Archive for January, 2010

Sunday Quote of the Night

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

“Always think of what is useful and not what is beautiful. Beauty will come of its own accord.

- Nikolai Gogol




Sunday Evening Book Reviews

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

Wells Tower finds T. Coraghessan Boyle’s new story collection Wild Child imaginative, if a bit uneven. (New York Times)

Thomas Mullen draws the bleakness of the Great Depression in vivid color in The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Alastair Campbell’s novel Maya is “littered with his anger at the media,” according to Anthony Horowitz. (Telegraph)

Tash Aw’s Map of the Invisible World impresses Wendy Law-Yone with its suspense and power, but she ultimately can’t get to the point of it all. (Washington Post)

Afternoon Viewing: “The Eleventh Plague”

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

The trailer for Darren Craske’s The Equivoque Principle sequel, The Eleventh Plague:

Sunday Morning LitLinks

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

Danuta Kean profiles the very tough Joan Brady. (The Independent)

Gary Dexter returns with a new installment of “Title Deed,” this time explaining how Brian J. Ford’s Nonscience got its name. (Telegraph)

Jay Parini looks back at his brushes with Salinger, and why he opted to just leave him alone. (Guardian Books Blog)

Poet Christopher Reid shares his thoughts on winning the Costa Award. (Times Online)

M.A. Orthofer offers up an excellent recap of the battle between Amazon and MacMillan. (The Literary Saloon)

Amy Bloom defends the pursuit of happiness. (NYTimes)

Various tidbits of literary news, courtesy of Mark Sanderson. (Telegraph)

R.I.P. Ralph McInerny, professor and author. (South Bend Tribune)

R.I.P. George Tsongas, poet. (San Francisco Chronicle)

On this day in 1948, J. D. Salinger’s “A Perfect Day for Bananafish” was published in the New Yorker; in the same magazine, on the same day in 1953, Salinger’s “Teddy” also appeared. (Today in Literature)

Saturday Quote of the Night

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

“There’s many a bestseller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.”

-Flannery O’Connor




Saturday Evening Book Reviews

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

The LA Times thinks THE MAYO CLINIC DIET could be a handy tutor, conscience, and cheerleader.

MAP OF THE INVISIBLE WORLD by Tash Aw gets a mixed review in The Washington Post, but seems to come out on the positive side of it, regardless.

The fascinating life and adventures of Eliza Fay are recounted in her collected ORIGINAL LETTERS FROM INDIA, and annotated by E.M. Forster.

Arizona’s Green Valley News & Sun launches a page of locally reviewed book.

Afternoon Viewing: Maria V. Snyder

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

From the YouTube description:

Exclusive interview with best-selling Fantasy author Maria V. Snyder, whose latest title ‘Sea Glass’ is out now:

Saturday Morning LitLinks

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

Alexandra Alter gets a rare shot at an in-person interview with Don DeLillo. (Wall Street Journal)

Ruth Padel looks back on her very bad year and her “moment of lunacy.” (Times Online)

Queens University of Charlotte’s Cathy Smith Bowers named North Carolina’s new Poet Laureate. (Charlotte Observer)

Amazon plays hardball with Macmillan. (Publishers Weekly)

Some audio from Poetry Live for Haiti. (BBC)

Lionel Shriver tries to make sense of JD Salinger’s life as a recluse. (Telegraph)

Carolyn Kellogg introduces her readers to Hey Oscar Wilde! It’s Clobberin’ Time!!!, a site dedicated to portraits of authors and literary characters as envisioned by some of today’s best illustrators. (LATimes Jacket Copy)

Jason Boog looks back at the writers we lost this week. (GalleyCat)

On this day in 1933 Ezra Pound met with Benito Mussolini and sealed his fate. (Today in Literature)

Friday Quote of the Night

Friday, January 29th, 2010

“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson




Friday Evening Book Reviews

Friday, January 29th, 2010

The Arizona Republic‘s online edition gives a page of reviews to peruse.

Monsters & Critics might have made author Natasha Mostert’s day with their review of her latest supernatural thriller, KEEPER OF LIGHT AND DUST.

Swedish mystery import, SHAME, by Karin Alvtegan fares well in Boston with only really one voiced complaint.

Henry Paulson tells his side of the financial debacle story in ON THE BRINK: INSIDE THE RACE TO STOP THE COLLAPSE OF THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL SYSTEM.

Afternoon Viewing: Remembering Salinger

Friday, January 29th, 2010

An excellent piece from the CBC:

Friday Morning LitLinks

Friday, January 29th, 2010

Michael Lieberman previews a reading by W.S. Merwin and other poets at Seattle’s Town Hall next month. (Seattlepi)

Alison Flood rounds up some of the more interesting tributes to JD Salinger. (Guardian Books Blog)

Newly released documents show that Out of Africa author Karen Blixen was totally ripped off when she was denied the Nobel Prize for being Scandinavian. (The Copenhagen Post)

John Lanchester says the modern work world has gotten too weird to make for believable fiction. (Telegraph)

Borders cuts another 164 jobs, most of them at their corporate headquarters in Ann Arbor. (Publishers Weekly)

JK Evanczuk explores the experience of listening to fiction. (Lit Drift)

Carol Rumens celebrates William Blake. (Guardian Books Blog)

Lots more great William Blake resources here. (Guardian)

Michael Berger revisits Roberto Bolaño’s last interview. (The Rumpus)

On this day in 1728 John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera opened in London and became a smash hit. (Today in Literature)

Thursday Quote of the Night

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.”

