A weekly selection of reading and book news, sometimes with completely inappropriate commentary.
October is National Reading Group Month!
Happy 10th Birthday, Goodreads, although I have no use for you personally, and know you are just an Amazon stooge.
"People are reading 2016 campaign books like crazy." You'll notice I'm not commenting on this one this time.
Why writing nonfiction demands "a certain vulnerability."
Booklist: Spotlight on food and series nonfiction.
Illustrated books were the most challenged in 2016.
A shout out this week to Maphead, not only because he said nice things about me, but also because he's going to try and start providing some links to bookish stories as well. (I loved his last link to the story about "Silent Book Groups.") His list of Ten Great Sites for Book Lovers was good too. My favorite thing about Maphead is that he reads almost entirely different nonfiction and fiction than I do, so I can read his reviews and feel caught up without reading the books. I mean, I WANT to read the books, but one only has so much time.
Ask a Librarian: How does library presenting work?
A lot of people aren't happy that a librarian returned a book donation that was sent by Melania Trump, but the whole story is kind of amusing. God help me, but I enjoy people who return free stuff in exchange for a chance to say "screw you."
Hemingway's first short story found in Key West.
Has anyone here read Karl Ove Knausgaard? Should I bother? Because his book Autumn sounds kind of interesting.
Kate Millett and her feminist literary criticism.
Author Kit Reed: Obituary.
Conde Nast powerhouse SI Newhouse, Jr., has died.
Digby Diehl (who co-wrote a lot of celebrity memoirs): Obituary.
War correspondent Richard Pyle: Obituary.
Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy, has died. I'm not crying. I find it hilariously appropriate that he started his magazine with photos of Marilyn Monroe that he used without her permission. Sounds a lot like Mark Zuckerberg starting Facebook by hacking his way into Harvard's computers and stealing women's "facebook" photos. I enjoyed this article: "Hugh Hefner damaged countless women's lives: Let's not pretend otherwise." If you don't have time to read it I can provide a quote from the end to nutshell it for you: "Hugh Hefner was a gross, powerful, white man who was bad for women."
The National Book Foundation has announced its annual "5 under 35" authors list.
Andrew Carnegie Medals for Fiction and Nonfiction: Longlists.
Are there more Stephen King adaptations in the works?
NONFICTION BOOK NEWS
Six new books exploring "a new European narrative."
Excerpt from a new book called Americana: A 400-Year History of American Capitalism.
A new book about the Vietnam War Memorial, which I'd love to read. When I visited Washington D.C. the city didn't do much for me (shocker, I know) but that memorial is awesome. Quiet, simple, stark, sad. The Korean War monument is pretty cool too.
A new book on Shakespeare...in pop-up form!
New York Times: a new book about having those "hard conversations"; a new guide to "graveside tourism"; tracking the "hyper-gentrification" of New York City; Vivian Gornick reviews a New York memoir by Adam Gopnik; on the "transcontinental life of an 18th-century woman of letters," Lady Anne Barnard; like dogs? You're going to love these memoirs.
IndieBound: Bestselling books the week of Sept. 28.
18 must-read books for fall 2017. This is actually a very interesting list, and from a Toronto publication, so it's nicely Canada-centric. I really should have been born a Canadian.
Entertainment Tonight: Fall's most buzzworthy books.
Paste Magazine: The Best Audiobooks of 2017 (so far).
A roundup of the season's romance novels.
Town and Country: The 6 books you need to read this October.
Fifteen spooky Halloween titles for young readers.
"Education experts" share the best books they've read about teaching.
Looking for a good podcast about the history of art? Here's 14 options for you!
MY READING NOTES
So get this story; I just remembered it when I got ready to take Sue Klebold's memoir A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy (about the Columbine shootings) to the library. When I had first picked the book up, the CRjrs were both with me. What we tend to do at the library is pick up our holds, and then we proceed to the kids' nonfiction, where they browse and read and I loiter nearby, pawing through the books I've put on hold and will be checking out. On that day I was paging through the Klebold memoir (looking for pictures--always the first thing I do with biographies and memoirs) when I heard this shouting from the kids' computers play area: "Hey, shoot shoot shoot, you've got to kill them there." "Oh, you missed, you're a terrible shot." "Kill 'em!" "Oh geez, move over and let me try, you're a terrible shot." When I looked over I saw four tweeny little boys playing what must have been some multi-player video game, although no gore was showing up on screen. It was just so weird. What were the chances I'd be hearing young boys yelling "shoot 'em!" WHILE I read the memoir of the mother of a murderer? It was surreal.
I am giving up on Sarah Menkedick's Homing Instincts: Early Motherhood on a Midwestern Farm. I want to like it, she seems like a good writer, but all the same. I am not in the mood. Yes, yes, you're a world traveler, you actually run for exercise WHILE you're pregnant, then you had a baby (with a midwife and a birth story that is neatly told in a few pages), your baby was naturally a pretty good breast-feeder, now you're a published memoirist. She's doing everything I want to do only better. Who wouldn't be jealous?
Re-reading Stacy's Horn's The Restless Sleep gave me an urge to also re-read her earlier memoir Waiting for My Cats to Die. Totally satisfying even on the second read. I do so love Stacy Horn. The bit about where she's invited to give a talk at a media conference, tells the organizer she's going to talk about her midlife crisis, the organizer begs her not to, and Stacy ends up...talking about her midlife crisis? So good.
AND NOW, YOUR OBLIGATORY NEIL GAIMAN POST