The Middlesteins: A Novel

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The Millions Top Ten: September 2013

We spend plenty of time here on The Millions telling all of you what we’ve been reading, but we are also quite interested in hearing about what you’ve been reading. By looking at our Amazon stats, we can see what books Millions readers have been buying, and we decided it would be fun to use those stats to find out what books have been most popular with our readers in recent months. Below you’ll find our Millions Top Ten list for September. This Month Last Month Title On List 1. 2. The Pioneer Detectives 3 months 2. 1. Taipei 4 months 3. 7. Fox 8 3 months 4. 5. The Orphan Master's Son 4 months 5. - Bleeding Edge 1 month 6. 10. Night Film 2 months 7. 8. Visitation Street 3 months 8. 9. The Interestings 3 months 9. - MaddAddam 1 month 10. - The Lowland 1 month This month our second ebook original The Pioneer Detectives moves into the top spot as the book continues to garner very positive reviews from readers. We hope you'll pick it up if you haven't already. Meanwhile, our list sees a big shake up as three books graduate to our Hall of Fame: Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk: Ben Fountain's book won the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award. Fountain appeared in our Year in Reading, and Edan Lepucki interviewed him in these pages last June. Stand on Zanzibar: Ted Gioia penned a very popular piece about the remarkably prescient predictions contained within John Brunner’s book and readers ran to check it out. The Middlesteins: Author Jami Attenberg made an appearance in our Year in Reading in December. These graduates make room for three heavy-hitting debuts, all of which appeared in our big second-half preview: Bleeding Edge by Thomas Pynchon, MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood (don't miss Atwood's appearance in our Year in Reading; we haven't quite tracked down Pynchon yet for this), and The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri. Near Misses: Vampires in the Lemon Grove, The Flamethrowers, Life After Life, They Don't Dance Much and Telex from Cuba. See Also: Last month's list.

The Millions Top Ten: August 2013

We spend plenty of time here on The Millions telling all of you what we’ve been reading, but we are also quite interested in hearing about what you’ve been reading. By looking at our Amazon stats, we can see what books Millions readers have been buying, and we decided it would be fun to use those stats to find out what books have been most popular with our readers in recent months. Below you’ll find our Millions Top Ten list for August. This Month Last Month Title On List 1. 1. Taipei 3 months 2. 9. The Pioneer Detectives 2 months 3. 5. Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk 6 months 4. 2. Stand on Zanzibar 6 months 5. 4. The Orphan Master's Son 4 months 6. 3. The Middlesteins 6 months 7. 10. Fox 8 2 months 8. 8. Visitation Street 2 months 9. 6. The Interestings 2 months 10. - Night Film 1 month Tao Lin's Taipei remains in our top spot. (For more on the book's success in our Top Ten, take a look at my commentary on June's list.) Meanwhile, our Millions Original The Pioneer Detectives by Konstantin Kakaes surges into the second spot and continues to win rave reviews from readers. Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain was also a mover, landing in the third spot as it nears graduation to our illustrious Hall of Fame. Our one debut this month is Marisha Pessl's anticipated sophomore effort Night Film. Our own Bill Morris called the book a "stirring second act" but commenters have voiced strong disagreement. Pessl bumps Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell from the Top Ten (at least for now). Other Near Misses: They Don't Dance Much, Speedboat, Wonder Boys and My Struggle: Book 1. See Also: Last month's list.

