A Welsh booklist has been considered too highbrow to be relevant. The Welsh have insisted that booklists aren’t for them. A spokesman for the Eisteddfod Preservation Society said that they’d rather spend all day complaining about the weather than caring about contemporary culture. “Besides,” said the spokesman. “We were telling stories long before Chaucer.”
T.C. Boyle has no hope whatsoever. Beyond that, there’s the question of why T.C. Boyle remains hit-or-miss with the literati. The Chronicle doesn’t get many answers, but they do get some quirky quotes from Boyle. His National Book Award-nominated novel, Drop City, hit paperback not long ago. He’s currently on tour. If you pick up this month’s Harper’s, you’ll find a Boyle story. There’s also another great story called “Chicxulub” (referenced in the Chronicle piece) in the March 1, 2004 New Yorker.
Meanwhile, NPR has some fun audio clips up of T.C. Boyle’s old band (including T.C. singing “I Put a Spell on You”).
If you haven’t read Boyle, and you’ve failed to perceive my mad gushing for the man, some good titles to start with are The Road to Wellville and World’s End.
Sara Paretsky has a new V.I. Warshawski novel out. (And I’m curious as to why everyone’s favorite mystery blogger has remained so silent on Paretsky, beyond an enigmatic high school connection which nobody need talk about.)
While Yardley dismisses Studs Lonigan, Roger Ebert, of all people, digs up an evening he spent in 1968 with James Farrell. There’s some interesting tidbits, including Farrell deliberately avoiding sleep so that he can write 20 hours at a stretch, four of Farrell’s novels burned in a fire (and thus unpublishable in the days before computers), and Farrell’s personally penned obituary. Even James Brown, having met Farrell early in his career, had to concede “the hardest working man in show business” title to Farrell after discovering his working habits. However, when Farrell died in 1979, the title was officially restored to Brown.
Intersting statistic: Michael Moore sold 1.1 million copies of Stupid White Men in Germany. Probably because the title of Bill O’Reilly’s latest book was mistakenly printed up as Are the Crazy American Conservatives Looking Out for You Now? Run Away! They Get Very Angry on Television!