Monthly Archives: January, 2010

Not Just Sex for Sex’s Sake

Over at The Rumpus last week, Jami Attenberg and Kate Christensen had a gratifyingly indelicate conversation about sex and writing (with a very NSFW tab header, if there’s any danger of someone reading over your shoulder). It made me nod in agreement, it made me want a whiskey straight up and a cigarette, and it […]

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Serendipities

According to my daily dispatch from The Writer’s Almanac, today marks the 256th anniversary of the origin of the word serendipity. In a letter to a friend dated January 28, 1754, Horace Walpole explains that he came up with the word after a fairy tale he once read, called The Three Princes of Serendip, explaining, […]

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Another Sad Day

Louis Auchincloss, Chronicler of New York’s Upper Crust, Dies at 92 … Although he practiced law full time until 1987, Mr. Auchincloss published more than 60 books of fiction, biography and literary criticism in a writing career of more than a half-century. He was best known for his dozens and dozens of novels about what […]

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Nom nom nom!

Many thanks to The Daily What for sharing news of the über-cool “Puckman bookcase” created by the Milan designer Mirko Ginepro, un uomo di bell’aspetto himself. I love how the bookcase has opted to co-exist alongside its electronic kin in unambiguous dominance. Books are the new bitey thing! All this reminds me of the words […]

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Sports and Accessories

In Jacket Copy, Carolyn Kellogg wonders if the mythical Apple tablet, perhaps maybe scheduled to be announced today, is setting itself up for direct competition with Amazon. McGraw-Hill’s CEO raved about the tablet on CNBC yesterday, and while Amazon has been vocal about providing a Kindle platform for major textbook publishers, McGraw-Hill isn’t one of […]

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New Yorker fiction (Jan 18) – “A Death in Kitchawank”

As if we needed any prompting to consider again our stance in the midst of life’s vagaries, along comes a smooth and elegant story from T. Coraghessan Boyle that pushes its readers to do just that. The life and times of a lakefront neighborhood are depicted in brisk and sweeping brush strokes over the course […]

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Review Redux 1-25-10

A great title like Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human deserves equally fine content, and the Australian‘s Jose Borghino thinks Richard Wrangham’s book qualifies: “The best kind of scientific writing: clear, strongly argued and provocative. That it’s still contentious makes it all the more exciting.” Contentious? Yes, I’d say so. Wrangham’s interpretation includes this […]

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MJ Rose’s Backstory: Katharine Weber

(Like Fire is pleased to be the new home of MJ Rose’s Backstory, originally featured on her blog Buzz Balls and Hype. Backstory is where authors share truths that sparked their fiction, the impulse behind their memoirs or that “AHA” moment that led to a work of nonfiction. First up is Katharine Weber, whose new […]

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Six Words Plus One

I’ve long been a fan of SMITH Magazine’s Six-Word Stories, and will cop to compulsively paging through It All Changed in an Instant whenever I pass it on a bookstore table. But I’ve never managed to get that six-word flash of inspiration myself. Last weekend while browsing in the Strand, though, I did find the […]

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The Dog’s Bollocks

Over at The Bygone Bureau, Nick Martens has been browsing the Oxford English Dictionary and meandering through words tagged “typogr.”—typographical terminology. Now that all references to movable type are from a bygone age, a printer’s term from the 1970s is just as archaic as one from the 17th century: hell box, tympan, turtle, fly the […]

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