The Millions Top Ten: July 2013

We spend plenty of time here on The Millions telling all of you what we’ve been reading, but we are also quite interested in hearing about what you’ve been reading. By looking at our Amazon stats, we can see what books Millions readers have been buying, and we decided it would be fun to use those stats to find out what books have been most popular with our readers in recent months. Below you’ll find our Millions Top Ten list for July. This Month Last Month Title On List 1. 3. Taipei 2 months 2. 4. Stand on Zanzibar 5 months 3. 5. The Middlesteins 5 months 4. 7. The Orphan Master's Son 3 months 5. 8. Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk 5 months 6. - The Interestings 1 month 7. 9. Vampires in the Lemon Grove 4 months 8. - Visitation Street 1 month 9. - The Pioneer Detectives 1 month 10. - Fox 8 1 month   Big changes on our list this month as four titles graduate to our illustrious Hall of Fame. Let's run through new Hall of Famers quickly: Epic Fail: Bad Art, Viral Fame, and the History of the Worst Thing Ever: As many of our readers are already aware, staff writer Mark O'Connell's shorter-format ebook was The Millions' first foray into ebook publishing. We have been thrilled by the great reader response. And, if you haven't had a chance to check it out yet, why not mark its graduation to the Hall of Fame by checking out this special, little book (for only $1.99!) Tenth of December: 2013 opened with the book world agog over George Saunders' newest collection. He famously graced the cover of the New York Times Magazine under the banner "Greatest Human Ever in the History of Ever" (or something like that) and the book figured very prominently in our first-half preview. Unsurprisingly, all the hype helped drive a lot of sales. It also led our own Elizabeth Minkel to reflect on Saunders and the question of greatness in a thoughtful essay. Building Stories: Chris Ware has reached the point in his career (legions of fans, museum shows) where he can do whatever he wants. And what he wanted to do was produce a "book" the likes of which we hadn't seen before, a box of scattered narratives to be delved into any which way the reader wanted, all shot through with Ware's signature style and melancholy. Ware appeared in our Year in Reading last year with an unlikely selection. Mark O'Connell called Building Stories "a rare gift." Arcadia: Lauren Groff is another Millions favorite, though it took a bit longer for her book, first released in March 2012, to make our list. Our own Edan Lepucki interviewed Groff soon after the book's release, and Groff later participated in our Year in Reading, discussing her "year of savage, brilliant, and vastly underrated female writers." That leaves room, then, for four debuts on this month's list: The Interestings: Though Meg Wolitzer is already a well-known, bestselling author, her big novel seems to be on the slow burn trajectory to breakout status, with the word-of-mouth wave (at least in the part of the world that I frequent), building month by month. That word of mouth was perhaps helped along the way by Edan Lepucki's rollicking review, in which, among other things, she posited what it means for a "big literary book" to be written by someone other than a "big literary man." Visitation Street: Ivy Pochoda's new thriller featured prominently in our latest preview and carries the imprimatur of Dennis Lehane. That seems to have been enough to land the book on our list. The Pioneer Detectives: As one Millions Original graduates from our list, another arrives. The Pioneer Detectives, which debuted in the second half of July, is an ambitious work of page-turning reportage, the kind of journalism we all crave but that can often be hard to find. Filled with brilliant insights into how scientific discoveries are made and expertly edited by our own Garth Hallberg, The Pioneer Detectives is a bargain at $2.99. We hope you'll pick it up. Fox 8: And as one George Saunders work graduates from our list, another arrives. This one is an uncollected story, sold as an e-single. Meanwhile, Tao Lin's Taipei easily slides into our top spot. For more on the book's unlikely success in our Top Ten, don't miss my commentary for last month's list. Near Misses: They Don't Dance Much, Speedboat, My Struggle: Book 1, The Flamethrowers and Life After Life. See Also: Last month's list.

The Millions Top Ten: June 2013

We spend plenty of time here on The Millions telling all of you what we’ve been reading, but we are also quite interested in hearing about what you’ve been reading. By looking at our Amazon stats, we can see what books Millions readers have been buying, and we decided it would be fun to use those stats to find out what books have been most popular with our readers in recent months. Below you’ll find our Millions Top Ten list for June. This Month Last Month Title On List 1. 1. Epic Fail: Bad Art, Viral Fame, and the History of the Worst Thing Ever 6 months 2. 2. Tenth of December 6 months 3. - Taipei 1 month 4. 4. Stand on Zanzibar 4 months 5. 5. The Middlesteins 4 months 6. 6. Building Stories 6 months 7. 9. The Orphan Master's Son 2 months 8. 7. Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk 4 months 9. 8. Vampires in the Lemon Grove 3 months 10. 10. Arcadia 6 months   We had one debut on our list this month, and it may come as a surprise for readers who have been following the site. Our own Lydia Kiesling read Tao Lin's Taipei and came away viscerally turned off by a book that has received quite a lot of attention both for its attempt to forge a new style and for the aura of its author, who has an army of followers and is, as New York once called him, "a savant of self-promotion." Despite Lydia's misgivings, the book has been on balance reviewed positively, including in the Times. Still, Lydia's review - negative as it was - was utterly compelling (Gawker thought so too), and because of that, as I watched the sales of Taipei pile up last month, I was not completely surprised. After all, the last target of a stirring and controversial pan (don't miss the angry comments) at The Millions was Janet Potter's fiery takedown of Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy, and two of those three of those books now sit in comfortable retirement in our Hall of Fame. In the case of Taipei, the lion's share of credit of course goes to Lin for writing a book that readers are evidently very curious to read, but I think it is also true that a well crafted, properly supported, and strongly opinionated review like Lydia's can have the odd effect of compelling the reader to see what all the fuss is about. In fact, this phenomenon has been studied and a recent paper showed that, "For books by relatively unknown (new) authors, however, negative publicity has the opposite effect, increasing sales by 45%." (I think in the context of this study, it is fair to call Lin "relatively unknown." While Lin may be well-known among Millions readers, he is not a household name outside of certain households in Brooklyn, and when readers flocked to read the review from Gawker and other sites that linked to it, they may have been compelled to check the book out for themselves.) As we have known for a while at The Millions, to cover a book at all is to confer upon it that we believe the book is important, and whether you believe the book is "good" or "bad," Taipei was certainly worthy of our coverage. Otherwise, June was another quiet month for our list with the top two positions unchanged, including Millions ebook Epic Fail: Bad Art, Viral Fame, and the History of the Worst Thing Ever at number one, while An Arrangement of Light, Nicole Krauss's ebook-only short story graduates to our Hall of Fame. Next month, things will get interesting on our list as we may see as many as four books graduate to the Hall of Fame, opening up plenty of room for newcomers. Near Misses: Fox 8, The Interestings, All That Is, The Round House, and The Flamethrowers. See Also: Last month's list.

