Monthly Archives: August, 2010

New Yorker fiction (Aug 30) – “The Science of Flight”

In this quietly grim story, I found reminders of people I’ve known who resembled its protagonist in being self-effacing and acquiescent individuals. Over the years she had become accustomed to who she was in other people’s eyes: she knew she would be considered a loser by her Chinese acquaintances in America, a divorced woman toiling […]

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A Series of Unfortunate Lists

Ah, the fine art of comparison. Who knew litblogging was such a locker room-worthy activity? Well, OK… everyone. This year alone we’ve had the New Yorker’s favorite 20 writers under 40, which spawned lists of 20 More Under 40, Over 40 Over 40, 50 Over 50, and 10 Over 80—all of which starts sounding like […]

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In The Garden of Knowledge

I’ve heard of getting lost in a good book, but if you find yourself in Quebec you could get lost in a whole garden of them. The Jardin de la Connaissance, or Garden of Knowledge, was built by designers Thilo Folkerts and Rodney Latourelle for Canada’s 11th International Garden Festival. Using some 40,000 reclaimed books, […]

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Pocket Review: What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us by Laura van den Berg

In Laura van den Berg’s What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us (Dzanc Books, 2010), the ratio of unknown to known runs high. Which is to say that absences feature here more prominently than presences: Bigfoot, the African mokele-mbembe, the Loch Ness Monster, mysterious holes in the street that may […]

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You Got to Know When to Fold ‘Em

A month after first crossing swords, Random House and the Andrew Wylie-Amazon.com coalition have settled as privately as their initial conflict was public. On Tuesday the Wylie Agency and Random House CEO Markus Dohle issued a joint statement that they had resolved their differences, and that Amazon would start pulling Odyssey Editions eBooks. Out of […]

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Pocket Review: The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating Elisabeth Tova Bailey Algonquin Books, 2010 Emerson’s “holiness of all living things” is put to the ultimate test in Elisabeth Tova Bailey’s slim, evocative new book The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, because when the author finds herself bedridden for a stretch, she doesn’t adopt a sedentary […]

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New Yorker fiction (Jul 26) – “The Dredgeman’s Revelation”

In the primeval and spongy ecosystem of wetlands, the precise boundary between earth and water is mired in mystery, obscured in muck — and it’s in that place where acclaimed author Karen Russell steps up to share her love of all things swampen. She reveals in a conversation at BookBrowse: A lot of my protagonists […]

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The Tomes of August

There’s still a week left to the last long month of true summer, and Like Fire is pleased to bring you The Tomes of August. Which, naturally, must start with… The Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman This hour-by-hour account of the first month of what then was the Great War, which we now […]

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Online Book Clubs—BYOB

I spend a disproportionate amount of time talking about books, but oddly enough I’ve never been part of an actual book club. I’ve always harbored a vague envy for the whole cycle: Staying up late to finish the book in time for the next evening’s discussion, figuring out what to cook when you’re hosting, and […]

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Dead Tree Editions

Rick Jacques is a graphic design student in Atlanta, and from the look of his work he has a fine future ahead of him. But personally, I think he could retire on these gorgeous wooden books if he never wanted to do another thing. As he describes his version of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the […]

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