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  • As part of their This Means War series, which marks the centenary of World War I, The Irish Times published a short story by Belinda McKeon. Sample quote: “Strange the way the mundane memories are the ones to push through most forcefully.”


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • “These sorts of connections are at the centre of nearly all time machine fiction. These novels usually draw attention to telling commonalities across historical eras, or between the past and the present. That gives an engaging puzzle quality to the books—we read seeking out the dropped clues that will shed light on the purpose of the parallel.” On fiction in which the plot takes place over multiple timelines.


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • The new David Mitchell novel, The Bone Clocks, ends in rural Ireland, which explains why Kathryn Schulz chose to interview Mitchell on a walk through the Irish countryside. At Vulture, she talks with Mitchell about supercontinents, writing in childhood and the global scope of his work. You could also read the story Mitchell recently wrote on Twitter.


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • If you have a blog, you’ve probably fielded suggestions from your relatives about what you should write, who you should write about and what personal issues you should address in your posts. At The Hairpin, Michelle Markowitz shares a conversation with her mother on the subject.


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • New this week: The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton; The Story of Land and Sea by Katy Simpson Smith; Lisette’s List by Susan Vreeland; Fives and Twenty Fives by Michael Pitre; Mr. Tall by Tony Earley; and Love, of a Kind by Felix Dennis. For more on these and other new titles, check out our Great Second-half 2014 Book Preview. Support The Millions: Bookmark this link and start there when you shop at Amazon.


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • Recommended Reading: Alexandra Schwartz on Boris Vian’s Mood Indigo


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • Friday would have been Ray Bradbury’s 94th birthday, which is why Dan Piepenbring, at The Paris Review Daily, looked back on one of Bradbury’s classic stories and picked out some choice quotes from his Art of Fiction interview. Piepenbring also pointed out that the story gets a mention in, among other places, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. You could supplement this by reading Tanjil Rashid on the author’s Middle East connection.


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • In his novels and plays, Sebastian Barry often focuses on segment of Irish society that tends to get ignored in literature — the Irishmen who fought for the British Empire in the first and second World Wars. At Full-Stop, John Cussen reads The Temporary Gentleman, which portrays a British officer, Jack McNulty, who sets out to write his memoirs. (Related: Matt Kavanagh wrote a piece for The Millions on Irish financial fiction after the crash of 2008.)


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • Male bonding can take many forms, among them the rarely-seen joint book tour, which Mike Harvkey and Josh Weil decided to undertake in support of their new novels. The two write about meeting each other, travelling around America and bouncing ideas off trusted friends in a Salon essay. FYI, our own Bill Morris wrote a piece about his own book tour for The Daily Beast.


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • Recommended reading: Sara Paretsky writes for The Independent on George Eliot‘s The Mill on the Floss and the sibling bond so seldom portrayed in English fiction.


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    ~Kaulie Lewis
  • “Flooded with data as we are, each day brings even more innovations and technologies to help us mine, sort, and generate even more information. Asking about the future of libraries is another way of asking where this big, hot mess of information is taking us.” Justin Wadland reviews three books on libraries and attempts to predict the future of these institutions in a piece for the Los Angeles Review of Books. Meanwhile, Florida Polytechnic University has just opened and its library has no books at all.


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    ~Kaulie Lewis
  • Something to do with those last remaining days of vacation: go on a national indie bookstore tour, as designed by Chin Music Press.


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    ~Kaulie Lewis