Recent Articles

January 25, 2006

Ship breaking 0

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Anybody who read William Langewiesche’s book The Outlaw Sea or is simply interested in the modern day high seas should take a look at Brendan Corr’s photo essay from Foreign Policy magazine. It chronicles ship breaking in Bangladesh, the process by which the world’s tankers and freighters, ready to be retired but unwanted by any […]

January 25, 2006

Handy 0

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This would come in handy on the train. But would I have the guts to use it in public?

January 24, 2006

Oxford English Dictionary (OED) online 0

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The BBC is offering limited online access to the OED as part of a BBC miniseries on the famous (and famously huge) dictionary. Unfortunately, it’s only available until February 13, and according to Boing Boing they are trying to limit access to Brits only. However, you may want to try to get in, because I […]

January 23, 2006

Wade Rubenstein’s Gullboy: A Review 1

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It’s a balancing act. How do you express yourself within a rich tradition without resorting to cliche? The deeper you go into the tradition, into the familiar, the more blindingly original your own expression really needs to be. Take, for example, the songs of Will Oldham. A staggeringly good songwriter, his understated records resonate long […]

January 23, 2006

The White Earth by Andrew McGahan: A Review 0

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Andrew McGahan’s The White Earth was a big deal when it came out in Australia in 2004. His previous novels had given him a following, but The White Earth was the winner of the Miles Franklin Prize, Australia’s richest literary award, catapulting him to a new level of recognition. The book is a multigenerational tale […]

January 22, 2006

The People’s Act of Love by James Meek: A Review 0

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A few of the twentieth century Russian history books that I’ve read have touched on a detachment of Czech soldiers who were stranded in Russia after World War I. The Bolshevik Revolution soon followed and the soldiers remained stranded, thousands of miles from home. The soldiers who numbered as many as 40,000 and were stretched […]

January 21, 2006

Ask a Book Question: The 42nd in a Series (Garcia Marquez and Kawabata) 1

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Ashok writes in with this question about a pair of “magical realists:” I heard that Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Memories of My Melancholy Whores can be read as a continuation of a Yasunari Kawabata novel. Can you tell me which is that novel? Kawabata was the first Japanese Nobel Laureate in literature (1968), and while not […]

January 20, 2006

Quick links 0

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I’ve gotten a little behind in my reviews of books I’ve read recently. Maybe I’ll get to it this weekend or early next week. In the meantime here are three literary links that caught my eye today: The many challenges of turning books with non-textual elements into audiobooks. Also discussed: how to verbally render David […]

January 18, 2006

Care for a Drink? 0

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Yet another use for books (other than reading them): pile them up and use them as a bar.

January 18, 2006

Oprah picks a real memoir 0

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Still in the throes of controversy surrounding James Frey’s A Million Little Pieces, Oprah has selected Elie Wiesel’s memoir Night as the next selection for her book club. While this selection was no doubt in the works long before the Frey controversy, the juxtaposition is still remarkable. Frey’s confessional, sensationalized addiction memoir, the credibility of […]