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  • Fancy yourself a trivia buff? This quiz might be your undoing. In The Guardian, you can test your knowledge of prominent bands in fiction, from real-life bands that reference books to bands in famous novels.


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • Recommended Reading: Rene Denfeld and Stephanie Feldman on the line between realism and fantasy in their debut novels.


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • Last month, Austin Bunn published The Brink, his debut collection of short stories. The stories, as Ryan Krull describes them in The Rumpus, hinge on pushing characters to some personal limit of behavior. In an interview, Bunn talks about why that is, as well as his new short film, In the Hollow.


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • Books by Friends, a semi-regular feature at The Atlantic, sees writer James Fallows recommend the works of authors he knows. This week, he praises a book on the history of flight, a prediction for the economy and a jeremiad on American politics by Gary Hart. You could also read our own Kevin Hartnett on Fallows and American decline.


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • Since they got married and began working 33 years ago, Larissa Volokhonsky and Richard Pevear have translated around 30 works of Russian literature, from The Brothers Karamazov to Doctor Zhivago. Now their interview with the Paris Review is available online from the Literary Hub, and this seems as good a time as ever to bring up that constant debate: who’s greater, Tolstoy or Dostoevsky?


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    ~Kaulie Lewis
  • Over at the New Republic Year in Reading alum William Giraldi writes his “Confessions of a Catholic Novelist,” and they include ruminations on Graham Greene, Flannery O’Connor, and Walker Percy, as well as on the inevitable impact being raised in the Church has on his own work and the writing of many, many others. Giraldi’s essay pairs very well with the work of our own Nick Ripatrazone, who has reviewed Giraldi’s Hold the Dark, written about teaching Flannery O’Connor to high school students, and just this week discussed the current state of independent Catholic literature.


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    ~Kaulie Lewis
  • Recommended reading: “A Book Buyer’s Lament,” from Ken Kalfus for the New Yorker.


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    ~Kaulie Lewis
  • Sarcasm makes the Internet go round. No, seriously, it basically does, and over at The Toast a linguist examines some of the strategies writers have developed, or are trying to develop, to communicate that sarcasm through writing, without the benefit of an eye-roll and a different tone of voice.


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    ~Kaulie Lewis
  • Maybe nobody read your first, or last, most recent or only book, but writer, take heart: nobody read the work of these 10 great authors either.


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    ~Kaulie Lewis
  • “May God give me the courage to finish it:” The London Review of Books profiles one woman’s attempt to translate Finnegans Wake into Mandarin Chinese.


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    ~Kaulie Lewis
  • “I have wasted my life.” Over at the Paris Review, Dan Piepenbring takes a look at James Wright‘s “Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota” and the many interpretations readers have brought to its famous last line. Among those readers is David Mitchell, who wrote about the same poem in an essay for The Atlantic‘s By Heart series earlier this year.


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    ~Kaulie Lewis
  • There are some charming children’s books, some really bad ones, and then finally there’s Fight Club 4 Kids, which somehow manages to be both. Watch Chuck Palahniuk read the (fake) children’s version of his classic novel in this video from Mashable.


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    ~Kaulie Lewis