Dominic Umile recalls his directionless 20s spent working menial jobs, reading Ray Bradbury, and the day his hero wrote him back.
Calling all Tumblr-ers! Chronicle Books, the company responsible for such web-to-paper successes as F*ck I’m In My Twenties! and Dads Are the Original Hipsters, is looking for “the next big humor book idea.” Details for submissions can be found on their introductory Tumblr post. The deadline is February 28th.
UK students have until December 31, 2012 to record a 60-second Very Short Film on any topic of their choosing so long as it can “fire up an audience’s curiosity.” The winner will earn £9,000 (~$14,465.70) for their education, and top submissions will be featured on the Guardian website.
Recommended viewing: The New Yorker‘s Adam Gopnik talks about his early years in New York writing for the magazine “though they simply weren’t aware of it, or when they were aware of it they were extremely unenthusiastic,” and about all the odd jobs that often make up a writer’s early career, something our own Emily St. James Mandel has written about before.
You should check out George Saunders’s “Liner Notes” piece about “2776: A Musical Journey Through America’s Past, Present & Future,” which is set to accompany a forthcoming musical-comedy album from Patton Oswalt, Aubrey Plaza, Ira Glass, and Yo La Tengo, among others. If that hasn’t sold you, consider the fact that Saunders’s piece contains this line: “Truth be told, there were a number of regrettable omissions. Beyoncé and Jay Z’s piece ‘Bomber’ had to be left off the album. (‘Driver of this plane, this / B-52 on the way to Nagasaki / Stuff your ears with cotton and / Close those eyes / Me and my man are about to do it all over this / Here bomb’).”
Turns out Americans aren’t the only ones who adore snark. The novelist and critic Adam Mars-Jones has won the first Hatchet Job prize from the British website Omnivore for his blistering takedown of Michael Cunningham’s latest novel, By Nightfall. Mars-Jones beat out Geoff Dyer’s slam of Booker Prize winner Julian Barnes’s The Sense of an Ending. “It isn’t terrible,” Dyer wrote, “it’s just so…average.”
Daylight savings time = more daylight to read by, and as luck would have it New York Review Books is having their winter sale, so you have no excuse to be out of reading material. You can stock up on titles 50% off through the end of March / the beginning of actual Spring.