Readersforum's Blog

March 31, 2011

2011 Best Translated Book Award Finalists Announced

Filed under: Literary Prizes — Tags: , , — Bookblurb @ 6:00 pm

click to buy

By C. Max Magee

The shortlist for a still fairly new, but very worthwhile award has been announced. The Best Translated Book Award highlights work in translation (of course), a corner of the literary world that gets far less attention in the U.S. than it deserves.

“The Best Translated Book Awards launched in 2007 as a way of bringing attention to great works of international literature. Original translations (no reprints or retranslations) published between December 2009 and November 2010 are eligible for this year’s award. Quality of the original book and the artistry of the English translation are the criteria used in determining the winning titles.

Thanks to the support of, each winning author and translator will receive a $5,000 cash prize.”

                                                                                                                                …read more

Edward Fitzgerald’s Omar Khayyam

 On this day in 1809 Edward Fitzgerald was born, and on this ay in 1859 his “free translation” of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam was published. Fitzgerald’s version of the 12th century Persian verse became one of the most popular works of the 19th century and one of the best-selling books of poetry ever.Some say that its religious skepticism had an impact on Victorian England equivalent to Darwin’s The Origin of Species, also published in 1859.

                                                                                                                                               …read more

March 30, 2011

Sean O’Casey’s Ireland

On this day in 1880 Sean O’Casey was born, in the working-class ghettos of Dublin that he would later make famous in such plays as The Shadow of a Gunman, Juno and the Paycock, and The Plough and the Stars. Although now less-known, O’Casey’s six-volume autobiography is as personal and compelling as the plays. Frank McCourt, who would cover the same sort of ground a half-century later in Angela’s Ashes, described O’Casey’s autobiography as a revelation:
                                                                                                                                               …read more

March 28, 2011

The Great Read Shark: Fear and Loathing at 40

By Michael Bourne

Click to buy

Forty years ago today, on March 21, 1971, Hunter S. Thompson and a Chicano activist attorney named Oscar Zeta Acosta drove from Los Angeles to Las Vegas to talk over an article Thompson was writing about the barrios of East L.A. When the account of their journey appeared in Rolling Stone in November of that year, Thompson and Acosta had morphed into Raoul Duke and his 300-pound Samoan attorney and the trunk of their car, the Great Red Shark, had become a rolling drug dispensary:

We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers…and also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of Budweiser, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls.

I can still remember sitting in the basement of my parents’ house in Northern California, practically whizzing myself with delight at that dizzying list of pharmaceuticals. I was fourteen.

                                                                                                                     …read more

J. D. Salinger Slept Here (Just Don’t Tell Anyone)

Callie Ingram and Anton Teubner, prior winners of a writing contest with a prize that included a year in Salinger's old room.

COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. — For years, officials at Ursinus College had been trying to figure out how to capitalize on the fact that J. D. Salinger had spent one semester there in the fall of 1938.

They were hoping to attract publicity for Ursinus and tried everything they could think of to lure Salinger from the secluded world he’d lived in for his final 50 years. They offered to make him a guest lecturer; to build a literary festival around him; to award him an honorary degree. “No response,” said Richard DiFeliciantonio, the vice president for enrollment at the small liberal arts college here. “Absolutely nothing.”

Then Jon Volkmer, an English professor, had what Holden Caulfield would have called a goddam terrific idea.

                                                                                                                                       …read more


Filed under: Media — Tags: , , — Bookblurb @ 6:28 am

Our Man had a eureka moment. What can he do to help the relief effort other than give updates on the status of the 7-11 Bordeaux stocks? Well, he likes writing and used to be a pretty good sub-editor (well, he got paid for it at least) and he’s at a loose end… so it’s time to edit a book and donate all proceeds to charity, the Japan Red Cross.
Here’s the deal:
                                                                                                 read more

March 25, 2011

The Winning Game: 2010 Hardcovers: Facts & Figures 2011

Filed under: Books of the Year — Tags: , — Bookblurb @ 7:05 pm

In hardcover, the usual suspects, and more
By Daisy Maryles

What’s new in the hardcover fiction bestsellers of 2010? Very little. Almost every author in the fiction top 30 has been on these charts in previous years—most several times. The sole exception is the #1 fiction bestseller, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, with sales of 1.9 million. Stieg Larsson enjoyed a quadruple play, heading fiction, mass market, trade paper, and an e-book list of bestsellers.

Still, a number of veteran bestselling novelists dominate. Chief among them is James Patterson. With his stable of coauthors, he managed to rack up six of the top 25 fiction bestsellers, with combined sales of 3,332,263. Clive Cussler had four bestsellers in 2010, with combined sales of 1,006,132; Nora Roberts had three, with combined sales of 900,000 copies. And the bestselling female author last year was Janet Evanovich; she had two of the top 15 bestsellers, with sales of more than 1.5 million.

The only novel to make a second appearance in the top 15 is Kathryn Stockett’s The Help. A debut fiction hitting the one million–plus sales mark for the second year in a row, it is also the only hardcover that did not miss a single showing on the 2010 weekly charts.

                                                                                                                                            …read more

The Art of the Review: Laura Miller

By Parul Sehgal —
We’re happy to announce a new series on PWxyz–The Art of the Review. Every Friday, we’ll be interviewing our favorite reviewers, talking technique, and taking the pulse of criticism today: How do critics select books to review? Have they ever been wrong about a book? How much impact do reviews have anyway? How do critics in print media feel about their online counterparts and vice versa–are they in league or at odds? We’ll be talking to reviewers at established dailies, at up-and-coming review websites, and working all over the world–in New York, Dublin, and New Delhi.We’re kicking things off with an interview with Laura Miller, author of The Magician’s Book: A Skeptic’s Adventures in Narnia, and cofounder of for which she writes a regular column on books, beloved for its wit, directness, and deep engagement with (and omnivorous appetite for) books of all genres.

She talks to us about how book critics have let down the public, why she likes reading–but doesn’t trust–James Wood’s reviews, and why everyone should at least try to read Twilight.

                                                                                                                                           …read more

James Frey does Jesus

Filed under: Authors — Tags: , , , , — Bookblurb @ 6:48 pm

If the faux-memoirist thinks he’ll offend anyone by depicting Christ as a whoring drunk, he’ll be disappointed

Apparently James Frey has a tiny man in his head, like some kind of internalized boss, who barks, “You haven’t enraged anyone lately!” and starts cracking the whip whenever things slow down. This week, we learned that Frey will deliver a book he discussed in an interview with the Rumpus back in 2008, “The Final Testament of the Holy Bible,” which will depict the return of Jesus Christ as a drunk who consorts with hookers and canoodles with other men. The book will be published in a limited edition by an art gallery and self-published by Frey “online,” which presumably means in e-book format. This event will take place on April 22, Good Friday.

                                                                                                                                         …read more

A Letter to Our Readers About Digital Subscriptions

Filed under: Media — Tags: , — Bookblurb @ 6:39 pm

This week marks a significant transition for The New York Times as we introduce digital subscriptions. It’s an important step that we hope you will see as an investment in The Times, one that will strengthen our ability to provide high-quality journalism to readers around the world and on any platform. The change will primarily affect those who are heavy consumers of the content on our Web site and on mobile applications.

This change comes in two stages. On Thursday, we rolled out digital subscriptions to our readers in Canada, which will enable us to fine-tune the customer experience before our global launch. On March 28, we will begin offering digital subscriptions in the United States and the rest of the world.

                                                                                                                              …read more

Older Posts »

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: