Weekend Edition: 11-15

Bulletin Board

I’m in the process of trying to decide what reading challenges to do next year. I’ve already decided to join Notable Books, kind of a reading challenge blog where you read and post reviews of books from notable lists as I figure I often use those lists. I’m also giving consideration to the Lost in Translation challenge given my continuing appetite for foreign lit.

Bookish Linkage

With the National Book Awards scheduled to be announced next week, an NYT columnist asks the question that came to my mind regarding Peter Matthiessen’s Shadow Country.

A new study indicates that fiction can be a significant help in understanding the problems of the real world.

Wish I’d said it: “But the pleasure of second-hand bookshops is not only in finding what you want: it is in leafing through many volumes and alighting upon something that you never knew existed, that fascinates you and therefore widens your horizons in a completely unanticipated way, helping you to make the most unexpected connections.”

Science Fiction Awards Watch is running its 2009 “Poll of Polls,” where you can pick your favorite of the novels that won this year’s major SF awards. My problem is, I only read one of them.

I didn’t mention Michael Crichton’s death last week because, for me, he had gone from author to advocate, one who also used his talent to besmirch critics.

Oh, oh. If the Literary Saloon says it is “in awe,” I may have to add 2666 to my list. But I share the feelings of Edward Champion, who is thinking of making it his Thanksgiving book.

Two days after its release, 2666 also made a list of must-have daunting doorstoppers.

Nonbookish Linkage

Mmmmm, lots of space porn.

What does Obama’s election mean for The Daily Show?

Just as Hunter Thompson was my “gonzo journalism” hero, Seymour Hersh was my investigative journalism hero. Coincidently, my first fulltime post-college journalism job was one once held by Hersh.

It’s easier to criticize somebody else
Than to see yourself

“See Yourself,” George Harrison, Thirty Three & 1/3

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