Quick Hits

March 29, 2007

Oprah and the Recluse 6

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You’ve got to hand it to Oprah. After a public snub from Jonathan Franzen, an abrupt switch to focusing on classic books, and a return to the contemporary with a confessional memoir that turns out to plagiarized – resulting in the very public humiliation of its author on her show – one would think that […]

March 28, 2007

Early Looks at Upcoming Books: Chabon, McEwan, DeLillo, Murakami 0

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If I’m planning on seeing a movie, I don’t typically look at reviews of it beforehand. I prefer to go into the experience with an open mind. And even though newspaper movie reviewers don’t tend to “spoil” the key plot points, I’d just as well not know anything about the plot so that every twist […]

March 27, 2007

Top Tens: Their Silliness, Their Allure 0

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Longtime Millions reader Laurie sent in her reaction to all these “top ten” book lists that have been floating around in recent months, while also, of course, sharing her own: In the wake of the release of The Top Ten, [there is also a Web site] a collection of top ten books chosen by 125 […]

March 20, 2007

R is for Ridiculous 1

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In a List at McSweeney’s, Chris Steck ponders what might happen when Sue Grafton runs out of letters for her series of novels (she’s up to S is for Silence, so letters are running short). Steck posits that F1 Is for Help might be a good option. He’s got some other ideas too. James Patterson […]

March 19, 2007

Still Tied for the Lead, But for How Long 0

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Very clever of The Morning News to do this whole bracket competition with their Tournament of Books, because here I am writing about it again. I can’t help myself, especially with the palpable frisson of being tied for first. In all seriousness, though, I’ve greatly enjoyed both the write ups by the various judges and […]

March 17, 2007

A New, Old Trend: ‘Assistant Lit’ 5

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Skimming through the CS Monitor book section I came upon a capsule review describing Because She Can by Bridie Clark as the latest example of “assistant lit.” I assume that this trend hit the big time with the success of The Devil Wears Prada, and the subsequent movie version. But just as some see Jane […]

March 14, 2007

The n+1 Spillover 3

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If you haven’t seen the action in the comments of Garth’s reply to n+1′s column on litblogs, it’s worth a look, as the discussion has, shall we say, flowed onward. Mark, meanwhile, has begun posting “an irregular featurette” called “The n+1 Letters” in which he revisits the correspondence he has had with the magazine in […]

March 8, 2007

Gabo Gets Back To Work 2

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In late 2004, I received this question from a reader: I’m wondering when the next volume of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s autobiography is coming out – anyone know? At the time I didn’t have an answer, but I instead managed to stumble upon the news, then ricocheting across the Spanish-speaking world, that he had finished a […]

March 8, 2007

A New New Yorker Web Site 1

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The New Yorker has unveiled a new version of its Web site, and while I applaud its clean look, the addition of much more content accessible from the front page, and RSS feeds, there is one major problem: links to much of the site’s content from the years the magazine has been online are, as […]

March 8, 2007

A Plague of Sorts 1

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After finding out the Harold Bloom has read pretty much everything there is to read, Sandra announced that she had contracted Bloom Syndrome: “a condition in which the sufferer is unable to read any work of literature unless it is deemed Significant by Harold Bloom.” Luckily a number of readers provided various antidotes in the […]