Time for a new book review publication?

There’s growing chatter online about this (which I first heard thanks to the Complete Review).

This discussion is happening at the Open University:


by Jeffrey Herf

Thanks very much to Cass Sunstein, Steven Pinker, Eric Rauchway, Linda Hirshman, Richard Stern, and David Bell. I’m very glad to see their enthusiasm for the idea of a new book review. They offer a host of good practical suggestions and lessons from past efforts. The practicalities of a new publication are the most difficult issues. I hope our discussion will come to the attention of one of people with the will and the means to respond to the problem I described and that my Open University colleagues agree should be addressed.

Newbery medal scandal!

…and a nice headline from mediabistro, at this link.

“Philosophy porn”

Eventually, someone would have to think of this. (Thanks KR Blog)

Calvin Trillin and Mark Singer

Maud Newton’s blog gives a link to an interview between the two old friends that is available in audio from the New Yorker web site.

Earlier this year, the Times Union ran a Miami Herald review of “About Alice.” Click “more” for an excerpt.
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Book buzz and a blog

Hisham Matar’s “In the Country of Men,” which was recently released, has been getting a lot of buzz lately.

Here’s NPR on the book (with an interview):

Hisham Matar fled Libya in the 1970s as a 9-year-old boy. This week, he releases his debut novel, In the Country of Men, a story told through the eyes of a Libyan boy. Like Matar, the boy’s father is a political dissident hunted down by the Libyan government.

Here’s the Boston Globe interview.

And, even better, here’s the blog The Complete Review on it.

A bit about the Complete Review. This is how it bills itself:

A selectively comprehensive, objectively opinionated survey of books old and new, trying to meet all your book review, preview, and information needs.

Another way of thinking of it is that it is utterly fascinating and a wonderful service for readers.

For “In the Country of Men,” for example, it compiles 13 reviews of the novel (so far) and gives the book a final grade of B-.
The Complete Review has covered 1,807 books so far. Give it a look.

A visit to Gitmo

Aaron Grunberg at Words Without Borders writes about visiting the prisoner camp on Guantanamo Bay.

Push for world literature

Christian Science Monitor report is here.

Of note:

The online magazine of international literature, Words Without Borders, was founded “to address a yawning gap in literary publishing,” says Alane Salierno Mason, founding editor. “We just weren’t hearing enough from voices around the world.” The e-zine is hosted by Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y.

Originally conceived as a resource for publishing professionals like Mr. Mason (a senior editor at W.W. Norton) to become exposed to international authors, www.wordswithoutborders.org has since evolved to serve a larger purpose: connecting the public directly to the hearts and minds of people beyond American shores.