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Friday Links: Book News From Around The Internet

May 7, 2010 in Uncategorized

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!Image via Amazon.com

  • We’ve seen a lot of interesting writing projects lately – from contests for bad poetry to a compilation of very, very short stories – but this one might just take the cake: Ben Segal and Erinrose Mager are soliciting submissions for The Official Catalog of the Library of Potential Literature. They are asking writers to “imagine that they’ve just read the most amazing book they’ve ever encountered, and then write a brief blurb about the imagined text.”  We can hardly wait to see the results; the fruits of this mental exercise sound like they promise to be rewarding.
  • It won’t be a surprise to anyone who has been following this blog that I am a little obsessed with food writing, but as it turns out, I’m not the only one.  Jessica Ferri at The Millions chronicles the various forms of food writing, from evocative passages in novels like Sophie’s Choice to more specifically-oriented food writers like Michael Pollan.  Perhaps the most interesting tidbit has to do with how food writers (and readers) are influenced by the shifting economy.  Find out more here.
  • And for another topic we’re naturally interested in, the B&N book blog takes on reading about reading. This delightfully meta activity has been covered by many different authors, but recently literary critic and “the world’s best-known reader” Alberto Manguel has gathered up a collection of his essays in a new book, A Reader on Reading.  Full of interesting quotes and observations (sample: “Karel Capek, in his wonderful book on gardens, says that the art of gardening can be reduced to one rule: you put into it more than you take out. The same can be said of libraries.”) Manguel’s compilation sounds like a must-read.
  • Our relationship with books is often shaped by hearing them read aloud.  Like most people, I was introduced to the joy of reading aurally, but as I’ve grown older, I’ve spent far more time considering the printed word than the spoken one.  However, this article, from Jacket Copy makes me reconsider the influence of the author’s voice.  Carolyn Kellogg asks the question: Is David Sedaris really that good?  Or is his popularity due in part to his abilities as a performer?  A longtime fan of Sedaris, I would have to answer (like Kellogg) both.
  • And finally, two lighthearted links to start your weekend: 1. Bookslut posted an adorable cartoon that highlights the differences between a Kindle and a “Crappy Paperback” and 2. Check out this incredibly tacky but surprisingly fun “I read banned books” necklace.  Quite the literary fashion statement, if you ask me.

Friday Links: Book News From Around The Internet

April 2, 2010 in Uncategorized

Photo from Out of PrintEvery Friday, the staff at Literary Traveler gathers up the relevant book news from around the web, bringing it together in a handy post for book lovers to peruse.  Enjoy!

  • Short story writers, get your pens ready (or laptops, as the case may be) for NPR’s “Three Minute Fiction Contest.”  They’re looking for pieces of original prose including the words plant, button, trick, and fly.  Submissions will be judged by Ann Patchett, and are due by April 11th.
  • Good news for independent bookstores: Obama is a fan!  Our president made a surprise stop at Prairie Lights Books in Iowa City this week to pick up a couple of children’s books for his daughters.  And the LA Times even has a video!
  • In case you hadn’t heard, April is Poetry Month.  Take a moment to honor the occasion by stepping outside your normal reading zone and trying out poets from around the world.  I plan to start by reading the works of Yehuda Amichai, one of my new favorite writers and Israel’s greatest modern poet.
  • You have to respect horror author Joe Hill for his recent success, especially considering his legacy.  Hill, whose real name is Joseph Hillstrom King, didn’t want to write under the shadow of his father.  “I felt there was a danger – real danger – in coming out as the son of Stephen King if I couldn’t sell it under the pen name, if it wasn’t good enough,” Hill explained.  Judge for yourself by picking up a copy of his second novel, Horns.
  • Can science be used to explain literature?  Some literary theorists believe so.  University English departments are increasingly turning to the “hard” sciences to better understand the way we read, write, and think.  Interested in the intersection?  The New York Times has it covered.
  • And finally, wear your love of books on your sleeve with these wonderful literary t-shirts.  You can purchase my personal favorite  here.
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