I figure that there are two kinds of people when it comes to computers and vacation: Either you love the extra leisure time to catch up on back-logged RSS feeds (I know my Google Reader is out of control) . . . or you avoid the computer like the plague. Which are you? Have you read any good blog posts this week?
Although I have been enjoying my extra reading time, I have had a chance to read book blogs over the past few days. My favorite posts:
Stop the clocks: how Twain celebrated Thanksgiving
Posted by Maud Newton
You have to read this post—if only for the hilarious cartoon depicting how Mark Twain celebrated Thanksgiving. (Luckily, Twain spent the holiday with Thomas Nast, so the author's antics could be documented.)
Christmas Mysteries for 2010
Posted by My Friend Amy
I've already posted about seasonal fiction once today, but for those who really want to get into the spirit, here's a great roundup on My Friend Amy. Read about six new Christmas mysteries. Do you have any to add to this list?
Laurent de Brunhoff talks about the making of Babar USA
Posted on Mishaps and Adventures
Trisha sent me this link with the note . . . "I heart Babar." Is there really anything else that needs to be said? In this charming video, Laurent de Brunhoff (the son of Jean de Brunhoff, the creator of Babar) talks about the creative process of making Babar.
What posts have you enjoyed this week? A few of my favorites include...
Mockingjay (Review in Haiku)
Posted on The Literate Housewife Review
The Literate Housewife reviews Suzanne Collins' Mockingjay in the form of a haiku! Here's a preview:
Peeta, Gale, oh you
Cardboard stereotypes of
Who you had once been.
Any blog readers want to start commenting in verse?
Edgar Allan Poe & The Animated Tell-Tale Heart
Posted by Dan Colman on Open Culture
On the anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe's death, Open Culture highlights the 1953 animated adaptation of Poe's short story "The Tell-Tale Heart." The film—about a madman who believes he is sane—is preserved in the United States National Film Registry. Warning: Only watch if you don't mind getting chills.
10 Granta-Anointed Spanish-Language Writers You Should Know
Posted by Chelsea Bauch on Flavorwire
Literary magazine Granta recently released a list of the Best of Young Spanish-Language Novelists. Both Granta and Granta en Español include fiction from the writers, although the pieces are different.
Chelsea Bauch on Flavorwire profiles ten of the authors, writing, "Here’s a chance to familiarize yourself with a selection of these emerging writers before they’re as ubiquitous as Borges and Bolaño." Definitely worth a read.
From posting about Dr. Seuss or the Great American Novelist—to making fun of the Great American Novelist—book bloggers have been busy this week. Highlighted below are a few posts I enjoyed. What about you?
Green Eggs and Ham Hit Bookshelves Everywhere 50 Years Ago Today!!!
Posted by Between the Covers: Tattered Cover book Blog
Between the Covers writes that Dr. Seuss's beloved Green Eggs and Ham turned 50 on August 12 (yesterday). Interesting fact: Did you know that the book came about because of a bet? This blog post explains:
Green Eggs and Ham, the critically acclaimed 1960 book, was born out of a $50 wager between Ted Geisel and his Random House publisher, Bennett Cerf, who bet he couldn't write an articulate, entertaining book using only fifty words.
When Bennet Cerf heard Ted's first reading of the book, he seemed dazed, shaking his head over the clear triumph of Green Eggs and Ham.
Trust Me -- This Could Be Fun
Posted on The Memory Project (author Laura Lippman's blog)
Are you sick of all the Jonathan Franzen coverage? Crime novelist Laura Lippman has a good anecdote—a hilarious Mad Libs-style game in which she re-writes Franzen's Time cover story to feature herself, instead. Here's how Lippman introduces the game:
Jonathan Franzen is going to be on the cover of TIME. I had it on good authority that I was the other August author under consideration, but so it goes.
Now, many years ago, Nora Ephron -- man, how many times have I cited her on this blog -- had a killing parody of how to write a magazine cover story. Interestingly, the rules as she observed them do not seem to have changed much. This profile (an abridged version is online) begins with a comically strained scene involving 41 sea otters. [Click here to keep reading.]
Editor & Author: Jonathan Galassi and Jeffrey Eugenides
Posted on Farrar, Straus and Giroux's "Work in Progress" blog
This post may have gone up a month ago, but it's still worth a read. FSG maintains a site devoted to their authors' works in progress, and this entry is all about Jeffrey Eugenides' (of Middlesex fame) next book—which editor Jonathan Galassi calls "One of the most anticipated new books around the FSG offices (and out in the real world, I daresay)." Though Eugenides won't reveal his novel's title, he will say that "the new book ranges in setting from Providence, Rhode Island, and Cape Cod to Calcutta." Will you be excited when you get more details on this project?
What interesting blog posts have you read this week? A few of my favorites include. . .
The Happy Ghost
Posted by Bill Morris on The Millions
If you've ever been curious about ghostwriters ("publishing’s dirty little secret"), then you have to read this post on The Millions, in which Morris asserts that ghostwriting has "officially left the ghetto." For more on the topic, read my interview with The Baby-sitters Club creator Ann M. Martin, who described the process of collaborating with about 10 different ghostwriters while writing her mega-bestselling series.
Ward Six List of 10 Over 80
Posted by Rhian Ellis on Ward Six
Everyone's been buzzing about The New Yorker's top writers under 40 (including us), so I loved seeing a different spin on lit blog Ward Six. Contributor Rhian Ellis writes, "All the following writers will turn 80 or more this year, and all have been kicking ass for longer than we have been alive," and gives shout-outs to Harper Lee, Beverly Cleary and others.
