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Top Book Blogs 07/2016

[The Millions] Songs of Ourselves: Searching for America’s Epic Poem
Although 1820 was more than a generation after the Revolutionary War, British critic Sydney Smith was perhaps still smarting when he wrote in The Edinburgh Review, “In the four quarters of the globe, who reads an American book?” He claimed that the recently independent Americans have “done

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: What Brexit means
It's undeniable that we'll stay in the European Union after all

[The Millions] Writerly Advice
Maria Popova has compiled famous author’s advice on writing, a perfect resource to pair with Marcia Desanctis‘s essay “There Is No Handbook For Being a Writer”. The post Writerly Advice appeared first on The Millions.

[Salon Books] Pottermore problems: Scholars and writers call foul on J.K. Rowling’s North American magic
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[Book Forum] VIDEO: Premilla Nadasen, "Household Workers Unite"

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: A surprising role
One step closer

[The Millions] Namesakes
1. As my father and I walk down Avenida Quinta, a main street in Asuncion, Paraguay, we come up on a store with large, heavily tinted windows. I don’t recognize it until I read the name of the store, printed across the front of the building: “Anahi” in all lowercase letters, outlined in

[The Millions] Crowdsourcing a Book
Important Indiegogo Alert: Kenneth James is editing the personal journals of novelist and critic Samuel R. Delany in a five-volume series. The first volume is complete, and James is asking for a bit of help to complete the second. Neil Gaiman has offered substantial monetary support. The post

[Book Forum] PAPER TRAIL: A plot twist for Gay Talese; a new trial for Adnan Syed
Gay Talese’s latest book, The Voyeur’s Motel, comes out July 12 and recounts Talese’s correspondence and encounters with a motelier named Gerald Foos, who tells Talese he spent more than two decades spying on his guests’ amorous activities through specially constructed ceiling vents. In an

[The Millions] Library Tour
The al-Qarawiyyin library, the oldest library in the world, has just reopened after years of renovations. Take a look inside. Andrew Pippos writes about private libraries and what they reveal about their readers. The post Library Tour appeared first on The Millions.

[The Millions] FLOW
Year in Reading alum Michele Filgate interviews Dawn Finley, one of the people behind the Feminist Library on Wheels (F.L.O.W.) in Los Angeles. The post FLOW appeared first on The Millions.

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Meanwhile, back on most campuses
A focus on elite schools ignores the issues most college students face

[The Millions] Seeing Beyond the Story
“When she began the cancer memoir, it was the fact of the writing, more than what was to be written, that mattered.” On Jenny Diski’s way of seeing beyond the story. The post Seeing Beyond the Story appeared first on The Millions.

[Salon Books] “Pat the Bunny” is kind of twisted and other lessons I learned from picture books
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[The Millions] (Do Not) Steal This Book
Everything you’ve ever wanted to know (but were afraid to ask) about book sales — from what the heck even constitutes a sale, to standard print runs, to author earnings per sale — from Lincoln Michel at Electric Literature. The post (Do Not) Steal This Book appeared first on The

[The Millions] What Does a Poet Know?
“Since his release, in 2005, he has graduated from the University of Maryland and Warren Wilson College’s low-residency M.F.A. program, been a Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard, received an N.A.A.C.P. Image Award, got married, and had two sons. ‘I’ve added some fancy stars … so now

[The Millions] Summer Reading Is Confusing
Have you looked thoroughly at our Summer Reading List for Wretched Assholes Who Prefer to Wallow in Someone Else’s Misery and still aren’t sure what to read? Maybe this helpful flow chart from the Strand Bookstore, via LitHub, will help you settle on something. The post Summer Reading Is

[Salon Books] Gay Talese’s “ethical mess”: Fact-checking lapse raises old questions about New Journalism
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[The Millions] Going Places
“Barbarian Days by William Finnegan. Made me realize my whole life has been pretty much a waste. I suspected this anyway; he explained why: because I’d not surfed.” Geoff Dyer over at the New York Times on the best book he’s read recently. Our own Janet Potter interviewed Dyer

[The Millions] Bold, Clear, Rude
“I am going to propose: The rigmarole is truly underexploited. Everyone should write a ‘Conversations with Drummond’ about themselves and about every opinion-spouting person they know. For the historical record. For revenge. For the children. Especially if you’re well-known, or

[The Millions] RIP Elie Wiesel
Elie Wiesel — Auschwitz survivor, Nobel Laureate, political activist, and author of Night — passed away yesterday at the age of 87. Here’s a quote that perfectly captures Wiesel’s essence, from his Nobel Prize acceptance speech: “I swore never to be silent whenever and

[The Millions] Woe Betide Thine Enemies
Do you long to go on an adventure, but only so long as the adventure is not in any way uncomfortable or inconvenient? Has a wizard roped you into a quest because one of your ancestors invented golf? If you answer yes to either of these questions, you might be living inside of a J.R.R. Tolkien book.

[The Millions] Bright Lights, Big Themes
A lot has already been said about Nicolas Winding Refn’s newest and arguably most provocative film, Neon Demon. At The Rumpus, Jeffery Edalatpour examines beauty and its extremes, and also asks a couple questions of the director, himself: “Refn has revised the mythology of Aphrodite;

[The Millions] Just Give Me a Minute
Is Karl Ove Kanusgaard’s seven-volume, 3,600-page, vaugely-autobiographical epic possible to pitch over the course of an elevator ride? The good people over at n+1 are willing to give it a shot! Have you ever wondered about the view outside of Knausgaard’s window? I bet you have now.

