Book Rate

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Monday’s Margins: Random House’s biggest first printing EVER, lost works, a famous poet’s kitchen, and joyful geek humor!

Random House has announced their largest first print run in the history of the company for–you guessed it–Dan Brown’s next book, set to be released on September 15th of this year. The new book is called “The Lost Symbol” and the narrative is set over the course of twelve hours. In honor of Shakespeare’s birthday […]

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Monday’s Margins: Amazon Hates on the Gays; Towards a National Short Story Month; New Stories from Stephen Dixon, Chris Adrian, and Lydia Davis

People at Amazon.com must be wishing for a lot of things this morning, not least of which would be an established presence on Twitter, which was swamped over the weekend with discussion of Amazon de-listing the sales figures for books that in some way involve gay and lesbian issues. The online retail giant’s search engine […]

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Gary Lutz’s Stories in the Worst Way Reissued

Kevin Sampsell of Future Tense Press recently noted that Gary Lutz’s Stories in the Worst Way is being reissued by Calamari Press. Sampsell wrote, “This is my favorite book ever and a book that should never go out of print.”Former Identity Theory music editor Ross Simonini put it like this in his 2005 Believer interview […]

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Monday’s Margins: Book Snobbery, Short Stories, Reading the Classics, and Author Interviews/Reviews

…Over at the Virginia Quarterly Review’s blog, Mandy Redig talks about book snobbery. “Despite its world-wide popularity and the fact that Stephenie Meyer’s debut novel has sold 17 million copies, I just can’t help my tendency to, well, smirk.”…A.O. Scott talks about one of my favorite literary forms, the short-story, over at The New York […]

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Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bible! (in paperback)

April 7 marks yet another beginning of, well, everything. That is, if you’re a believer in the Old Testament, Jonathan Goldstein style.Goldstein, contributing editor to This American Life and author of Lenny Bruce Is Dead, has re-imagined neurotically, meticulously and laugh-out loud funny some of his favorite Old Testament heroes. Publishers Weekly says of Goldstein’s […]

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Monday’s Margins: Blue words; Vocabulary; Putting the Rooster to bed; first class.

… Best blurb: ” The asshole Thomas Bernhard — and I say this even though I dislike speaking ill of the dead — the asshole Thomas Bernhard, it’s fairly certain to say, only wrote a single good book. This book appears only now, even though he already wrote it in 1980, and it demonstrates what […]

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Monday’s Margins: Still Hungry, Still in Style, John Wray in 5.

…Happy Birthday to The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Booktrade: “20th March, the first day of Spring, marks the official launch day of the 40th anniversary of The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, a book which sells one copy every 30 seconds somewhere in the world, day and night. Translated into more than 45 languages, this […]

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Google Book Search, National Grammar Day, David Foster Wallace

NY Times on Google Book Search: “The almost comically sweeping attempt to reach the world’s entire literate population is a reflection of the ambitions of the Google Book Search project, in which the company hopes to digitize every book — famous or not, in any language, published anywhere on earth — found in the world’s […]

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Literary links, sans comment

THE 2008 BELIEVER BOOK AWARD: Editors’ Short ListThe Nation reviews George, Being George: George Plimpton’s Life as Told, Admired, Deplored, and Envied by 200 Friends, Relatives, Lovers, Acquaintances, RivalsThe personal blog of Richard Nash, who is leaving Soft Skull.The Complete Review asks of the Warwick Prize judges, “Dear god, is this what literary commentary has […]

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Joyce Carol Oates on "Zombie"

Joyce Carol Oates talks to the NY Times about the stage adaptation of her novella, “Zombie”:“It’s a one-man play…a monologue, as if from the inside of a very troubled man’s head. You’re really descended into his soul.”From the NY Times‘ review of the play:“Quentin P. seems a familiar type at first. In his 30s, Quentin […]

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The New Yorker launches online book club

In brainstorming possible additions for the new version of Identity Theory (coming soon!), I thought, “Why not an online book club?”It turns out the New Yorker was on the same wavelength, as they launched an online book club of their own this week (after a month of “beta testing”).The first book they’re having members read […]

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"No" to AWP, "Yes" to Chris Bohjalian

No, Identity Theory is not attending AWP this year. We have never, ever attended AWP. 2009 seemed like a good year for that to change, but the combination of Chicago + Winter + Valentine’s Day did not exactly motivate us to endure the trials and tribulations of flying tiny regional jets. So, more power to […]

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Monday’s Margins: Shepard Fairey, 2666, Kindle

n+1 on Shepard Fairey, creator of Obama “Hope” poster: “The problem that Shephard (sic) Fairey presents also leads to a fear: that he may be, in fact, the perfect portraitist to render Obama. The purveyor of radical aesthetics is rendering the visage of radical hope–neither of whom is very radical.”Robert Birnbaum writes: “This is a […]

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Here’s Looking at You, Susan Sontag, Words Without Borders

The February edition of Words Without Borders is online (theme: graphic novels).Here’s Looking at You: Robert Birnbaum does his TMN digest thing with Jonathan Baumbach’s You: Or The Invention of Memory.“Sontag: The Precocious Years”: Luc Sante reviews Reborn: Journals and Notebooks 1947-1963, a collection of entries from Susan Sontag with an intro by her son, […]

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Monday’s Margins: Narrative Mag, Soft Skull, Kyle Minor, & more

Maud Newton interviews Narrative Magazine editor Tom Jenks about the journal’s dual presence in print and electronic media as well as its popularity on Amazon’s Kindle. Happily, Soft Skull/Counterpoint Press reported its best year ever.Kyle Minor and Kathleen Rooney’s “Live Nude Girl in the Devil’s Territory” Book Tour is kicking off this week.At the Boston […]

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