Monthly Archives: July, 2011

Man Booker Longlist Announced

The Man Booker longlist for 2011 has been announced, and it’s an interesting assortment. No breakout favorites like last year’s Skippy Dies or The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet—in fact, none of the “Man Booker Dozen” had gotten enormous amounts of stateside buzz. Which makes the contest all the more interesting, of course, because […]

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Addenda: Simon Van Booy

If yesterday’s review of Simon Van Booy’s Everything Beautiful Began After has piqued your interest, be advised that HarperCollins is offering up all of his individual eBook short stories at $1.99 apiece. They’re a great introduction to his work, worth picking up one at a time and savoring. “Love Begins in Winter,” from the collection […]

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Pocket Review: Everything Beautiful Began After by Simon Van Booy

Everything Beautiful Began After Simon Van Booy Harper Perennial, 2011 I suppose, when it comes to novels, certain types of characters fall in and out of fashion according to the times. And maybe these are more ironic days, but in my reading lately I’ve been sorry to note the lack of true romantics. I don’t […]

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New Yorker fiction (Jul 25) – “Matinée”

The New Yorker has made the story available online only to subscribers. Robert Coover offers up a pitch-perfect story of dizzying import. In an enormously kaleidoscopic way, the narrative flows through the romantic plot aspects of several movies and the lives of many individuals and couples. (I am not well-versed in movie plots, so this […]

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Strata: Katharine Weber

Katharine Weber has published five novels and teaches fiction writing at Columbia University. She has numerous reviews and articles to her credit, for publications such as the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, the Chicago Tribune, and the Los Angeles Times Book Review. Katharine’s memoir, The Memory of All That, has just been released.  If you […]

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Dies Caniculares

The Dog Days—in Latin, diēs caniculārēs—are indeed upon us, my friends. So named because the Romans believed that the hottest period of the year was influenced by Sirius the dog star, brightest point in the constellation Canis Major, the Old Farmer’s Almanac lists them as spanning July 3 through August 11. In ancient Rome, though, they […]

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Short Shelf: The Periodic Table of the Elements

In this age of ever-present data visualization, let’s not forget one of the earliest, prettiest, and most enduring: The Periodic Table of the Elements. Devised by Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev in 1869, it has both genius and simplicity on its side. The 118 known elements are laid out in a table in order of their […]

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Dzanc Write-a-Thon 2011

Dzanc Books is holding its fourth annual Write-a-Thon fundraiser this week, and there’s still time to sponsor one of their writers. From July 21st through the 24th, some 20 authors will sit down at their respective desks and work in response to a prompt given them by the powers that be. What they’ll come up […]

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Whatever Floats Your Boat: The Book Barge

I’m not sure what exactly the connection is, but there’s something about books by the water… come summertime we talk about beach reading, as opposed to backyard or park or lying-in-bed-with-the-fan-on reading, and one of the ultimate immersive reading fantasies is of being a lighthouse keeper. There’s a sense, naturally, of flow, but also of […]

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Takabuti the Mummy, the Clonmore Shrine and Bog Butter

I’m on record as being a big fan of the object writing prompt, where the physical thingness of random items becomes the jumping-off point for essays, memoir, fiction, and poetry. With the folks behind Significant Objects on hiatus while they work on their upcoming book, I’m always on the lookout for creative exercises in the […]

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