Book Rate

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Book Birthdays, Jan. 25-Feb. 2: Amber Sparks and The Vegetarian

When people ask what I’ve been up to lately, I say, “Not much, just lounging in my new Snuggie and reading Amber Sparks’ The Unfinished World.”

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Book Birthdays, January 19: Joyce Carol Oates, Bill Bryson, and a Squirrel

The Portable Veblen cover

New books released this week include “The Portable Veblen” by Elizabeth McKenzie, “The Man Without a Shadow” by Joyce Carol Oates, and “The Road to Little Dribbling” by Bill Bryson.

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5 Bernie Sanders Books That #FeelTheBern

Bernie Sanders on Fremont Street.

After encountering a giant Bernie Sanders on Fremont Street last night, I realized that as a former Vermonter, I’d be remiss not to prop up a few books that #feelthebern.

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No One Left To Whine To: On Self-Pity

Self pity

Writers on self-pity, “the most destructive of non-pharmaceutical narcotics.” Also, why so much “competitive victimhood” in social media?

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Book Birthdays, December 8: Elizabeth Day, Dean Koontz, Christopher Buckley

The Relic Master by Christopher Buckley cover

New book releases from Dean Koontz, Elizabeth Day, and Christopher Buckley.

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What Was So Zen About Bombing Pearl Harbor?

Zen at War

Should we talk about the role of Zen Buddhists in World War 2?

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A Bunch of Goddam 2015 Year-End Lists

Best Books of 2015 as selected by the N.Y. Times, Washington Post, Flavorwire, and other publications obsessed with Jonathan Franzen.

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Book Birthdays, November 24: Posthumous Christopher Hitchens, Oliver Sacks

And Yet by Christopher Hitchens

New books born November 24th by Christopher Hitchens, Oliver Sacks, and Julianna Baggott.

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On Pandering and Growing Stupid Together: Monday’s Margins

You Are Not Entitled to My Body

Claire Vaye Watkins on pandering and Pankaj Mishra on growing stupid together–plus a profile of Roger Angell.

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Book Birthdays, November 17: A Paris Review Anthology

Paris Review Unprofessionals cover

We got an email from The Paris Review today about their new anthology, The Unprofessionals

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Throw Away Your Mind: Monday’s Margins

This machine has no brain, use your own.

Links of the week: Throwing away your mind in academia, Beirut vs. Paris, the fatal flaw in weak descriptions, Joseph Bates grows up, and Alan Watts on death.

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Book Birthdays, November 10: Cunningham, Moody, and a Tom Petty Bio

Hotels of North America cover

Books released November 10th include rewritten fairy tales by Michael Cunningham, a Tom Petty bio, and Rick Moody’s “best novel in many years.”

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University Press Week, Carrie Brownstein, and Ayn Rand: Monday’s Margins

Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl cover

This week’s links of note: Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein, How to Get Published in Lit Mags, #upweek, and contemplating Ayn Rand.

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Book Birthdays, November 3: Allende, Connelly, Eco, Irving

John Irving Avenue of Mysteries cover

New books born on November 3rd, 2015: The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende, The Crossing: A Bosch Novel by Michael Connelly, Numero Zero by Umberto Eco, Avenue of Mysteries by John Irving

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The Myth of The Alcoholic Writer and Praying Drunk: Monday’s Margins

Abandoned liquor store

“Loneliness is a state of lack, a longing, and though that can be acutely painful it’s also interesting.”

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