The Millions Top Ten: May 2013

We spend plenty of time here on The Millions telling all of you what we’ve been reading, but we are also quite interested in hearing about what you’ve been reading. By looking at our Amazon stats, we can see what books Millions readers have been buying, and we decided it would be fun to use those stats to find out what books have been most popular with our readers in recent months. Below you’ll find our Millions Top Ten list for May. This Month Last Month Title On List 1. 1. Epic Fail: Bad Art, Viral Fame, and the History of the Worst Thing Ever 5 months 2. 2. Tenth of December 5 months 3. 3. An Arrangement of Light 6 months 4. 5. Stand on Zanzibar 3 months 5. 4. The Middlesteins 3 months 6. 6. Building Stories 5 months 7. 7. Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk 3 months 8. 10. Vampires in the Lemon Grove 2 months 9. - The Orphan Master's Son 1 month 10. 8. Arcadia 5 months   May was quiet for our list, with the top three positions unchanged, including Millions ebook Epic Fail: Bad Art, Viral Fame, and the History of the Worst Thing Ever at number one. Our one debut, an number eight, is Adam Johnson's much lauded The Orphan Master's Son, recent recipient of both the Pulitzer and the Rooster. Johnson's book pushes the David Foster Wallace essay collection Both Flesh and Not off the list. Other Near Misses: Fox 8, The Round House, All That Is, and Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief. See Also: Last month's list.

The Millions Top Ten: April 2013

We spend plenty of time here on The Millions telling all of you what we’ve been reading, but we are also quite interested in hearing about what you’ve been reading. By looking at our Amazon stats, we can see what books Millions readers have been buying, and we decided it would be fun to use those stats to find out what books have been most popular with our readers in recent months. Below you’ll find our Millions Top Ten list for April. This Month Last Month Title On List 1. 1. Epic Fail: Bad Art, Viral Fame, and the History of the Worst Thing Ever 4 months 2. 2. Tenth of December 4 months 3. 3. An Arrangement of Light 5 months 4. 4. The Middlesteins 2 month 5. 7. Stand on Zanzibar 2 months 6. 5. Building Stories 4 months 7. 8. Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk 2 months 8. 9. Arcadia 4 months 9. 10. Both Flesh and Not 5 months 10. - Vampires in the Lemon Grove 1 month   In September 2012, we interviewed Sadie Stein, one of the Paris Review editors behind Object Lessons: The Paris Review Presents the Art of the Short Story, a book that seems tailor-made to appeal to Millions readers. In it, a handful of accomplished short story writers -- Ann Beattie, Jeffrey Eugenides, Joy Williams, and so on -- were asked to pick a favorite story from the journal’s archive, then write a brief introduction explaining how the story spoke to them. After a six-month run, the book has now graduated to our Hall of Fame. Otherwise, our list doesn't see a whole lot of movement, with the top four positions unchanged, including Millions ebook Epic Fail: Bad Art, Viral Fame, and the History of the Worst Thing Ever at number one. Karen Russell's Vampires in the Lemon Grove is our one debut this month. We've interviewed Russell twice, in 2011 and again early this year. Vampires was also featured in our big 2013 book preview. Near Misses: The Round House, The Orphan Master's Son, Fox 8, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief, and Dear Life. See Also: Last month's list.

