Recent Articles

September 19, 2005

Jonathan Lethem wins MacArthur Genius Grant 0

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It’ll be in tomorrow’s papers and on most Web sites tonight at midnight but a couple of foreign papers have posted their stories early: Jonathan Lethem has been awarded a genius grant worth $500,000. I’ll update this post tomorrow with more details once all the winners are officially announced. Update: Well. Not much to report. […]

September 19, 2005

‘Punctuation can’t save your life’ 0

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A lengthy article in the Financial Times takes on America’s squeamishness with that most perplexing of punctuations, the semi-colon. Personally, I’m a big semi-colon fan (if one can be said to be a fan of a particular piece of punctuation), but Michael Kinsley, for example, is more cautious: “I use semicolons and I never really […]

September 18, 2005

The Yiddish Policemen’s Union 0

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Michael Chabon has announced a release date for his next novel, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, April 11, 2006. As some of you may recall, “The Yiddish Policemen’s Union is set in a parallel world in which the Jewish homeland was set up in Alaska rather than Israel, something that president Franklin D. Roosevelt considered during […]

September 18, 2005

Chain store horrors 0

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In the Guardian, Tim Adams bemoans the shrinking selection and big budget marketing fees wrought by ongoing consolidation in the British bookselling industry (taking their cues from the American chain stores, it seems.) Behind this trend is the head buyer of Waterstone’s, a man named Scott Pack. (via Using Books Weblog)

September 18, 2005

The home-schooling book boom 0

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There’s an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal about the under-the-radar boost in book sales due to the increasing popularity of home-schooling. According to the article, home-schoolers come in a few different flavors. “The majority of families who home-school are conservative Christians, to be sure. But another sizable portion are secular counterculturalists, and then […]

September 18, 2005

Hurricane help 0

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Colleen (a regular contributor at Bookslut) sent me an email about a program she’s working on to help kids displaced by Hurricane Katrina. It sounds like a great plan; here are the details: I’m working with a group in Baton Rouge who are helping children sheltered with their families at Southern University. We have put […]

September 15, 2005

Vonnegut’s late in life success 0

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Kurt Vonnegut’s A Man without a Country is turning into something of a surprise success thanks to prominent TV appearances and the fact that his essays appear to strike a chord with many Americans. From today’s AP story: “The book has reached the top 10 on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com, and publisher Seven Stories […]

September 15, 2005

Solitude for sale 0

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Writing at home can be distracting and discouraging. It’s hard to concentrate when surrounded by all your stuff. There’s TV to watch, chores to do, people to call on the phone, a dog to walk. Days can go by without a word ever being put on the page. So writers seek refuge outside their homes […]

September 15, 2005

Read This! 0

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The Litblog Co-op’s second selection has arrived! What is it? How will it be received? Will the Co-op be praised or reviled? You’ll have to go to the blog to find out.

September 14, 2005

Silly names 0

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C.S. Forester’s fictional naval hero, Horatio Hornblower (of the Hornblower series of adventure novels), has one of the more memorably silly names in literary history. So, British researchers were quite surprised when they found a real life Hornblower in centuries old census records. Other silly names uncovered: Boadicea Basher, Philadelphia Bunnyface, Faithful Cock, and many […]