Some Old News

In lieu of a review or rant, here are some links that I’ve found particularly interesting in the last few days. Look forward to reviews on Chris Cleave’s Little Bee, Peter Singer and Jim Mason’s The Way We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter, Adam Foulds’ The Quickening Maze, and perhaps, if you’re lucky Columbine by Dave Cullen.

First, Book Shelf Porn. I have a lot of books and I like to arrange them in interesting ways. But these are just incredible. Some of the pictures are personal collections, others are large libraries that make you wish you were a librarian.

Barbara Kingsolver’s The Lacuna just won the UK’s Orange Prize, beating out Hilary Mantel’s Booker-winner Wolf Hall and the much-praised The Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore. Read about a first-hand experience at the awards ceremony here (via dovegreyreaderscribbles.typepad.com)

I also enjoyed reading this essay about World War I poetry at The Millions. I don’t think I’ve seen such a extensive treatment of the poetry of Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon outside of academia. It made me think a lot about the way we study literature and how we often take it completely out of its humane and historical context.

As always, the wonderful clan over at biblioklept put me on to a new Jeffrey Eugenides short story in the New Yorker. You should really read it, especially if you’ve ever endured a literary theory course. Also, the book referenced in it, Roland Barthes’ A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments is real and just as brilliant as it sounds.

I do love literary feuds, and the idea that so many of them were borne out of being drunk while writing a review. I wish I was erudite and aware enough to write a review while drunk. Anyway, read about Philip Kerr and Allan Massie at The Telegraph.

Last, a Virginia Woolf essay contest (via bloggingwoolf@wordpress.com) If I ever thought I had anything to contribute to the wonderful canon of Woolf-ania, I would do it through this contest.

Do enjoy.

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