The Millions Top Ten: March 2013

We spend plenty of time here on The Millions telling all of you what we’ve been reading, but we are also quite interested in hearing about what you’ve been reading. By looking at our Amazon stats, we can see what books Millions readers have been buying, and we decided it would be fun to use those stats to find out what books have been most popular with our readers in recent months. Below you’ll find our Millions Top Ten list for March. This Month Last Month Title On List 1. 1. Epic Fail: Bad Art, Viral Fame, and the History of the Worst Thing Ever 3 months 2. 3. Tenth of December 3 months 3. 4. An Arrangement of Light 4 months 4. - The Middlesteins 1 month 5. 5. Building Stories 3 months 6. 6. Object Lessons: The Paris Review Presents the Art of the Short Story 6 months 7. - Stand on Zanzibar 1 month 8. - Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk 1 month 9. 8. Arcadia 3 months 10. 7. Both Flesh and Not 4 months   Last fall saw the arrival of three hotly anticpated titles from a trio of the most popular literary writers working today. Now those three titles are ending their run in our Top Ten by graduating to our Hall of Fame: This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz, NW by Zadie Smith, and Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon. Those graduations made room for three debuts. Jami Attenberg's The Middlesteins pops up at number four. Attenberg made an appearance in our Year in Reading in December. The most popular piece on The Millions last month, by a wide margin, was Ted Gioia's unearthing of John Brunner's Stand on Zanzibar and the remarkably prescient predictions contained within. The essay sent readers running to check out the book. Finally, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain completed its long, stead ascent onto our list. Fountain also appeared in our Year in Reading, and Edan Lepucki interviewed him in these pages last June. Our first ebook original, Epic Fail: Bad Art, Viral Fame, and the History of the Worst Thing Ever by staff writer Mark O'Connell, stayed atop our list and continues to win praise from readers and critics. An exerpt is available here and you can learn more about the book here. Near Misses: The Round House, Vampires in the Lemon Grove, Dear Life, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief, and Sweet Tooth. See Also: Last month's list.

