Displaying articles for: January 2014

What Makes This Book So Great

Alert readers will note something important directly from the cover of Jo Walton's accomplished and deeply enjoyable  collection of essays ruminating on the books she (mostly) loves: there is no question mark in the title. To parse that punctuational distinction plainly: Walton is not asking herself or her readers any questions about her favorite books. She is not uncertain or in doubt over their worth or qualities.

 

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Pete Seeger, 1919-2014

Today the world mourns the passing of musical icon Pete Seeger, the singer, songwriter and activist who spearheaded the revival of American folk music, wrote and performed some of the most resonant anthems of 1950s and 60s, and remained throughout his long and intensely active life a figure of inspiration to millions.

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"We Are All—Every One of Us—Unreliable Narrators"

Mary Miller and Alethea Black cover similar territory in their writing: their characters long for connection, and look to be understood -- and understand their places in the world.  In this far-ranging conversation for the Discover blog, Miller and Black discuss starting their writing careers later in life; the differences between writing long form fiction vs. short stories, and for an adult audience vs. a YA audience; and how shifting a story’s POV can electrify it, among many, many other things.

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Five Books: The Civil Rights Movement

To mark Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a list of essential reading to remember and celebrate the movement he championed.

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April 19: "What you see first, after the starting gun's crack, is a column of bobbing runners, thousands of them, surging downhill..."

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.