NPR on the Best Speculative Fiction, Lorrie Moore on FNL, and More Literary Links
- NPR wants you to vote on the greatest science fiction and fantasy books of all time. Using audience votes and an “expert panel”, they have narrowed down the voting possibilities to a few hundred titles. There are some head scratchers on there, but plenty of great books as well.
- Young Adult author Mal Peet offers a list of the top 10 books to read aloud to children.
- Lorrie Moore tackles Friday Night Lights (the book, the film and the TV show) in NYRB:
“Rooting is in our blood,” Janet Malcolm has written, and when traveling around this country one would be hard-pressed not to notice that sports stadiums have become to the United States what opera houses are to Germany. Every community has one, even ones without much money.
- Blake Butler asks a bunch of authors to say what they know about Glimmer Train magazine without research.
- At The Millions, Mark O’Connell asks why we care about literary awards. Or why we care that great innovative fiction rarely wins them.
Getting worked up about the fact that really interesting, innovative fiction so often gets ignored by awards judges is, when you think about it, a little bit absurd. I don’t think it’s an injustice that, say, The Minutemen never won a Grammy — it would be frankly odd of me to even bring that up. Why would they have? The idea that that might even matter is somehow quietly insane — they weren’t the kind of band the Grammys were set up to be awarded to, and who cares about the Grammys anyway?
- In non-book-but-still-awesome news, a lost Alfred Hitchcock film, The White Shadow, has been found.
- The Chicago Tribune thinks the publishing industry should take inspiration from the pork industry’s “Pork: The Other White Meat” campaign and run ads to compete with the Kindle:
Publishers should tantalize consumers by evoking books’ sensory pleasures: the smell; the feel in your hands; that crisp, appealing crinkle of a turned page and smooth snap of a dust jacket. Publishers should elicit the joys of “curling up with a book,” the satisfaction of seeing your library on a shelf in your bedroom — the years of your life marked by rows of colorful spines, the pages covered with marginalia. To do this, publishers could borrow vinyl enthusiasts’ lines like, “Records have a certain smell. You can’t smell an MP3,” and, “I associate certain records’ smells with a certain summer, a particular girlfriend.”
- Lastly, Laura Miller suggests planning a reading retreat for your next vacation.
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