All posts filed under: books

Adelle Waldman and the modern man

books

Men need to stick together. We’re a tribe, a gender-based tribe. Some people not in the tribe (read: females) may think that men have foibles. Hangups. Shortcomings. As a member of the male tribe, I categorically deny the existence of these so-called foibles. But, men, we have a mole in our midst. This mole, apparently, told all our secrets to Adelle Waldman who packed them into her brilliant debut novel The Love Affairs of Nathaniel […]

The New York Review of Books celebrates 50 years

books

When I’m at the coffee shop reading The New York Review of Books, people stare for a moment and then ask me what I’m reading. Large-format periodicals have disappeared, and for people of a certain age, seeing one in 2013 evokes a bit of nostalgia and wonderment. Rolling Stone used to be big. Andy Warhol’s Interview used to be huge. Newspapers too have trimmed their size. Paper and printing is expensive. Buying a subscription to the NYR […]

Dressing for the occasion: Mo Yan’s Nobel wardrobe

books

Mo Yan, a Chinese novelist, won the Nobel Prize for Literature this year. An article by Li Qian in Shanghai Daily reports that the writer will be bringing five outfits for his trip to Sweden to accept the award. He wanted to wear a tuxedo, but he has added some Eastern outfits to balance out the desires of representing China on the world stage. Mo Yan—which means “don’t talk” in Chinese—is the pen name of […]

Tiny Beautiful Things from Dear Sugar

books

Cheryl Strayed wrote an amazing true story of her journey on the Pacific Crest Trail. That book, Wild, was released early in spring, and I wrote about it a few weeks ago. After I had finished reading Wild back in August, I immediately wanted to read more of Strayed’s work. Conveniently in July, she published another book. This one she called Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar. Dear Sugar was an advice […]

Philip Roth retires from the rat race

books

The other day, I started reading Philip Roth’s novel Portnoy’s Complaint. It was originally published in 1969 and was commercially successful. My used paperback edition from 1978 says that four million copies were in print. It’s Alex Portnoy’s first-person Jewish-American narrative of sexual malaise. Philip Roth, 78, has written a long time. His first novel came out in 1960. The New Yorker revealed yesterday that Roth has decided to retire from writing novels. His last novel […]

Someone working hard: The $100 Startup

books

Chris Guillebeau created a tribe through his blog called The Art of Non-Conformity: Unconventional Strategies for Life, Work and Travel. I started following his blog earlier this year, and I can highly recommend it. He’s got interesting, unusual ideas, and he’s overwhelmingly positive. You can just feel the good vibes. The other night I finished reading his New York Times bestselling book released in May called The $100 Startup: Reinvent the way you make a living, do what […]

Book of the year: Cheryl Strayed’s Wild

books

It’s not often that you come across a book so compelling. A physical journey paired with an emotional journey is a potent mix. And the book we’re talking about is not fiction. It’s the memoir of a woman at a difficult time in her life. I’m speaking of Cheryl Strayed’s amazing Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. It came out in March and is the first bestselling book for Ms. Strayed. I […]

Ebook settlements: Amazon and Barnes & Noble are happy for me

books

Apple and some large New York book publishers got snagged in some legal action from the U.S. Department of Justice. They were being monopolistic and raising their prices, DOJ said. With Amazon holding the lion’s share of the ebook market, it seemed an odd thing unless you consider Amazon as the source of this onerous action. Nevertheless, Amazon and Barnes & Noble have sent emails that they are quite pleased to offer settlements on purchased […]

Jokes in translation

books

The American Literary Translators Association held their 35th annual conference earlier this month, The theme of this year’s conference was “The Translation of Humor, or The Humor of Translation.” Translators face interesting challenges to convey humor from one language to another. Jascha Hoffman writing in The New York Times refers to David Bellos’ book Is That a Fish in Your Ear?: Translation and the Meaning of Everything who argues that the trick, in Hoffman’s words, is “to abandon […]

Hit men and network effects: Book publishing is changing

books

Michael Ellsberg wrote about the launch of his new book in an article for Forbes entitled The Tim Ferriss Effect: Lessons From My Successful Book Launch. Ellsberg discovered that checking his Amazon.com sales rank was addicting. He started to gauge the result a media appearance about his book had on sales. To summarize the article in a sentence: a passionate audience is more important than a wider, less passionate audience. In the case of his […]