote to legalise

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Surveillance in the post-Snowden era
It's time to let Edward Snowden come home

[The Millions] Smith Wins Bailey’s
Ali Smith‘s How to Be Both has won the Bailey’s Prize for women’s fiction, placing her in the same ranks as Zadie Smith and Lionel Shriver. If you’re not too familiar with Smith’s work, Jonathan Russell Clark wrote about her for The Millions last year.

[The Millions] Daenerys = Cleopatra?
This week in book-related infographics: a look at the real history behind Game of Thrones, from the Anglo-Saxon conflict to Cleopatra.

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: A whole lot higher
Our discourse is a joke

[The Millions] The Book Report Episode 19: Far From the Madding Crowd
Welcome to The Book Report presented by The Millions! This week, The Book Report goes to the movies, and Janet and Mike discuss the film that’s dominating the box office this summer: Mad Max: Beyond the Madding Crowd. Discussed in this episode: Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy, Far

[NYT] Book Review Podcast: ‘Reagan: The Life’
Jeff Shesol talks about H. W. Brands's new biography of Ronald Reagan, and Charlotte DeCroes Jacobs talks about her new biography of Jonas Salk.

[The Millions] Footnotes as Fine Art
Recommended reading: Jonathan Russell Clark examines “The Fine Art of the Footnote” for Literary Hub. Pair with his Millions articles on the opening sentence, the closing sentence, and doing away with quotation marks altogether.

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Approaches to political theory
For serious writers on political theory, political engagement is and ought to be the rule rather than the exception

[Salon Books] Write an essay, get … a goat farm?: The bizarre new literary economy that’s matching real estate with gifted writers
Over the past few months, a curious trend has emerged in the real estate market. From Maine to Alabama to to Texas, people are giving away homes, farms, or inns. The catch? You have to write an essay.Is this a new philanthropically motivated decision, or a smart way to sell a property by covering

[Salon Books] Tolstoy’s granddaughter. Dali’s sleek couch. How Serge Gainsbourg became Serge Gainsbourg
In 1945, the same year that he declared his intention to devote his life to art, Lucien lost his virginity. Alighting the metro at Barbès, he set off nervously to look for a prostitute. In addition to his natural shyness and timidity was an added element of guilt from having cadged the money from

[The Millions] Interviewing Meghan Daum
Guernica interviews Meghan Daum about The Little House on the Prairie, finding a home in Los Angeles and the necessity of restructuring the conversation about children. Pair with our own Hannah Gersen‘s review of her essay collection The Unspeakable and Edan Lepucki‘s take on Selfish,

[Salon Books] Malcolm Gladwell is right: Facebook, social media and the real story of political change
In what is now a well-worn story, Wael Ghonim, a thirty-year-old Google executive, used Facebook to help organize the protests that toppled Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. Today, it’s hard to speak of the Arab Spring without calling to mind the phrase “Facebook revolution.” In early 2011, Facebook had

[The Millions] The Problem with the Poky Little Puppy
“The problem is that young children have terrible taste and enjoy garbage. Another problem, which compounds the first problem, is that they want to hear the same books hundreds of times in a row. So for all the joys that storytime can offer, it frequently entails a kind of dismal

[Salon Books] “We look like our livestock now”: The author of “The Dorito Effect” on the chemically-enhanced junk food we can’t put down
When Doritos first hit store shelves in 1964, they weren’t Cool Ranch Doritos or Jumpin’ Jack Monterey Cheese Doritos or Jacked Ranch Dipped Hot Wings Doritos. (That last one — believe it or not — is for real.) In the beginning, they were just triangular corn chips with a little salt.What

[Salon Books] “Sometimes we have to wait 30 years to be discovered”: Dean Wareham interviews Lee Hazlewood biographer Wyndham Wallace
Lee Hazlewood is best known for the hits he wrote and produced for Nancy Sinatra in the late ’60s: “These Boots are Made for Walking,” “Summer Wine” and the beautiful “Some Velvet Morning.” He also wrote the Dean Martin hit “Houston” and produced “Something Stupid” for Frank

[Salon Books] There is no justice: What cops and courts get wrong about the human brain
Most informed Americans recognize — whatever our justice system’s claims to the contrary — that people who run into trouble with the law often face unfair treatment due to their race, class or gender. Prejudice can also work in a defendant’s favor, as millions of television viewers witnessed

