Archive for August, 2008

Finding the September Book of the Month
By August 22, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Finding the September Book of the Month

I’m late again. How is that possible? My promotion materials were due in the marketing department on Monday. I always used to be on time. I should have announced the September book of the month three days ago, and I still don’t even know which book it will be.   Xiaolu Guo’s Twenty Fragments of […]

Posted in: Book Groups
PEACE

PEACE

  Peace.  Richard Bausch.  Alfred A. Knopf, 2008.  978-0-307-26833-4.  Richard Bausch is just a few years older than I am so I am going to claim that he and I are of the same generation.  I suspect that his father’s experiences fighting in World War II may have influenced his son as Bausch grew up with […]

Posted in: Book Groups, Book News
MPLS, You Were Lovely
By August 22, 2008 1 Comments Read More →

MPLS, You Were Lovely

 In honor of my visit to Minneapolis/St. Paul this week, I want to do a little shout out to the downtown library in Minneapolis.  I was blown away by this library, its spaces, displays, collections and staff.  The children’s department was a real gem, and their vibrant, whimsical displays created by local firm Blue Rhino […]

Posted in: Book Groups, Book News
Useful Questions, Part Two

Useful Questions, Part Two

Here’s another installment of four questions that a book group leader or concerned participant should be ready to use when the discussion is lagging. Question 1: What is the central conflict in the book? When to use it: When discussion of the book is scattered and missing the main point A few odd comments can […]

Posted in: Book Groups
Perhaps I Could Have Used Advice from an Editor
By August 21, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Perhaps I Could Have Used Advice from an Editor

I linked to the obituary of L. Rust Hills even though I didn’t have anything interesting to say about it. But I’ve always been interested in the relationship between author and editor, and now that so few authors get meaningful editing, I guess I was moved by the departure of one of the greats. Editors are all […]

Posted in: Book Awards
"An idea whose greatness will grip readers and refuse to let them go!"
By August 20, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

"An idea whose greatness will grip readers and refuse to let them go!"

You know those ecstatic, generally untrustworthy quotes on the back of books–no, not the ones from respected journals like Booklist, but the ones from authors whose connection to the praised author is usually unclear but worth Googling? Well, Blurbings LLC is about to put a price on the process, even if the value to the author is […]

Posted in: Book News
Literary Virgins and Lost Innocence
By August 20, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Literary Virgins and Lost Innocence

Two good pieces from the Guardian‘s theblogbooks. John Sutherland offers a list of the “Top 10 literary virgins“: Why cannot we accept that there is sexless greatness as well as hyper-sexual greatness? Jane Austen was a plain Jane. If she’d looked like Kate Winslet, and had as much glorious sex as Jordan, we would not […]

Posted in: Books and Authors
L. Rust Hills, R.I.P.
By August 20, 2008 1 Comments Read More →

L. Rust Hills, R.I.P.

Still catching up. Oh, for the days when there was a “red-hot center” of American literary life. Former Esquire fiction editor L. Rust Hills remembered (“L. Rust Hills, Fiction Editor at Esquire, Dies at 83,” by Bruce Weber, New York Times): A shrewd reader with a keen ear for an original voice and a sure […]

Posted in: Book News
The United Kingdom's Jonathan Franzen, Sort Of
By August 19, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

The United Kingdom's Jonathan Franzen, Sort Of

In a scenario that will sound familiar to U.S. readers, Scottish novelist Andrew O’Hagan has said that popular English TV hosts Richard and Judy treat their book club followers as if they were “stupid” (“Richard and Judy ‘treat their readers as stupid,’” by Senay Boztas, The Observer): ‘We have an industry where we have a Richard […]

Posted in: Book Groups
Chabon Wins the Hugo
By August 19, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Chabon Wins the Hugo

Well, a bunch of other people won stuff, but in the same way that some people are only interested in how many medals Michael Phelps can win at the Olympics, some of us are wondering how much hardware The Yiddish Policeman’s Union can bring home for Michael Chabon. (For example, the Nebula.) The full list: Best […]

Posted in: Book Awards