Recent Articles

October 17, 2008

Inter Alia #13: Font Wars, the Phantom Menace 2

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Back in 2001, The Onion published a breathless report from a gala awards ceremony: The Fontys. A few dissenting voices groused about the night’s big winner, Helvetica Bold Oblique – “a bold as best font?” – but ebullience carried the night. “‘A million thanks to all the wonderful folks in the font community who believed […]

October 16, 2008

Umberto Eco vs. Junot Díaz 1

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This Guest post comes from Laurie Anderson. Laurie is a publicity assistant for a large Southern university. A Performance Comparison, Not a Literary Critique Umberto Eco gave three free lectures at Emory University in Atlanta October 5 through 7, and also did a reading and signing. All three lectures will be released in print form […]

October 15, 2008

2008 National Book Award Finalists Announced 2

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Award season is hitting a its stride, and this year’s National Book Award finalists have been announced. Looking at our speculative post of a couple weeks ago, we pegged Marilynne Robinson and Aleksandar Hemon as likely fiction finalists (kudos to Garth on guessing both). Joining them is 81-year-old Peter Matthiessen for a book that, as […]

October 15, 2008

A Little Publisher Hits the Big Time 1

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This guest post comes to us from Daniel E. Pritchard. Daniel works in production, sales, and marketing for David R. Godine, Publisher, in Boston. He has now read The Prospector. He is also a co-founder of The Pen & Anvil Press, The Boston Poetry Union, and writes a regular blog on literature and culture called […]

October 14, 2008

The Booker Has Landed 0

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Aravind Adiga of India has won the Booker Prize for his debut novel The White Tiger. In the official announcement, head judge Michael Portillo said “In the end, The White Tiger prevailed because the judges felt that it shocked and entertained in equal measure. The novel undertakes the extraordinarily difficult task of gaining and holding […]

October 14, 2008

Haruki Murakami in Berkeley 4

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This past weekend, Haruki Murakami appeared at U.C. Berkeley’s Zellerbach Auditorium for a reading of his short stories and a wide-ranging conversation about his work and life. Despite my disappointment with his recent work, Murakami ranks as one of my favorite writers, and it was a pleasure to finally see the notoriously shy writer in […]

October 13, 2008

Football Books: A Best Sports Writing Addendum 5

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We have in the past noted the paucity of books about football among sports writing’s most cherished tomes (though there have been a few). Even in the list of “The Best Sports Journalism Ever” that I posted recently, there was only a single football piece represented (the Plimpton), and it is only obliquely about football. […]

October 13, 2008

Ask a Book Question: The 67th in a Series (The Concierge) 1

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Theresa writes in with this request: I saw a book at Barnes & Noble one day. It was on the new book table. But there was only one copy, and not sure if it’s a new book translation or someone just dropped the book on the table. The book was a translation and fiction. The […]

October 12, 2008

The Best Sports Journalism Ever (According to Bill Simmons) 13

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I’m still fairly new to reading ESPN’s Bill Simmons (and despite his relentless Boston boosterism, I get a kick out of his columns). One reason is that he has some interests beyond the ballfield, quite rare for folks who make a living in sports punditry, and contained within his columns, you’ll sometimes find gems like […]

October 9, 2008

France’s Le Clezio Wins the Nobel Prize for Literature 0

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After all the talk that America is a literary backwater, it’s not terribly surprising that the Nobel Prize went to an international writer. Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio is not a very well known name. In fact, he only has a few of books translated into English that are in print. Wandering Star “tells two discrete […]