Sunday, January 21, 2018

The Book Binder's Daughter's Slightly Exhausted at the End: My Favorite Books of 2017 

         Much “Consensual” Sex is Non-Consensual — #MeToo and the Muddy Middle Ground of Social Communication Gauis Publius

     At The Observer (at The Guardian site ...) Robert McCrum now offers: The 100 best nonfiction books of all time: the full list -- according to him. 
       Aside from the fact that it's just a McCrummy list -- i.e. personal -- it's a bit misleadingly titled and presented:
  • It's more of a not-fictional (i.e. anything-but-fiction) list than a non-fictional, as it includes poetry, a play, and the ultimate work of fiction, the Bible
  • It's limited -- sort of -- to works written in English. Which really should be highlighted more. Like in the title and everywhere else ..... (The two exceptions are Beckett's Waiting for Godot (which he did translate into English himself ...), and the King James Bible (a(n English) language-defining work).)
       Somewhat surprisingly -- the overwhelming majority of titles I review are fiction -- three of the titles are under review at the complete review:
       (Fine selections all -- I rated them A-, A, and A+ .....) 
       (While I haven't reviewed many, I'm surprised by how many on this list I've read, or use (Roget's Thesaurus, etc.) -- probably close to a quarter.) 

       Milking this to the fullest, The Observer (at The Guardiansite ...) also has McCrum explain How I chose my list of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time (again, avoiding the whole limited-to-English issue in the lead-in ... come on, folks, no one ever wrote 'non'-fiction in other languages ?), and Hannah Jane Parkinson offer A response to the 100 best nonfiction books list: 'Some I agree with, some I'd add, and some I'd hoof right off the field' -- where she observes that: "I'm not sure I envy Robert's task of whittling down the nonfiction titles of the circa 130m books that exist in the world today" while also managing to ignore/evade the possibility that, hey, some of those books were originally written in .,.. other languages ! 

Babylon Berlin is reportedly the most expensive German TV series ever produced, and it will be shown in the US on Netflix starting in a few weeks; see also the official show site. 
       The series is based on a book series by Volker Kutscher -- which was amazingly first picked up in English by Scottish publisher Sandstone Press (see their publicity page) -- with Picador now bringing out a US edition (see their publicity page) to coïncide with the US-airing of the show; get your copy at or 
       At Deutsche Welle Siobhán Dowling now reports on How a Highlands publisher has hit the big time with 'Babylon Berlin'. Noteworthy also the necessary reliance on translation grants, including from the Goethe Institut, after being featuredin New Books in German (and, yes, it probably helped -- a lot -- that they did not stick to the original title ('The Wet Fish' !).) 
       (See also previous coverage in, for example, The Herald, where Karin Goodwin wrote From Deutschland to Dingwall: how a small Scottish publisher is riding high with Babylon Berlin last month.) 

       More book-focused general best/favorite round-ups of interest include: