Archive for February, 2008

The Age of Awards
By February 27, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

The Age of Awards

Jerome Weeks (who you may know as book/daddy) on the plucking of the Quills–and on awards in general: More than any critic or well-meaning organization, publishers have helped inflate the profile of book awards, although there’s relatively little evidence they influence sales much (beyond the Pulitzer). And I’m certain the vast majority of readers couldn’t […]

Posted in: Awards, Likely Stories
Beloved Authors & Wiki Bios
By February 27, 2008 2 Comments Read More →

Beloved Authors & Wiki Bios

Since I will be traveling to London this week, I cannot help but think about the many British authors that I count among my favorites.  Chief among them is the great George Eliot. I love Eliot so much that I have to admit that I have been afraid to schedule any of her books for […]

William F. Buckley, Jr., 82
By February 27, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

William F. Buckley, Jr., 82

William F. Buckley, who, despite his myriad activities, still found time to write books (The Rake, 2007; Last Call for Blackford Oakes, 2005), has died. From the Associated Press, via the Chicago Tribune (“William F. Buckley Jr. dies“): “I am, I fully grant, a phenomenon, but not because of any speed in composition,” he wrote in The New […]

The Reader of Today Is a Woman
By February 27, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

The Reader of Today Is a Woman

How many men do you know who end their day snuggling up in their favorite armchair with a good novel? I thought so. A couple of centuries ago, authors directly addressed the male reader. Friendly man-to-man asides throughout the narrative assumed the reader to be of the same sex. Women readers were, of course, allowed […]

Still a Future for Reading, Vegetables
By February 26, 2008 1 Comments Read More →

Still a Future for Reading, Vegetables

On Outposts (“Book Lust“), Timothy Egan offers a well-worded rebuttal to Steve Jobs’ book dis. (It had better be well-worded, given how much time he had to write it–Simon Dumenco got there much faster.) For most of my lifetime, I’ve heard that reading is dead. In that time, disco has died, drive-in movies have nearly died, and something called […]

Posted in: Likely Stories
Quill Awards, R.I.P.
By February 26, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Quill Awards, R.I.P.

The Quills are no more, at least for now. Why? Nobody’s sayin’ nothin’. From Publishers Weekly (“Quill Awards Program Suspended“): “The Quill Awards have truly helped us advance the cause of literacy for the hardest to reach children in our country, helping to give them the skills and resources they need for a hopeful and […]

Posted in: Awards, Likely Stories, News
CONSIDER THE PROTAGONIST
By February 24, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

CONSIDER THE PROTAGONIST

Recently I led a discussion of Jhumpa Lahiri’s powerful and involving novel, The Namesake, with a group of graduate library science students.  As it happened, all of the participants were female, and they were fairly unanimous in their lack of enthusiasm for the book’s protagonist, a young American male dealing with identity issues related to […]

Talking about Books in Winnetka
By February 23, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Talking about Books in Winnetka

Okay, I admit it, I don’t belong to a book group. Maybe it’s because working at Booklist is like being in a book group 27/7. Since I can’t share any personal experiences, from time to time I’m going to be writing about what goes on in other groups–call them my book group surrogates. Jane Levine, my Steppenwolf […]

Cattle Drives the Conversation

Cattle Drives the Conversation

Most book group facilitators don’t choose genre fiction for discussions and if they do, they lean towards mysteries or science fiction. Today, I want to show-and-tell a Western I think works well in a discussion. I don’t know about all Westerns, but I know about this one, The Last Cattle Drive by Robert Day. This […]

Books Tell Stories
By February 22, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Books Tell Stories

The artist Nina Katchadourian’s Sorted Books project: sort of cool. (Actually, incredibly cool!)

Posted in: Likely Stories