Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Of the 119 copies known to exist, 108 are owned by museums and libraries. The remainder are held in private collections.
The National Audubon Society has a gallery of plates available online here.
Monday, December 6, 2010
That's more Gilmore Girls, less Charles Dickens.
Still, in celebration of first snow, come warm yourself in the glow of our holiday window. Or buy up multiple copies of A Christmas Carol! The Gift of the Magi! We can wrap them individually in gold paper and everything.
Monday, November 29, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
And it's Patti Smith. Sweet! I haven't read her new book yet, the autobiography Just Kids, but as a totally unrelated coincidence, I've been listening to her Radio Ethiopia album all week.
Once me and my little sister Siobhan went to get Patti Smith's autograph on (my) copy of her album Horses, and bickered over who she should sign it to, and Patti Smith yelled at us for fighting and signed it to both of us, which is a Solomonic compromise that somehow never occurred to either of us. True story.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
So We have a new adventure in the bookstore and I'm running it... we get in a lot of packages from all over the world and I enjoy viewing the postage. So far, no one has been able to beat China in package display.
They've been stamped everywhere and I enjoy viewing it. Since I'm an art history major, to me, this package is an art in its own way. I thought I would share it with you, whether you have seen it before or not.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
And now we know.
PHOTO CREDIT: Carey Mulligan photographed auditioning for the role of Daisy Buchanan. New York City, November 2, 2010. Photo: Baz Luhrmann. Copyright: Bazmark
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Of these resources, probably my favorite is Operation Warrior Library (can't have any military operation without a snappy acronym). What about you folks, does anyone have a favorite book, military, or book/military charity they like to give to?
[Image of WWI veteran holding the flag of his son who died in the Korean War by Magnus Manske, generously licensed under Creative Commons.]
Monday, November 8, 2010
Hilariously brutal, a fair amount of your enjoyment of After Claude depends on ever having been or known a Harriet. If you are her, she is possibly a straight-shooting truth teller, looking for love in the absolute worst places. And if you only ever had her as a terrifying acquaintance in high school, then this serves as the barbed window into any savage, selfish relationship she ever went on to have. Either way, it quickly becomes an addictive, prickly pear of a read.
Harriet, in her idiosyncratic way, either drives the unworthy Claude away or leaves on her own, then cleaves to him as he tries to remove her from his life. In between alienating her equally terrible friends, she finds time to revisit the sequence of events that deposited her on Claude's doorstep in the first place. And that's all before going completely insane. Without giving too much away, this is the story of how Harriet outdoes herself, crashing not just in the same car but every car, over and over again.
Monday, November 1, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
I only ever assumed that other people must prefer sympathy to accuracy in their television fiction. Anyway, this is a perfect analysis, one that does that hard work of nailing down why she represents some of the bravest writing on television.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
What does procrastination tell us about ourselves? A review of The Thief of Time: Philosophical Essays on Procrastination (Oxford University Press) in the New Yorker may point you in one or many directions. Really, I can only wonder if Hugo applied a similar process to his drawing.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
>Classic comic book series as old paperback covers.
(*I use "classic" advisedly because they also shop the likes of Spawn and Savage Dragon.)
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
(Via Crying All The Way to the Chip Shop)
Saturday, October 9, 2010
There is unfortunately no way to browse their new additions, so you kind of have to know what you're looking for among all the rest of their (admittedly amazing) digitized manuscript collection. But whatever. This is amazing any way you slice it.
*The British Library, Manuscripts Collection
[Image of page from the Theodore Psalter from Wikimedia Commons, generously licensed under Creative Commons.]
Friday, October 8, 2010
Seriously. These books. Find them. Read them.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
I, however, do not go in for this ridicule, even though some of it (particularly that which was perpetrated by the great Spike Milligan) is frequently hilarious. Yes, he wrote terrible, terrible poetry. Really horrendous poetry. Just, ungodly stuff. But this is a writer who kept his pen going, day in day out, who, once the muse was upon him, devoted a solid twenty-five years of his life to literature, even though the only reward he ever received for his trouble was ridicule and contempt. Therein lies a kernel of greatness, akin to that great Orson Welles of awful, Ed Wood. The refusal to surrender to discouragement is perhaps the sina qua non of greatness, and the discouragement arrayed around McGonagall was truly massive. And in that respect I feel a great deal of admiration for him. No bad review or audience booing could make him stop writing.
