Saturday, January 27, 2018

My Brilliant Friend Elena Ferrante: 'I loved that boy to the point where I felt close to fainting'

“If you bring your personality to roles, people get to know you. When you play someone you don’t understand, it doesn’t work.” James Garner and Jon Winokur, The Garner Files: A Memoir ... read more

Solitude gives birth to the original in us, to beauty unfamiliar and perilous - to poetry. But also, it gives birth to the opposite: to the perverse, the illicit, the absurd, and that first love ...
Anka Semankova - How I fell in love with L E Sissman | Tony Peyser | Opinion | The Guardian

Pamela Paul’s memories of reading are less about words and more about the experience. “I almost always remember where I was and I remember the book itself. I remember the physical object,” says Paul, the editor of The New York Times Book Review, who reads, it is fair to say, a lot of books. “I remember the edition; I remember the cover; I usually remember where I bought it, or who gave it to me. What I don’t remember—and it’s terrible—is everything else.
       Bohumil Hrabal (Vita Nuova, etc.) is among the most revered modern Czech authors, and there have been quite a few fictional tribute-works to the master, such as Esterházy Péter's The Book of Hrabal and Paweł Huelle's Mercedes-Benz-- and now there's also an opera ! by Miloš Orson Štědroň:Don Hrabal, playing at the Prague National Theatre; see theirinformation page or, for example, the Prague TV report 

Like Jozef Imrich, Bora Ćosić isn't entirely known in English -- and My Family's Role in the World Revolution is definitely worth your while; see the Northwestern University Press publicity page (yes, it appeared in their wonderful Writings from an Unbound Europe-series), or get your copy at or 

Sales and marketing agency Inpress is to hold a "festival of publishing" this Friday under the theme of "I Did it My Way: A Celebration of the Creative Spirit".

Lovereading’s new owners are set to unveil a new website in March, featuring a new review platform and partnership with Audible after pouring "hundreds of thousands of pounds" into the revamp.

The Lost Giant of American Literature

Some goofy maps—aka, “anthropomorphic cartography”—drawn by a 15-year-old woman in the 1860s.

Over the past 30 years, a DJ/music supervisor—and research fan—amassed the world’s largest collection of magazines.
↩︎ The New York Times


The Incredible True Story of History’s Longest Kayak Journey

With Germany in tatters, his small business bankrupt, Oskar Speck got into his kayak in 1932 for an epic 30,000 miles journey to Australia.

Anyone who has seen too many used condoms and empty Red Bull cans on American beaches will find a gentle antidote in A Decade of Beach Walks. In this book George Thatcher collects more than 200 of the popular Scenes from the Beach columns that he has written since 2007 for the Sun Herald in Biloxi. Each entry consists of a brief, illustrated meditation on an inspiring sight he has seen during one of his daily walks along Mississippi Sound, such as a blue heron, a scallop shell, or a cluster of acorn barnacles. Thatcher focuses on the enduring charms of the beach, not on the damage that careless visitors do, but when piercing winds blow, he reminds us that Emily Dickinson was right: “Nature, like us, is sometimes caught / Without her diadem.”

Józef Wittlin and Philippe Sands: City of Sikhs aka Lions

The very existence of this book is a stout marker of the robust good health of the publishing industry, and even, in its own way, small evidence that 2016 hasn’t been all bad. It also shows that, four years after its takeover and relaunch, Pushkin Press has retained an essential part of its character even while expanding into crime, children’s books and contemporary English language titles. In other words, where else might we see a beautifully-produced, mass-distributed book containing two essays written 70 years apart about a city I’d never heard of before now?

In the first of a new weekly series, the novelist recalls her first love (My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante.)

“One time, a boy kissed me and I almost died. I realize that can easily be dismissed as a melodramatic teenager-ism, said in a high-pitched voice bookended by squeals. But I’m not a teenager. And I mean it in the most literal sense.”