A Year in Reading 2012

The end of another year is here (so soon? Ah, I'm getting old), and with it a flood of valedictory lists and wrap ups, accountings and scorecards. Each year, as these lists spill out across the landscape, the onslaught becomes difficult to parse and begins to feel suspiciously (to us, anyway) like a marketing boondoggle to support the promotional-book-cover-sticker-and-blurb industry. There are so many "best of the year" lists that everything is the best (and sometimes also the worst). So, how can we have some year-end fun while still extracting something meaningful from the effort? We readers tend to be a thoughtful bunch, noting down the titles we have read or lining them up one by one on a shelf. We are intellectually omnivorous as well and not too overly prejudiced toward the new or the old, picking up a 130-year-old classic of Russian literature and then following it up with the bestselling, beach read of the moment. Taken together, a long list of books read is a map of our year, and the best of these books are the year's pinnacles, and the challenging books, its rewarding treks. The "10 best books of 2012" list is so small next to this. And so in preparing our annual Year in Reading series, we've asked our esteemed guests to take us on a tour of these pinnacles and to give an accounting of these treks. With this in mind, for a ninth year, some of our favorite writers, thinkers, and readers will look back, reflect, and share. Their charge was to name, from all the books they read this year, the one(s) that meant the most to them, regardless of publication date. Grouped together, these ruminations, cheers, squibs, and essays will be a chronicle of reading and good books from every era. We hope you find in them seeds that will help make your year in reading in 2013 a fruitful one. As in prior years, the names of our 2012 "Year in Reading" contributors will be unveiled one at a time throughout the month as we publish their contributions. You can bookmark this post and follow the series from here, or load up the main page for more new Year in Reading posts appearing at the top every day, or you can subscribe to our RSS feed and follow along that way. Stephen Dodson, co-author of Uglier Than a Monkey’s Armpit, proprietor of Languagehat. Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. Emma Straub, author of Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures. Choire Sicha, co-proprietor of The Awl. Jeffrey Eugenides, author of Middlesex. Madeline Miller, author of The Song of Achilles. Gideon Lewis-Kraus, author of A Sense of Direction. Rob Delaney, comedian and writer. Nick Harkaway, author of The Gone-Away World. Tania James, author of Atlas of Unknowns. Alexander Chee, author of Edinburgh. Maria Popova, founder and editor of Brain Pickings. Lauren Groff, author of Arcadia. David Vann, author of Dirt. Helen Schulman, author of This Beautiful Life. Roxane Gay, author of Ayiti. Hari Kunzru, author of Gods Without Men. Rachel Fershleiser, co-editor of Not Quite What I Was Planning. Bill Morris, author of All Souls' Day, staff writer for The Millions. Scott Esposito, co-author of The End of Oulipo?, proprietor of Conversational Reading. Nick Moran, social media editor for The Millions. Emily St. John Mandel, author of The Lola Quartet, staff writer for The Millions. Edan Lepucki, author of If You're Not Yet Like Me, staff writer for The Millions. Janet Potter, staff writer for The Millions, blogger at At Times Dull. David Haglund, writer and editor at Slate. Zadie Smith, author of White Teeth. Chris Ware, author of Building Stories. Kevin Smokler, author of Practical Classics: 50 Reasons to Reread 50 Books You Haven't Touched Since High School, on twitter as @weegee. Thomas Mallon, author of Watergate. Geoff Dyer, author of Zona: A Book About a Film About a Journey to a Room. Susan Orlean, staff writer for The New Yorker, author of Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend. Michael Schaub, book critic for NPR.org. Matt Dojny, author of The Festival of Earthly Delights. Nell Freudenberger, author of The Newlyweds. Ed Park, author of Personal Days. Hamilton Leithauser, lead singer for the rock band The Walkmen. Meg Wolitzer, author of The Interestings. Sheila Heti, author of How Should a Person Be?. Paul Murray, author of Skippy Dies. Elliott Holt, author of You Are One of Them. Jami Attenberg, author of The Middlesteins. Antoine Wilson, author of Panorama City. Paul Ford, author of Gary Benchley, Rock Star, writer at Ftrain.com. Garth Risk Hallberg, author of A Field Guide to the North American Family. Lydia Kiesling, staff writer for The Millions. Mark O’Connell, staff writer for The Millions. Christian Lorentzen, editor at the London Review of Books. Michael Bourne, staff writer for The Millions. Emily M. Keeler, editor of Little Brother Magazine. Elizabeth Minkel, staff writer for The Millions. Nichole Bernier, author of The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D. Alix Ohlin, author of Inside. Lars Iyer, author of Exodus. Robin Sloan, author of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. Malcolm Jones, senior writer at Newsweek/The Daily Beast, author of Little Boy Blues. Susan Straight, author of Between Heaven and Here. Christine Schutt, author of Prosperous Friends. Patrick Somerville, author of This Bright River. Lydia Millet, author of Magnificence. Jennifer duBois, author of A Partial History of Lost Causes. Nick Dybek, author of When Captain Flint Was Still a Good Man. Reif Larsen, author of The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet. Megan Mayhew Bergman, author of Birds of a Lesser Paradise. Ellen Ullman, author of By Blood. Jane Hirshfield, author of Come, Thief. Michael Robbins, author of Alien vs. Predator. Jeet Thayil, author of Narcopolis. Thomas Beckwith, intern for The Millions. Benjamin Anastas, author of Too Good to Be True. Kate Zambreno, author of Heroines. Carolyn Kellogg, staff writer for the LA Times, a vice president of the National Book Critics Circle. Buzz Poole, author of Madonna of the Toast. Robert Birnbaum, editor-at-large at Identity Theory. Brian Joseph Davis, creator of The Composites, co-publisher of Joyland Magazine. Don't miss: A Year in Reading 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005 The good stuff: The Millions' Notable articles The motherlode: The Millions' Books and Reviews Like what you see? Learn about 5 insanely easy ways to Support The Millions, and follow The Millions on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr. Year in Reading Graphics by LK Magee

