Well, hello there! Yep, we're still here. So let's talk shop.
The 39 Clues, a new series that Scholastic is billing as the successor to Harry Potter sounds remarkably dull. Collector cards? Why not just package the books with Pogs. More Paper Cuts contributors are on the way. Editorial Ass is a blog we recently discovered, written by an extremely witty former ed assistant.
Yesterday, Pacifica Radio broadcast an uncensored version of Allen Ginsberg reading his seminal poem "HOWL." Oct 3 marked the 50th annivesary of a court ruling that determined "HOWL" was not obscene, but a work of social and literary merit. It's awesome. Stream the reading here, at Pacifica's website, follow along with the full text here, and watch him briefly chit-chatting about the wonders of technology below:
Penguin is teaming with Amazon.com for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. They're taking submissions through Nov. 5, and the winner receives a publishing contract and a $25,000 advance from Penguin! If only we had participated in last year's NANOWRIMO. We're a bit more preoccupied by short stories lately, although Stephen King's Sunday Book Review essay made us think twice:
Image via JudithHoffman.net
If we're ever wealthy and foolish enough to hire the Strand bookstore to Build A Library for us, we'd request blue and green Victorian era tomes, cause they're pretty. On our current budget, however, we can definitely manage a copy of Stephanie Myer's Twilight, which fellow Phoenician bookworm Deirdre recommended to us.
The new Oprah's Book Club pick has not yet been revealed, but Publisher's Lunch informed us that the publisher is Vintage. Also, that James Wood's first New Yorker book review piece, "Desert Storm," is up and online. There's a new best-seller list (for trade paperback fiction) included in The New York Times Sunday Book Review
There was only one new fall television program we were especially excited to see, and it finally made its debut this week. Good news: it really is the most Important show of our time! Gossip Girl, which airs on the CW on Wednesdays at 9 pm, was a delight. And we hear the original best-selling YA book series is even more delicious.
Jack Romanos, president of Simon and Schuster is retiring, and Carolyn Reidy is in. Looks like Romanos will have quite a bit of spare time on his hands. Might we suggest whiling away the hours with Literary Rejections On Display? We've been hooked for the last couple of weeks: reading about someone else's failures is about as comforting as a good cup of boiling tea in an overly air-conditioned office (the Phoenix HQ has been freezing us out all week).
I rewatched the second half of Season 2 of The Hills on Sunday (thanks, Comcast On Demand!) in preparation for the Season 3 premiere on Aug 13. It was a delightful, delicious re-immersion experience, let me tell you. Until I noticed something troubling. Often, I saw my dear LoLo curled up on the couch, upset about something Heidi or Douche-bag Extraordinary Spencer Pratt had done.
Art Spiegelman's graphic novel Maus won the Pulitzer Prize back in 1992. I finished the first book in the two-part series about a month ago in preparation for a visit to Yad Vashem last week. Maus is shocking, tragic, funny, and brutally eye-opening. It's the most beautifully told, gripping account of the Holocaust I've ever read, and I've been reading about it all my life.
The New Yorker was destined to have a books podcast at some point. The Dating Game is the first edition, featuring a discussion between Edwidge Danticat and fiction editor, Deborah Treisman. They chat about Junot Díaz’s 1995 short story “How to Date a Brown Girl (Black Girl, White Girl, or Halfie)" from his collection Drown
Just as soon as we're done pouring over Avril Lavigne's manga, "Make 5 Wishes" Vol. 1, we'll be heading over to TIME. They've got an excerpt of George Tenant's slam-dunking At the Center of the Storm. There's also an interview with Tenant up. Of course, Kakutani weighs in over at the NYT.
I'm number one!
Philip Roth wins his 3rd PEN/FAULKNER award for Everyman. Finalists included Edward P. Jones (All Aunt Hagar's Children), Amy Hempel (The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel), Deborah Eisenberg (Twilight of the Superheroes), and Charles D'Ambrosio (The Dead Fish Museum).
Now at your local Urban Outfitters
Jessica Crispin's latest Book Standard piece, which questions Borders' refusal to stock a promising YA title by Aury Wallington, is interesting.
But not nearly as interesting as Selling Literature to Go With Your Lifestyle. Non-bookstore stockage of niche titles hits the NYT's front page today.