Monthly Archives: June, 2012

Carnegie Medals for Fiction and Nonfiction

Well, 2012 may have been a year without a fiction Pulitzer, but you will all be relieved to know that the American Library Association has stepped into the breach and offered two new literary prizes–the Carnegie Medals, one for fiction and one for non-fiction. The ALA bestowed the fiction prize on Anne Enright for The […]

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Train of Thought: The Underground New York Public Library

I’ve lived in New York for a long, long time, and while there are obvious things to hate about it—the dirt, the inequity, the weather, the armies of the oblivious, both native and tourist varieties—I have never not loved it here. Part of that is about the resources, the ready culture, but a lot of […]

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Bookplates, and the Lack Thereof

I like these bookplates (and bookplatters) very much. If I ever got around to having the kind of parties where nuts and olives were set out on tables in civilized fashion—as opposed to the kind where a bunch of people cram in around my kitchen table and eat and drink a lot and talk over […]

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Tennis, Anyone? Banville?

There’s niche blogging and then there’s niche blogging. Bless Tumblr; where once you might have sat around thinking, “Now who exactly is going to appreciate this crazy set of things I’ve found?” now you can make your wackiest, most obscure curatorial impulses public and you know they’ll find appreciation. For instance, John Banville: Booker Prize […]

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Forty at Fifty-Two (Stories, That Is)

Everybody deserves a break sometimes. Especially if you’re in the business of putting up content day in and day out—or, in the case of Cal Morgan’s Fifty-Two Stories, week in and week out. You have to give the man plenty of credit: His weekly series of excellent short stories by fine contemporary writers has been […]

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Uncon Consummated: The Book Blogger Unconvention Report

So yes, I realize that it’s the tiniest bit gauche to swing by after such a long stretch of radio silence to report that I was inspired and engaged by the Book Blog Unconference on June 4th. If I can break the fourth wall a moment—does this thing even have walls?—the past month has been […]

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Yes You Will: Happy Bloomsday, 2012!

Happy Bloomsday! I’m assuming everyone else is off at the pub, or having a little grilled mutton kidney, or knocking around Dublin in a white dress as is appropriate to the date. Me, I’m in Boca Raton primping for a family wedding—no stately plump folks in sight, just lots of sleek tans and frosted toenails. […]

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Jane Austen: Another Lost Portrait?

You may remember that back in December, a researcher, Paula Byrne, uncovered a new picture of Jane Austen that she believed had been drawn from life. (Here’s a close-up of the picture.) Her logic frankly seemed a little iffy to me, but it interested the BBC enough to focus a whole documentary on it. Six […]

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Open Letters Monthly, June 2012

What is so rare as a day in June? Well… pretty much anything, actually. There are 30 of them, after all, every year. But those 30 make up some prime calendar real estate—time to wind down the responsibilities of the year, fire up the grill, and get in some good reading as well. To that […]

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RIP, Ray Bradbury

Oh, man. Ray Bradbury has died. I haven’t read any of his work in a long time, but when I was in middle school and high school, I devoured The Illustrated Man, Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, and dozens of his standalone short stories. My favorite of his stories is “Sound of Thunder,” a downright […]

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