Even though he was too weak and sickly in the end to peddle them any longer on handbills in the streets, McGonagall wrote up poems until the very end; he died a pauper who was buried in an unmarked grave.
(via Today in Literature)
No, seriously guys, Peruvian Mario Vargas Llosa just won the Nobel Prize in Literature. Congrats Mr. Llosa!
[Image from Wikimedia Commons, generously licensed under Creative Commons.]
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
One, is memes in graphic design in book covers. Two, is ridiculously specific blogs. One such blog, about such book covers, is WomenRunningAwayFromHouses. Take a moment out of your day to check it out. It will be time well spent.
[Via the Occasional Superheroine]
Brooklyn College Library
Room 411 (Multipurpose Room)
6:00pm to 7:30pm
Join us at a reading with the excellent Myla Goldberg this coming Wednesday!
Her bestselling first novel, Bee Season, was a New York Times Notable Book for 2000, winner of the Borders New Voices Prize, and a finalist for the Hemingway Foundation/PEN award, the NYPL Young Lions award, and the Barnes & Noble Discover award. It has been adapted to film and widely translated. Her second novel Wickett’s Remedy grew out of her fascination with the 1918 influenza epidemic. Her third novel, The False Friend, concerns a woman trying to untangle a 20-year-old memory and explores the complexities of moral judgment, the fallibility of memory, and the adults that children become.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Crossing my fingers for Cormac McCarthy. Or at least not Haruki Murakami. Come on not Haruki Murakami.
Also, wait, there's a modern poet whose name is just "Adonis"?
Bookmaking aggregator (or gambling addiction enabler) BettingPro also has some analysis. Check it out, place your bets.
*Ladbrokes, 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature
Monday, October 4, 2010
Of the writers I really adore, there are at least two I can think of off the top of my head that have been almost entirely unavailable for a decade (at least): American pulpster Fredric Brown and Austrian metaphysical mathematician Leo Perutz. I've had a copy of Perutz's The Swedish Cavalier I've been meaning to give away to a friend for years. But I'm petrified that once I give it away I'll never find another copy. It really is a treasure in every sense of the word.
So what are your lost treasures? What is everyone missing out on?
Saturday, October 2, 2010
The Dungeon Master has detention. We wait at his house by the county road. The Dungeon Master’s little brother Marco puts out corn chips and orange soda.It's a good story, although I must be honest and say the short story form is not my favorite. As far as fiction in the New Yorker goes, however, I was not unpleased by it. Worth checking out. Mostly I was drawn to it because we're all such huge D&D nerds here at the Brooklyn Shakespeare & Co.
Also, wait the LA Times is calling Lipsyte "America's bard of highly educated disgruntlement"? Crap, that's what I wanted to be! Damn you, Lipsyte.
*"The Dungeon Master", by Sam Lipsyte
Friday, October 1, 2010
I, okay what? Well, no, not really. They still sell books, but now they also sell a whole lot of candy too, because it's pretty tough selling books these days. Okay, let me tell you, there are two things upsetting here: 1) The Strand is now selling candy, 2) We didn't start doing it first. After we here in Brooklyn got our shiny new shelves before the start of the semester that were, well, largely empty at the time, I did think to myself "Students, students are coming, we need to fill these shelves with candy." Although given our own proclivities here at Shakespeare & Co., it would probably be more like Clif Bars. A large percentage of our staff subsists on these and nothing else, as far as I can tell.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Anyway, enter FictFact. They are a database of serial fiction that keeps track of that stuff for you. Just look up an author or series and voila. Oh hey, do you need to know what order you should read all your out-of-print Ellis Peters "Cadfael" novels? Done.