[Salon Books] Dr. Ruth shares all: Secrets of the orgasm, and how she lost it
Jews are “known” for not having sex. That’s a myth put out there by Jewish comedians who have discovered that they can get an easy laugh by complaining that their wives always seems to get headaches when the subject of sex is brought up. But the Jewish religion is very specific about the

[The Millions] A Soviet Gollum
This week in beautiful books: Eugène Delacroix once illustrated Goethe’s Faust, and Goethe himself claimed the resulting lithographs “surpassed my own vision.” A full version of the work is now available online. And in a slightly more light-hearted vein, English Russia has found and

[Salon Books] William F. Buckley and National Review’s vile race stance: Everything you need to know about conservatives and civil rights
With the challenges of the civil rights movement sparking worldwide discussion about the importance of individual rights and the limitations of tradition, the students of the Cambridge Union Society dreamed up a humdinger of an event to celebrate their one hundred and fiftieth anniversary in

[Salon Books] We have a problem with lawyers: This is how we fix law school and the legal profession
Almost thirty years ago, the New York Times ran a Sunday magazine feature titled, “The Trouble with America’s Law Schools.” The piece highlighted many of the curricular concerns common today, particularly the lack of practical training, the inattention to issues of professional responsibility,

[Salon Books] The ’60s great what-if: What would John F. Kennedy have done about Vietnam?
Would JFK have escalated the Vietnam War in 1965? For many years, it was simply taken for granted by many that he would not have. The war’s growing number of opponents liked to call it “Johnson’s war.” Kennedy’s admirers found it more comfortable to believe that their hero was not

[The Millions] New Zadie Smith
Recommended reading: new fiction from Zadie Smith in the New Yorker, “Escape from New York.”

[Salon Books] Our massive new monopolies: Amazon, Google and Facebook have the power to move entire economies
The world of data has its own economics. If you know one thing about one person, you don’t have much. If you know one thing about nearly everyone or nearly everything about one person, you have a little. But if you know nearly everything about nearly everyone, you’ve got something priceless.

[Salon Books] “It’s not about Nirvana”: The real story of the music uprising which upended corporate rock and killed hair metal
The story of the indie rock era has rarely been told as well as it has in “Your Band Sucks,” the new chronicle by Bitch Magnet guitarist Jon Fine. Subtitled “What I Saw at Indie Rock’s Failed Revolution,” the book tells how a handful of outcasts came together to form an indie subculture

[NYT] Up for Auction: Lucian Freud’s Letters to a Poet
As a teenager, Lucian Freud wrote colorful, affectionate letters to the poet Stephen Spender.

[Salon Books] Nick Offerman: Jeff Tweedy is the best songwriter of my generation — and I want to marry him
If you look him up on the Wikipedia website, the entry begins like this: “Jeffrey Scot ‘Jeff’ Tweedy (born August 25, 1967) is an American songwriter, musician, record producer best known as the leader of the band Wilco.” I don’t recommend you do look there, as there are two perfectly good

[Salon Books] “You must be doing it wrong”: Sex lessons from the Hasids
Six months had passed since we were married. “Is there any news yet?” the rebbe would ask when Gitty and I went for one of the sixty-second audiences granted village residents in the days before Rosh Rashanah and during the nights of Chanukah. Gitty would watch from the far wall as I would shake

[Book Forum] PAPER TRAIL: ‘Fun Home’ wins
The stage adaptation of Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir Fun Home won the Tony for Best Musical. In response to Book Expo America’s spotlight on China, Jonathan Franzen, Ha Jin, Francine Prose, Murong Xuecun, and A.M. Homes staged a protest on the steps of the New York Public Library, reading

[Book Forum] DAILY REVIEW: The Loved Ones by Mary-Beth Hughes
Like Jean Rhys, Mary-Beth Hughes gives her reader only the barest of warnings before dropping them headlong into frenzy. Her new, 1970s-set novel presents a seductively well-dressed world, and most of the inhabitants are falling apart.

