by The Book Report
Not discussed in this episode: cakes, quick breads, those French cookies Proust was always droning on about, Ashton Kutcher, pogs, and Izzy Stradlin.0
Pineapples in a Hothouse: Writing Culture in ‘Dear Committee Members’ and ‘Twilight of the Eastern Gods’
by John Yargo
As a promising Albanian writer, Kadare was invited to Moscow, where he met the odd mix of Party sycophants and belles-lettrists that was the Soviet intelligentsia.1
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Mark O'Connell looks at Tommy Wiseau’s "The Room". the "Face-Palm Fresco Affair" and explores the secrets of viral fame.Buy for $1.99
Reading books is great; buying books is better. But how should they be organized? NPR, under the guidance of librarian Kee Malesky, has some pointers.
The e-book subscription service Oyster has recently launched The Oyster Review, and we have reason to be excited: the first issue names our own Emily St. James Mandel‘s Last Night in Montreal “The Book of the Week” and features a look at the novel written by former Millions intern Rachel Hurn.
Murray Farish‘s debut collection, Inappropriate Behavior, includes tales of fictionalized or alternative history that incline toward the surreal. He discusses the “principally and unaccountably strange” with Evelyn Somers, who has written about his work before, at Bloom. Fancy yourself more weirdness? Head to Weird Fiction Review curated by Jeff VanderMeer, whose Southern Reach trilogy was just released in one volume.
“Shelley once called poets the ‘unacknowledged legislators of the world,'” but has the social role of poetry changed since Shelley’s time?
“It’s not clear whether he really went mad or not, but he was admitted to St. Luke’s Hospital for Lunatics—an admirably blunt name, no?”— Frank Key writes about Christopher Smart, “an intimate of Samuel Johnson, James Boswell, and Henry Fielding” and an excellent cat poet, for the Public Domain Review.
Our staff writer Nick Ripatrazone has published two books in the last year – the short story collection Good People and the novella We Will Listen For You – and both have recently been reviewed in New Jersey papers, which agree that the books are “an invitation to look beyond the stone walls of churches and gape in wonder at the world and the unknowable vistas beyond.” Pair with Nick’s ever-relevant essays on teaching English and becoming a writer, not a priest.
What accounts for the incredible popularity of Chicken Soup for the Soul? The inspirational book series has continually sold well since the first volume was published in 1993. At Slate, Katy Waldman investigates its appeal.
Chances are that your mental image of Pavlov is that of a man giving commands to a barking dog. However, as a new biography makes clear, the doctor who brought us his very own adjective has a far more complicated legacy. In The New Yorker, Michael Specter writes about the man behind the bell.
Why is it okay to say “I’m working on a novel” but not okay to say “I’m working on my novel”? The former is a normal, straightforward, expression, while the latter smacks of arrogance and self-absorption. At Bookforum, Jesse Barron writes about the oddity of Working on My Novel, a collection of retweets (you read that correctly) of writers telling the world about their labors. It might also be a good time to read Dominic Smith on the number of novelists at work in America. (h/t Arts and Letters Daily)
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Read More The Millions Top 10 October 2014
The Bone Clocks David Mitchell
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves Karen Joy Fowler
The Novel: A Biography Michael Schmidt
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage Haruki Murakami
Station Eleven Emily St. John Mandel
Reading Like a Writer Francine Prose
Cosmicomics Italo Calvino
My Struggle: Book 1 Karl Ove Knausgaard
The Narrow Road to the Deep North Richard Flanagan