Tag Archives: book reviews

New Reviews and “Right” Reviewers

Launch day never comes but what I am surprised at what we’ve pulled off, thanks to the talent, perseverance, and generosity of our contributors and the diligence, enthusiasm, and contributions of our editors! Our May issue seems to me to exemplify what we want Open Letters to be. It covers a wide range of material — […]

2012: My Year in Writing

I began my annual look back at 2012 with my small contribution to the Open Letters year-end feature. I’ll follow up soon with my regular survey of highs and lows from my reading and blogging year. But this year I thought I’d also take a moment to review the writing I’ve done this year for venues besides Novel […]

This Week In My Classes: So Much To Do! Also, a New OLM!

It’s the time of term when I really just have to focus on doing one thing at a time: if I contemplate the big picture, it’s overwhelming. The truth is, everything does not in fact need to get done in a hurry or come due at once, but the constant appearance of more items on […]

Blogging is Detrimental to Literature? Make Him Stop Saying That!

Just when you thought maybe, just maybe, the worst was over when it came to casually dismissive generalizations about blogging–you know, of the kind that used to get us all riled up way back in 2008, and that still irked us in 2010–we get this, from the editor of the TLS: The rise of blogging […]

The Worth of Our Work (with Some Thoughts on Jonah Lehrer)

Alas, alas! This hurts most, this . . that, after all, we are paid The worth of our work, perhaps. — Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Aurora Leigh The very smart and funny Adam Roberts has decided to put an end to his blog Punkadiddle. Iif you haven’t already had the pleasure, you should check out the archives – […]

It’s All in the Frame: Reasons For Writing

I’ve been brooding (and pacing, and swearing, and procrastinating) about starting a new essay project, and what I find myself most stymied by is how to frame it. This is a problem I don’t have with blogging, which is perhaps why I find this such a liberating form. Here, having read something is reason enough […]

Novel Readings 2010

My turn! Here’s my traditional look back at the highs and lows of my reading and blogging year. Book of the Year: Hands down, and entirely to my delighted surprise, since I had no particular expectations going into it, my favourite book of the year was Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom. I raved […]

Best of ‘Novel Readings’: James Wood, How Fiction Works

This review first went up in March 2008. My brooding over deep vs. broad reading has had me thinking again about Wood’s criticism, which I wrote admiringly about when I first discovered him in 2007. (This remarkably belated discovery speaks volumes, I think, of the divide between academic and public criticism.) I have also been […]

Novel Readings 2009

It’s time for my annual review of the highs and lows of my reading year. Books I’m most glad I read, either for the intrinsic richness of the aesthetic, affective, or intellectual experience they offered, for the conversations they generated, or for the ideas and connections they offered for my teaching and research: 1. Daniel […]

Globe and Mail Book Section Goes Online

The Toronto Globe and Mail, which fondly declares itself “Canada’s National Newspaper,” has, like many other newspapers, recently eliminated their stand-alone books section. I haven’t found the Globe‘s book section very stimulating for some time, so to me the loss is more symbolic than intellectual. (One of my theories about why the section is so […]

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I recently took the widely recommended step of securing a “domain of my own” and I am gradually consolidating my online content there, including Novel Readings. I’m posting at both locations for now, but I have disabled comments at this location. You can leave comments on my new site; you may want to update your RSS feeds to follow me from there.

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