What Happens When A Fiercely Bad Review Goes Viral

Cold River: The Cold Truth of Freedom: Jozef Imrich ... -
Doorstopper, indeed. I was surprised at the review placed on this site saying that Cold River was nothing more than a doorstopper. Then I got to thinking-since I have read the book cover to cover. Yes, indeed, there are certainly those in the world who might find this a good doorstopper. People who don't respect freedom or ...


We can easily get addicted to harsh reviews. "The appeal of negativity to the reader, that mysterious quality which makes the pan and the broadside irresistible, should alone warn the cautious critic of indulging in bouts of vitriol too freely, or too frequently. Harsh criticism has an intoxicating effect on writer and reader alike: both ought to be wary of its influence. Like any drug, censure has its benefits, its attractions and its resounding pleasures. But it is also dangerous

Can’t Take A Joke? Violinist Sues Over Satire…

What Happened To Amazon’s Desire To Make Cold River and other Indie Movies?

So You Can’t Make It To Sundance? Streaming Can Make You Feel Better


John Holloway, author of Change the World Without Taking Power, is giving a series of four Leverhulme Lectures, the first of which: "Crack Capitalism" is online here.

  Chatelaine recently put together their list of the dreamiest bookstores across Canada - from a shop founded by Alice Munro, to a shop in an Edwardian red brick house, these shops are breathtaking! 

If publishers were any good at predicting the future, the book business would be a simpler place. Read more

Investing in culture can change lives, break boundaries and reinvigorate communities



On the Smugglers’ Radar

“On The Smugglers’ Radar” is a feature for books that have caught our eye: books we have heard of via other bloggers, directly from publishers, and/or from our regular incursions into the Amazon jungle. Thus, the Smugglers’ Radar was


The Invisible Library had me at “interdimensional secret agent librarian” but it turns out to also be a charmingly-written novel with a wry awareness of literary tropes and their permutations. Published last year in the UK, this is a book The Guardian noted as some of its favorite science fiction, saying “it’s a breath of fresh air to discover a fantastical world that defies easy provenance and brings something new to the genre.”
I agree wholeheartedly, and was gratified to see that two sequels are already written, and due out in the US in September and December, respectively.


Write for Rights

Writing has the power to change the world - and Amnesty International is proud to include all in their efforts to do so. For the past 15 years, the organization's global letter writing campaign has inspired millions of written letters to support those whose basic human rights are being attacked. Check out Amnesty's website to explore how the written word has changed the world, and how you too can get involved.

Norman Lebrecht: Classical Music’s Secrecy Abets Abuse…

"Classical music conducts its business behind a screen of secrets, lies and euphemisms. A maestro is never absent without leave, only ‘indisposed’. No maestro ever gets fired. He becomes Emeritus. Truth gets buried beneath a dungheap of flummery. The real reason for the recent departure of at least one classical performer in this country will not be publicly explained, even though it is well known backstage. The code of silence in classical music is as tight as Sicilian omertà. Speak out, and you’re dead meat."

  If you have not seen Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, go do so. I will not refuse to speak to you if you don’t, but really, I say this because it’s the best film I’ve seen this year.

I see a good number of light-weight comic book movies, and I love them–I used to edit comic books, I write science fiction and fantasy. I enjoy a good explosion or a superhero slugfest as much as the next pop-culture-addicted  woman. And some of the films I’ve seen this year use the fantastic to go deeper–Wonder Woman, Coco, The Last Jedi, and certainly The Shape of Water. But sometimes you want something grounded in the world. Dunkirk pulled off the trick of being epic in scale and simultaneously deeply personal; both it and Darkest Hour pull off that difficult trick with historical films: maintaining tension for a watcher who knows how the story came out (seriously, during Darkest Hour I was wildly frustrated with the politicians who wanted to make peace with German: “Guys, it’s Adolf Hitler!“). If I were to come up with one thing that ties all of these films, it’s courage, courage of various sorts, courage as nobility. Continue reading

ISN’T IT ROMANTIC? Need to Ensure the Sex You’re about to Have Is Consensual? There’s an App for That. “LegalFling is the first blockchain-based app to verify explicit consent before having sex.”

21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: These College Girls Are All Making Their Money (And Paying Off Student Loans) By Being “Sugar Babies.”