The Great Taxonomy of Literary Tumblrs: Round Two

[Ed Note: Don't miss Part One and Part Three!] Six months ago, I rounded up a list of my favorite literary Tumblr accounts. Half a year later, I’m pleased to see those blogs still going strong. I’m also pleased to see that a pile of the names on my Wish List came around to the land of likes and reblogs. In that regard, some shout outs are in order: Picador Book Room (and its “Sunday Sontags”) has become a favorite of The Millions’ social media team; The Strand made its way onto the blogging platform and we’re all better because of it; Poetry Magazine continues to draw from its enviable archives to bring some really exciting content to our Dashboard; and — whether it’s due to my friendly dig or their own volition — The Paris Review’s presence has been especially awesome of late. Indeed, the literary community on Tumblr is growing stronger by the day, and it has to be noted that a lot of that growth is due to Rachel Fershleiser’s evangelism and infectious enthusiasm. (An example of Rachel’s work was recapped recently by Millions staffer Lydia Kiesling as part of our own Emily M. Keeler’s Tumblr-centric #LitBeat column.) Alas, six months in the real world is different from six months online, and Tumblr now has not only its own Storyboard curatorial system (run by the vaguely Soviet-sounding Department of Editorial), but it’s also grown by a few million blogs. The site boasts a growing number of blogs that have inked book deals. Rachel maintains a running tally of poets and writers who use the platform in exciting ways. This past week, Molly Templeton organized a blog, The How-To Issue, specifically aimed at countering the gender imbalance in the recent "How-To" installment of The New York Times Book Review. As a testament to the number of smart, engaged literary folks on the site, that blog has since received posts from a Salon writer, a former New Yorker staffer, and quite a few artists and freelancers. So with all of that in mind, I’ve decided it’s time for another list — a better list, a bigger list. This list aims not only to cover blogs I missed last time, but also new blogs that have been born only recently. To that end, my rubric has been simple: 1) I’ve chosen blogs I not only believe to be the best and most compelling accounts out there, but also blogs that were overlooked on the last list — in some cases, readers helped me out in the last post’s comment thread. 2) I’ve done my best to ensure that these blogs are active members of the Tumblr community. 3) I’ve tried to make sure that the content on these blogs is “safe for work,” however I am but mortal, and perhaps some NSFW material will slip in between now and when you read this list. For that reason I can only caution you to use your judgment as you proceed. For your convenience, I’ve organized the list in a similar manner as last time. “Single-Servings” are blogs organized around one or two particular, ultra-specific themes. The rest of the categories should be self-explanatory. Please feel free to comment and shout out the ones I omitted or did not cover in Part One. 0. Shameless Self-Promotion The Millions: duh! 1. Single-Servings Book and Beer: The combination of everybody's favorite duo will tease you from your office chair. Match Book: Or is it, instead, that books and bikinis are an even better pair? Movie Simpsons: An encyclopedic recap of every film reference in The Simpsons. Now open to submissions. Underground NYPL: Pairs well with CoverSpy. I've yet to find a match, however. The Unquotables: Brought to you by Dan Wilbur (Better Book Titles, which is going to be a book!) and Robert Dean. The premise is simple: Gandhi didn't say that. Infinite Boston: A catalog of the locations mentioned in The Great Bandana's Infinite Jest. Write Place Write Time: Remember our WriteSpace project? (Which we Storify'd?) This is ongoing. The Composites: Composite sketches of characters in famous literature. Creepy ones, at that. Poets Touching Trees: Happy Arbor Day, poets! You Chose Wrong: The tragic fates of mistaken "Choose Your Own Adventure" readers. It's like reading The Gashlycrumb Tinies. Doodling on Famous Writers: Those warped lines beneath Proust's eyes really suit him. Old Book Illustrations: A visual treat for nostalgic book nerds. Visual Poetry: Exactly what it says it is, yet also much more. PBS' This Day in History: So much better to get this stuff on your Dashboard than in your inbox. Historical Nonfiction: This blog pairs well with the one above. Follow both and you'll rival Howard Zinn in no time. Writers and Kitties: I have often wondered about that particular feline-author bond. Page Twenty Seven: The text from one reader's collection of twenty seventh pages. Book Storey: Eye candy for lovers of book design. 2. Requisite "F*** Yeah!" Blogs Books! Book Arts! Manuscripts! 3. Foundations, Organizations and Writing Centers 826 Valencia: Dispatches and success stories from the California writing center focused on kids aged six to eighteen. It was co-founded by Dave Eggers. The National Book Foundation: They'll announce finalists for their big awards in October, so you've got some time to get acquainted with the foundation. The Moth: Fabulous stuff from the story gurus. I'll let Kevin Hartnett take it from here. The Poetry Society of America: Nice to see the nation's oldest poetry non-profit embrace one of the newest mediums for storytelling. Harry Ransom Center: They have more than David Foster Wallace's papers, you know. The Academy of American Poets: The organizers of National Poetry Month deliver some excellent Tumblr material, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't super relieved when they finally found Rob. PEN Live: A great example of a fresh, exciting way to use the blogging platform. PEN Live covers events put on by the PEN American Center. Poets & Writers: A great source of guidance for creative writers. Button Poetry: Performance poetry delivered straight to your Dashboard from the Twin Cities. VIDA Community: The creators of publishing's annual gender-imbalance list curate a really interesting list of updates on women, culture, and writing. 