Recent Articles

May 12, 2004

Ask a Book Question: the Nineteenth in a Series (The Case of the Missing Sequel) 0

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Christian writes in with this question: What ever happened to the sequel to Harlot’s Ghost that Normal Mailer was to write at some time? Only a personality as audacious as Norman Mailer would have the brazenness to end a daring and ambitious 1400 page novel with the words “To Be Continued” without knowing whether or […]

May 12, 2004

Lipsky Chats 0

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There’s been a lot about soldiers in the news recently, both good and bad, and suddenly all us civilians are struggling to understand military culture. For the curious it might be worth taking a look at David Lipsky’s Absolutely American (I’ll be reading it sometime soon since it’s on the reading queue). The book is […]

May 11, 2004

Ask a Book Question: The Eighteenth in a Series (Showing Your Cards) 0

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My good and old friend Hot Face, I mean, “Larry ‘Boom Boom’ Delvechhio” writes in with this question about going for broke and laying it all out on the line. Howyadoin’. I was recently in beyootyful Atlantic City–business trip–and I’m thinkin’, geez, this crap is fascinatin’. Is there any, like, books on the subject of […]

May 10, 2004

Dissing Doctorow 0

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The New York Times’ Michiko Kakutani shows her extreme distaste for E. L. Doctorow’s new collection, Sweet Land Stories, as well as movies based on Doctorow’s books. (LINK) “Several of E. L. Doctorow’s novels – Ragtime, Welcome to Hard Times, The Book of Daniel and Billy Bathgate – have been turned into plodding, overproduced movies. […]

May 10, 2004

Bribing the Retail Set 0

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I was rather astounded by this article in The Guardian today about publishers taking retailers on lavish trips to promote their latest books: to Pompeii for Robert Harris’ Pompeii, to New York for Hillary Clinton’s Living History, and to Madrid for David Beckham’s Beckham aka My Side. Before I get into how unsavory this practice […]

May 9, 2004

Quick Notes 0

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A new book about a largely forgotten civil rights battle is getting good reviews. One Man’s Castle by Phyllis Vine tells the true story of an African American doctor in Detroit in 1925 named Ossian Sweet. The day he moved his family into a white neighborhood, his house was surrounded by an angry mob throwing […]

May 8, 2004

Broadway Bashing 0

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In today’s Public Editor column in the New York Times, Daniel Okrent takes the opportunity to mercilessly bash the Tony Awards as well as the Times’ lavish coverage of them. The only productions eligible for Tony’s are ones that take place “on” Broadway as opposed to “Off,” despite the fact that “the various Off or […]

May 7, 2004

Big Brother or the Wave of the Future 0

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There’s been much discussion lately, some of it bordering on hysterical, about radio-frequency identification devices or RFIDs. The idea is that the barcode will be replaced by a tiny radio transmitter that will allow computers to monitor inventory in real time as it sits on the shelves. It would also make things more efficient at […]

May 6, 2004

Nabokov and His Butterflies 0

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This morning I read this bittersweet story in the New York Times about the auctioning of Vladimir Nabokov’s personal effects by his son Dmitri. As Dmitri has no heirs, it was agreed before the elder Nabokov’s death that it would be best to sell the collection before the death of the younger Nabokov. Reading the […]

May 5, 2004

Another Brit Prize 0

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The shortlist for the Samuel Johnson Prize was announced today. The prize, run by the BBC, “aims to reward the best of non-fiction, from biography, travel and popular science to the arts and current affairs.” The winner will be announced on June 15th. Here are the shortlisted titles: A Short History of Nearly Everything by […]