No One Writes Utopian Novels Anymore Because Utopian Novels Are Boring

Originally posted on Flavorwire:

Utopia.ortelius

This morning over at Vulture, Adam Sternbergh wrote about the dystopian novel craze — and the fact that we have, in his words, “hit Peak Dystopia.” True enough — even Lois Lowry says so. He suggests that if we’re burned out on dystopian novels, “there might be an opening for a return to Utopian novels — if such a thing as ‘Utopian novels’ actually existed anymore.” Towards the end of the article, he writes, “increasingly my hunch is that the next Great American Novel, or earth-rattling film, will be a Utopian one. Wouldn’t you love to read a modern Utopian vision by Margaret Atwood? Or Zadie Smith? Or Cory Doctorow?”

View original 431 more words

Revenge by Yoko Ogawa and The Mussel Feast by Birgit Vanderbeke

Originally posted on A Little Blog of Books and Other Stuff:

The Mussel FeastAugust is Women in Translation month hosted by Biblibio and I have recently read two works of translated fiction written by women which were both shortlisted for this year’s Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. Firstly, there’s ‘The Mussel Feast‘ by Birgit Vanderbeke which is a novella translated from the German by Jamie Bullock and was originally published shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The second is ‘Revenge’ by Yoko Ogawa which is a collection of eleven loosely connected short stories translated from the Japanese by Stephen Snyder.

View original 365 more words

Words, Glorious Words

Originally posted on Eleventh Stack:

Over the weekend, our friends at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that the Oxford Dictionaries Online added some new words to its listings

More than 400 of them, give or take a few.

I always think of Ammon Shea whenever these sorts of announcements happen.

Reading the OED He’s the author ofReading the OED: One Man, One Year, 21,710 Pages, an account of the year he spent reading the Oxford English Dictionary.

“If you are interested in vocabulary that is both spectacularly useful and beautifully useless, read on,” writes Ammon Shea in this wonderfully quirky book. “I have read the OED so that you don’t have to.”

Ammon Shea loves words. He also loves dictionaries, and has amassed quite the collection. “By last count, I have about a thousand volumes of dictionaries, thesauri, and assorted glossaries,” he writes, adding, somewhat unbelievably, that he doesn’t view these thousands volumes of dictionaries…

View original 807 more words

New Releases – 8/5/14

Originally posted on BookPeople's Blog:

HARDCOVER FICTION

Joe’s pick of the day: The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman
“Lev Grossman’s deconstruction of C.S.Lewis’ mythology reaches its conclusion. Beginning with a sorcerous heist and culminating in an apocalyptic ‘Last Battle,’ new faces are introduced and old friends reappear. Meanwhile new twists on old mysteries are revealed as we see the true origins of Fillory. A fantastic page-turner and a fitting end to Grossman’s loving tribute to the Chronicles of Narnia!”

2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas by Marie-Helene Bertino
Madeleine Altimari is a smart-mouthed, rebellious nine-year-old who also happens to be an aspiring jazz singer. Still mourning the recent death of her mother, and caring for her grief-stricken father, she doesn’t realize that on the eve of Christmas Eve she is about to have the most extraordinary day—and night—of her life. As three lost souls search for love, music and hope on the snow-covered streets…

View original 1,064 more words

The ‘Outlander’ Books Are Feminism’s Answer to ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

Originally posted on Flavorwire:

The hype surrounding STARZ’s new adaption of Outlander may come from the fact that it’s a new series by Battlestar Galactica‘s Ronald D. Moore, or that it stars the Internet’s new crush Sam Heughan, but what you may not know is that Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series of historical novels has been around since the early ’90s — and that her take on raunch, romance, and time travel might just be feminism’s answer to Fifty Shades of Grey.

View original 959 more words

“At Night” — Franz Kafka

Originally posted on Biblioklept:

20140721-162337-59017116.jpg

View original

Mumbai Confidential by Saurav Mohapatra and Vivek Shinde

Originally posted on Of Books and Reading:

Mumbai Confidential by Saurav Mohapatra and Vivek Shinde Title: Mumbai Confidential
Author: Saurav Mohapatra and Vivek Shinde
Publisher: Inked, Penguin
ISBN: 9780143333357
Genre: Graphic Novel
Pages: 144
Source: Publisher
Rating: 5/5

What better way to depict the dark and gory underworld and cop politics of Mumbai, than through a graphic novel? The underbelly is fantastically done with shades of brown, black and grey. Sometimes it also may happen that some graphic novels fail to convey what they want to, but that is not the case with “Mumbai Confidential” by Saurav Mohapatra and Vivek Shinde.

The book is set in Mumbai (but of course). It is the story of a cop, rather an ex-cop, Arjun Kadam who had it all going for him, till it all fell apart – both personally and professionally. He is no longer the man he used to be. He is addicted to heroin. He somehow has no will to live. There is the ACP…

View original 184 more words

Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang

Originally posted on Of Books and Reading:

Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang Title: Boxers and Saints
Author: Gene Luen Yang
Publisher: First Second
ISBN: 9781596439245
Genre: Graphic Novel
Pages: 512
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 5/5

I had heard a lot about this graphic novel. Almost every book haul had it; almost everyone was talking about it online and offline (to some extent). I knew I had to pick this one up and I did and let me tell you that this one just did not disappoint at all. I had read, “American Born Chinese” as well, so I sort of knew what I was expecting from this one.

“Boxers & Saints” are two individual graphic novels, but can only be read as one, for them to make sense to the reader. The book is set in the late 1800s and at the beginning of 1900. The year is 1898. The place: China. The foreign missionaries are here to stay and not only…

View original 331 more words

Film Review: The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared

Originally posted on A Little Blog of Books and Other Stuff:

The Hundred-Year-Old ManLast week, I was lucky enough to attend a special screening of the film adaptation of ‘The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared’ at the Soho Hotel in London ahead of its general release on Friday. Thanks to the likes of Steig Larsson and Henning Mankell, Sweden is generally more famous for producing atmospheric crime fiction. However, the comic novel by Jonas Jonasson has been a worldwide hit and has been translated into more than thirty languages with more than six million copies sold since 2009. The film is likely to match the book’s success across the globe this summer having already broken box office records in Sweden when it was released last December.

View original 410 more words

The 100-Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, by Jonas Jonasson

Originally posted on Blogging for a Good Book:

disappearedWith a life like Allan Karlsson’s, who wouldn’t want to live to be 100 years old? Befriended by Francisco Franco and Robert Oppenheimer, creator of both the American and Soviet atomic bombs, drinking buddies with Harry S. Truman, consultant to Madame Chiang Kai-Shek, and rescuer of Mao Tse-Tung’s wife, smuggled in a Russian submarine, imprisoned in both the Soviet gulag and a North Korean prison, Bali beach bum, translator for an ambassador to France… All this because Allan had that most 20th Century of skills – blowing stuff up.

Now, at the age of 100 (having blown up his home) Allan is in a nursing home. He’s not finished with life, so an hour or so before the local dignitaries are coming to begrudgingly celebrate his centenary, Allan goes AWOL. Not that he has anyplace in particular to go –  although that’s never been a problem – but he doesn’t…

View original 389 more words

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 51 other followers

%d bloggers like this: