‘Now Reading’ is a collection and sharing of online stories and is meant for minimal consumption by the few readers of this blog. Topics will include books, food, matters of culture, photography, media and technology … there are no rules. Have a story to add? Share it in the comments.
The 20 finalists for different categories of the National Book Awards were announced recently, and The New Yorkerprovides a quick-and-dirty way to get familiar with some of them. Many of the finalists have either been published in The New Yorker or written about in the magazine, and links to 10 items are provided here. One book that stands out to me and I will likely purchase: “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk,” by Ben Fountain. It’s a story about war and a soldier and coming home and losing things and a bunch of other themes that seem to resonate on a universal level. If the reviews do the novel justice, Fountain ties all of those together beautifully.
If some of the National Book Award finalists above get ripped in various reviews, they should read this – classic rip jobs of books that turned out to be, well, “classics.” My favorite rip job: “It is no discredit to Walt Whitman that he wrote ‘Leaves of Grass,’ only that he did not burn it afterwards.” – Thomas Wentworth Higginson, The Atlantic, 1867
Ran across The Days of Yore on Twitter, and this interview with The Paris Review editor Lorin Stein is worth the read. Stein has moved all around the literary world, and here he talks about his upbringing, writing, editing, the publishing world and a lot more. Ton of good nuggets for readers and writers interested in this kind of work.
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