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Book Bits: Jennifer Egan on dangerous applause, ‘The Lease,’ Pre-Super Bowl reading, Dave Barry

BookBitsHere are some readers’ and writers’ links for the week of January 27, 2013:

  1. News: “Killing Lincoln,” based on Bill O’Reilly book, gets air date from National Geographic, by Tim Kennedy – “”Killing Lincoln,” the National Geographic Channel drama based on Bill O’Reilly’s bestseller, will premiere February 17 at 8 p.m., the network said Thursday. Perhaps not coincidentally, the debut, falls on Presidents Day weekend.” The Wrap
  2. minnesotaNews: Minnesota Book Awards finalists named - “Prize-studded list of names includes two National Book Award winners. The winners will be announced in April.” Minneapolis Star Tribune
  3. Essay: “Goon Squad” could have been better, by Jennifer Egan – “She may have won the Pulitzer for her latest book, but the novelist knows too much applause is dangerous ” Salon
  4. leaseReview: “The Lease,” by Mathew Henderson, reviewed by Christopher Ryan Graham – “A poet must make sure what they’re writing about is amenable to poetic description, that their form’s obtrusiveness enhances, illuminates, augments whatever experience — humanity– they’re trying to depict and share. It’s precisely this kind of artistic judgment that makes Mathew Henderson’s The Lease such a sneakily brilliant, beautiful work. ” The Millions
  5. Lists: The Super Bowl: 10 football books to gear you up for the big game, by Ben Frederick – “The biggest sports game of the year is just around the corner. Here are some books to put you in the mood.” The Christian Science Monitor
  6. Commentary: Why (some) Teens Don’t Read YA, by Beth Kephart – “‘There seem to be just three kinds of young adult books,’ one sighed. ‘The gossip books, the I’m starving/I hate myself/everything is terrible book, and the dystopian books in which the teens save the world. This is not representative of our reality.'” The Huffington Post
  7. davebarryInterview: Dave Barry (“Insane City”) with Nick Olivari – “Barry, a 65-year-old Pulitzer Prize-winning humorist who lives in Miami with his wife and daughter, talked to Reuters about his writing, his audience, drugs, and animal rights.” Reuters
  8. News: Ten Authors Vie for 2013 Man Booker International Prize, by Dennis Abrams – “The finalists for the Man Booker Prize International Prize for fiction were announced at India’s Jaipur Literary Festival.” Publishing Perspectives
  9. Quotation: “It’s not really silent when Tilly and I climb our hill in the early morning, of course. There is bird song (cacophanous at this hour), the roar of water in the stream below, the breathing of the wind, and the rustle of a little black dog prowling through the bracken. Yet the sense of silence is a strong one nonetheless, created by the absence of human voices and man-made sounds; a silence that is becoming all too rare these days, and yet remains so necessary. As food fuels the body, silence fuels the spirit and imagination.” – Terri Windling
  10. belovedworldReview: “My Beloved World” by Sonia Sotomayor, reviewed by Dahlia Lithwick – “Faced with the charge that she was too biased and emotional to properly impose the rule of law, Sotomayor used the hearings to distance herself from the president’s empathy standard…That’s unfortunate, because Sotomayor’s big-hearted autobiography, “My Beloved World,” is nothing if not a powerful brief in defense of empathy, her long-awaited closing argument in the trial of Mind v. Heart.” The Denver Post
  11. News: Comic novel imagining Hitler’s return is German bestseller, by Yannick Pasquet – “Eighty years after Adolf Hitler’s rise to power, a novel that imagines his return to modern-day Berlin has become a bestseller in Germany, though a comedy about the Fuehrer is not to everyone’s taste.” The Beirut Daily Star
  12. applelogoViewpoint: Can Apple Get Away with “Funness”? by Mignon Fogarty – “First, let’s talk about “fun.” Back in 2008, when Steve Jobs announced that Apple had made the funnest iPod ever, I talked about how everyone accepts “fun” as a noun, but some people don’t accept “fun” as an adjective.” Grammar Girl
  13. privateberlinReview: “Private Berlin,” by James Patterson and Mark Sullivan, reviewed by Joe Hartlaub – “Patterson has always been an expert at conceiving chilling villains of his many pieces, and with Sullivan, he achieves new heights (or would that be depths?) of terror with the Invisible Man. And while the story proceeds at breakneck speed — there are clocks ticking all over the place — Patterson and Sullivan create plenty of scenes that readers will not soon forget.” Book Reporter
  14. Viewpoint: Alejandro Zambra (“Ways of Going Home”) with Jessa Crispin – “Ultimately, though, Ways of Going Home is not fierce. It’s an interesting story, but a little, dare I say it, twee. It seems to have started from an interesting impulse, but Zambra meanders greatly, quite the feat in such a short novel, over his thoughts about women. He repeatedly interrupts the novel to interject his thoughts about how he thinks the writing is going. ” Kirkus Reviews
  15. mindReview: “Mind and Cosmos:  Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False,” by Thomas Nagel, reviewed by John Horgan – “Some scholars, notably the distinguished philosopher Thomas Nagel, are so unimpressed with science that they are challenging its fundamental assumptions. In his new book, ‘Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False,’ Nagel contends that current scientific theories and methods can’t account for the emergence of life in general and one bipedal, big-brained species in particular. To solve these problems, he asserts, science needs ‘a major conceptual revolution,’ as radical as those precipitated by heliocentrism, evolution and relativity.” The Globe and Mail
  16. Feature: American Dreams: ‘The Call of the Wild’ by Jack London, by Nathaniel Rich – “Is Jack London’s The Call of the Wild a stirring defense of Social Darwinism or a critique of American individualism? In the latest in Nathaniel Rich’s ‘American Dreams’ series, he reviews Jack London’s 1903 bestseller and sees the shadow of Theodore Roosevelt, Herbert Spencer, and Darwin.” The Daily Beast
  17. News: Joaquin Phoenix set to star in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice, by Xan Brooks – “Actor and director will reunite on Los Angeles noir film based on novel by Thomas Pynchon” The Guardian
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“Book Bits” is compiled by Malcolm R. Campbell, author of paranormal short stories including “Moonlight and Ghosts”

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Author’s Website.

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