Archive for November, 2007

They Say the First 30 Words Are the Most Difficult
By November 16, 2007 0 Comments Read More →

They Say the First 30 Words Are the Most Difficult

A corrective to the notion that aspiring writers have difficulty getting published. (“Faking it: Craigslist becomes a workshop for aspiring writers,” by Andrew Adam Newman, International Herald Tribune): Craigslist is “a fun place to look when you should be doing something else,” said Debbie Newman, an editor at the gossip blog Jossip who trawls Craigslist […]

Wish I Were There
By November 16, 2007 0 Comments Read More →

Wish I Were There

Inside the London Library (“The Insider,” by Frances Wilson, the Telegraph): The real pleasure of the place, however, is that walking up the steps and pushing open the door is like entering the wardrobe into Narnia. Behind the rational 18th-century exterior is a vortex that spreads, sprawls and expands, rising up into the clouds, spiralling […]

The Best Reader in America
By November 16, 2007 0 Comments Read More →

The Best Reader in America

Michael Silverblatt, host of KCRW’s Bookworm, talks to the Los Angeles City Beat about L.A. literary culture, his reading habits, and the idea that arguing is impolite (“3rd Degree: Michael Silverblatt,” by Rebecca Epstein): You are known for being able to impress your guests with your critical acumen. Have you ever been stumped or totally […]

Posted in: Likely Stories
Iran's Readers Melancholy
By November 16, 2007 0 Comments Read More →

Iran's Readers Melancholy

From the Guardian (“Iranian publisher’s ruse fails to protect raunchy García Márquez title from censors,” by Robert Tait): Iran’s straight-laced censors are not known for their tolerance of sexually risque literature, so a book called A Memory of My Melancholy Whores was never likely to meet with their approval. But in their determination to get Gabriel […]

Posted in: Likely Stories, News
Johnson, Weiner, Hass, and Alexie Win the National Book Award
By November 15, 2007 2 Comments Read More →

Johnson, Weiner, Hass, and Alexie Win the National Book Award

The National Book Award winners have been announced. A somewhat controversial pick, Denis Johnson’s Tree of Smoke, is the fiction winner–giving our reviewer, Ben Segedin, the opportunity to say he called it. (And Donna Seaman starred the poetry winner, too.) Fiction Tree of Smoke, by Denis Johnson (Farrar) Nonfiction Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA, by […]

Posted in: Awards, Likely Stories, News
Ira Levin, R.I.P.
By November 14, 2007 0 Comments Read More →

Ira Levin, R.I.P.

Ira Levin, a writer whose bestselling novels are probably most remembered by the movies made from them, has died. From the Associated Press (“‘Rosemary’s Baby’ Author Dies in NY,” by Larry McShane): NEW YORK (AP) – Best-selling writer Ira Levin, whose genre-hopping novels such as the horror classic “Rosemary’s Baby” and the Nazi thriller “The Boys From Brazil” […]

What Would the Bigger Version Look Like?
By November 14, 2007 0 Comments Read More →

What Would the Bigger Version Look Like?

A mere week after hearing that Judith Regan wants out of the spotlight (“I want my life to get smaller, not bigger”), we learn that she’s coming back to the spotlight in a big, big way. From the Associated Press (“Regan Files $100M Suit Against Publisher,” by Samuel Maull): NEW YORK (AP) – One-time book publishing powerhouse Judith […]

Posted in: Likely Stories, News
War and Peace and Carpal Tunnel
By November 13, 2007 2 Comments Read More →

War and Peace and Carpal Tunnel

And more on the mind-boggling notion of reading books on cell phones. From the Chicago Tribune (“Cell phones’ latest plot twist,” by the delightfully named Stevenson Swanson, if that is his real name): With their small screens, cell phones might not spring to mind as a suitable medium for reading lengthy stretches of text. And a […]

Posted in: Likely Stories, News
From the Department of But Tell Us What You Really Think
By November 13, 2007 2 Comments Read More →

From the Department of But Tell Us What You Really Think

Most critics really liked Denis Johnson’s Tree of Smoke (Booklist certainly did, too; the book earned a star from the tough-minded Ben Segedin). But it’s always interesting to read the outlier reviews. After all, book reviewing would be pretty boring if we all agreed on everything. And, boy, does B. R. Myers disagree (“A Bright […]

Posted in: Likely Stories
Is writing bad poetry a terrorist act?
By November 13, 2007 2 Comments Read More →

Is writing bad poetry a terrorist act?

Shirley Dent says it isn’t. And Harry Potter gets worked into the discussion. From the Guardian books blog, again (“Terrible poet, laughable terrorist“): In his recent book, An Invitation to Terror, Professor Frank Furedi likened official responses to terrorism to that of the school kids in Harry Potter: the terrorist threat is a “Voldermort-like figure that cannot or […]