[The Millions] Can a Song Stop a War?
“What I’ve found is that a lot of soldiers are surprisingly apolitical. Their reality is, ‘Today I’m going to leave the gate for twelve hours, and I’m going to make it back to the dining facility by sundown with the arms and legs of me and my buddies intact.’ So you say,

[The Millions] New Romance
Recommended Reading: A new story by Yuri Herrera for Granta Magazine, featuring “the prayer of the overheated-horndog”: “Oh please, oh please, oh please / May he, the drunken me / May he, the dumbfuck me / May he, the me who never ever ever knows where shit is / May / he have

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: America's urban-rural split
"Normal America" is not a small town of white people

[Book Forum] VIDEO: 5 Under 35 Celebration Panel Discussion

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Hard to pin down
Stop being so easily manipulated

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Insights from public administration
The role of administrative law in promoting good government

[Salon Books] My Little Free Library war: How our suburban front-yard lending box made me hate books and fear my neighbors
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[Book Forum] PAPER TRAIL: How Octavia Butler Anticipated Trump
Elie Wiesel, who survived Auschwitz and won the Nobel Peace Prize, died in his Manhattan home this weekend. He was eighty-seven. The author of Night and many other books, Wiesel, writes Joseph Berger in the New York Times obituary, “more than anyone else, seared the memory of the Holocaust on the

[The Millions] Tuesday New Release Day: Ball; Flanery; MacMahon; Raabe; Feldman; Ryan; Hebert
New this week: How to Set a Fire and Why by Jesse Ball; I Am No One by Patrick Flanery; The Long, Hot Summer by Kathleen MacMahon; The Trap by Melanie Raabe; Absalom’s Daughters by Suzanne Feldman; The Dream Life of Astronauts by Patrick Ryan; and Angels of

[The Millions] Fighting and Writing: Books that Break Us
I. In the winter of 2011 I had been working as an adjunct English instructor for ten years. Back then I spent a lot of time pacing between my office cubicle and the adjoining lounge — kicking the carpet, wondering how my career had come to this. One day, as I muttered and paced, a streak of

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: The United States of Inequality
The allure of extreme wealth can contort human sympathies

[The Millions] Lerner on Berger
Recommended Listening: Ben Lerner stops by The New Yorker’s fiction podcast to discuss “Woven, Sir,” a story by John Berger. The post Lerner on Berger appeared first on The Millions.

[The Millions] Wrecked Modern Romance
“[Virginie] Despentes has become a kind of cult hero, a patron saint to invisible women: the monstrous and marginalized, the sodden, weary and wildly unemployable, the kind of woman who can scarcely be propped up let alone persuaded to lean in.” On Virginie Despentes’s Bye Bye

[Book Forum] VIDEO: Oby Ezekwesili, Ibukun Awosika, TY Bello: "Smashing the Glass Ceiling"

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: The unexpected way
To the realm of ideas

[The Millions] Burn after Reading: On Writerly Self-Immolation
Gerard Manley Hopkins burned all of his poems before becoming a priest. He called his act the “slaughter of the innocents.” Jesuits begin their study with a two-year novitiate period, during which Hopkins did not write a single line of verse — in fact, he would only write fragments for

[Book Forum] DAILY REVIEW: Proxies: Essays Near Knowing: {A Reckoning} By Brian Blanchfield
The breathtaking excellence of Proxies, poet Brian Blanchfield’s first collection of personal essays, is an urgent reminder of how shortsighted it would be to take identity politics as the sole measure of value in queer writing. Blanchfield—who is white, male, and gay—does not

[The Millions] Someone You’re Not
We’re all frauds on the internet! Ann Leary at The Literary Hub takes a look at why online relationships tend to falter in the “real world.” Here are a couple of complementary friendship-related essays from The Millions. The post Someone You’re Not appeared first on The

[The Millions] Happy (?) Birthday, Franz
Franz Kafka’s birthday was a couple of days ago — the celebration (which would surely have been a subdued affair) would have been his 133rd. Celebrate yourself by taking look at this helpful animation which explains the woefully misused term “Kafkaesque.” The post Happy (?)

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Storm of education reform
Solving the mystery of the schools

[The Millions] Standing Atop a Very High Wall Made of Ice
“The right candidate will be a big idea thinker, meaning that they have the capacity to understand the huge idea that White Walkers are coming for us, all of us, and someone’s got to do some shit about it. If you love telling brand stories through digital mediums, can think very conceptually

[Salon Books] Life of an author on the internet: “Someone on Goodreads took the time to write out ‘Meh’ as their whole review”
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[The Millions] Most Anticipated: The Great Second-Half 2016 Book Preview
This year is already proving to be an excellent one for book lovers. Since our last preview, we’ve gotten new titles by Don DeLillo, Alexander Chee, Helen Oyeyemi, Louise Erdrich; acclaimed debut novels by Emma Cline, Garth Greenwell, and Yaa Gyasi; new poems by Dana Gioia; and new short story

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: The governance of migration
You were told to love the immigrant

[Book Forum] PAPER TRAIL: It’s fine to procrastinate; Jonah Lehrer demystifies love
Libraries—New York City and nationwide—are booming, reports the New York Times. At a moment when one might expect membership to be declining due to the atomizing effects of the Internet, libraries have expanded their mission to meet a range of needs in the populations they serve. They offer

[The Millions] Celebrating America’s Birthday
It was America’s birthday this week. Celebrate with quintessential American fiction, according to the rest of the world (via LitHub). More of a poetry person? We search for the great American epic. The post Celebrating America’s Birthday appeared first on The Millions.


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