• Inside the NYTBR: “Before McGrath, there was Rebecca Sinclair—she didn’t even last seven years, and told Gewen at the end of her term: ‘I took this job because of my love of books, but all I’m doing everyday is dealing with crap.’ Tanenhaus, apparently, is now going through the same thing. ‘He has a pretty thick skin,’ Gewen said, ‘but I would anticipate that after five or six years, he too will have been worn down by it all.'” Well, this explains a lot of things. I don’t see how you can produce an engaging weekly book review section if cannot maintain even a remote passion for books. I certainly wouldn’t be maintaining Return of the Reluctant if I felt, in any way, that my passion had waned in any way. And I would ask my readers to Sure, I’ve read a lot of crap too. But I’ve also read a lot of books that have greatly moved me. And it is these gems that keep me going. (Cases in point: I strenuously direct your attention to Ellen Klages’ excellent short story collection, Portable Childhoods, due from Tachyon Press in April. Sure, there’s some obvious filler in there, but “Basement Magic” and “Time Gypsy” in book form is long overdue. And I’m very glad that my LBC duties have permitted me to read the excellent title story for Alan DeNiro’s Skinny Dipping in the Lake of the Dead.)
  • Annalee Newitz points to a new vampire soap opera (on Lifetime TV!) that subverts gender roles. The tough detective is a woman. The sensitive romance novelist, who also happens to be a 450 year old vampire, is a man. We need more of this.
  • Philip Roth has won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Everyman.
  • So all the complaints about “scrotum” have brought Susan Patron’s book into the top 40 at Amazon. If I ever write a children’s book, I’ll be sure to include the word “buttock” on the first page.
  • Daniel Green examines the circuitous publishing route of John Sheppard’s Small Town Punk.
  • Gwenda unearths a fascinating WaPo article which observes that psychiatrists and literary scholars are at a loss to locate literary works involving repressed memory before the 19th century.
  • Jessica Stockton on New York ComicCon.
  • In defense of Bill Bryson. (via Rarely Likable)
  • I hope I never have to go to Phoenix. (via Henry Kisor)
  • RI PJürg Federspiel.
  • If it’s any consolation, Mr. Goldberg, they stole my Un-Ethicist idea too.


  1. I think you have it vice versa; they can’t find works from *before* the 19th century that feature repressed memory. So they think the condition is a modern Western construct. (Whereas depression and schizophrenia have evidently been with us since the ancients.)

  2. I’m not sure why Bryson needs a defense, I’ve never had the sense that he was looked down upon. Sure, he’s relatively popular, but he’s not exactly a pop-fiction novelist. Is this just a UK thing?

  3. Gawker can take away all my Parade outing ability. It cannot touch my mind; it cannot touch my heart; and it cannot touch my soul. And those three things are going to carry on forever. Don’t give up, don’t ever give up. I thank you and God bless you all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *