August 2009

the coolest librarian ever

  • About the author EB
  • August 31, 2009

“By day, she’s Beth Hollis, a 53-year-old reference librarian in Akron, Ohio. By night, she’s MegaBeth, an ageless dynamo on the roller derby rink.”

in the spotlight: paul bowles and the sheltering sky

  • About the author EB
  • August 31, 2009


This fall marks two anniversaries: the 40th anniversary of the publication of The Sheltering Sky, and the 10th anniversary of the death of its author, Paul Bowles. In today’s New York Times, Dwight Garner writes on the occasion of these two anniversaries:

“Rereading The Sheltering Sky today is to be reminded of its dark, largely sublimated power; from its first pages the novel is like a pile of kindling to which a match is about to be applied. Bowles’s sun-baked prose, while never showy, is consistently and ruthlessly evocative. North African vegetation is described as “a tortured scrub of hard shells and stiff hairy spines that covered the earth like an excrescence of hatred.”

Check it out.

we don’t just love books . . .

  • About the author EB
  • August 27, 2009

If you read this New Yorker post about Jerry Lee Lewis’s new album, you might notice a familiar name . . .

the partners & spade ping pong classic

  • About the author EB
  • August 26, 2009

Those of you in New York City this Saturday, August 29th should check out the August Sweatout Ping Pong Classic, hosted by K-Swiss and our friends at Partners & Spade. The rest of you should check out this bizarrely awesome promo video.

how twitter wit will help you win an ipod touch

  • About the author EB
  • August 25, 2009

Our friends at It Books are running an awesome contest to celebrate Twitter Wit, which just sent on sale today. They’ve selected five of the best tweets in the book, and have challenged you, the humble reader, to create a 45-second video that hilariously illustrates one of those tweets. The winner wins an iPod Touch and our undying adoration, so get filming!

put this video in heavy rotation

  • About the author EB
  • August 21, 2009

Earlier this summer, the Bryant Park reading series hosted Heavy Rotation author Peter Terzian, along with contributors Asali Solomon, Joshua Ferris, Stacey D’Erasmo, and Clifford Chase—and the band Fayaway (featuring guest percussionist James Wood). Check it out!

how to show you’re a book lover

  • About the author EB
  • August 20, 2009

As a crazy cat lady, I have many ways to show my love for cats—cat necklaces, cat t-shirts, cat buttons, etc—but none to show my love of books except for the fact that I’m always carrying one. Well, now I can:


These book necklaces are produced by Margaux Kent and her line Black Spot Books. Margaux is a (normal-sized) bookmaker from Pennsylvania who uses the scraps from her projects to create this awesome jewelry. Hand-made and one of a kind, they’re available at Alter, a very cool boutique here in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. I’d suggest calling them if you’re out of town, but if you’re heading to Brooklyn, you could always make an indie shopping day of it and visit both Alter and our friends at WORD, which is just down the street.

NOT the Booker

  • About the author EB
  • August 19, 2009

Are you aware that the Guardian is running a Not the Booker prize contest? Right now it’s in the (very long) longlist stage, which ends at midnight on August 23. Six finalists will then be chosen, and everyone is invited to discuss them on the site.

Of course, we have several titles in the running:

Tony O’Neill’s Down and Out on Murder Mile (out now)
Richard Milward’s Ten Storey Love Song (out now in the UK, on sale in the US October 20)
Sarah Hall’s How to Paint a Dead Man (out now in the UK, on sale in the US September 8)
Gil Adamnson’s The Outlander (out now from our friends at Ecco)

I’m ashamed to admit I have not read any of the titles on the longlist. Anyone want to stump for their favorite and capture my vote?

short story love

  • About the author EB
  • August 18, 2009

If there was ever any doubt that harper perennial is the place for short stories, a recent post on the BookBrowse Blog might dispel that notion. Of four short story collections recommended, three of them are ours! So head on over there if you want even more reasons to read Kevin Wilson, Lydia Peelle, and Simon Van Booy (and Maile Meloy, whose book is already on my must-read list.)

My love is reserved for humans and animals. I find my country alternately fascinating and abhorrent

  • About the author EB
  • August 11, 2009

The title of this post is Dennis Cooper’s answer to the question “do you love your country?” in the new issue of the New Statesman. It’s a short but pithy interview with some gems, including:

Which product, if any, would you advertise?
I can’t imagine myself saying no to Nintendo.

we love andre jordan

  • About the author EB
  • August 06, 2009


Check out this very delightful and inspiring post (and drawings!) by Andre Jordan, author of Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now, on the music is art blog.

poems for shark week

  • About the author EB
  • August 04, 2009

In case you didn’t know, it’s Shark Week, the discovery channel’s week-long celebration of everyone’s favorite maritime predator. Everyone loves Shark Week—including They’ve collected 35 Poems About Sharks to help you celebrate Shark Week in a more literary way. My favorite is Joel Brouwer’s Coffee and Oranges, which begins:

The music on TV turned gloomy. Sharks,
she said, and sure enough. A blunt snout,
jumbled cemetery of teeth, and quick black
depthless eye thrashed the screen. Coffee
and oranges made the morning acidic.

lydia peelle day!

  • About the author EB
  • August 03, 2009

More than a year ago, I told you (the collective you) to watch out for Lydia Peelle, the author of Reasons For and Advantages of Breathing. After reading just one of her stories after our seasonal launch meeting, I was blown away. Now, finally, the New York Times has caught up, giving Lydia’s book a rave review. She’s also featured on the paper cuts blog, and has the featured story this week on Fifty-Two Stories. Everything’s coming up Lydia!

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