Archive for February, 2007

Scrota and Other Unmentionables
By February 21, 2007 12 Comments Read More →

Scrota and Other Unmentionables

President’s Day, a sleepless baby, and software testing have all conspired to keep me away from the blogosphere lo these past four days. I know the news cycle has probably already pretty much ended on the controversy regarding the use of the word scrotum in Susan Patron’s Newbery-winning The Higher Power of Lucky, but I can’t help […]

Posted in: Likely Stories, News
"When in doubt, throw in a numbing quantity of pointless arcana."
By February 16, 2007 0 Comments Read More →

"When in doubt, throw in a numbing quantity of pointless arcana."

In The New Leader (“The Real Pynchon and Mailer Stand Up,” p.15), Brooke Allen writes that, “as we age we become more distinctly ourselves.” In the case of certain literary lions, she asserts, this self-caricature isn’t as amusing as the way your great-grand-uncle starts every sentence with, “Now, when I was young…”: Two new books this […]

Posted in: Likely Stories
New Online Digs for Edgars
By February 16, 2007 0 Comments Read More →

New Online Digs for Edgars

There’s a nice new site for the Edgars — stare at that word for a minute, it will stop looking like it’s even a word — but if they really want to be a one-stop-shop for all things Edgar, they should include year-by-year lists of past winners, not just the 2007 nominees. Maybe they’re still […]

Posted in: Awards, Likely Stories, News
I'm Exhausted Just Thinking about It
By February 16, 2007 1 Comments Read More →

I'm Exhausted Just Thinking about It

Reading an article in the Los Angeles Times (“Trust them, it’s a hit,” by Josh Getlin) about the publishing industry’s arcane accounting of copies sold, I was flabbergasted and dismayed by one statistic in particular. I love books, but this is just overwhelming: Greco estimated that more than 200,000 titles were published last year, which averages out to […]

Posted in: Likely Stories, News
Rodney Jones Wins the Kingsley Tufts
By February 14, 2007 1 Comments Read More →

Rodney Jones Wins the Kingsley Tufts

And they say that poets are doomed to a life of canned soup, three-speed bicycles, and broadcast television. Rodney Jones, an English professor at Southern Illinois University (Go Salukis!), has won the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award for Salvation Blues: One Hundred Poems, 1985-2005 (Houghton). It’s an honor just to win, of course, but in the event […]

Posted in: Awards, Likely Stories, News
Penney Wins the Costa
By February 14, 2007 1 Comments Read More →

Penney Wins the Costa

It suddenly occurs to me that I neglected to announce the winner of the Whitbread Award. Wonder why that slipped my mind. Maybe because they changed the name to the Costa? Somebody’s got to sponsor the awards, but it sure takes away some of the gravitas when the naming rights get sold. Can we please […]

Posted in: Awards, Likely Stories, News
In Defense of Plagiarism
By February 13, 2007 3 Comments Read More →

In Defense of Plagiarism

I spent my whole lunch hour reading Jonathan Lethem’s brilliant essay in Harper’s, “The Ecstasy of Influence.” Well worth a week’s worth of lunch hours, I daresay. (Do people still say “daresay”? Anyone mind if I do?) I copied out far too many quotes for fair use, and while the author wouldn’t mind if I […]

Posted in: Likely Stories, News
Just Skim This
By February 13, 2007 0 Comments Read More →

Just Skim This

In the New York Times, Stacy Schiff (“Ulysses” Without Guilt“) uses Pierre Bayard’s How to Talk about Books You Haven’t Read as the starting point for yet another discussion of information overload. I was too busy to read it, but that won’t stop me from passing on two choice paragraphs: Say what you will about Professor Bayard, he […]

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Germaine Greer's "Lovable" Word
By February 13, 2007 0 Comments Read More →

Germaine Greer's "Lovable" Word

In the Guardian, in her volunteer review of Will Alsop’s Peckham Library (“Flashy libraries? I prefer to get my adventure out of the books not the building“), Germaine Greer reveals what her favorite word would be, if she were the sort of person who chose favorite words: library. Every now and then a writer will be […]

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OK, I Admit It: I'm Harriet Klausner
By February 12, 2007 7 Comments Read More →

OK, I Admit It: I'm Harriet Klausner

A news item from Times Online (“Fake bloggers soon to be ‘named and shamed’,” by Sam Coates), brought to my attention by the ever-attentive Frank Sennett, promises an end to a time-honored practice, at least in Europe: Hotels, restaurants and online shops that post glowing reviews about themselves under false identities could face criminal prosecution […]

Posted in: Likely Stories, News