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Top Book Blogs 04/2017

[The Millions] Fantastisch
In 1980, Julio Cortázar gave a series of lectures at Berkeley, which you can now read in the slim, simply-titled volume Literature Class. Among the highlights? This sentence: “I had lived with a complete feeling of familiarity with the fantastic because it seemed as acceptable to me, as

[The Millions] In the Middle of the Affair
“We look to lovers to heal us, to complete us, to give us the kind of comfort that can only be found in the work that we do inside of ourselves. It’s an inside job, as they say in twelve-step programs.” Talking with Melissa Febos about her memoir, Abandon Me. The post In the

[Salon Books] Andrew McCarthy stretches his wings: “I do have a strong yearning to escape”
(Credit: Brian Harkin) Escape, forgiveness and reconciling the past here in the present are themes Andrew McCarthy circles back to in both his award-winning travel journalism (six Lowell Thomas awards and counting) and in the acting roles that first brought him to renown in the 1980s and

[Salon Books] WATCH: Parents, stop obsessing over your kids — try “reflective parenting” instead
Dr. Regina Pally, a veteran child and adult psychiatrist, stopped by Salon to calm parents’ universal fears about whether their children are going to grow up all right. She discussed her theories that promote healthy growth, which she calls “reflective parenting,” in her new

[Guardian Books Blog] Ahmed Naji on his wait to hear if Egyptian court will clear him to write again
Jailed for offending public morals, the novelist was freed last year – but will only receive a final verdict on Sunday. Here he describes his agonising wait It is interesting working on a novel in prison. For one thing, in Egypt you are not allowed to write in prison, so I had to hide my work. If

[Salon Books] Donald Trump: A bigger “factoid” president than Nixon?
(Credit: AP/Shawn Thew) The word “factoid” has now become a factoid. In an ironic, postmodern twist, most people now confuse the definition of the term, believing that it represents a small piece of statistical data. In the past week alone, writers for The Washington Post, Houston Press and

[The Millions] There Now
It’s fitting in a strange way that the author of Being There is now the subject of an oddball novel-turned-biography. In the Times, Benjamin Markovits reads Jerome Charyn’s book Jerzy, which gives the life of Jerzy Kosinski a treatment he’d likely appreciate. The post

[Salon Books] “Stupid is stupid no matter what country you’re from”: What Bassem Youssef’s story of Egypt can teach Americans
(Credit: AP/Amr Nabil) Bassem Youssef, often referred to as “the Jon Stewart of Egypt,” became a hero to Egyptians during and after the Arab Spring swept his nation. In 2011 he began a YouTube satire show that went viral. His YouTube series led to a television contract for “Al Bernameg”

[Salon Books] The thorn in my side: I tried to let go of my poisonous grudge against another writer
A photo of the author We never find out in St. Paul’s letters what his worst quality was, the thorn in his side — depression, a sexual disorder or addiction? My own favorite personal toxic qualities are jealousy and judgment. The self-judgment is excruciating, but along with judging others, it

[Book Forum] PAPER TRAIL: The resurgence of dystopian fiction
As the New York Times points out, a number of recently published dystopian novels suddenly “seem more like grim prophecy than science fiction.” “Name a writer or publication you disagree with but still read…” Vox interviews Roxane Gay.  In a review of the documentary I Am Not Your Negro,

[Guardian Books Blog] The literary tomboy is dead – or is she?
From Shakespeare to Enid Blyton, fiction about girls who defy ‘feminine’ stereotypes has itself been pretty stereotypical. But that may be changing “I shall only answer if you call me George. I hate being a girl. I won’t be. I don’t like doing the things that girls do. I like doing the

[The Millions] April Preview: The Millions Most Anticipated (This Month)
We wouldn’t dream of abandoning our vast semi–annual Most Anticipated Book Previews, but we thought a monthly reminder would be helpful (and give us a chance to note titles we missed the first time around).  Here’s what we’re looking out for this month. For more April titles, check out

[Guardian Books Blog] Poem of the week: Tweet Tweet by Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze
Two heralds of spring in Jamaica provide melodious inspiration for mature reflection on the meaning of homeTweet TweetThere’s a blackbirdin my mango treeand I think of Marleyand singing songs of freedom Related: Poem of the week: You, Lizard-like by Lynne Hjelmgaard Continue reading...

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Trump tricked the white working class
86 percent of Trump counties make less in a year than 27 Trump staffers are worth

[The Millions] The 2017 Rooster
There’s a new Tournament of Books winner in town, and it’s also being adapted for the screen by Moonlight director Barry Jenkins, so it truly does rain when it pours. The post The 2017 Rooster appeared first on The Millions.

[Book Forum] DAILY REVIEW: Fear and Loathing
Three new books embody our tendency to misinterpret Russia

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Businesses still so giddy about Donald Trump
Trump’s first comprehensive scorecard on the economy could be ugly

[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 themAre 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] MISCELLANEOUS: A Graveyard of My Own
That summer I would ride my bike over the bridge, lock it up in front of one of the bars on Orchard Street and drift through the city on foot, recording. People and places. Sidewalk smokers, lovers’ quarrels, drug deals. I wanted to store the world and play it back just as I’d found it, without

[Book Forum] VIDEO: Jessica Bennett: "Feminist Fight Club" | Talks at Google

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Spaces of encounter
How we get there

[The Millions] Woop Woop
Ohio poet Stanley Gebhardt accused Violent J, a member of Insane Clown Posse, of stealing his poem, “But You Didn’t,” nine years ago and attempting to pass it off as his own. The poem was originally published in A 2nd Helping of Chicken Soup for the Soul. Bonus: Kent Russell’s dispatch

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Now that Trump’s presidency has failed
The Trump administration has pushed the limits of American absurdity

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: The key to progressive success
Can the Democrats still count on a demographic advantage?

