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Top Book Blogs 12/2018

[Book Forum] IN PRINT: Holy Waters
John Waters

[Book Forum] IN PRINT: Lose Your Illusions
Heather Havrilesky talks about her new essay collection What If This Were Enough?

[Book Forum] PAPER TRAIL: The Memoir Bush Never Wrote; Plagiarism in the Poetry World
The Washington Post’s book critic Carlos Lozada reads through George W.H. Bush’s books, letters, and diaries to imagine the memoir the ex-president “seemed to avoid.” Last week, the organizers of the Pushcart Prize—which honors writers who have published with small journals and independent

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: 2018
This is the 14th year that the Year in Reading series has run at The Millions. It’s the third year that I’ve blearily written the introduction to kick off the series the night before it’s set to begin, and I’m running out of ways to say it: this is the best thing we do here

[Guardian Books Blog] Poem of the week: Sonnet – September 1922 by Ivor Gurney
This meditation on defeat was written around the time the author was declared insane, but shows a thoroughly lucid artistrySonnet – September 1922Fierce indignation is best understood by thoseWho have time or no fear, or a hope in its real good.One loses it with a filed soul or in sentimental

[Book Forum] DAILY REVIEW: Courtly Love
Why writers are drawn to tennis.

[Book Forum] MISCELLANEOUS: The Billy Lee Myth
The Billy Lee Myth begins with a fact: he was once one of the most engaging young novelists in the country, greeted by some critics as the second coming of F. Scott Fitzgerald. “Brammer’s is a new and major talent, big in scope, big in its promise of even better things to come,” wrote A. C.

[Book Forum] INTERVIEW: Bookforum talks to Meghan O’Gieblyn
“The Midwest is a somewhat slippery notion,” Meghan O’Gieblyn writes in her debut essay collection, Interior States. “It is a region whose existence—whose very name—has always been contingent upon the more fixed and concrete notion of the West."

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: Stephen Dodson
I’ve read a lot of Russian literature and a lot about it, several general histories (starting with D.S. Mirsky’s classic) and a bunch of more specialized ones. Frankly, I didn’t think any book could add much to my understanding. But the massive new A History of Russian Literature by Andrew

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: To fix Congress
How Congress stopped working

[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

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: Ling Ma
So I will now remember 2018 as the year I read Mrs Caliban for the first time. A 1982 novel by Rachel Ingalls, the premise reads like a fairy tale: a housewife stows away an escaped sea monster in her house. His name is Aquarius but being unable to pronounce this, he just goes by Larry. Upon their

[Book Forum] VIDEO: Minneapolis – Be The Facts You Wish To Read: A Press Freedom Discussion

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Far from over
Spun out of control

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: In the university
As humanities majors decline, colleges try to hype up their programs

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: Bryan Washington
1. This year, I read a lot on my phone. That’s a habit I’ve picked up from working gigs where you stand a bunch (watching kids on a swingset, watching adult children park their cars). Some folks don’t vibe with that, but those folks don’t pay my bills, and it meant I could read in doctor’s

[The Millions] Tuesday New Release Day: Selecky; Setterfield; Farah; Brecht; Barbash
Out this week: Radiant Shimmering Light by Sarah Selecky; Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield; North of Dawn by Nuruddin Farah; The Collected Poems of Bertolt Brecht; and The Dakota Winters by Tom Barbash. For more on these and other new titles, go read our most recent book

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: Elizabeth McCracken
I suffer from reading amnesia quite terribly. I often joke to my students that the only book I reliably remember having read is Lolita. I also suffer from the particular anxiety that comes with knowing too many writers: I feel certain I am going to alienate friends and further alienate enemies with

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: The Democratic 2020 race
Why the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee will tell a story of inclusion

[Book Forum] PAPER TRAIL: 2018 Arts Writers Grants recipients announced; Margo Jefferson on intersectionality and journalism
The City of New York has proposed designating the Strand bookstore’s building as a historical landmark. But current owner Nancy Bass Wyden is asking the city to reconsider their plans. Wyden says that the designation would strain the stores finances by making renovations and upkeep more costly,

[The Millions] December 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 (the last of 2018!). Find more December

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: Shobha Rao
My reading choices this year were far more focused than they have ever been—rage has a way of focusing you, as does getting the Grace Paley Teaching Fellowship at The New School. I spent most of the year reading in preparation for my course, “Traditions in Non-Western Feminism,” and began by

[Book Forum] VIDEO: Lawrence P. Jackson: 2018 National Book Festival

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Far more time
Confronting the specter

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: From France
France’s violent yellow vest protests are a backlash against more than Macron’s fuel tax

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: Brandon Hobson
Like probably most people reading this, last year I read a great deal and obviously can’t mention everything in this space. In terms of these books, I read some chilly motherfuckers and some funny motherfuckers. Here are a few standouts from 2018: Erika Wurth’s Buckskin Cocaine, a wild and

