21 April 2013

A Great Gatsby/Arrested Development Mash-up (@BookRiot)

I wrote another post for Book Riot last week: 

Two of the year’s most highly anticipated events are the The Great Gatsby movie and the return of Arrested Development. To fill the void until their release dates, let’s see what happens when the Great American Novel meets the Great American Family. 

Click here for the full piece at BookRiot, but for a taste, here are a few one of my favorites:

Some links:

16 April 2013

You're by no means alone

“Among other things, you'll find that you're not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior. You're by no means alone on that score, you'll be excited and stimulated to know. Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You'll learn from them—if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It's a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn't education. It's history. It's poetry.”

J. D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye

06 April 2013

March Madness, by the book (@NYDNBooks)

I just wrote another sports related post for Page Views, this time about the Final Four: 
It's that time of year again when I find myself brooding over the smoking wreckage that is my NCAA tournament bracket, wondering where it all went wrong. 
And inevitably, there's someone out there who filled out their bracket based on some random criteria (uniform color, mascot fierceness, campus with the best food courts french fries), and I can only watch in horror as they dance their way to victory.   
So as we head into the Final Four, I'm taking this time to reevaluate the field based on an equally random factor: the literary connections of the remaining schools. 
Maybe this will provide clarity in the face of the madness — and perhaps next time I'll head to the library instead of the sports page before making my picks. I definitely can't fare any worse than I did this year.
[Click here for full text]

02 April 2013

Instagram for Books (New Post @BookRiot)

Through the magic of Instagram, the average person with a cellphone camera can take a normal picture and add depth, grit, and even a sense of made-to-order nostalgia. Now imagine an app that would let you apply this same capability to literature. Something that would allow you to–with just a few swipes on your smartphone–take a pedestrian piece of prose and instantly transform it into something more memorable.
For example, let’s take “The Hunger Games.” Its popularity is unquestioned, but it was not particularly renowned for the complexity or beauty of its language. What if we could take a passage from this book and apply some preset filters to approximate a more classic style?

"Best Books We Read In March" (@BookRiot)

Book Riot asked contributors to choose the best book we read this month.  My choice was A. M. Homes' "The Safety of Objects", but you should go check out the full post--lots of good stuff there.

[Click here for full post]

safety of objects a.m. homes
The Safety of Objects by A. M. Homes
I often hear great writers described as surgeons, but I think of A.M. Homes more as a dentist (and I mean that in the best possible way). In her 1990 collection, The Safety of Objects, she explores the quiet desperation of suburbia, shining a blinding and unflattering light right in your face as she pokes, prods, and excavates with her sharp and sinister tools. She also (like my dentist, at least) uses humor to temper the discomfort–and that’s when she busts out the drill. These stories are uncomfortable but necessary, and leave you disoriented, numb, and desperate for a lollipop.

(Important Tip: DO NOT read the back cover. It commits the cardinal sin of revealing just a bit too much and diffuses some of the suspense.)