Issue of May 30, 2010

Summer is upon us, and with it comes our invitation for you to join us for some great deck chair reading. We go into the kitchen, over to Australia, dip into darkness, and then head into some self-reflection—worthy journeys all. Have a wonderful week!

Get to know three excellent Australian speculative fiction writers with Gillian Polack as she takes them through the questions mill about their writing, their stories and characters, the cultural scripts and the silencing that impact them in Writers on Writing: An Interview with KJ Bishop, Deborah Kalin and Tessa Kum.

What’s an athletic supporter to do when faced with the thought that he might actually be “becoming soft” in his reviewing. Look at it critically for one thing, and Pete Croatto did just that in Let’s Get Critical?

Reviewing fiction well is one of the more challenging aspects of book reviewing. But reviewing a book where the packaging is nearly as important as the story and where the story is not “classifiable” but is outstanding and unforgettable is downright difficult. But  as David Mitchell relates in Between Mortality and the Everlasting it is worth it.

How did the inaugural Great Memorial Weekend Read turn out? Pretty darn good. Even though it’s not yet finished and she didn’t adhere strictly to the schedule, Lauren Roberts is happy with the results. Join her as she shares her food and her books in The Great Memorial Weekend Read: A Partial Report

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Issue of May 30, 2010

  1. Lauren, I read your partial report of the Great Memorial Weekend Read as soon as it posted but it’s taken me until now to get here to comment–where did this week go?

    Anyway, thanks so much for the gazpacho recipe. And the poached eggs on yogurt. Can’t wait to try them.

    Also loved this part because the same thing happens to me, usually with the books I plan to read when I go out of town: “It was a bit disheartening realizing how far behind my hopeful reading list I am at this time—since I am writing this in batches as the weekend progresses—but choosing books for a special weekend is, I realize like piling my brunch plate too high because my eyes are “bigger than my stomach.” It just happens. I’ll read what I can read and save the rest for another time. A literary doggie bag, as it were.”

    The other thing that stood out to me was your saying that you didn’t remember what made you buy the book you were reading on Sunday (I think Sunday). Anyway, this happens to me a lot and when I read that, I thought, why don’t I just stick a yellow sticky in the front of each book I buy with a word or two about what cause me to buy it–friend, cover, review….I don’t know why I never thought about this before.

    Great column and I look forward to the rest of the story–Monday’s reading and eating : )

    • Hi, Cynthia!

      How wonderful to hear from you. It seems as if the world and time just flies by, doesn’t it? You are most welcome for the recipes. I must confess that the eggs-yogurt recipe has become my new favorite weekend one. I found that even doing one egg on a half-cup of yogurt is satisfying, which is good. One less egg per day means more days each week with eggs, including Memorial Day itself. The yogurt won; the tofu languishes, but the artichoke was good on that warm morning.

      I am still behind too. I have yet to finish George, Nicholas and Wilhelm—in fact, I am still in the early stages of it—and the Lawrence awaits its initial discovery because another book, one that came in for review, has inserted itself on my reading schedule. (Pushy thing, it is.)

      I like your idea of noting what caused you to buy the book inside it, but the glue on those stickies do damage books. Why not do a variation of my post-reading review, which is written in pencil on the front flyleaf and dated and signed, and write about buying the book: what attracted you to it, how it was found or recommended and by whom, and any thoughts you have on it before you read it. Sign and date it too. Then you’ll always have that lovely reminder, in your own hand, on the page itself—and no sticky glue to do any damage!

      • That’s an even better idea. (I didn’t know that sticky notes could damage books.) I’ll just start adding the month and year I bought the book and the why underneath. I can do it on the back page where I’m used to adding my initials and the month and year I read the book. Nice.

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