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: Ada Limón
It seems like the years get longer and longer at this moment in time. Remember when we thought 2017 was a long year? And this year? How do we count the hours as they elongate in the world’s strange suffering. What helped me navigate the world most this year (and every year?) was books. While I

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Era of nativist populism
The complex roots of populism

[Book Forum] PAPER TRAIL: “A Public Space” starts book publishing imprint; “Dublin Murder Squad” adapted for TV
Literary magazine A Public Space is starting a book publishing imprint. “If you’ve encountered any of the writers that have been published in the magazine, you know that it’s a place for discovery,” said founder Brigid Hughes “and the books are going to have that kind of identity as

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: Kaitlyn Greenidge
Over the past year, I’ve thought so much about what a novel can actually do in the world. I have to agree with Airea D. Matthews, when she recently tweeted “I love poems…Poems, however, will not make the world a better place. What makes the world better is individual &

[Book Forum] VIDEO: Alan Hollinghurst: "The Sparsholt Affair" | Talks at Google

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Look out
About to end

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Of philosophy
Philosophical differences across

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: M.C. Mah
Standing athwart the evident passage of a year, shuddering, “No.” Never have I claimed to be well-read; I exhibit reading behavior. Taking honest account of it feels akin to my book of the year 2017, Alissa Nutting’s “Grub Street Diet,” wherein she wrote, “I like texture more than

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: Samantha Hunt
I spent 2018 reading ghost stories, finding it easier to deal with the land of the dead than the land of living. A few favorites: Amparo Dávila’s “The Guest” from the excellent Small Beer Press anthology Three Messages and a Warning: Contemporary Mexican Stories of the Fantastic, Mariana

[Book Forum] DAILY REVIEW: We Can Save Us All by Adam Nemett
Adam Nemett's debut novel We Can Save Us All deserves points for ambition. In just under four hundred pages he's folded in the campus novel, socialist activism, toxic masculinity, psychopharmacology, communalism, American mythology, the anthropocene, and the apocalypse. All from the perspective of

[Guardian Books Blog] Sequel rights and wrongs: why some stories should be allowed to end
It makes sense to continue The Handmaid’s Tale in the Trump era, but going back to Call Me By Your Name risks ruining the first book (for which there are spoilers here)While Luca Guadagnino’s 2017 film of Call Me By Your Name ended with lovers Elio and Oliver parting ways on the phone, André

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Redesign of humanity’s nature
Genetically modified people are walking among us

[Book Forum] PAPER TRAIL: The religion of Denis Johnson; Publishing’s uneasy dependence on books about Trump
At The Point, Aaron Thier examines the themes of addiction, recovery, and god in Denis Johnson’s work. “Whatever ‘God’ meant to Johnson in his private life, ‘God’ in his fiction is a way of referring to those aspects of human experience that seem excessive or out of scale,” he writes.

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: Crystal Hana Kim
It’s easy to feel defeated these days. It takes more effort and conscious positivity to focus on the future, on the historic firsts. We elected a record number of women to the House this year, including 29-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib became the first Muslim

[Book Forum] VIDEO: Martha C. Nussbaum: The Monarchy of Fear

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Starting to come into view
A price for being unfriendly

[Salon Books] Attorney and author Seth Abramson: Donald Trump sets “new paradigm for treachery.” Part 1 of 2
Author of “Proof of Collusion” unpacks “the most wide-ranging federal criminal investigation” of our lifetimes

[The Millions] Must-Read Poetry: December 2018
Here are four notable books of poetry publishing in December. Who is Mary Sue? by Sophie Collins Before the core of this book—a sequence that considers the pristine “Mary Sue,” a female character in fan fiction who often seems to be the “author’s idealized self”—Collins includes a

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Constitutional norms break down
The rigging of American politics

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: Colin Winnette
I’m a painfully slow reader, and as such, my end of year reading lists are never impressively long. Still, I keep them. They do photos one better, capturing more than a moment, but a series of moments during which some small part of who I was shifted. Here are a few books from this year’s list,

[The Millions] A Year in Reading: Laila Lalami
Earlier this year, I read several great books on migration, borders, and identity-making in the United States: Valeria Luiselli’s powerful and riveting Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions, which follows Central American refugee children as their cases are heard in federal immigration

[Salon Books] Author and attorney Seth Abramson on why Mueller “will ultimately be victorious.” Part 2 of 2
Author of “Proof of Collusion” on how “one of the most infamous scandals” in American history unfolds from here

[Book Forum] OMNIVORE: Privacy in America
Understanding American privacy

[Book Forum] PAPER TRAIL: Michelle Obama’s unlikely literary hero; The struggle with sequels
In their annual state of the media column, Mother Jones examines “the toxic combination of Facebook’s anti-democratic effect, Donald Trump’s authoritarian presidency, and the rise of a bolder class of propagandists,” which they write “is the story that in many ways defined this year, and


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