- The four-story Barnes & Noble at Lincoln Center will be shuttering its doors (via The Wall Street Journal)
- When the French return from their traditional August sebatacle, apparently publishers are ready to fill their shelves with new, non-beach read books (via France 24)
- It’s raining poetry. Berlin bombed with poetry bookmarks as a protest against war (via Guardian)
- Five years after Hurrican Katrina, New Orleans is rebuilding and there is a new photo book coming out next week documenting the progress (via Huffington Post)
- What’s so special about August 24th? Apparently nothing. August 24th is rumored to be 554th anniversary of the revolutionizing Gutenberg Bible. The New York City Public Library, the holder of this great artifact, says hooey. We have no idea who started that rumor. (via Huffington Post)
Ape House by Sara Gruen- Cannot wait. I’ve read all of Gruen’s novels, even those unknown ones prior to Water for Elephant. Water for Elephants is the clearly the best but I’m ready for Gruen to usurp herself.
Breaking Night by Liz Murray- As a society, we generally feel impervious to such tragedy as homelessness but it is a false security. For many, homelessness is just a few paychecks away. After this depressing thought, reading a story about overcoming such obstacles is called for. Plus Murray received her education at Harvard so hopefully there will be so highlights our great town.
The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America by Timothy Egan- Whena series of small wild fires joined into a massive timber conflagration, the nation banded together and re-magnified the work and words of T.R.
The Widower’s Tale by Julia Glass- Glass returns to tackle complex relationships in this book about a retired widower trying to live a solitary life until he opens up his barn to some children and lets a entire community in.
Monday: Faithful Place is a crime tale penned by Vermont-born, but Irish raised Tana French. The murder mystery has a familial complexity unsual to most entries in the genre.
Friday: Rounding out the week was a non-fiction review of Sean McMeekin’s The Berlin-Baghdad Express. A book that chronicles the push by Kaiser Wilhelm’s government to incite religious fanaticism and push the British out of the Middle East.
Ahead of our first review of Camilla Lackberg’s The Ice Princess next Monday we wanted to give you all a snap-shot of this new Scandinavian scribe.
- 29 years old when she published her first novel
- Ice Princess was accepted to be published the same week Camilla gave birth to her first child
- Has published 7 books in Sweden, 6 crime novels and 1 cookbook
- Sets all her books in the same coastal village of Fjallbacka that she grew up
- Ice Princess was published in the US in June 2010, in UK in February 2009 but the original Swedish publication was in 2003
- Huffington Post reports that essentially one out of every third person in Sweden has bought a book written by Camilla Lackberg
- While we in the West bask in religious conspiracies, in China the bogeyman is one big American financial institution (via NPR)
- Publisher moves into digital age with iPhone apps for kids. Seeing first hand how popular “see an animal hear an animal” app was recently, there’s money to be made (via Forbes)
- A Cleveland man who owns 8,000 classic sweaters has written a book on how to knit around 250 of them. Uh, 8,000! (via Cleveland Plain Dealer)
- Egg recall flipped your omelet and got you thinking about factory farming, well the Christian Science Monitor has a book list for you (via CSM)
- Starting well before e-books, humans have sought each evolutionary and revolutionary step in reading. The Atlantic has a stellar piece on this very topic (via The Atlantic)
- What kind of books do detainees have access to at Guantanamo Bay (via The Guardian)
Ever read a story where a hapless twenty-something woman with no discernible income, travels the world, having enough sexual misadventures to make even the most liberated blush straight to their ears to find true love by the last chapter. If you ever read the women’s literature made popular by Helen Fielding and her cohorts, you are, of course, familiar with this plot.
Rachel Shukert tells a similar story in Everything Is Going to Be Great, An Underfunded and Overexposed European Grand Tour, except this is a memoir. Yes, the ill-advised calamity that follows Bridget Jones, Carrie Bradshaw and like actually happens in real life to Rachel Shukert and she lived to tell the tale, not to mention meet and marry Mr. Right.
This is Shukert’s second memoir, and considering the memoirs are sequential and this second book takes place sometime during Shukert’s 24th year of life, she has lead an abnormally audacious life for a twenty-something Jewish girl from the Midwest.
Shukert is sardonic in the telling of her exploits, as the woman says, “…bad sex is a story” and Shukert has plenty of stories to tell. She is imaginative, sarcastic and crosses the line of TMI more than once, which can all be wickedly funny. There is clever dialogue which always seems slightly suspect in a memoir. It is not like one would take notes or tape-record moments that would later be memoir-worthy.
That is not to say the dialogue isn’t authentic but doesn’t it seem like the perfect moment to write exactly what you wish you had said and played back in your mind over and over than the “duh, what?” that most of us would say at any given moment?
Shukert is funny. She knows it too. There is a continuing question among the B3 crew that comes to mind in reading Everything is Going to Be Great. Can you write a memoir without being a narcissist? We don’t know, but we can say that Rachel Shukert seems to fit the stereotype and writes fun memoir in the process.
Everything is Going to Be Great: An Underfunded and Overexposed European Grant Tour was received as a free review copy by the Boston Book Bums
Comedy in a Minor Key by Hans Keilson & Damion Searls: A translation of a 1947 novella by Keilson about a Dutch couple hiding a Jew during WWII occupation. It promises to be dark, sardonic and written by an actual Dutch resistance member so the detail should be spot on.
My Appetite for Destruction by Steven Adler: Long hair, black jeans and thudding stereo speakers from inside a Trans Am, this was the late 1980s and it was the heyday of Guns N’ Roses. Former G’NR drummer Steven Adler has penned book about those self-destructive halcyon days of heavy metal.
The Tiger: A True Story of Vengence and Survival by John Vaillant: Brings to mind The Ghost and the Darkness. It’s probably not that cool but maybe….worth checking out.
The Great Divorce by Ilyon Woo: When an early 19th century woman wanted a divorce, the following battles came to shape women’s and religious rights.
- During Vietnam the term “hearts and minds” took on a futile, disconnected meaning. Today infantrymen fighting in Afghanistan now utilize an unusual counterinsurgency tool based on a decidedly non-belligerent book, Three Cups of Tea (via Seattle Times.)
- Poor books! 40,ooo old books are put outside and turned into a mushroom growing art installation in Canada (via Treehugger)
- Did anyone named Caesar have something to do with the salad? And was there a bloke named Benedict that had an egg dish named after him? A new book tackles those foodie questions (via The Telgraph)
- For books produced in the German language the German Book Prize long list was announced this week (via Deutsche Welle)
- When Ray Bradbury tells Yahoo to go to hell over digitizing his books, we sit up and listen (via France 24)
- Sexism in the publishing industry is tackled in this piece about author A.S. Byatt (via Sydney Morning Herald)