4. Humorous Sh*t My Students Write: Proof positive that more MFA graduates should be teaching in secondary schools. The Monkeys You Ordered: These literal New Yorker cartoon captions are topped only by this one comment applicable to all of them. What Should We Call Poets: Based on the grandmother that started them all. This is the GIF blog poets deserve, but not the one they need right now. Title 2 Come: You can never follow too many GIF blogs. This one is for for writers of every stripe. News Cat GIFs: Same as above. Last but not least, this one is for journalists. (Who like cats.) Least Helpful: The worst of the worst reviews from the annals of the internet. Hey, Author: It's like a Regina George's Burn Book for the literati. Alt Lit Gossip (Can be NSFW): HTMLGiant is leaking. 5. Literary, Cultural and Art Magazines or Blogs Recommended Reading: Home of the marvelous ongoing fiction series run by Electric Literature. Words Without Borders: Spreading the gospel of international and translated literature one Tumblr post at a time. Tin House: You (should) know the magazine. Now you should know their blog. VQR: The brand new companion to the invaluable source for great long-form and narrative journalism. n+1: They recently decided to kill off their Personals blog, so perhaps this one will become more active. New York Review of Books: Need I introduce them? Also, not to be missed, check out the NYRB Classics blog, A Different Stripe. Granta: Follow these guys for updates on the magazine's new releases and competitions. Guernica: Hey, you're spilling your art into my politics! Full Stop: Who else would recommend Errol Flynn's memoir, posit an alternate Olympics Opening Ceremony, and then review the work of Victor Serge? Vol. 1 Brooklyn: As their banner says, "If you're smart, you'll like us." Rusty Toque: An online literary and arts journal backed by Ontario's Western University. Book Riot: How can you help loving the kind of people who reblog photos of Faulkner's oeuvre alongside galleries of literary tattoos? Berfrois: Some highbrow curiosities for that eager, eager brain of yours. Literalab: Dispatches from Central and Eastern Europe, which as anybody who knows me knows to be my favorite parts of Europe. Triple Canopy: The online magazine embraces yet another means of communicating. fwriction review: Finally an honest banner: "specializing in work that melts faces and rocks waffles." (See also: fwriction) Little Brother: The latest project from our own Emily M. Keeler. Asymptote: Dedicated to works in translation and world literature. Glitterwolf Magazine: Devoted to highlighting UK writers and writers from LGBT communities. The Essayist: Aggregated long-form writing from all over the place. 6. Major, General and More Well-Known Magazines Smithsonian Magazine: "Retina" consists of the best visual content from Smithsonian Magazine. The American Scholar: Follow them. You'll be more fun to talk to at cocktail parties. Boston Globe: News and photos, and we all know they've got plenty of both. Salon: Finally! We get to read Salon without actually having to go to Salon.com! The Morning News: Our friends who host the annual Tournament of Books have a Tumblr presence, too. Mother Jones: Politics and current events, ahoy! Tomorrow Mag: Ann Friedman & Co.'s new venture. Lively Morgue: Typically awesome photos from The New York Times archives. Bonus: This article covers the ways in which twelve news outlets are using Tumblr in innovative, fresh ways. 7. Publishers (Big Six) -- Note: Many of these blogs are used by the imprint or publisher's marketing team, but you'll find that some of the most successful publisher Tumblrs are getting more focused and specific. This is an interesting development, and I encourage more of the same. Also: This list is only a small sampling of the publisher Tumblrs on the site -- just naming all the ones from Penguin would amount to its own post! Random House Digital: Dispatches from the Random House digital team. Vintage Books Design: As they say, "vintage design from Vintage designers." Harper Books: The publisher's flagship imprint sets up shop on Tumblr. The Penguin Press: They publish Zadie Smith, in case you need validation of their taste. Simon Books: Straight from Rockefeller Center to your Dashboard! Pantheon: News and miscellany from Random House's literary fiction and serious nonfiction imprint. Penguin English Library: Celebrating the Classic Penguins we all love so much. Plus, get a load of that animated masthead! Back Bay Books: Little, Brown's paperback pals. Their list of authors is incredible. Mulholland Books: This group fully embraces Tumblr's multimedia capabilities. A solid A+ in my book. Penguin Teen: Excellent content for younger readers. Free Press Books: Let's just say these folks enjoyed the week Michael Phelps had at the Olympics. HMH Books: Be sure to check out their Translation and Poetry blogs, too. Riverhead: Of all the publisher Tumblrs, they boast the cutest mascot. Little, Brown: Their Daily First Line posts are tantalizing. 