Curiosities

December 27, 2009

Not Loving the List 0

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In the Chicago Tribune, Julia Keller explains why all the year-end lists are a tiresome exercise: “What annoys and disappoints me, though, is the chilly retrospective nature of such lists. They drain all of the blood from the critic’s job. They require a cold, methodical calculation of passions long past. They’re about yesterday’s yearning. Compiling […]

December 23, 2009

Bethanne Patrick’s Bottom 10 of 2009 0

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Book Studio‘s Bethanne Patrick‘s Top 10 and, perhaps more interestingly, Bottom 10 Books of the Year.  Patrick minces no words on Lethem, Kingsolver, Niffenegger, Moore, and Larsson.

December 22, 2009

Christmas Week New Releases 0

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Summertime, another work of fictionalized autobiography (following Boyhood and Youth) from Nobel Laureate J.M. Coetzee arrives this week. Also, new this week is Psycho Too, an illustrated travelogue collaboration between Will Self and Ralph Steadman. Of the book, PW says “Self is far from a reliable tour guide, but his eye for seldom-trod byways and […]

December 22, 2009

Mapping Short Story Titles 0

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The B.O.M.M. blog looked at our recent item Best American Short Stories: By the Numbers, in which we crunched some numbers behind the Best American Short Stories series, and created a nifty word map of the short story titles that appeared in the series from 1978 to 2008. “The most frequent word for a title […]

December 19, 2009

A Year in Reading from The New Yorker 0

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New Yorker contributors – including a couple of participants in our “Year in Reading” series – offer a predictably thoughtful and heterodox guide to the best books they read this year.

December 16, 2009

Fiction Contest at Columbia 0

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Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art has a fiction, nonfiction and poetry contest going on that pays $500 to first prize winners. Joshua Ferris is judging the fiction entries. Deadline is 1/1/2010.

December 16, 2009

Previewing Batuman 0

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The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them, the forthcoming debut effort by sometime Millions contributor Elif Batuman, gets an intriguing write-up in Publishers Weekly.

December 16, 2009

“Afro Picks” Image & Pun Draws Criticism 0

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The cover image of this week’s Publisher’s Weekly, which centers around an annual  feature on African American book publishing,  is drawing a lot of attention, mostly negative. Read PW senior news editor Calvin Reid‘s explanation/mea culpa.

December 15, 2009

Fictional Characters Read Fiction 1

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Dan Humphrey, a character on Gossip Girl, names his top 10 books of 2009.

December 15, 2009

Covering Eco 0

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Following up on a contest to redesign the cover of Lolita, Venus Febriculosa is at it again with a contest to redesign the cover of Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose. The prize this time is a whopping $1,000.