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Favorite Reads 2016: Sculpting in Time by Andrey Tarkovsky

Sculpting in Time by Andrey Tarkovsky is one of the best books I’ve read on art in a long time. This isn’t a terribly long book (250 pages) but it took a very long time to read because in each paragraph—and often each sentence—you will find something to linger over, an observation, aphorism, confession, explanation, Continue Reading

Jantar Publishing Q & A

At Radio Praha David Vaughan has a Q & A with publisher Michael Tate: bringing us the best of Central European writing, as Tate runs the wonderful Jantar Publishing, who specialize in: "high quality English translations of literature...Show More Summary

Inscribed to García Márquez

The Harry Ransom Center has acquired books from Gabriel García Márquez's library, including ones "that are inscribed, signed and sometimes annotated" -- and some of the inscribed ones can be viewed online (click on the covers to seeShow More Summary

Wasting Time on the Internet review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Kenneth Goldsmith's Wasting Time on the Internet (just in case you need some help with that -- though there's actually quite a bit more to the book).

Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun by Sarah Ladipo Manyika

I read this book back in the spring, before it got shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize and got a fair bit of attention. But, as you’ve probably noticed, I haven’t been blogging very regularly, so I’m only writing about it now. What I liked about Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun was the way […]

Lire top 20 in France

End-of-year best book lists aren't nearly as popular or widespread abroad (and also tend to appear appropriately closer to the actual end of the year...) but Lire puts out a top twenty in various categories, and they've now announced...Show More Summary

NYTBR books of the year

A week ago The New York Times Book Review announced their 100 Notable Books of 2016 -- and now they've announced The 10 Best Books of 2016. Like last year, two translations make the list -- Stefan Hertmans' War and Turpentine and Han Kang's Man Booker International Prize-winning The Vegetarian.

Nobel laureates visit White House

All the American Nobel laureates were invited to the White House where they met the president, before they head off to pick up their medals and cash, and, yes, as press secretary Josh Earnest briefed the press, literature prize winner...Show More Summary

Open Letters Monthly's 'Year in Reading'

A generally more interesting variation on the usual best-books-of-the-year-lists is the more personal approach: The Millions have their huge A Year in Reading: 2016 (which is, however, presented horribly annoyingly piecemeal...), for...Show More Summary

Historical Cooking, Week 8

This week Sean attempts to make an apple-based dish from our recipe book – the complete manuscript is available for viewing on our Digital Collections Portal As temperatures have taken […]

Claimed from Stationer’s Hall – Update

Earlier this year we published a blog post by Dr Karen McAulay of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland about her research using the St Andrews Copyright Music Collection – […]

TLS review of CR Guide

Very pleasing indeed to see a review [sorry, paywalled at this time] in the new (2 December issue) Times Literary Supplement by Michael LaPointe of my The Complete Review Guide to Contemporary World Fiction He notes: Orthofer's Guide,...Show More Summary

Premio Cervantes

The Premio Cervantes is the leading Spanish-language author prize, and they've now announced that Eduardo Mendoza has won this year's prize (which he gets to pick up next April); see also, for example, the DeutscheWelle report. Three Mendoza titles are under review at the complete review : An Englishman in Madrid The Mystery of the Enchanted Crypt No Word From Gurb

Crossword Book Awards

The Crossword Book Awards are among the biggest Indian literary prizes, awarded in a variety of categories, with both a juried selection (four categories, including translation) and a set of 'popular' awards (six categories, including... Show More Summary

Bad Sex in Fiction Award

The Literary Review has announced the winner of this year's 'Bad Sex in Fiction Award' -- and it's Erri De Luca's The Day Before Happiness. Yes, it's long been under review at the complete review ! And I'm pleased to note that I even...Show More Summary

We Three review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Jean Echenoz's 1992 novel, We Three, that's finally coming out in English. Dalkey Archive Press is actually only bringing this out in February -- but it's Echenoz ! and he sends his characters to outer space ! how could I resist jumping on this immediately ?

24+ Books That Have Shaped My Understanding of the 20th and 21st Centuries

Probably most people who know me through this website know me primarily as an arts and literature person. That is my profession, and that’s mainly the way I’ve oriented this website, but I’m also heavily into politics. My undergrad degree was in Political Science and Economics, and I still read a lot in those disciplines, Continue Reading

Strangers Meant (to be) Un-stranged

  Your map is marred by borders that become a sieve of history, straining the wild from the willing. Missions and malls encroach your sun swathed villitas where flowers battle… Continue reading ?

The Unsolvable Mysteries of the Voynich Manuscript

The word “ink” is a child of the Latin incaustum, which means “having been burned.” In the Middle Ages, people thought that ink burned its way into parchment, because iron-gall inks go onto the page pale, then darken. This is not what’s...Show More Summary


They've announced the winners of the August Prize, the major Swedish literary prize, with the fiction prize (well, the svenska skönlitterära bok-prize, but you know...) going to De polyglotta älskarna, by Lina Wolff; see also the Bonnier...Show More Summary

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