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Top Book Blogs 12/2017

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: 2017
Over the last 13 years, the Year in Reading has collected the book recommendations and musings of some of the most brilliant readers and writers working today.  Looking at the series over time it becomes an instrument of measurement, not only for tracking the way the site itself has grown and

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: Stephen Dodson
I wasn’t planning to make Yuri Slezkine’s The House of Government: A Saga of the Russian Revolution my lead review as I was reading it; it seemed overlong and somewhat scattered.  But by the time I was done, I realized I had been badly mistaken: Slezkine knew exactly what he was doing, and the

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Biggest tax scam in history
The Republican Party’s big tax reform package is nothing less than a massive scandal

[Guardian Books Blog] Kingsley Amis was spied on – but he’s in the best literary company
MI5 kept tabs on Amis, who joins Byron, Wordsworth, Orwell and Iris Murdoch as having been suspected of espionage Related: Profumo had long-term relationship with Nazi spy before 60s sex scandal The National Archives revealed this week that MI5 kept a file on Kingsley Amis after learning in the

[Book Forum] PAPER TRAIL: Porochista Khakpour on choosing her next book cover; Jenny Slate writing feminist essay collection
Porochista Khakpour explains how she and her team at Harper Perennial came up with the cover for her upcoming memoir, Sick. Khakpour says her newest work was also the hardest to chose a cover for: “Do you do some play on Lyme? (At one point a lime green cover was an option to which I ...

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Tackling sexual violence
#MeToo is powerful but will fail unless we do more

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: Tayari Jones
This year has been rough. Between politics and the environment, I find it hard to slip into the fictional world of a novel, usually my favorite escape.  Lately, I will read a couple of chapters, and although the writing is good, the story is fresh, I can’t make myself engage. So 2017, has kind of

[Book Forum] VIDEO: Meet the key players in Trump–Russia scandal

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Still thinking
Mulling a pitch

[Book Forum] SYLLABI: Matt Turner: "We Are Revolution": Introducing Asia's Proletarian Lit

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Puerto Rico’s hurricane rebuilding effort
Added to the storm’s toll, guilt and heartache for Puerto Ricans who fled

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: Eugene Lim
1. Our current condition of ambient despair gets an excellent portraiture in Evelyn Hampton’s The Aleatory Abyss. It’s an obscure book about being obscure—or at least it is a book about occupying forgotten interstitial spaces and about being of and among technological detritus. In Hampton’s

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Trump to get even more outrageous
Time to talk impeachment

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: Edan Lepucki
The last couple of months or so, I’ve taken a break from the Internet—or as much as I’m able to. Writing this piece feels a bit like yelling to you from across an enormous canyon filled with photos of latte art and babies and feminist slogans etched across coffee mugs in millennial pink. There

[The Millions] Indies Thriving in the Age of Amazon
“While pressure from Amazon forced Borders out of business in 2011, indie bookstores staged an unexpected comeback. Between 2009 and 2015, the ABA reported a 35% growth in the number of independent booksellers, from 1,651 stores to 2,227.”  Professor Ryan Raffaelli read this surprising

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: Sonya Chung
It’s been a somewhat slow, muddy-brained reading year for me—likely due to the intense distractions of both ugly news media and challenging life happenings. But thankfully and nonetheless, some wonderful books got read (intentional passive voice, enacting the struggle here via syntax). In fact,

[The Millions] More and More Queer YA Love Stories
The Washington Post interviews four Young Adult authors whose books go beyond coming out stories, these authors want queer love stories to be mainstream. Their books range from contemporary to historical to fantasy. “As authors get more comfortable exploring LGBT storylines, the coming-out

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: Emily St. John Mandel
I’ve had a good year in reading, mostly because I’ve been traveling a lot and have developed a habit of reading obsessively in airports and airplanes. In January I read Josephine Rowe’s debut novel, A Loving, Faithful Animal, and Robert Seethaler’s A Whole Life, and was deeply moved by both.

[The Millions] What the Bestseller List Says about 2017
Slate books and culture columnist Laura Miller looks at what this year’s bestseller list tells us about 2017. One of her conclusions, “2017 was the year that the very concept of a best-seller became even more dubious.” After reading her analysis, check out our Year in Reading

[The Millions] Citizen of the Year Reading List
ICYMI Colin Kaepernick was named GQ‘s 2017 Citizen of the Year a few weeks ago. In light of this honor two of his closest friends “have compiled a list of ‘Freedom Dream’ resources spanning close to two centuries—including books, essays, films, documentaries, songs, and

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: Nick Ripatrazone
2017 was the year I was thankfully, happily consumed with poetry. I wrote about 49 new books of poetry for my monthly column here at The Millions. The refrain starts with packages and cardboard mailers that my daughters collect from our front steps. They are stacked next to my desk, and I read and

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: Garth Risk Hallberg
One thing you could always say for me: I was a finisher. I may not have been a great reader, but by God I was dogged, and if I made it through the opening 10th of a book, then I was going all the way to the end. Though this started as merely an inclination, it eventually became a rule, for reasons I

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: Janet Potter
The two most memorable things I read in 2017 were text messages. One came in early February, and told me that my sister-in-law had cancer. I read it on the red line on my way home from work. The second came two weeks later, and told me that my dad had kidney disease. I read it when I was at lunch

