Monthly Archives: February, 2012

Charlotte Brontë’s French Homework

The Guardian attempted to get me all excited at the prospect of a hitherto unknown Charlotte Brontë work (their headline is “Charlotte Brontë’s lost short story to be published”), but in fact, what we are really talking about is some French homework she did as a young woman. The grammar is, apparently, a bit hit-and-miss (I […]

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Walker Percy, The Original Moviegoer, at The Millions

This may have been a milder winter than most, but it’s still a time of year that lends itself to indulging in those low-light, indoor activities. And no, I’m not plugging The Kama Sutra again—I’m thinking of the movies. Whether you’re staying home on the couch or making an afternoon out of it, nothing beats […]

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Are Bare Trees in Snow the New Legs?

I know every armchair book design critic remembers when it seemed like every other trade novel had a pair of legs as its main cover element. I want to say it was just a few years ago, but a quick search pulls up this Chicago Tribune article on the subject from 2003. And that makes […]

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The Great Singapore Penis Panic, and Other Fantastic Titles

I am ever-so-slightly obsessed with literary prizes (I’m sure this goes back to my childhood somehow), so I know all about the Bookers and the Whitbread and the Orange and the NBCCs. But somehow I’ve overlooked this one for years: the Diagram Prize for the Oddest Book Title of the Year. It was first bestowed […]

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RIP Barney Rosset

Barney Rosset—maverick publisher, filmmaker, and literary provocateur—died Tuesday, at the age of 89. Rosset, founder of Grove Press, was the man responsible for bringing Samuel Beckett to American audiences, and for pushing Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Tropic of Cancer, and Naked Lunch past censors in the 1960s. He also began the counterculture literary magazine Evergreen Review […]

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Charles Dickens: The Telegraph’s Favorite Characters (and Why They’re Wrong, Wrong, Wrong)

Charles Dickens has been two hundred years old for two whole weeks now, but I have only just discovered the fun series Britain’s daily newspaper The Telegraph is running throughout the month of February: twenty-nine of the newspaper’s writers select their favorite Dickens characters. The choices run from the obvious–can you really envision such a […]

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A Safer World for Books: Bookninja Closes Up Shop

I was able to fool myself for a while… six months, nine months. Maybe he’s busy, I thought. I know he’s got a lot of other things to do. At first I’d keep checking, full of hope—today? Well no, OK. He has a lot on his mind. Maybe next week? But eventually, you can’t delude […]

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Pocket Review: The Kama Sutra by Vatsyayana, Translated by A.N.D. Haksar

Kama Sutra Vatsyayana, translated by A.N.D. Haksar Penguin Classics, 2012 New York is an old city with an eternally crumbling infrastructure, but the powers that be do what they can. Lately they’ve been concentrating on making repairs to the subway, a system over a century old that moves more than four million people every day. […]

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Flavor of the Week: Library Boing Boing

The handy WordPress search function reveals the fact that I used the phrase “two great tastes” as a post title just under two years ago, so I’m going to hold tight to my integrity and refrain from using it again. But if I did, I would now. One of my favorite places to geek out […]

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A Second Chance with Dzanc’s rEprints

Of all the independent presses Like Fire holds in high regard, Dzanc Books is one of our favorites. Is it hokey to refer to an organization in this day and age as a class act? Because Dzanc deserves the distinction across the board, from its catalog to its production values—those buttery covers!—to founder Dan Wickett’s […]

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