Monthly Archives: November, 2010

‘Tis the Season

Whereas at Like Fire headquarters we are not exactly reviving the economy single-handedly through commerce, now or at any time of the year, fortunately our compatriots have been doing some scouting. The folks over at The Book Bench have good eyes and turn up some neat stuff—their Holiday Gift Guide is ongoing and organized by […]

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New Yorker fiction (Nov 29) – “The Yellow”

This story has a lot of moving parts. Some of the descriptive passages irritate, but the forlorn characters are all too familiar. There’s a 42-year-old unemployed man, living again in his parents’ house, without, it seems, having accomplished (m)any of the conventional tasks by which adulthood is measured: e.g., dating, mating, procreating. There’s a 39-year-old […]

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New Yorker fiction (Mar 1) – “Appetite”

This story was published in The New Yorker on March 1, 2010. How timely a weekend is this for thinking about immoderation. Are you amply stuffed from Thanksgiving dinner? (And how ’bout those leftovers?) One step further — have you succumbed to this weekend’s Siren songs cajoling you to empty pocketbook and wallet in order […]

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Reasons to Be Thankful: One, Two, Three

One: A flickr set of vintage Edward Gorey book covers, including a bunch of great old John Bellairs mysteries. Turns out one of the set compilers is Deth P. Sun, an artist whose work I have hanging in my house. Good stuff. (via Reading Copy.) Two: The Gutenberg Variations, a series of book paintings by […]

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IMPAC’s Impact

In all the other book award excitement last week, we neglected to mention that the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award super-longlist has been announced. This is the €100,000 prize for which librarians worldwide nominate books, and the list runs into three figures—this year, 162. It is, appropriately, eclectic. Hilary Mantel’s grand-slammer Wolf Hall is on there, […]

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New Yorker fiction (Nov 22) – “Assimilation”

The New Yorker has made the story available online only to subscribers. “Life is like an onion: you peel it off one layer at a time, and sometimes you weep.” This platitude, attributed to poet Carl Sandburg, may be an attempt to number the various dimensions of human existence and, in so doing, attempt to […]

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Pocket Review: You Lost Me There by Rosecrans Baldwin

You Lost Me There Rosecrans Baldwin Riverhead Books, 2010 Rosecrans Baldwin, a founding editor of the always-delightful The Morning News, looks like he was the second-hottest member of that 1990s boy-band whose name you can never quite recall. His soulful eyes suggest not literary depth but many evenings spent in front of a mirror, practicing […]

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Happy Birthday Voltaire!

Happy birthday to François-Marie Arouet, better known as Voltaire: essayist, playwright, historian, poet, philosopher, iconoclast, amateur scientist, social reformer, satirist, bibliophile, dedicated letter writer, gardener, coffee drinker, and champion of the underdog (sound familiar?), the man who gives Like Fire its name and epigraph. And appropriately so—although it’s always tempting to find ways in which […]

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Happy Birthday Margaret Atwood!

Let’s just say Like Fire entirely approves of literary lady hockey players who can draw superheroes. I dream of a scrimmage on ice with Margaret Atwood, although I suspect she might just kick my ass. (via Libraryland.)

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National Book Awards Rock On

It’s been a longish Wednesday. But something told me I would be rewarded if I just stuck it out and hung on Twitter obsessively refreshing the #nba10 hashtag for a while. Sure enough, I’m quite pleased with the National Book Award choices: Patti Smith in the Nonfiction category for Just Kids, and for Fiction, dark […]

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