Scott Timberg

Reviews & Web Hype

Let’s See What Some Stuff’s About

The Scott Timberg io9 piece I mentioned the other day is live now. “Welcome to the Soft Apocalypse.”

At TNRBook, Sophia Lear is unimpressed by Sheila Kohler’s Becoming Jane Eyre. Also, reprinted classics by George Orwell and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Two things I pinched from Bookslut– “The Poetics of Amateur Products Reviews” and Margaret Drabble introduces you to William Wordsworth. And why the heck not?

Okay, NYTea time- Tom Carson really likes Just Kids, Patti Smith’s memoir of Robert Mapplethorpe. I’ve heard amazing things about it as well–out in “the streets”. Wells Tower is pretty ambivalent about the new T.C. Boyle. Antonya Nelson calls Robert Stone’s Fun With Problems “a book for grown-ups,” which is a concept I both do and do not understand; both am and am not vaguely attracted to. Has anyone out there ever read any Stone? Also, obituaries. Charles McGrath on Salinger and Michael Powell on Zinn. A blog I’d never heard of (before Paper Cuts linked to it) called “Classics Rock: Books Shelved in Songs” has playlists of songs that reference the works of each man (Zinn, Salinger). But the Farah Fawcett Memorial Overshadowed Death of the Week (literature edition) has absolutely got to go to poor Louis Auchincloss, who wrote over 60 books over 50 years, mostly while also still practicing law, and who, at 92, had a year on Salinger and four on Zinn.

Finally, a question. For three days now I’ve left Emerson’s Divinity School Address in an open tab on my browser. Will today be the day I print it out and actually read it? (That’s really two questions.)

January 30th, 2010 / 11:54 am

More from Around the Web

Because hey, why not?

(via Bookslut blog) Barbara J. King, long-time Bookslut contributor, has just published a new book. It is Being with Animals: Why We are Obsessed with the Furry, Scaly, Feathered Creatures Who Populate Our World. Congrats, Barbara! Also, Jessa keeps linking to Dinosaur Ballet, and if it’s important to her then by God it’s important to us, too.

Scott Timberg has been writing about Philip K. Dick at the LA Times’s Hero Complex blog. It’s a six-part series, of which two parts are live so far. Here’s Part One, and here’s Part Two. Also, note that Timberg is doing a guest-blogging stint on this week. Highlights from the run so far include “How SF Crushes Highbrow Fiction,” “New Evidence that Frank Herbert Loved David Lynch’s Version of Dune,” and “The Extinct Animals We Never Knew.” He and I were emailing today about Apocalypse stuff–so one presumes there’ll be a that-related, me-quoting post in the imminent future. Stay tuned. (Also, Scott’s own blog, The Misread City.)

The Nation‘s got Miriam Markowitz on Cristina Nehring’s A Vindication of Love: Reclaiming Romance for the Twenty-first Century.

Did it already get blogged here that The Story Prize nominees have been announced? In any case, they are (for the maybe second time) Wells Tower for Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned; Daniyal Mueenuddin for In Other Rooms, Other Wonders; and Victoria Patterson for Drift. Hearty cheers all around.

At Boing Boing, Cory Doctorow tells us about The Journal of Serendipitous and Unexpected Results. (Go direct to the JSUR here.)

Oh, and what’s TNR’s The Book been up to? Well, Sean Wilentz says that “no great American has suffered more cruelly and undeservedly at the hands of historians than Ulysses S. Grant.” The hell you say! He takes a good long look at U.S. Grant: American Hero, American Myth by Joan Waugh. Meanwhile, Ellen Handler Spitz review a children’s book, The Three Pigs by David Wiesner, and it is on this note that I will leave you.

The earliest versions of the Three Pigs story are buried in time, although we do have nineteenth-century English renderings of it. I want, as a foil, to consider Disney’s Silly Symphony animation, from 1932, with its refrain, “Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf?,” frequently issued in print form and known worldwide, because it forms, like so much of Disney’s work, an inescapable template. Disney’s pigs are “little,” that is, they are children; whereas Wiesner’s pigs are neither verbally nor pictorially “little.” On the book jacket, Wiesner’s three porkers zoom in and eye us. We go snout to snout with them, as if looking in a mirror.

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January 27th, 2010 / 7:59 pm