-Holden Caulfield



More Salinger Stories

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Last Thanksgiving, Magazine History: A Collector’s Blog posted an amazingly comprehensive list of links to 22 of JD Salinger’s uncollected stories, courtesy of the excellent site Dead Caulfields:

Spanning his literary career between the years 1940-1965, these stories display changes in both the author’s style and message. While some are plainly of commercial quality, most are serious works containing an expansive gift of enlightenment and self-examination: that very-satisfying “Salinger moment”.

Each link is accompanied by a brief description of the story and bibliographic information. A taste:

“The Young Folks”
Story March/April 1940. “The Young Folks”, was Salinger’s first published story. It was published in Whit Burnett’s Story magazine. Burnett was the teacher of short story writing at Columbia where Salinger took his course. Salinger himself was twenty one at the time of its publication. The story satirizes the selfish concerns of a pair of young adults at a party and the festering shallowness of their lives.

Happy reading.

Thursday Evening Book Reviews

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

The Trojan War, or a facet of it, re-imagined (to great reception) in David Malouf’s RANSOM.

And then there’s a guy named Ransom, Ransom Stephens, and his debut novel, THE GOD PATENT.  It goes over pretty well at The San Fransisco Chronicle.

Greg Critser sounds like a practical guy in ETERNITY SOUP: INSIDE THE QUEST TO END AGING.

It seems like weeks, or at least  hours, since I’ve run across a biography on a former US President.  It’s all rage.  Next up – U.S. GRANT: AMERICAN HERO, AMERICAN MYTH by Joan Waugh.

Thank You, New Yorker

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

In honor of JD Salinger, The New Yorker is making all thirteen of his short stories they published available online.To access the digital archives at no charge, click here.

From their site:

J.D. Salinger has died. From 1946 to 1965, Salinger published thirteen stories in The New Yorker including such classics as “A Perfect Day for Bananafish” and “Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters.” There will be much more to come online and in next week’s magazine, but for now, we are making all of his stories available to all readers through our digital edition:

Slight Rebellion Off Madison” (December 21, 1946)

A Perfect Day for Bannanafish” (January 31, 1948)

Uncle Wiggly in Connecticut” (March 20, 1948)

Just Before the War with the Eskimos” (June 5, 1948)

The Laughing Man” (March 19, 1949)

For Esmé—With Love and Squalor” (April 8, 1950)

Pretty Mouth and Green My Eyes” (July 14, 1951)

Teddy” (January 31, 1953)

Franny” (January 29, 1955)

Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters” (November 19, 1955)

Zooey” (May 4, 1957)

Seymour: An Introduction” (June 6, 1959)

Hapworth 16, 1924” (June 19, 1965)

Afternoon Viewing: Salinger Obit

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Jerome David Salinger 1919-2010

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

J.D. Salinger Dies at 91: The Hermit Crab of American Letters (TIME)

Catcher in the Rye author J.D. Salinger dies (CBC News)

‘Catcher in the Rye’ author JD Salinger dies (Washington Post)

JD Salinger, 91, Is Dead (NYTimes)

Catcher in the Rye novelist JD Salinger dies at 91 (BBC)

NEW YORK – J.D. Salinger, the legendary author, youth hero and fugitive from fame whose “The Catcher in the Rye” shocked and inspired a world he increasingly shunned, has died. He was 91.

Salinger died of natural causes at his home on Wednesday, the author’s son said in a statement from Salinger’s literary representative. He had lived for decades in self-imposed isolation in the small, remote house in Cornish, N.H.

“The Catcher in the Rye,” with its immortal teenage protagonist, the twisted, rebellious Holden Caulfield, came out in 1951, a time of anxious, Cold War conformity and the dawn of modern adolescence. The Book-of-the-Month Club, which made “Catcher” a featured selection, advised that for “anyone who has ever brought up a son” the novel will be “a source of wonder and delight — and concern.”

Enraged by all the “phonies” who make “me so depressed I go crazy,” Holden soon became American literature’s most famous anti-hero since Huckleberry Finn. The novel’s sales are astonishing — more than 60 million copies worldwide — and its impact incalculable. Decades after publication, the book remains a defining expression of that most American of dreams — to never grow up.


Thursday Morning LitLinks

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Author, historian and scholar Howard Zinn dead at 87. (NYTimes)

U.K. Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy and 21 other leading poets to hold a “literary Live Aid-style event” for victims of the Haiti earthquake. (BBC)

Stuart Evers says we should quit worrying about where writers are from and refocus on the work itself. (Guardian Books Blog)

The battle over Albert Camus’ grave site continues, even as his nation honors him. (NPR)

The iPad arrives at $499. (Publishers Weekly)

Random House sits out of the iBooks store… for now. (Publishers Weekly)

Christian Anton packages up a review, interview and original poem for a exploration of the life and work of Kara Candito. (The Rumpus)

Amazon and a group of academic authors go off on the revised Google Books deal. (Wall Street Journal)

Speaking of Amazon and monopolies, Jason Boog explores how publishers will deal with Amazon’s stranglehold on the industry. (GalleyCat)

R.I.P. Louis Auchincloss, author and lawyer. (Washington Post)

On this day in 1873, Colette (Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette) was born outside Paris. (Today in Literature)

Wednesday Quote of the Night

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

“I get a lot of letters from people.  They say “I want to be a writer.  What should I do?”  I tell them to stop writing to me and to get on with it.”

-Ruth Rendell