Remember when every novel was called The ______________'s Wife or The ___________'s Daughter? Well, now it's orphans. A hardcover copy of The Orphanmaster showed up on my desk today, recalling (of course) last year's The Orphan Master's Son. But let's not forget about When We Were Orphans, The Age of Orphans, or Oliver Twist
It's time for another installment of the Book Rat Project, the sustained experiment in which a book critic (me) attempts to act as a human algorithm for a willing subject (my Phoenix colleague Will Delman). After a misguided effort to make my subject read a critically revered novelist in translation, I realized that one of my favorite books last year, Chris Adrian's The Great Night, is now available in paperback.
Welcome to the return of the Book Rat Project, the sustained experiment in which a book critic (me) attempts to act as a human algorithm for a willing subject (my Phoenix colleague Will Delman). This week, my poor subject tried and failed to read Almost Never by Daniel Sada, a book blurbed by no less than Roberto Bolano, who calls him the most daring writer of his generation.
Myrrhage and Margaret, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your tickets! Thanks!
This Wednesday, the Boston Public Library Foundation is hosting a heckuva fundraiser. THE BIG THRILL will feature bestselling thriller writers KARIN SLAUGHTER, DAVID HOSP, TESS GERRITSEN, CHARLAINE HARRIS and LEE CHILD, hors d'ouvres, drinks, conversation, and a silent auction.
Eric Erlandson has had the kind of life that lends itself to ghostwritten tell-all memoirs. The Hole songwriter/guitarist was at the epicenter of 90s weirdness, a firsthand witness to the most famous dysfunctional couple of that decade. He also dated Drew Barrymore.
And was in a band with Vincent Gallo.
This week, we've excerpted a piece from The Baffler, the first issue of that magazine in over two years and the first edited right here in Cambridge. Guess what? I'm an associate editor.
In this essay, former Gawker/Wonkette blogger Jim Newell writes about the time he role-played Edward Gramlich in high school for something called the Fed Challenge.
If I've learned one thing during the course of the Book Rat Project [the sustained experiment in which a book critic [me] attempts to act as a human algorithm for a willing subject [my Phoenix colleague Will Delman]), it's that a good book is really hard to find. I know that sounds trite and everything, but, like, I'd like to think that if someone (Will) only needed to read books that were both well-received and hand-picked by someone else (me) that they'd all be a sure bet.
Let's just put it out there: I have been known to shop at ModCloth, the cloying web boutique that sells clothes to college girls unsure of what to wear to indie rock shows. I was trawling their blouses to find something nice to wear to a literary event, and I stumbled across the Lit Mag Editor Tunic (pictured above).
After last week's coup, in which our subject
raved about the novel I assigned (Heidi Julavits's The Vanishers, one of
my favorite books in recent memory), I erred once again. Because I'd been
seeing its Etsy-ish cover everywhere and heard generally good things, I decided
to assign Birds of a Lesser Paradise by Megan Bergman.
Six weeks into the Book Rat Project — a sustained experiment in which a book critic (me) attempts to act as a human algorithm for a willing subject (my Phoenix colleague Will Delman) — I finally found something the subject liked. Loved, even: Heidi Julavits's The Vanishers. I'm not at all surprised, because a) she's amazing b) this book was amazing.
In our fifth week of the Book Rat Project — a sustained experiment in which a book critic (me) attempts to act as a human algorithm for a willing subject (my Phoenix colleague Will Delman) — I made a significant miscalculation by assigning
Robert Arellano's Curse the Names. The subject's reaction was incredibly adverse [in layman's terms, he despised it].
UPDATE: The three winners have been notified by email. Losers: thanks for entering! You can buy a ticket for $5, and the Booksmith is giving away a free ticket if you buy your copy of Black's book from them, so go and get one already. You can get your book and/or ticket online here.)
This Saturday, comedian and Twitter-er par excellence MICHAEL IAN BLACK will appear at the Coolidge Corner Theatre to talk about his new book, YOU'RE NOT DOING IT RIGHT, and the Brookline Booksmith is giving away three pairs of tickets to three lucky winners.
For James Geary, metaphor is not just another literary
device, a word scribbled on a 7th grade note card before receding
into memory. In his new book, I Is An
Other: The Secret Life of Metaphor and How it Shapes the Way We See The World,
the bestselling author exposes how metaphors impact almost every aspect of our
lives, from advertising to economics to physics, illuminating how such a simple
rhetorical trick effects decision making at its core.
The Book Rat Project, a sustained experiment in which a book critic (me) will attempt to act as a human algorithm for a willing subject (my Phoenix colleague Will Delman), sprints into its third week. After his tepid response to The Rook and his qualified embrace of The Orphan Master's Son, I told him to read Ellen Ullman's latest novel, By Blood
Two weeks ago, we introduced the Book Rat Project, a sustained experiment in which a book critic (me) will attempt to act as a human algorithm for a willing subject (my Phoenix colleague Will Delman)
who, for the duration of the project, will read everything I tell him
to. After submitting the subject to a brief, worthy questionnaire, and analyzing his review of The Rook by Daniel O'Malley, a book he told himself, I gave him his first assignment: The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson.