It’s finally June, and you know what that means — it’s officially time to kick-start your summer reading. Luckily for you, this month will see the release of a veritable book barn of new, exciting releases, from retold classics to masterful essay collections to blockbuster novels. After the jump, ten of the most exciting books hitting shelves this month. Which ones are burning a hole in your reading list? Weigh in in the comments. … Read More
This week will see the release of a book we’re pretty excited about: Carlene Bauer’s Frances and Bernard, a novel inspired by the relationship between Flannery O’Connor and Robert Lowell. After the jump, we’ve put together a list of some other great novels with characters inspired by real life people that have caught the cultural consciousness — excepting works that are primarily autobiographical, and focusing on books that are not just historical fiction, but true adaptations (names are changed!) of people and events. Read through our list after the jump, and if we missed your favorite in this category, be sure to add it on in the comments. … Read More
There are many writers, editors, and publishers featured in True Prep, Lisa Birnbach’s follow-up to the original blue blood Bible, 1980′s The Official Preppy Handbook. In a chapter entitled “The True Pantheon,” Birnbach sets her laurel wreath around the privileged heads of Ben Bradlee, Alfred A. Knopf, Paul Rudnick, Eric Segal, and even Dr. Seuss. And, bien sûr, John Updike, Edith Wharton, and F. Scott Fitzgerald also get their dues. But who are the preppy writers of Generations X and Y? Who will carry on the gin-soaked torch of those gone before? Here’s a partial list of prep-schoolers, Ivy Leaguers, and dapper literati who are turning out some of the most exciting American fiction on the current lit scene. … Read More
The recent showdown between Jezebel and The Daily Show got us thinking about our own favorite writers of the fairer sex. To show our support, we thought we’d give a shout-out to the female writers who currently have us crushing, wordsmith-style. We kept things simple, sticking to living authors only (sorry Louisa May Alcott), and in no way mean for this to be a definitive list of the “best” women writers. After the jump, our top picks for the lovely ladies who leave us weak at the literary knees. And of course, let us know in the comments if we’ve missed your object of authorly affection. … Read More
After purchasing a toy hot dog for 12 cents, Rob Walker and Joshua Glenn were able to sell it on eBay at a markup of (hmm, if we did this math correctly) 2,983%. Who might these wizards of finance be? Just a couple of writers with a taste for knickknacks and narrative. The two recently launched Significant Objects, a website that matches garage sale detritus with writers, who then create a story to go along with the object, a story that serves as the object’s description when it goes up on eBay. We particularly love how each object is photographed next to penny to illustrate its size — how quaint!
With writers like Ed Park, Lucinda Rosenfeld and Sarah Rainone slated to participate, the project’s been getting a ton of attention. We caught up with co-creator Rob Walker to find how the auctions are going so far, where he gets all those wacky objects and what’s next for Significant… Read More
Alice Munro, the Canadian short story writer, has won one of literature’s most heavy-hitting awards, the International Man Booker Prize. Munro is one Canada’s most celebrated writers, and she’s also a writer’s writer, inspiring the kind of gushing usually exhibited only by Jonas Brothers… Read More
Before we begin, we’d like to point out that in this edition of the BBBC, links to purchase books go to Powell’s instead of Amazon. We don’t have a problem with the ‘zon – maybe we’ve mentioned our love for Kindle, blogger issues aside? — but they seem to be doing just fine, while independent bookstores are dropping like flies. We may love Kindle, but we also love bookstores and the people who run them, and they need our book buying dollars a hell of a lot more (plus e-books occasionally skimp on features, like Benji’s map of Sag Harbor). Yeah, we know Buy Indie Day was May 1st and that Powell’s is one of the most famous independent bookstores in the world, but we’re reminding you that there’s nothing wrong with buying indie every day, online or locally. On to the books, after the… Read More
It has been confirmed that the completely enigmatic Laura Bush is shopping around a memoir (“a positive book, with a minimum of criticism”) which should score her at least as much as Hillary Clinton got paid for Living History — a cool $8 million. Now we’ll finally know what was going on inside her press-shy head all these years.
Lucky for Bush, this won’t be the first time that her life is presented in book form. Slightly-obsessed author Curtis Sittenfeld’s best-selling novel American Wife was loosely based on the First Lady’s story. So what can Mrs. Bush learn from her predecessor’s work?
After the jump we comb through the reader reviews of American Wife on Amazon.com and make a few suggestions. Leaven any you might have in the comments. … Read More