[Book Forum] SYLLABI: Casey Michael Henry: The Literature of Obsolescence

[The Millions] The Audacity of Prose
In one of his essays, the late Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe stated that “no one be fooled by the fact that we write in English, for we intend to do unheard-of things with it.” That “we” is, in essence, an authoritative oratorical posture that cast him as a representative of a group, a

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Critique of technology
Technology hasn't delivered more democracy

[The Millions] Pioneers
It’s hard to describe exactly who Delmore Schwartz was, for the simple reason that he did so many notable things. The man wrote poetry, edited The Partisan Review and The New Republic, and wrote a canonical short story at the age of twenty-five. In The Nation, Vivian Gornick makes the case for a

[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 themScroll down for our favourite literary links Read more Tips, Links and Suggestions blogsWelcome to this week’s blog. Here’s a roundup of your comments and photos from last week. EnidColeslaw_ shared this reflection on how

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Unprecedented in any other medium
A broader shift

[The Millions] The Crime of Life: On Kamel Daoud’s ‘The Meursault Investigation’
Since publishing his debut novel, The Meursault Investigation, in his home country in 2013, Algerian journalist Kamel Daoud has been accused of much, but being unambitious is not among the many charges. That’s what happens when you take as your inspiration Albert Camus’s 1942 absurdist

[The Millions] Dificil
Growing up, Judy Bolton-Fasman watched her mother study Don Quixote, propping the book up on their kitchen counter while studying for her Master’s in Spanish literature. Her mother was a native speaker, but Cervantes was still a tough writer to figure out, especially if you were reading his work

[The Millions] Zombified
Recommended Reading: Michael Christie on Aleksandar Hemon’s The Making of Zombie Wars. You could also read Hemon’s Year in Reading entry.

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Know when you know something about history
History in context

[The Millions] Two-Step
You may have heard that War of the Encyclopaedists is one of those rare novels written by multiple authors. Christopher Robinson and Gavin Kovite worked together to write their debut. In The Guardian, our own Emily St. John Mandel takes a look.

[NYT] Jack Livings Wins PEN Prize for Debut Fiction
Mr. Livings won for "The Dog," a collection of short stories set in China.

[Book Forum] PAPER TRAIL: A mysterious new novel satirizes the tech-startup scene
Alexis Madrigal writes about a new book titled Iterating Grace, a satire of tech startup culture that has been circulating around San Francisco. The question is: who wrote it? “No one knows who wrote the story or created the book,” Madrigal writes. “No one knows what the person who did it all

[The Millions] Tuesday New Release Day: Cohen; Clark; Watson; Hall; Kallos; Wodicka; Taylor; Campbell
Out this week: Book of Numbers by Joshua Cohen; The Jezebel Remedy by Martin Clark; Second Life by S.J. Watson; The Wolf Border by Sarah Hall; Language Arts by Stephanie Kallos; The Household Spirit by Tod Wodicka; Valley Fever by Katherine Taylor; and Rise by Karen Campbell. For more on these and

[The Millions] Meet Me Under the Clock: A New Orleans Story
“Frank, we gotta take that clock.” It was May of 1989, and Tony Rihner had just finished his drink, looked across the table at his old friend Frank Tripoli, convinced this was the night the heist would go down. Frank didn’t know it yet, but these older, slightly inebriated Butch and Sundance

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Our terror of dying
What of we knew the cause of death for every single person on the planet?

[The Millions] Inspiration, Via Goat
Literary prizes are nothing new, but prizes that give writers real estate are a thoroughly modern development. At Salon, Michele Filgate investigates our odd new economy, in which lucky writers win leases to homes, inns and (in one case) a goat farm. You could also read our own Nick Ripatrazone on

[Guardian Books Blog] Mr Ripley's great talent? Making us like a killer and his crimes
The Reading group verdict is in: Patricia Highsmith’s amoral protagonist in The Talented Mr Ripley offers a queasy kind of entertainment – and an armchair psychologist’s perfect case study“I couldn’t make an interesting story out of some morons,” said Patricia Highsmith in 1981. She

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Early and often
We have entered an age

[The Millions] Backhanded
Writers have long been attracted to duels, if only because, for the most part, they offer an easy way to ramp up the conflict in a story. At Page-Turner, James Guida takes a look at their enduring relevance, with reference to the history of the duel in Europe. Pair with: our own Nick Moran on

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