Issue of May 23, 2010

One work week until Memorial Day, and I am counting the days not just because of an extra day off work but because I have decided to institute a springtime reading weekend similar to my Thanksgiving weekend one. In my editor’s letter, I lay out the details of both my literary and culinary menus. Also, we have articles on the “dark side” of reviewing, a little culinary craziness, the meaning of color for books, and a musing on J.D. Salinger’s life. We hope you enjoy it all, and we wish you a wonderful pre-holiday week.

When a garden becomes more than practical it often becomes intimate. It offers a “pure pleasure in seeing things grow.” And for Nicki Leone that pleasure went  beyond the eight-foot sunflowers and luminously blue morning glories; it caused her to delve deeply into the books of and about southern garden writer Elizabeth Lawrence in A Southern Gardener.

What do reviewers actually do? What’s actually behind their words? And does what they do make any difference to readers? Join Lev Raphael, a successful author and longtime reviewer, as he cuts and slashes his way through the behind-the-scenes jungle of book reviewing and the meaning of reviews for authors, editors and, when done well, for readers in Voyage to the Dark Side: Notes on Reviewing.

When a book’s pulse turns into a heart attack you know you have a great book. Lindsay finds one that delivers the knife-sharp edge and roiling fun you’d come to expect from an author who found his initial career calling in pots, pans, and the accompanying craziness of the professional kitchen. in If You Can’t Stand the Heat . . . .

Is it just books or is it the color itself? Lauren Baratz-Logsted ponders the meaning that the color pink has in the book world, wondering why it became such a pariah among a lot of readers. Why that particular color has “colored” attitudes when it has such a rich meaning is a journey she undertakes in All We Are Saying is Give Pink a Chance.

Planning for a reading weekend takes work but, oh, the rewards. With Memorial Day weekend arriving in only a few days, Lauren Roberts has been busy planning and will begin preparing for what will be the inaugural Great Memorial Weekend Read, a springtime version of the annual Great Thanksgiving Weekend Read in Across the Walnuts and the Wine.

J.D. Salinger has been written about far more than he has spoken, and that fact has intrigued many people over the course of his lifetime. His seclusion made his mythology, but how much did it add to his legend? And is he more famous for that or for his books? Guest columnist Jason Schwalm ponders the role the author created for himself in J. D. Salinger, the Con Artist.

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Issue of May 23, 2010

  1. I cannot believe your plans for Memorial Day! Wow. My favorite meal is Saturday night. My favorite book choice on Sunday, the D. H. Lawrence, which I’ve never read. I also love that you gave Sunday morning over to the New York Times. Wouldn’t a whole book of menus based on holidays and reading choices be fun? I will be thinking of you eating and reading, and I look forward to a report next week! Enjoy…

    • Hi, Cynthia!

      I wish you a lovely holiday weekend. I’m looking forward to this. In fact, I just made up my shopping list and will do it tomorrow after work. Several of the dishes (most notably the salad preparations, the gazpacho and chicken legs) will be made that night so the entire weekend’s meals will be easy. Then the books. They are on the coffee table now tempting me since I just finished my current book last night. I’ll report on the Lawrence since that will be a first-time read for me too. Have a wonderful time too!

  2. I wish I were coming to join you!

    • I wish you were too! Bit late for plane reservations, though. How about if you do something extra nice for yourself this weekend and then write about it? A special meal? Time under a tree with a cat, a book, and a breeze?

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