The Booker list is whittled down even further with the announcement of the Booker shortlist. Authors who made the cut are Will Self for Umbrella, Jeet Thayil for Narcopolis, Deborah Levy for Swimming Home, Alison Moore for The Lighthouse, Tan Twan Eng for The Garden of Evening Mists, and Hilary Mantel for Bring Up the Bodies.
Jumping on the Fifty Shades bandwagon, Melville Houses sexes up its classic novellas.
Kudos to the Feminist Press for being the first to put out an e-book about the arrest and trial of three members of the Russian punk collective Pussy Riot. Pussy Riot! A Punk Prayer for Freedom will be out on Sept. 21, and will feature essays by Yoko Ono, Bookforum contributor Johanna Fateman, Justin Vivian Bond and Eileen Myles among others. No word on whether it will include statements from the members themselves, but in the meantime, they’re available to read online at n+1.
There’s been a lot of online chatter lately about whether the book review as a form is a dying. But never mind all that, says Darryl Campbell at the Millions: before we can talk about where book review culture is going, let’s access the anatomy of a good review.
Junot Diaz talks to the Atlantic about the perils of writing a book about sexism from the perspective of a sexist character. "I think the average guy thinks they're pro-woman, just because they think they're a nice guy and someone has told them that they're awesome," Diaz noted. "But the truth is far from it. Unless you are actively, consciously working against the gravitational pull of the culture, you will predictably, thematically, create these sort of fucked-up representations."
We can’t get enough of Bob Staake’s cover illustrations for bad children’s books.