8. Publishers (University Presses) Duke: Hate the basketball team, love the press. (And their blog.) Chicago: Their posts are excellent. Continually substantial and interesting. McGill-Queens: Fun Fact: some folks up North would have it that Harvard is "America's McGill." Cambridge Exhibitions: Alerts and updates on the myriad academic conferences and events attended by the CUP staff. 9. Publishers (Indies and Little Ones) Chronicle: These folks have been known to turn Tumblr blogs into books, so of course they know their way around the platform. Grove Atlantic: I'm not a tough sell, but giving away books related to The Wire is my kryptonite. Open Road Media: Worth a follow for their YouTube discoveries alone. Two Dollar Radio: They published Grace Krilanovich's book (the one I recommended), so you know they're good. Timaş Publishing Group: These Turkish publishers are so generous, they give away eBook credits on a bi-weekly basis. Quirk Books: These Philadelphia-based publishers sure find a lot of pretty bookshelves to reblog. The Feminist Press: The important indie operating out of NYC delivers some really interesting, innovative stuff in addition to the classics they "rescue." The Lit Pub: Recommendations from The Lit Pub's staff. Muumuu House: No doubt this account is run by Tao Lin's legion of interns. Overlook Press: Their About page even features a TL;DR version. They get Tumblr. Arte Público Press: Your dashboard destination for U.S. Hispanic literature. Coffee House Press Interns: Bonus "little" points because it's run by their interns. Unmanned Press: They just joined Tumblr, but their "Sunday Rejections" posts seem promising. 10. Authors (Direct Involvement) -- The Tumblr "Spotlight" list can be found here; it's not comprehensive, but it lists accounts you're sure to enjoy. I've listed one of each author's books alongside their names. Additionally: YA Highway, an excellent resource for fans of Young Adult books, maintains a great directory of YA Authors. Emily St. John Mandel: Millions staffer whose most recent book is The Lola Quartet. Edan Lepucki: Millions staffer whose most recent book is If You're Not Yet Like Me. Patrick Somerville: This Bright River. Neil Gaiman: American Gods. Roxane Gay: Ayiti. Sheila Heti: How Should a Person Be? Emma Straub: Other People We Married. Jami Attenberg: The Middlesteins. Bonus: check out her advice, too. Nathan Englander: What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank. Matthew Gallaway: The Metropolis Case. Miles Klee: Ivyland. John Green: Looking for Alaska. Alexander Chee: Edinburgh. Tayari Jones: Silver Sparrow. Rosencrans Baldwin: Paris, I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down. Tao Lin: Richard Yates. Dan Chaon: Stay Awake. Christopher Dickey: Securing the City. 11. Authors (Indirect Involvement) Reading Ardor: Two readers go through Vladimir Nabokov's Ada, or Ardor: A Family Chronicle. Chuck Palahniuk: Don't forward this blog to any Turkish publishing houses. John Banville Spectates Tennis: Serving up some observations on tennis. (I'll excuse myself now.) Martin Amis Drinking: This should really just be a livestream video feed of Amis at all times. A. O. Scott Zingers: The film critic's best one-liners. Fitzgerald Quotes: F. Scott's got lines for days. Reading Markson Reading: Brainchild of Millions contributor, Tyler Malone. 12. Poets -- As with the authors list, Tumblr's poetry "Spotlight" can be found here. Leigh Stein: Dispatch From the Future. Michael Robbins: Alien vs. Predator. Paolo Javier: The Feeling Is Actual. Full disclosure: Paolo was one of my college professors. Zachary Schomburg: Fjords Vol. 1. He's also one of the founders of Octopus Magazine. Saeed Jones: When the Only Light is Fire. This blog is really cool. It's like the poet's global travelogue. 13. Bookstores -- I'll list the location of each one. Unabridged: Chicago's Lake View neighborhood. Community Bookstore: Park Slope, Brooklyn. McNally Kids: Manhattan. Skylight Books: Los Angeles. Open Books: Chicago. Emily Books: The Internet. Mercer Island Books: Seattle. Luminous Books: East London. Politics & Prose: Washington D.C. Micawber's: St. Paul. City Lights: San Francisco. 57th Street Books: Chicago's Hyde Park. The Little Book Room: Melbourne, Australia. Tattered Cover: Denver. Uncharted Books: Chicago. Green Apple Books: San Francisco. Taylor Books: Charleston, WV. 14. Libraries Darien Library: Excellent posts from one of the best libraries in the nation. Looks Like Library Science: “Challenging the librarian stereotype.” Live From the NYPL: Events and goings-on at the NYPL. Library Journal: The editors of LJ share what they're reading. School Library Journal: Ditto for their scholastic counterparts. Espresso Brooklyn: The Brooklyn Public Library has an espresso on-demand book printing machine. How cool is it that it has its own blog, too? 15. BONUS SECTION DEVOTED TO @Horse_ebooks -- Everybody's favorite Dadaist Twitter handle has a devoted following on the blogging platform. Horse_ Fan Fiction: Look no further than your Twitter timeline for the best writing prompts on earth. Annotated Horse_: A valuable resource for the inevitable scholarly study of Horse_'s oeuvre. 33, Pyramid, and Dalton: Max Read's impressive catalog of recurring Horse_ themes. 16. Wish List Oxford American: Maybe not the best time for the magazine at the moment, but my wish from last time still stands. Garden & Gun Oxford University Press More authors and poets!   [Ed Note: Don't miss Part One and Part Three!]
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