[The Millions] She Said, He Said
“Ms. Cline, who was 27 when the novel came out, was celebrated as a major new talent. But for the last two years, her success has been overshadowed, in private, by legal threats levied against her by a former boyfriend.” Emma Cline, bestselling author of The Girls,  and her

[The Millions] The Best of the Best
Authors, including Jennifer Egan, George Saunders, Ali Smith, and our own Chigozie Obioma, chose their Best Books of 2017 in a two-part series for The Guardian. If you enjoyed that list, make sure to check out our  Year in Reading: 2017 series all throughout December. The post The Best of the

[The Millions] Return of the Ferrante
“According to an interview with her publishers in the Italian literary newsletter Il Libraio, translated in The Guardian, Ferrante is putting pen to paper once more.” A year after Elena Ferrante‘s alleged true identity was revealed by a journalist, the intensely-private author

[Book Forum] DAILY REVIEW: The Ghost Machine
Two new books on the utopian promise of virtual reality

[Book Forum] PAPER TRAIL: Emma Cline calls plagiarism suit “ludicrous”
Emma Cline’s ex-boyfriend Chaz Reetz-Laiolo has sued the novelist, claiming that Cline plagiarized him in The Girls, her 2015 novel loosely based on the Manson Family. In a countersuit, Cline calls Reetz-Laiolo’s complaint “ludicrous.” Cline’s agent, Bill Clegg, calls the dispute

[Guardian Books Blog] Poem of the week – Walter Osborne: Apple Gathering, Quimperlé by Frank Ormsby
A richly described Victorian painting of a harvest scene is full of innocent joy, shadowed by what history would soon bring to the fields of northern FranceWalter Osborne: Apple Gathering, QuimperléWeep for the green orchards of northern Francebefore the two world wars, their apple-rich

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: Louise Erdrich
Maybe I would characterize 2016 as a movie car chase, and 2017 as the reveal where all of us anonymous motorists who got side-swiped, flipped, forced off bridges and into concrete abutments, rise out of the wreckage yelling for real. My list is composed of books to read to your fellow travelers as

[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 roundup

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Mueller to save us
Despite Robert Mueller’s damaging disclosures, Republican voters offer Trump unwavering support

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Math genius
Women who are elite mathematicians are less likely than men to believe they’re elite mathematicians

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: Ahmed Saadawi
In the past year I have read several books related to my writing project, most of them connected with old documents and newspapers, as well as some classical works, many short stories and foreign novels translated into Arabic. On the Iraqi front, perhaps the most important books I have read during

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: High on the list
Scarier than you think

[Book Forum] VIDEO: David Neiwert & Joe Conason | Alt-America: The Rise of the Radical Right

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Tax vote sparks political brawl
This tax bill shows the GOP’s debt concerns were pure fraud

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: Eve L. Ewing
This year, especially the tail end of it, has been an embarrassment of riches when it comes to good reading. I’ve felt sort of like how I feel at a dessert buffet—pressed to try everything, distressed that I can’t possibly have room for it all, and urged to make space to just enjoy

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: A musical era into focus
Songs that tell us where music is going

[Guardian Books Blog] Reading group: Attrib. by Eley Williams is December's book
The draw to find a neglected treasure from 2017 has turned up this collection of short stories, which promises to bring a happy close to the yearAttrib. by Eley Williams has come out of the hat and will be the subject of this month’s reading group. Since the theme of the month is catching up on

[The Millions] Tuesday New Release Day: Diski; Şafak; Olafsson; Krasznahorkai; le Guin
Out this week: The Vanishing Princess by Jenny Diski; Three Daughters of Eve by Elif Şafak; One Station Away by Olaf Olafsson; The World Goes On by László Krasznahorkai; and No Time to Spare by Ursula le Guin. For more on these and other new titles, go read our most recent book

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: Jesmyn Ward
The Half Has Never Been Told is a mighty story. The book chronicles the conditions the enslaved suffered under, and then details how that system of torture was necessary to the very founding of the United States, and how it was instrumental to the modern world we know. Like the best books do, it

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: On obstruction of justice
Donald Trump never cared about the rule of law

[Book Forum] PAPER TRAIL: Sam Shepard’s last book; Emily Dutton on writing as a new parent
The Pulitzer Prizes will no longer limit the Breaking News award to local media. According to a press release by the organization, “breaking news entries will now include coverage related to news events of consequence, whether they are produced by a local, state or national news organization.”

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: Jeff VanderMeer
As an omnivore, I define the word “enjoyment” as anything from a heady intellectual excitement at exposure to new ideas or narrative structures all the way to an uneasy/comfortable feeling that lives visceral in the gut and defies analysis. I’m not really interested in imposing my own idea of

[Guardian Books Blog] Spotlit at last: Asian American writing's new generation
This year has, finally, seen mainstream acclaim for an array of authors bringing important news of the immigrant experience to English-language readersAfter years on the peripheries of US fiction and poetry, Asian American authors have stepped into the spotlight during 2017. Books by writers of east

[Book Forum] VIDEO: Edwidge Danticat: The Art of Death

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Not a substitute
Resided in a fantasy world

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: To fight sexism and harassment
The #MeToo moment is a rallying cry, standing in for all the frustrations, insults, and second-class treatment women experience at work

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: Lidia Yuknavitch
This last year has left me so depleted and on the cusp of despair, because TRUMP of course, because death culture, because planet and existence ending policies. And yet I have been astonished. Up against the gloom and grind of current events voices have emerged, and with those voices body stories,

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