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Top Book Blogs 12/2016

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: 2016
We typically schedule the essays and reviews and lists we run at The Millions a week or two in advance. Before the U.S. election, I looked at what we had in the hopper and tried to arrange the posts for timeliness. This was basically a symbolic gesture since The Millions is a total literary

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: Stephen Dodson
I thought I was pretty familiar with Alexander Herzen. I’d read Isaiah Berlin’s articles on him and parts of his autobiography, and I could have told a good story about how as a teenager he swore an oath to fight tsarist tyranny, how he fled Russia for Western Europe and established the first

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Trump's Carrier news
In Carrier deal, Trump is taking credit for some blatant crony capitalism

[Book Forum] PAPER TRAIL: Eduardo Mendoza wins Cervantes Prize; Amanda Hess on the alt-right’s digital safe space
Novelist Eduardo Mendoza has won the 2016 Cervantes Prize. The award comes with $132,000 and will be given to Mendoza in April. Ed Ou, a Canadian photojournalist on his way to report on the Dakota Access Pipeline protests for the Canadian Broadcast Corporation, was detained and denied entry into the

[The Millions] Make Fascism Great Again
“There’s still time to look something else up.” Merriam-Webster pleads with word lovers to prevent “fascism” from becoming its word of the year, The Guardian reports. See also: this Lithub piece about the social media genius behind M-W‘s Twitter feed. The post Make Fascism

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Trump's cabinet picks
In picking cabinet, Trump values wealth, inexperience

[Guardian Books Blog] Why bad sex is an international language
Erri De Luca’s The Day Before Happiness is the first translated novel to win. But has a prize designed to ridicule high-profile literary novelists outlived its purpose?Opening up and novelty have been the themes of an autumn awards season rich in firsts: first US author (Paul Beatty) winning the

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: Chigozie Obioma
Mischling by Affinity Konar is a lyrical book written with much gusto and power. The story of twin sisters trying to survive the Nazis is at once powerful and harrowing. It has the ambition that great novels, and those that last, carry. The prose is composed and has the energy of a restless dancer,

[Book Forum] VIDEO: Annette Gordon-Reed & Peter Onuf: 2016 National Book Festival

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Setting the stage
Appreciating the complications

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: New rules for covering Trump
A message to journalists in the Trump era

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: Sofia Samatar
This was a year of books of marvelous disappearance. I began with Bartleby & Co. by Enrique Vila-Matas, translated by Jonathan Dunne: a catalogue of vanished writers that is also a paradoxical and seductive manifesto for the “literature of the No.” I read Haytham El-Wardany’s How to

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Lessons from 2016's bizarre presidential election
Ditching the Electoral College is easier said than done

[Guardian Books Blog] Jeremy Hunt's workhouse and the art of misusing a quotation
The health secretary this week clumsily invoked Oliver Twist to scold doctors wanting more funds. So we wondered what other great words politicians could mangle?Health secretary Jeremy Hunt this week quoted Oliver Twist as he argued down pleas for more money for the health service, dismissing a

[Guardian Books Blog] JG Ballard’s house – the perfect place to crash
JG Ballard’s Shepperton home is up for sale or you can rent Ted Hughes’s Bloomsbury love nest. How do the prices compare with other authors’ homes?These are high times for house-hunters of a literary bent. The three-bedroom semi in Shepperton, Surrey, where JG Ballard lived for nearly 50 years

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: Claire-Louise Bennett
I have been a terrible reader this year, demanding the impossible — I wanted to experience the same tumult and sting of feelings I encountered when I read classic books for the first time, around the age of 16. There are many different reading modes and naturally I frequently read as a writer

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Trump and the Carrier plant
Carrier just showed corporations how to beat Donald Trump

[Book Forum] PAPER TRAIL: 2016 the most dangerous year for journalists; Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s book collection goes to Texas
Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s library has been acquired by the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin. The collection includes numerous signed books, from authors like Toni Morrison, Mario Vargas Llosa, as well as world leaders like Bill Clinton and Fidel Castro. The

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Commander-in-Chief Donald Trump
Obama is leaving Trump the power to wage war almost anywhere

[The Millions] Harper Lee Land
“The so-called ‘alt-right’ is white nationalism repackaged as retro-chic, and its discourse constantly invokes nostalgia for a golden age in the Confederate South when racism when reigned supreme. The leaders of this project will need to be very careful that they don’t end up just creating a

[Book Forum] DAILY REVIEW: How to Win at Feminism: The Definitive Guide to Having it All—And Then Some! by Beth Newell, Sarah Pappalardo, and Anna Drezen
In September 2015, in an effort to appeal to millennial voters, Hillary Clinton submitted to an interview with Lena Dunham for Lenny, Dunham's newsletter. "What would a Clinton administration bring back to the White House?" Dunham asks perkily. Hillary begins: "I will focus on raising incomes,

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: Tony Tulathimutte
This year I read the manuscript for Jenny Zhang’s upcoming debut story collection Sour Heart. It’s both about young immigrant girls growing up in New York in the wake of the Cultural Revolution, and a mind-blanching raunch fest that includes schoolgirl torture fantasies, prepubescent

[Book Forum] VIDEO: Ed Yong "I Contain Multitudes" | Talks at Google

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: After all
Please don't forget

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Supporters don't really care if Trump drains the swamp
It's beginning to smell a lot like oligarchy

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: Caille Millner
My reading took me to many different places this year, but it began and ended in France. Luc Sante’s The Other Paris. The more our major cities shift from places of community and society towards havens for whimsy and capital, the more I want to live in Sante’s cities. He’s a historian of

