Monthly Archives: July, 2012

Alison Bechdel: My BFF in the NYT

Everybody has a secret creative BFF, right? Someone whose writing or art you adore, who loves the same things you love, whose aesthetic influences are just the same as yours. Which is not exactly the same as being a fan. And writing a fan letter—almost always a good thing to do when someone inspires or […]

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The Booker Longlist: Not Safe, Not Conservative

So the longlist is out and not at all what I expected. So much for judges playing it safe and going with established names! I got two of my thirteen predictions, which is about par for the course. What does surprise me, though, is that several of these books weren’t even on my radar; usually […]

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Predicting the Booker Longlist

Welcome to the most self-indulgent thing I do all year long! Yes, it’s my annual list of Booker longlist predictions. I should warn you ahead of time that my track record is dreadful and I will most likely get two or three of my picks correct. But if nothing else, my yearly sifting through dozens […]

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James Salter on Private Library Love

James Salter puts in an appearance this week on the New Yorker’s Page Turner blog, with an essay in praise of private libraries. It’s taken from his introduction to Phantoms on the Bookshelves, Jacques Bonnet’s chronicle of his life spent reading and collecting, just out from Overlook Press. The book sounds luscious, as it should—Bonnet […]

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NY Local: Cash Mob at St. Mark’s Bookshop, 3 p.m.

New Yorkers! Get your money-spending selves down to St. Mark’s Bookshop this afternoon at 3. They’re hosting a Cash Mob—a retail extravaganza—for a little infusion of much-needed cash to help out with their upcoming move. You may remember our report on their troubles last fall, and I’m pleased to report they’re still hanging in. But […]

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Laura Ingalls Wilder’s First Draft

2012 is shaping up to be a big year for all of my childhood obsessions. The Lost Colony may have been found! We may know what happened to Amelia Earhart! And now it appears that Laura Ingalls Wilder’s original autobiography, “Pioneer Girl,” may at long last be published. (If C. Thomas Howell makes a big […]

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Little Libraries Around the Corner

Any psychologist will tell you that much of the allure of miniatures, for children, is control. Dollhouses, action figures, little china animals—these are all smaller than even the smallest of small people, offering the comfort of scale. But that’s also a bit of a simplistic explanation. There’s something mysterious in the tiny and also something […]

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The Short Shelf: Wolves

Wolves haunt those woods Mr. Frost, whether they’re those in the mind’s recesses, or the canine predators roaming the nearest wilderness. Even though they have largely been erased throughout the world where people live, packs of wolves populate our individual and collective memories. And which of us doesn’t wonder how far removed is that canine […]

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Pocket Review: Birds of a Lesser Paradise by Megan Mayhew Bergman

Birds of a Lesser Paradise Megan Mayhew Bergman Scribner, 2012 I like to think I bring at least a somewhat cool head to the reviews I write. Which is not to say I’m not subjective—I can love something or hate it or, more often, find faults and virtues scattered throughout. But I don’t tend to […]

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Robert Frost Revisited

I am not much of a poetry person, to my chagrin–I’ve made stabs at Anne Carson’s Autobiography of Red and Adrienne Rich’s Diving into the Wreck, but somehow I end up feeling impatient and grumpy rather than transported and enlightened. (Do not get me started on Sylvia Plath.) I do make a couple of exceptions, […]

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