Monthly Archives: October, 2009

The Lineup: Spooky Books

Yes indeedy, it’s that time of year when bibliophiles such as I compulsively compile lists of spooky reads. But this isn’t your ordinary seasonal list featuring the usual Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, and Washington Irving, no sirree, [apple] Bob! This is your up-to-date, postmodern list of fiction and non-, guaranteed to […]

Share

Pocket Review: Devil’s Dream by Madison Smartt Bell

I wonder how the conversation went between Madison Smartt Bell and his publisher when he described his newest book. I imagine it went something like this: Publisher: “Hey, Madison. So, I hear the new book is coming along, eh? Excellent. Exciting stuff. What’s it about, again?” Bell: “It’s historical fiction about a slave-trading, Confederate officer […]

Share

The London Review of Books Rocks On

Today is the 30th birthday of the not-so-venerable but always respectable London Review of Books. It hatched from a crack in the world of British literary journalism when a printing strike shut down the Times, following the lead of the New York Review of Books 16 years earlier. In fact, early issues of the London […]

Share

No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

We're firmly into the end zone of fall. Next weekend the clocks get turned back, Halloween candy goes on sale half price to make room for Christmas gear, and the extraordinary fall publishing season really and truly winds down. It was a hell of a run, and I have the intimidating stack of books to […]

Share

Review Redux 10-26-09

Barbara Kingsolver’s new novel, The Lacuna, has many readers waiting in the wings. They’ll have to linger just a bit longer, though, since the lay-down date is November 3rd. But the book is currently offered at Amazon for $9.00 on pre-order, $17.99 off the list price. Kingsolver is joining Grisham on the mass discount list? […]

Share

Motivating with Mark Twain

Sometimes after a relatively quiet weekend spent reading and writing and puttering, I feel recharged and full of ideas I’m hot to share. And sometimes Sunday evening rolls around and I realize that I got nothin’ whatsoever, and find myself casting around wildly for some kind of motivation. Not inspiration, particularly—the inspiration will come if […]

Share

Pocket Review: The Aztec Treasure House: New and Selected Essays by Evan S. Connell

According to Dr. John Lightfoot, Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University and Master of Saint Catherine’s College in 17th-century England, today marks the 6,013th anniversary of the creation of the universe. Specifically, “Heaven and earth, center and circumference were created all together and in the same instant, clouds full of water. This took place, and Man was […]

Share

Pocket Review: Morte D’Urban by J.F. Powers

J.F. Powers had no broad popular following when he was alive, but was known among his peers as a brilliant satirist and meticulous craftsman. He wrote both short stories and novels, and in both forms priests are his principal subjects. In two of his short story collections, The Prince of Darkness (1947) and The Presence […]

Share

Kickin’ It Old School (Issue One)

First up in our Kickin’ It Old School is Open Letters Monthly, a literary ezine dedicated to the arts. Before you start nodding off, dreading another article about some musty, dry publication written by a bunch of self-important geezers, let me tell you a little bit about the guy who edits this thing. His name […]

Share

Electric Literature and Other Animals

Every so often it’s good to get in on the ground floor of something, so this past summer I treated myself to a year’s worth of Electric Literature, starting with the inaugural issue. It’s very worth checking out: a sophisticated literary journal available on a number of different platforms (print, Kindle, eBook, iPhone); an associated […]

Share
Subscribe