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Self-Reliance: An Introduction to Ralph Waldo Emerson

Image by Munroe The great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude. -- ?Ralph Waldo Emerson When I attended high school in Germany, I was deterred by philosophy's complex logic. Show More Summary

Simic on Strand

“By now, you are probably asking yourself, Did these two ever talk about anything serious? Of course, we did. We talked about how writing a poem is no different from taking out a frying pan and concocting a dish out of the ingredients available in the house, how in poetry, as in cooking, it’s all […]

VIDA Women of Color

This week in lit news: VIDA, the organization that’s been counting appearances by women writers in major literary journals since 2010, will expand their 2014 count to include data on race/ethnicity.

Hemingway's Secret: "Write Your Pants Off!"

You'll often read or hear the advice that writing is basically getting to it, sitting down and doing it, or more elegantly that "The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair." Someone on Twitter...Show More Summary

Science Fiction and the Paperback Novel

Fun fact: Up until the late 1940s, science fiction novels really didn’t exist. Andrew Liptak writes about the rise of the paperback novel and the evolution of science fiction for Kirkus Reviews. Pair with Nichole Bernier‘s Millions essay on “The Point of the Paperback.”

SBTB/DA Bestsellers – 13-20 January 2014

This week’s SBTB & DA bestsellers are brought to you by the letter S, the number 6, and by the secret and silly depths of our affiliate sales data.

Best Audiobooks of 2015 Blog Hop

Once again The Book Nympho, The Geeky Blogger’s Book Blog, and Hot Listens are hosting a blog hop for audiobook lovers to share their favorite listens of the past year. I am very happy to be participating in this big week full of audiobook celebration. We’ll each be sharing our five favorite listens of the year. So […]

Giving Edith Wharton's Jew a Makeover

Edith Wharton didn't think F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby was a perfect book, and she told him so. But his anti-Semitic portrait of Meyer Wolfsheim, now that was perfect, even "masterly." What did Wharton know from Jews? Well, over a decade before, she'd created her own "perfect" Jew Simon Rosedale in her bestseller The House of Mirth. Show More Summary

Word Origins As Comics: What Makes the News Easy to Swallow

The story behind tabloid journalism; what it's all about and what makes it so palatable. A brief history of yellow journalism through a study of word origins and its beginnings. Tired of a pedantic approach to word origins? Try our approach for size-- a little bit of etymology, history and comics. Show More Summary

Weekend Reading: Foie Gras and Farming, a False Tale of the Afterlife, and More

If you’ve had your fill of deflated pigskins this week, turn your attention to inflated goose livers, with Wyatt Williams’s piece, for Eater, about the longstanding controversy over foie gras. Gavage—the process of force-feeding geese...Show More Summary

Literary Podcasts

Recommended recommendations: “Eight Excellent Literary Podcasts for Your Morning Commute.”

'Crash and Burn': A Talk With Lisa Gardner

Photo: Phil Brick Photography Lisa Gardner is the New York Times bestselling author of crime thrillers with more than 22 million books in print. As Lisa Gardner, she's written an FBI Profiler series, as well as the Detective D.D. Warren series, and standalone novels. Show More Summary

Rebuilding The House of Mirth: A Blog for Edith Wharton's Birthday

Singing about marriage, two of Steven Sondheim's characters in A Little Night Music condemn it for inflicting so much pain: "Every day a little death....every day a little sting." I felt a bit like like that in college, not because I was married, but because I was an English major. Show More Summary

More Frightened Than We’ve Ever Been

Following up on her latest book, On Immunity: An Inoculation, Year in Reading alum Eula Biss talks with Salon about “action movies, race, fear, violence and vaccination.” Pair with Kyle Boelte‘s Millions review of On Immunity.

I Decluttered My Closet With The KonMari Method And Here's What Happened

My name is Chanel and I collect a lot of shit. From clothing to papers to the weird knick-knacks I've won at bar trivia nights, my room is covered in so many items, one might wonder how I live there. Even though I clean at least once a week, my room is rarely as neat as it could be. Show More Summary

When James met Wilde

Oscar Wilde: a “fatuous fool,” a “tenth-rate cad,” and an “unclean beast?” According to Henry James, all of the above.

The Librarians Episode 10: And the Loom of Fate

There’s a very strange opening in which Eve wakes up smiling at a bloody hand – this will presumably make sense later.  She snaps to full consciousness and finds herself fighting a bunch of mummies, along with The Scoobies.  They are...Show More Summary

The Librarians Episode 9: And the City of Light

In the teaser, an adorable ufologist (I love that word) named Victor is killed, creepily, by townspeople (or is he?).  At the Annex, Jenkins says that UFOs do not exist.  The Scoobies point out that Santa, fairy tales, and haunted houses are real, so why not UFOs?  But Jenkins is adamant about this. Show More Summary

Caught Between a Bookstore and That Amazon Place

I had an interesting experience recently, one that emblemizes the continuing turf-war indie writers can get unwittingly caught up in amongst factions of the publishing world: those many have attempted to engage with little or no success...Show More Summary

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