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Trump's conflicts of interest
The shamelessness is breathtaking, even by 2016 standards

[Salon Books] No more reader-in-chief: After Obama, Trump the nonreader amounts a real national loss
JUPITER, FL - MARCH 08: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump holds up his book after holding a press conference at the Trump National Golf Club Jupiter on March 8, 2016 in Jupiter, Florida. Trump is projected to win the Republican Presidential primaries in Mississippi and Michigan. (Photo

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: Edan Lepucki
2016: The year my daughter learned to stand on her own and walk away. It’s also the year my son learned about the Holocaust, that it happened, and not that long ago. He is five, she is one. If this opening relies too heavily on the metaphorical, please forgive me: I refuse to besmirch my

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: Matt Seidel
In honor of — or in dismay at — Oxford Dictionaries announcing “post-truth” as the word of the year, I thought I’d highlight books that dove headlong into fiction, books that are set, quite literally, in the land of literature. In Gerald Murnane’s A Million Windows, a work

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: Sonya Chung
In August of this year, my president, Barack Hussein Obama, wrote: We need to keep changing the attitude that raises our girls to be demure and our boys to be assertive, that criticizes our daughters for speaking out and our sons for shedding a tear. We need to keep changing the attitude that

[The Millions] A Year In Reading: Nick Moran
In Jeff VanderMeer’s Area X trilogy, characters grow unhinged and obsessed. One undergoes a psychosis so fully that he physically morphs into a massive, slug-like creature wholly consumed with the task of writing on cavern walls with a glow-in-the-dark, living “ink.” The trilogy

[Salon Books] Johnny Marr returns: “I was an 18-year-old guitar player … I wanted to be modern”
Johnny Marr, Andy Rourke and Morrissey at The Wool Hall, making "Strangeways, Here We Come," 1987 (Credit: Angie Marr) Johnny Marr, best known for his years as guitarist for the seminal English band the Smiths, came out this month with a memoir called “Set the Boy Free.” What follows is the

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: Jacob Lambert
I took The Shining down from its shelf a few days before Halloween, as it seemed a seasonally-appropriate read. It had sat there for years, Danny Torrance’s blank face staring out from its silver spine, asking me what I was afraid of, what I was waiting for. This will be much different from the

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: Michael Bourne
First, there was the endless presidential campaign, the daily, ugly slog through the mud of “Hillary lied!” and “Grab them by the pussy,” the compulsive visits to 538.com, the circular arguments on Facebook and Twitter, the depressing reality that this — this sour, angry, nationally

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: Tess Malone
2016 was the year I fell in love with reading again. Sometime during college, when close reading put every sentence under a fluorescent light, I started analyzing language instead of getting lost in it. I thought I would return to reading after I graduated, but then I became a copyeditor, where my

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: Tana French
Here’s the problem I usually run into when I’m asked for a list of the year’s best books: most places want books that were published that year. And I don’t read all that many new books, because I do a lot of rereading. This feels slightly embarrassing to admit — my bedside table is

[Guardian Books Blog] Poem of the week: The Lake of Memories by Howard Altmann
With a carefully halting structure, this is an elegantly condensed reflection on psychological scarring and healingThe Lake of MemoriesVoices sitlike broken chairsin a room. Related: Poem of the week: Backyard, Hoboken, Summer by Alvin Feinman Continue reading...

[Book Forum] DAILY REVIEW: 'We Are Orphans Here'
Standing at an intersection in Shuafat Refugee Camp, in East Jerusalem, I watched as a boy, sunk down behind the steering wheel of a beat-up sedan, zoomed through an intersection with his arm out the driver's-side window, signaling like a Nascar driver pulling in for a pit stop. I was amazed. He

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Trump's Twitter strategy
Far more than a diversionary tactic, tweeting lets the president-elect stay on the political offensive

[Book Forum] PAPER TRAIL: Susan B. Glasser on the failures of 2016 election coveage; BuzzFeed analyzes Trump’s tweets
In a memo to staff, the New York Times’s standards editor Phil Corbett asks writers to not use alt-right as a stand-alone term. Corbett reminds Times employees that “any description can touch on some key elements, based on our own reporting. . . . It’s a racist, far-right fringe movement that

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Learning from the tragedy of Trump
The 2016 election is a disaster without a moral

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib
I open every year by rereading Their Eyes Were Watching God. There’s something about it that pulls me back, eagerly, to the work. Like many people I know, I open most years hopeful and willing to be seduced by possibility. So much of that book reminds me that the brightness of a welcoming new

[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 Are you on Instagram? Then you can be featured here by tagging your books-related posts with #GuardianBooksScroll down for our favourite literary linksRead more Tips, links and suggestions blogsWelcome to this week’s blog,

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Intentional or accidental
The real risk behind

[Book Forum] VIDEO: Calvin Trillin: 2016 National Book Festival

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Between populism and fascism
What the alt-Right really means

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: Esmé Weijun Wang
Good books in 2016 have been bright lights to remember and hold close. I write this in the wake of the election, when almost no books seem appealing, and all I want to do is sleep and cry. And yet it’s been an amazing year for me personally and professionally; my debut novel was published this

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Trump and Trumpism
How to manipulate Donald Trump

[The Millions] Invisible Together
“It was a remarkable scene, to witness young people collectively shatter one another’s sense of social isolation.” Clint Smith for The New Yorker‘s Page-Turner blog about teaching Invisible Man to a high school class full of undocumented immigrants. The post Invisible Together


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