Recent Articles

September 26, 2004

Ask a Book Question: The 27th in a Series (Classifying Classics) 0

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Tiffany writes in with this intriguing question: What qualifications does a book have to meet in order to be considered as a classic? This is probably an argument almost as old as the written word. Nearly everyone who reads has an opinion on what should or shouldn’t be a “classic,” and the criteria for this […]

September 26, 2004

Dylan Speaks 0

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This week’s Newsweek has an excerpt of Bob Dylan’s new memoir, Chronicles, Vol. 1.

September 23, 2004

Booker Shortlist Excerpt Extravaganza 0

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The Booker frenzy is reaching a fevered pitch. I’ve scoured the web for the words of the shortlisted authors. Place your bets accordingly. The Electric Michelangelo by Sarah Hall — excerpt Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst — profile Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell — excerpt The Master by Colm Toibin — excerpt I’ll Go […]

September 23, 2004

A Book of Baghdad 0

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Anyone who read Jon Lee Anderson’s accounts in the New Yorker of the weeks leading up to and during the American invasion of Baghdad probably shares my interest in Anderson’s new book, The Fall Of Baghdad, which chronicles those events. I was recently told by someone from Penguin that this book is all new material, […]

September 20, 2004

The Litblogosphere 0

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There are probably two cardinal rules of blogging; that is, there are two things that a blogger must do to have a fully realized blog within the mass that is the blogosphere. One, the blogger should post relatively frequently and consistently, several times a week lets say. Second, a blogger should link to other blogs. […]

September 19, 2004

Ask a Book Question: The Twenty-sixth in a Series (Next from a Recluse) 0

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Well, after the Gabriel Garcia Marquez scoop, I suppose people are expecting the impossible from me. Lou writes in with this question: what of thomas pynchon? we last heard that he was working on a novel about a russian female mathematician but that was a couple of years ago. should we begin to wait for […]

September 19, 2004

Hardcover or Paperback? 0

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In a post last December, I briefly explained why books first come out in hardcover and then, nine to eighteen months later, they come out in cheaper paperback versions. This has become a standard in the book industry, and as a result, some readers, myself included, are leery of books that come out in paperback […]

September 16, 2004

Book News 0

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On Monday I saw Marjane Satrapi speak at a local bookstore. Her graphic novel Persepolis has been a great success, and now she’s out promoting the sequel, Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return. As a speaker she was surprisingly frank and funny. When someone asked her about her self-imposed exile in France, she described […]

September 14, 2004

Juvenile Fun with Famous Poetry 0

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A couple of years ago at my old job as a group of us frittered away the last hours of the night shift, my coworker Lucia, who runs the world’s coolest online book store, entertained us with a fun little trick. She discovered that if you take William Carlos Williams’ famous poem about chickens, “The […]

September 14, 2004

Ask a Book Question: The Twenty-fifth in a Series (Desperately Seeking Sequels) 0

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Rosanne writes in and, faintly echoing the last Book Question, asks about another multi-volume, highly praised biography: I’m wondering when the next volume of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s autobiography is coming out – anyone know? I learned two things in attempting to find an answer to this question. First, the Spanish language media, and particularly the […]