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There Is Only One Way to Read

I know that people like Farhad Manjoo get paid to be techno-utopians, but I still don’t quite understand why they seem to think that e-readers are an “all or nothing” proposition. It’s kind of like if you really like your blender and...Show More Summary

Online Book Discussion of Ann Patchett’s STATE OF WONDER, Week Two

Sergei and Natalie have offered rich and complex readings of STATE OF WONDER over the last couple of weeks, with some emphasis on the resonance of myth, of the struggle for identity, and the terror of abandonment.  I’d like to… Continue reading ?

(German) art-in-literature database

The University of Vienna has put up an online Datenbank literarischer Bildzitate, a database of some 1,500 references to works of art in modern German literature, searchable by author, artwork, artist, and text. (See the search page,...Show More Summary

Two New Cavinos

Collection of Sand has just been published in English in the U.S., as has the Complete Cosmicomics. More Calvino in the world is better. Here is Ron Slate on Collection of Sand. Collection of Sand comprises four sections. The first part,...Show More Summary

Chast and Nonfiction

The finalists for the National Book Awards have been announced and I find myself in the same position I’m in most years, where of the two genres I love most intimately (nonfiction and poetry), I find that I know all… Continue readin...

Judging the Man Booker

The obligatory 'judging the Man Booker Prize'-piece comes from Sarah Churchwell at The Guardian's book blog, where she writes about The joys of judging the Man Booker prize. (I enjoy these, but I'd love it if one year they did get the judge who just hated the experience to spill all the ugly beans about the process.)

“a plant that grew out of a dung heap”

Best post-Nobel piece I’ve read on Patrick Modiano. Modiano’s aim has been to place his own personal history against a broader social backdrop. He has called himself “a plant that grew out of a dung heap”, and, more directly, at least...Show More Summary

Antrim, Fabled and Antic

If you’ve been teaching for a while, you’ve probably at some point included A Midsummer Night’s Dream on a syllabus. Perhaps you’ve blasted through the play in a week or two, as I have. (When I teach Calvino’s Six Memos… Continue reading ?

Latest UK book stats

Came across some interesting stats on UK book sales in the latest issue of The Author magazine from the Society of Authors, and thought I’d share a few of them with you: Sales of physical books fell 5% in 2013, while sales of digital products rose 19% Digital now accounts for 33% of fiction sales and […]

Limonov review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Emmanuel Carrère pseudo(?)-biographical 2011 prix Renaudot-winning Limonov -- rather desperately subtitled in the US edition: The Outrageous Adventures of the Radical Soviet...Show More Summary

Back to the Beginning

A nice review of Lila at the Los Angeles Review of Books. So when I tell you that Lila ends with a birth, if you are anything like me, your first read of this novel will be vaguely agitated. Not because it is unclear what will happen...Show More Summary

Mouth, Part 1

I got old all of a sudden. My mouth went first. I was at the Kroger, in the tooth aisle, comparing Orajels. The night before, in Novelties, I wavered, hands in pockets, body rocking for minutes, heel-toe, toe-heel, between the… Continue reading ?

Links & Reviews

- Erik Kwakkel and Giulio Menna have launched a new website, Quill: Books Before Print.- Philip Palmer writes on the Clark Library blog (The Clog) about manuscript captions added to early woodcuts and engravings.- The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has partially reversed the GSU e-reserves decision handed down in May 2012. Show More Summary

Writing in ... China

While on the one hand, as reported at Livemint, Publishers aim to take Chinese literature to the world, the local authorities haven't all gotten the memo -- or rather: they're sticking with an old script. Yes, as Xinhua reports in China...Show More Summary

52 Weeks of Historical How-To’s, Week 51: How to discover a planet

Humans have been looking to the night sky for millennia in awe and wonder of the heavens above us, or in contemplation of the complex forces that guide the seemingly […]

Linda Boström Knausgaard

The Literary Saloon reports that a book by Linda Boström Knausgaard will soon be making its way to the English language. Yes, that name should look familiar to you. In The Bookseller Anna James reports that Visser of De Geus launches English language publisher — which is to be called World Editions. Show More Summary

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