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Weekend Edition: 9-26

Bulletin Board

Today kicks off Banned Books Week, which runs through October 3. In recognition of it, I will have a post each day related to banned books. More important, as MobyLives says, make sure to “stop by your local bookstore and invest in a book that somebody out there is afraid that you’ll read.”

Today also happens to be the National Book Festival. It is being aired live on Book TV on C-Span 2.

And for me, today marks the return of hockey as I head off to watch a couple games at the USHL Fall Classic. Unlike the many scouts who will be there, this will be my first live hockey game in 174 days — but who’s counting?

Blog Headline of the Week

Environmental groups say you’re being too nice to your butt

Bookish Linkage

A panel at The Millions selects The Corrections topping the list. Readers picked Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. I was pleasantly surprised to see that David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas was in the top five on both lists.

Blogger Andrew Seal, though, observes that the panel that selected the list had a “stunning lack of diversity.”

Going back a few more years, a Guardian survey of 25 international writers group selected Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude as the work that has most shaped world literature over the past 25 years.

Why hasn’t a SF novel won the Booker Prize?

“Much can be learned about a person by looking at the books they keep. There’s only one thing that can be learned about a person if all those books are replaced by Kindle. They have no soul.” (Via.)

io9 has started an online SF book club.

At least John Grisham is honest when he says, “I know that what I do is not literature.”

Voting has opened for the Best of the National Book Awards Fiction. I’m not voting for a simple reason. I’ve not read any of the six books on the shortlist: The Stories of John Cheever; Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison (1953); The Collected Stories of William Faulkner (1951); The Complete Stories of Flannery O’Connor (1972); Gravity’s Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon (1974); and, The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty (1983). Amazon’s blog has the votes for the shortlist, not counting, in its words, “the 19 books that didn’t get a vote.”

Duke University Press is expanding its World Readers series, aimed at providing “vivid, thought-provoking introductions to the history, culture, and politics of countries, cities, and regions around the world.” (Via.)

Nonbookish Linkage

Think this guy will get hate mail? A BBC wildlife expert says we should “pull the plug” on pandas. (Via.)

LIFE magazine is now available on Google Books.

A selection of some of the most controversial magazine covers of all time. Personally, I love the National Lampoon cover and The New Yorker cover immediately after it. (Via.)

There’s plenty in the interweb tubes about the big dust storm in Sydney, Australia, but, of course, The Big Picture does it best.

A magnificent collection of space pr0n.


The sacred is a fine hiding place for the profane.

David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas

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