Shakespeare & Co. Fixing all life's problems for you.
(via LifeHacker, via makeuseof.com)
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Although I will definitely try to get myself a Canadian copy. It was published here in the states as the altogether more forgettable-sounding Someone Knows My Name, a bland, generic and focus-group sounding title if there ever was one, seemingly predestined for the remainder bin of history. If I saw that thing in a catalog, I'd totally just page right past it. I probably did.
Monday, September 27, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Saturday, September 18, 2010
"I had high hopes that McGurl ... might explain to me the value of contemporary American fiction in a way I could understand, but was disappointed to find in The Program Era traces of the quality I find most exasperating about program writing itself: oversophistication combined with an air of autodidacticism, creating the impression of some hyperliterate author who has been tragically and systematically deprived of access to the masterpieces of Western literature, or any other sustained literary tradition."Ouch. Also, yeah!
On her blog, Batuman posted a missive saying she hadn't written the mean-spirited (but hilarious) title of the review, and seemed apologetic. And she also posted a picture of her hugging a koala, so I guess no harm, no foul.
Friday, September 17, 2010
Houellebecq, despite his flaws, remains one of my favorite living novelists, but this new controversy seems somewhat, I don't know, what's the word. Ridiculous? The new book, up to now considered a heavy to win the Prix Goncourt, is a satire on the French art world, in which Slate.fr alleges Houellebecq copied large blocks of text from the French Wikipedia's articles on a French hunting activist, the town of Beauvais and the common housefly. Also that he copied descriptions of a police officer from the website of the French interior ministry, and the description of a hotel from that hotel's own website.
In his defense, Houellebecq said ... "Yes, I copied all that stuff from Wikipedia. So what?" He also basically said that most of his critics wouldn't know literature if it bit them on the derrière, and invoked the names of other writers who'd routinely mixed in "real" texts with their own writing, like Argentina's Jorge Luis Borges (whom we here at Shakespeare & Co. adore) and France's own Georges Perec.
While most of the French critical establishment gave the book rave reviews, it has some vocal detractors however, like French-Moroccan writer and notable buzzkill Tahar Ben Jelloun, who is not coincidentally a judge on the Goncourt prize board. He's apparently annoyed that he spent three days reading a book about how a cynical jerk becomes the darling of the art world by photographing outdated Michelin maps. Whatever, after reading Don Thompson's The $12 Million Stuffed Shark: The Curious Economics of Contemporary Art, I'm pretty sure the art world deserves all it has coming to it and then some.
My favorite quote about Houellebecq's new novel from the AFP article on this whole story? "Some critics deduced from its lack of weird sex, misogyny or anti-Islamic rants that Houellebecq might finally be showing a softer side."
I can't wait to read it.
[Image from Wikimedia Commons user Kmarius, aka Mariusz Kubik, generously licensed under Creative Commons.]
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
"The Last Story of F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre", by Corey Kilgannon (The New York Times)
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
And the winners are:
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
And to read the following - "Only Gibson could tell a story that plausibly takes place in the liminal space where the frayed edge of the paramilitary marketplace touches the hem of the fashion industry." - only reminds me about why I am so excited. Because it's true.
Sartorial science-fiction forever.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
We have all your textbooks at the best prices, plus stationery and totebags. Also, rental. And haiku!
Monday, August 23, 2010
In addition to everything Eisner, this biography also generally charts comics from its Golden Age through the appearance of the CCA, underground comix and the invention of the graphic novel. Aside from early chapters about his childhood, the second half of A Dreamer's Life was most interesting for detailing Eisner the active, engaged old master. From the business acumen that protected his legacy to PS to his classes at SVA and many, many autobiographical masterpieces, Eisner had plans that begat plans. Also, the enthusiasm and backbone to work them all into fruition. Ultimately, the best part about him as a creator is how much of a fan he is. He never stopped learning about and loving comics.
So, pretty much the greatest. Will Eisner: A Dreamer's Life in Comics will be in stores November 9, 2010.
