Displaying articles for: December 2009

David Levine

For many readers, the work of caricaturist David Levine has been a lifelong part of the experience of the world of books, politics and the arts, making his death on December 29 at the age of 83 an occasion of true sadness and loss. His four-decades-plus of drawings for The New York Review of Books put Levine's unique visual stamp on an astonishingly copious array of literary, cultural, and political figures.

In an essay which will shortly appear in the The Barnes & Noble Review in full, our regular contributor Thomas De Pietro takes on the challenge of mapping Levine's unique and lasting genius. Click "read more" to see an excerpt from that essay.

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This is Not a Christmas Congratulation

We're thrilled to note that "This Is Not a Christmas Story" by Barnes & Noble Review contributor David Abrams has been a selected by Narrative magazine as one of the ten finalists in their Fall 2009 short story contest. Read more...

Errors of the Year

Journalist Craig Silverman, whose site Regret the Error.com is dedicated to spotting factual mistakes both serious and trivial in the media, has put together a fascinating and sometimes hilarious list of "The Year in Media Errors and Corrections." There's something for everyone -- from an L.A. Times correction about a bear sighting in a supermarket (right bear, wrong day) to a massively strange accusation by a New Brunswick paper that the Canadian Prime Minister had pocketed a communion wafer. Read more...

Fowler on the Long (Wrong) Word

One of the year's great reading pleasures (at least for those of us who might fairly be called "word nerds") has arrived -- the newly restored "first edition" reprint of H.W. Fowler's A Dictionary of Modern English Usage, with an introduction and notes by the linguist David Crystal (this article by Liam Julian in Policy Review does a nice job running down the history of Fowler's book, and the rise and fall of its influence over time). Read more...

It's the Most Terrifying Time of the Year

Over at Tor. com, 'tis the season for alien horror: December brings a full month of H.P. Lovecraft features under the rubric of "Cthulhumas." And why not? When you find yourself facing down the seething crowds in the mall on a Saturday afternoon in mid-December, with those dogs barking "Jingle Bells" over the P.A. and a knowledge that it's going to take you another 45 minutes just to navigate out of the parking lot...well, then, the confrontation with fungoid horrors from beyond the edge of space can seem soothing by comparison.

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Small Voice, Amplified

Congratulations to 29-year-old writer Evie Wyld on her winning of the John Llewellyn Rhys prize for her book After the Fire, a Still Small Voice. Her first novel, it follows a family in eastern Australia, and the long-term effects created by a legacy of war and violence. Past winners of the award -- which is for writers from UK and Commonwealth under 35 -- include Margaret Drabble and Jeannette Winterson. We particularly like hearing that author -- when she is not writing -- is a bookseller. Read more...

April 24: "[The HST] lifted a curtain from our view of the universe, changing it so profoundly that no human can look at the stars in the same way..."

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman's mystery of a brilliant Bangladeshi mathematician's past barrels through the Ivy League, London high finance, and spy-haunted Afghanistan in a page-turning tale of exile, intrigue and the price of friendship. A Discover Great New Writers selection.

The People's Platform

Once touted as the foundation for tomorrow's digital democracy, the Internet is increasingly ruled by a few corporate giants, while millions of contributors till its fields for free. Astra Taylor looks at why the web has failed to deliver a communitarian cyberscape, and offers a compelling case for restoring its original vision.

A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.