Literary tattoos and why I’ll never get one
Posted by Trish on Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin?
I got a kick out of looking at these tattoos and imagining what kind of bookish symbol I might get—what about you? Or do you agree with Trish, who wrote, "If I were going to get a literary tattoo, then I would want something simple, like the tree in the third pic, but all the things I love about books are that they’ve changed my life perspective, and those things can’t be summed up in a graphic (for me)."
What book blog posts have you enjoyed this week? Read on for a few of my top picks.
We Need to Talk About Kevin - Lionel Shriver
Posted by You've GOTTA read this!
I've had Lionel Shriver on the brain since Trisha posted about the movie adaptation of We Need To Talk About Kevin. So yesterday, I was happy to see a long and thoughtful post about the book at You've GOTTA read this! Shriver's Orange Prize-winning novel about a mother's reaction to her son's high school shooting is "brilliant," according to Sandy. "It is just something you need to read when you are feeling resilient," she writes. "I don't think I can separate myself enough from the pain and anguish of reading this book to give it five stars, though on merit alone it deserves it. It will be a story that knocks around in my head for a long long time."
Posted by The Egalitarian Bookworm
Happy 446th birthday Shakespeare! Over at The Egalitarian Bookworm, Sarah is ringing it in in style with an excerpt from As You Like It ("It was a Lover and his Lass").
Become a BELIEVER
Posted by The Book Lady's Blog
Gina Welch went undercover at Jerry Falwell’s Thomas Road Baptist Church in order to write In the Land of Believers. In BookPage, reviewer Sarah E. White wrote that the book "provides a candid inside look at faith for people who don’t have a clue where evangelicals are coming from"—and she suggested that it might even alter a person's thoughts about "people of all faiths." If our review piqued your interest, you'll love Rebecca's blog post at The Book Lady's Blog. She links to a guest blog post Welch wrote for her about the initial seed of the book, and she links to other discussions and reactions to the book (including from an evangelical Christian). It's worth a look. Have you read In the Land of Believers? If so, share your thoughts in the comments.
Below are a few memorable posts I’ve stumbled upon this week. Feel free to add your own favorite book blog posts in the comments.
Posted by A Girl Walks Into a Bookstore...
I've seen several posts about covers in book blogs this week, many inspired by a making-of-a-cover trailer released by Orbit Books. In this particular post, Katherine points how (humorously) alike two covers seem to be: Eve by Elissa Elliott (Bantam) and Twilight of Avalon by Anna Elliott (Touchstone):
Literary Identity, The Weight of Recommendations, and More
Posted by My Friend Amy
Ever felt frustrated because you don't have a concrete answer for "what kind of books do you like?" In this post, Amy reflects on not having a defined sense of taste. She comments: "I'm wondering if because I don't have a clearly identifiable pattern of what I like, my recommendations are less weighty." Well, I don't think that's true. Just because a person doesn't exclusively read fantasy doesn't mean she can't recommend a book in that genre. But Amy's post did get me thinking about pinning down my own book preferences, which range from literary fiction, to classics, to "women's fiction" and YA. And cookbooks. And short stories. And political bios. And how-to books. And poetry. Hm. "Literary identity" is hard to pin down, isn't it?
Wench; Dolen Perkins-Valdez
Posted by Bibliophile By the Sea
Ever since Dolen Perkins-Valdez wrote a behind-the-book essay for BookPage.com, I've been curious about her debut novel, Wench. The story's about a group of slave women who go with their white masters to a resort in Ohio every year, and the resort is based on a real place. Diane of Bibliophile By the Sea enjoyed the book, writing, The author did an amazing job creating memorable, and vividly portrayed characters that will stay with me for a long while. So is the case for other aspects of the novel: like the pain, anguish, physical and sexual abuse some had experienced. It is a story that brilliantly detailed the emotions slave women experienced during this awful period of America's past. It was interesting to read both author and reader reflections on Wench—I may have to pick this one up.
What book blog posts did you enjoy this week?
Every week, there are many smart, funny and fascinating posts in the book blog community. With that in mind, we’re starting a Friday series: Best of the week in book blogs. Below are a few choice posts we’ve stumbled upon throughout the past few days. Feel free to add YOUR favorite book blog posts in the comments.
“I dare you not to sing along ...”
Posted by She is Too Fond of Books
How much do you love this video, from Ocoee Middle School in Florida? Oprah did, and now she’s partnering with Target to give the school a library makeover. Okay everyone: Sing it with me: “This book's going to be a good, good book to read.”
“Great Building of Books Friday”
Posted by Entomology of a Bookworm
This post is awesome because, well, who doesn’t want to learn about a building made of books? I visited the Modern Art Center in Lisbon a couple years ago, and there was a minimal, conceptual light installation in the hall where the book structure was on display. If only I could have seen a "symmetrical, enclosed room of stacked literature”!
“Some Bookish Events that are Local (to me)”
Posted by Book Chatter
I love getting out from behind my computer screen and interacting with booklovers in person—hence my fondness for book festivals and readings. On Book Chatter, Ti highlights two such events in the Los Angeles area, the L.A. Times Festival of Books and the Impatient with Desire book party. Wish I could be there!
“Spotted on the subway: Vladimir Nabokov edition”
Posted by Wormbook
Browse Wormbook for many “Spotted on the subway” entries. How fun is it to spot a stranger reading one of your favorite books? Or spy on a reader who totally doesn’t match up with the book he’s reading?
What book blog posts did you enjoy this week?