Friday, August 13, 2010
(Via Quill and Quire's post: Creepy Book Pimps Out Ralph Lauren Clothes to Tots.)
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
*20 classic works of gay literature
[Image from the Flickr feed of BlackHawkTraffic, generously licensed under Creative Commons.]
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
[Image from the Flickr of Rachel Kramer Bussel, generously licensed under Creative Commons.]
Another fave quote: "The MFA writing system, with its mechanisms of circulating popularity and fashionableness, leans heavily on the easily imitable."
Check it. The 15 Most Overrated Contemporary American Writers.
[Image from the Flickr feed of Steve Rhodes, generously licensed under Creative Commons]
Monday, August 9, 2010
There's many, many more macabre examples here at Pink Tentacle. As you glance through all these, remember these are all from children's literature. For extremely terrified children.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Did I mention he's got awesome tats and piercings? I'm pretty sure no piece has ever been published on Miéville that doesn't mention either that or the fact that he's apparently totally ripped. It's a requirement for these sorts of things.
So: Genre fiction superstar.
Kraken is, on the head of things, a book you've read before. "Urban Fantasy" conjures up a certain subset of the genre with its own rules and conventions. Boy or girl with wrenchingly normal life discovers that the world (or the city; or, more often, London) is, in fact, teeming with magical creatures and sorcerers and oddities of all sorts. Or just vampires, primarily, but that counts, too. At first I wasn't terribly impressed; what makes Kraken is how refreshingly light it is. I'll explain: Not "easy reading" light, and since this is a book with Miéville's name on the cover, it's got a sprawling, byzantine plot with an equally sprawling cast of characters. No, after the weighty downers of Perdido Street Station and The City & The City, Kraken unravels like a black comedy. It's Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels with wizards. Kraken approaches the well-trod genre with a sense of humor, even though the tension -- and the novel is, essentially, a very long chase scene -- remains fairly taut throughout.
The maturity that Miéville displayed in The City & The City is in full effect here; his prose gets leaner and less purple with each outing. Compare to Perdido Street Station and you'll see what I mean. The pacing is well-handled, which is no feat juggling between three or four plots. Characterization could bear to be a little less lean, which is disappointing after the really excellent portrayal of the lead character in The City & The City, but one supposes that the author has an awful lot on his plate with so many characters running around magical London.
Not all is quite right: A few gags fall short; while the Tattoo's eerie weirdness is off-set, successfully, by the oddball goonishness of him and his henchmen (like I said, think "British gangster flick" and you've just about got it), the magically functioning Star Trek phaser probably would have been better off showing up for a scene and going away instead of popping up again, and again, and again. The three sub-plots that form the bulk of the narrative advance unevenly and don't quite meet up in any satisfactory way.
Still, Kraken solid all the way through, and is maybe most impressive for the dramatic shift in tone from what I, at least, was used to seeing from Miéville.
Did I mention he's like a Communist rock star with awesome tattoos? They won't let me publish this if I don't.
Come on, Apple! Why so prudish? Erotica is a perfectly legitimate literary genre. Stop selling books to people and then making them feel creepy for buying them.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
*Book Depository real-time sales map
Friday, August 6, 2010
*William Hill: 2010 Man Booker Prize odds
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Wired: "One Man's Journey into Stunt Books", by Matthew Honan
[Image from Wikimedia Commons, by User: Rumata. I also really kinda wanted to use this ridiculous one, but it was too blurry.]
In other book news: the superlative Christopher Hitchens talks about his cancer diagnosis, and Justin Bieber tells his publisher to stop telling people his new book is a memoir.
[Image of the Apocalypse taken from Wikimedia Commons.]
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
If you're a Brooklyn College student or are just interested in working with us here in Brooklyn, you can contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or if your life is oriented more Manhattan-wards you can e-mail our general employment address at email@example.com. If you've got any questions, you can e-mail me, or even post them here as comments.
(I really wanted to use this image for our help-wanted advertisement.)
[Image taken from the Flickr feed of Michael Carian, generously licensed under Creative Commons.]
