Every Friday, the staff at Literary Traveler gathers up relevant book news from around the web, bringing it together in a handy post for book lovers to peruse. Enjoy!
- Can’t get enough of the reworked classics? Android Karenina is one of the funnier entries into the strange new genre of novel. The parts of the book not written by Tolstoy are the words of Ben H. Waters, who has also done his best to bastardize Jane Austin with Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. While it seems like a fun summer read, we feel the need to add: The original is pretty amazing, too.
- The Examiner has a funny and charming interview with author Lisa Brown, whose recently published novel Picture The Dead is just beginning to garner some serious attention. The book is described as part ghost story, part survival narrative. Brown admits she takes a lot of inspiration from young adult novels – she even mentions one of my all-time favorite books, The Witch Of Blackbird Pond. Probably because, like Brown, I’m not an Austin-ite: “I have this theory that there are two types of bookish girls: Jane Austen-ites and Brönte acolytes,” she says.
- Baby books aren’t something we often discuss here at Literary Traveler, but there is something enchanting about the historic baby books unearthed by the UCLA library and reproduced in this article at the L.A. Times book blog. Though not technically books – at least not in the way we normally think of them – they are pieces of personal history, a specifically feminine place for the celebration of growth and memory.
- For the first time in years, the New Yorker has published their “20 Under 40” list, which includes a group of “young writers” in order to offer a “focused look at the talent blooming around us.” However, as an essay in the New York Times points out, great books by those under 40 are not all that uncommon, and perhaps more importantly, these novels are often the greatest books of their careers. Authors including Melville, Hemingway, Faulkner, Kafka and Pynchon all wrote their most significant works before the age of 40. What becomes clear is something that seems almost self evident: Age does not actually matter when it comes to great literature.
- And finally, some light reading for your weekend. The Passage, a post-apocalyptic novel (with vampires!) is being hailed as the “book of the summer.” Master of horror Stephen King has even voiced his approval for the lengthy tome. Get yourself to a Barnes & Noble – or risk falling behind on what looks to be the next literary phenomenon. Worst case scenario? You can spend all summer expressing your unbiased opinion that it “doesn’t live up to the hype.” And if you’re more interested in travel than literature, here’s a trip that combines the two (and adds a healthy dose of pop culture): The newly opened Wizarding World of Harry Potter at the Universal Orlando Resort.