Archive for September, 2008

5 Under 35 X 3
By September 24, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

5 Under 35 X 3

The National Book Foundation has selected this year’s 5 Under 35: Matthew Eck (The Farther Shore, 2007) Keith Gessen (All the Sad Young Literary Men, 2008) Sana Krasikov (One More Year: Stories, 2008) Nam Le (The Boat, 2008) Fiona Maazel (Last Last Chance, 2008) Interestingly, each promising young writer has been selected by someone previously selected as a promising young writer. Click here […]

Becoming a Road Scholar
By September 24, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Becoming a Road Scholar

           I’m getting ready for a big trip. Being a librarian, and a bookworm, this requires the checkout of a few travel guides. Last night my fiancee became mildly upset when one of the stacks of these books fell over and nearly killed her. “Do we really need this many books for one […]

Quickly: Adichie, Brisingr, Handey, Rapunzel, Blurbs!
By September 23, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Quickly: Adichie, Brisingr, Handey, Rapunzel, Blurbs!

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Half of a Yellow Sun, 2006) is a genius (“25 Receive $500,000 ‘Genius’ Fellowships,” by Patricia Cohen, New York Times): Ms. Adichie was celebrating her birthday and taking a bath when the phone call came. “I was thrilled and grateful,” she wrote in an e-mail message from Lagos. “I like to say that […]

Bleeping Books
By September 22, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Bleeping Books

Speaking of Banned Books Week–you were just speaking of it, weren’t you? It’s possible that I’ve turned my listening device to the wrong channel, but we here at the Agency rarely make mistakes. (And when we do, we rarely admit it.) So, since I’ve caught you discussing books of questionable moral character, I know that […]

Posted in: Likely Stories
Austerland
By September 21, 2008 2 Comments Read More →

Austerland

For certain authors, I feel as though I have not read and never seem to get around to reading what their fans call their best books. This can happen when you come to a writer late, especially one that is alive and still writing.  I find myself reading their newest work, catching up with what is […]

Best of Show #2: Two Bobbies
By September 20, 2008 2 Comments Read More →

Best of Show #2: Two Bobbies

Yesterday I punched a dear friend in the arm. I mean, I slugged him. Why? Because in our conversation with a fellow bookseller he gave away the surprise in Two Bobbies.   He stared at me, aghast, clutching his arm, and said, “Nick, it’s just a children’s book!” So, you see, he deserved it. He […]

Play’s the Thing to Talk About

Play’s the Thing to Talk About

Discussing plays in a reading group is challenging fun. It’s even more fun when it’s theatre with cultural images and commentary and populated with supernatural creatures. Thursday night I was treated to a full table of informed, articulate and vocal seniors discussing S. Ansky’s masterpiece of Yiddish drama, The Dybbuk. They certainly didn’t need me […]

Best of Show #1: Madeline and the Cats of Rome
By September 20, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Best of Show #1: Madeline and the Cats of Rome

I’ll admit, you can’t use it in your reading group.  That said, it was my favorite book of the annual 2008 Portland fall tradeshow of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers’ Association. Sure, I’m Italian. And sure, I’m a lifelong cat admirer. I won’t pretend I’m not aware that Rome is the one major city in the […]

Latest Oprah
By September 19, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Latest Oprah

 Oprah’s latest book club pick has just been announced: it’s David Wroblewski’s The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, a  500-page first novel about a mute boy who communicates best with his dogs.  There’s been quite a bit of buzz about this book already. Barnes and Noble made it one of their seasonal picks for fall, and […]

LONG WAY GONE
By September 18, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

LONG WAY GONE

Long Way Gone by Ishamel Beah:   (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007) The issue of whether or not readers of contemporary memoir can actually trust the books they are reading is a major one.  The good news is:  it does not matter for book discussion purposes.  In fact, that issue can create the first question you […]