What was the world like when Penguin started publishing? Answer: pretty crappy. In 1935 the world was suffering a pretty severe recession and in North America in particular the Dust Bowl had ruined the livelihoods of many across the continent. And in Europe, some dude named Hitler had just made an announcement that Germany was going to start re-arming itself. Penguin founder Sir Allen Lane had the brainwave to make great literature accessible to the average reader on the street by offering well-made but inexpensive editions through unusual outlets like train stations and magazine stands. He wanted to make books as easy to purchase as cigarettes (although these days a pack of cigarettes will probably run you more than many paperbacks). Traditional publishers at that point all thought he was a crazy person, but his almost immediate success proved them all wrong.
Also, 75th anniversary? What is that, Plutonium? Unobtainium? Turns out it's diamonds.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Monday, August 2, 2010
Also, what the heck is Book Thug Nation?
While absolutely a history of Riot Grrrl and seminal bands deeply involved with and responsible for the subculture, Girls To The Front is also about every girl ever. It is a credit to this book how uncomfortable I was reading it. Marcus writes, "I reconnected with my own rage while writing this book." And oh God, me too. The galley I read has circulated among five other people in the month's time it's taken to process my impressions and here's why: Marcus never loses sight of what made its message of empowerment and self-expression important to so many. This is a thoughtful, careful exploration of that cultural moment. And it's a taut, visceral read.
It's not just the good times, either. Along with media appropriation (even respectful coverage was reshaped as a knife in the back by editors in the time it took to go to press), Marcus meets headlong the class/cultural/group politics that accumulate to divide participants. It would be easy to refer to that splintering as the end of everything except it's less rise and fall, more creation and commodification. In one form or another, someone is always discovering this message, for the first time, and being empowered by it. And that's a serious legacy which has long deserved a book like this. Coming to bookstores September 28th.
GIRLS TO THE FRONT FACEBOOK PAGE
Slate Interview with Sara Marcus & Marisa Meltzer
Kathleen Hanna's Blog
Tobi Vail's Blog
Friday, July 30, 2010
Well, mostly new. First is a new series called Bone: Tall Tales, which is only going to be drawn by Smith (written by Tom Sniegoski), which will be a reworking of Stupid, Stupid Rat-Tails, colorized, and with extra material. That should be in stores next month I think. Then, more interestingly to me, there’s going to be an altogether new series of Bone stories called Quest for the Spark, in which the character of Bone return to the valley years after Bone ends. First one should be out February 2011.
The other bit of news I found interesting is that the late Will Eisner's A Contract with God is going to be made into a movie? It'll be an anthology film, with four different directors for the four separate parts. Which I hope heralds an Eisner renaissance. There's a bio of Eisner on the horizon (November 2010 to be precise) that some people here are already reading that sounds really fascinating.
Was there anything else utterly awesome that I missed?
Thursday, July 29, 2010
- Parrot and Olivier in America by Peter Carey (excerpt)
- Room by Emma Donoghue (excerpt)
- The Betrayal by Helen Dunmore (excerpt)
- In a Strange Room by Damon Galgut (excerpt)
- The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson
- The Long Song by Andrea Levy (excerpt)
- C by Tom McCarthy
- The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell (excerpt)
- February by Lisa Moore (excerpt)
- Skippy Dies by Paul Murray (excerpt)
- Trespass by Rose Tremain (excerpt [scroll down])
- The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas (excerpt)
- The Stars in the Bright Sky by Alan Warner
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
"The information [in the book] about Rais's thoughts and feelings is sensitive ... They are attributed to her as true, and neither Seierstad nor [Norwegian publisher] Cappelen Damm can be considered to have acted in good faith to ensure they were correct and accurate."
The court ordered Seierstad's publisher to pay Suraia Rais 250,000 kroner--about US$40,000, or, more importantly, $1.76 million Afghanistan Afghanis. Sounds like somebody's movin' on up. I hope this occasions an Afghani remake of The Jeffersons. I miss that show.
[Photo of piles of Afghanistan Afghanis from the United States Agency for International Development via Wikimedia Commons.]