[Guardian Books Blog] Reading group: choose a book to celebrate the human spirit
It feels like a good moment for stories of people rising above difficult circumstances. But it’s not hard to help us find one – just comment belowThis month in the reading group, we’re looking for your nominations for books that celebrate the human spirit in the face of huge odds. This theme

[The Millions] Start With These Five New Books of Poetry
You should buy new books of poetry. Sure, there are novels and memoirs that are worth your money, but don’t be averse to verse. Show libraries your love, but buy poetry. Buy poetry for escape and for inscape. Buy poetry to pause the world, to hide from it, to consider all its hues and microscopic

[The Millions] Tuesday New Release Day: Buntin; El Akkad; Arimah; Meidav; Watts; Bausch
Out this week: Marlena by Julie Buntin; American War by Omar El Akkad; What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah; Kingdom of the Young by Edie Meidav; No One Is Coming to Save Us by Stephanie Powell Watts; and Living in the Weather of the World by Richard Bausch.

[Guardian Books Blog] Is Hilary Mantel's view of historical fiction out of date?
She is courting controversy by calling her contemporaries ‘cringing’. Perhaps the author hasn’t noticed the exciting developments in her own genre“The most frequent question writers are asked is some variant on, ‘Do you write every day, or do you just wait for inspiration to strike?’ I

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Conspiracy theories of Trumpland
in a conspiratorial world

[The Millions] Buying The Believer
The Believer was acquired by the Black Mountain Institute at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The magazine will continue to publish bi-monthly, with the first edition under new leadership dropping on August 1st. They’re also hiring a managing editor. The post Buying The Believer appeared

[The Millions] Allison Parrish’s Generated Novel
Two years ago, Allison Parrish produced a diary of an expedition through “fantastical places that do not exist.” The twist? The diary was generated by a computer program, which extracted more than 5,700 sentences drawn from Project Gutenberg and later recombined at random by “switching out

[Book Forum] PAPER TRAIL: Jill Abramson on being fired; Kerry Myers on criminal justice reporting
Atlantic Media chairman David Bradley talks about his failed purchase of the now-shuttered National Review. Calvin Tomkins profiles Dana Schutz, the artist whose abstract oil painting of Emmett Till’s body has caused controversy at the Whitney Biennial. Howard Jacobson is still furious about

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Neil Gorsuch and the nuclear option
Gorsuch got where he is because of a form of affirmative action

[Book Forum] VIDEO: NBCC Awards Ceremony for Publishing Year 2016

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Back channel
In the news yet again

[The Millions] Alternate Writing Residencies for the Trump Era
My earlier post was about artist residencies, these magical places that take the writer out of her workaday world and into a new place, just for the artist. No need to let answering the phone or procuring and cooking food slowly chip away at one’s day. Because it’s expensive to house

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Questions about GOP tax reform
They’re coming for your tax returns, Donnie

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Political theory and real politics
The uses and limits of political theory in dark times

[Salon Books] No sympathy: How Ayn Rand’s “elitism” lives on in the Trump administration
President Donald Trump’s secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, has said Ayn Rand’s novel “Atlas Shrugged” is his favorite book. Mike Pompeo, head of the CIA, cited Rand as a major inspiration. Before he withdrew his nomination, Trump’s pick to head the Labor Department, Andrew Puzder,

[The Millions] The Rise of the Sad Flâneur
Michel Houellebecq’s latest English language poetry collection, Unreconciled,  evokes a strange nostalgia. While this relentlessly downbeat collection is entirely composed of poems from between 1991 and 2013, it feels far older than that. In contrast to the current moment, the images Houellebecq

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Syria’s cataclysmic civil war
Trump tries blaming Obama for a deadly chemical attack in Syria

[Guardian Books Blog] Do two unpublished books make you a failed author? No, you're a quitter
To the author who has quit after two novels didn’t make it to print, I recommend getting a lot better at dealing with rejectionOh, Anonymous. I read your piece in the Guardian last weekend – about being a “failed novelist” – with a mounting sense of disbelief.It’s not that I don’t

[Book Forum] PAPER TRAIL: Imbolo Mbue wins PEN/Faulkner Award; Two new books about Breitbart and the alt-right
Gabriel Sherman reports that a third employee has joined the racial discrimination lawsuit against Fox News. Credit collections manager Monica Douglas said that the company knew about former comptroller Judy Slater’s behavior, but was told that “Slater will not be fired, because she knows too

[Book Forum] DAILY REVIEW: Downtown Disaster
Cat Marnell’s memoir of drugs, magazine jobs, and fashion.

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Trump’s populist con job on trade
For Trump, NAFTA could be the next Obamacare

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: The latest twist
A familiar setting

[The Millions] The Millions Top Ten: March 2017
  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

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Russian Twitter bots pumped out fake news
Fake news spreads when people trust their friends too much

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Political philosophy is surprisingly modern
A conversation-stopper for the political philosopher

[The Millions] The Language of Poets: 10 Notable Forms
Poets know form equals function. Even better, poets know form enables function — which might explain why poets appear more deliberately invested in form than fiction writers. Form is essential to poetry because it requires the union of strangeness and conformity. By nature, poems are acts of

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