It seems like Gary Shteyngart may be embarking on a new career as a viral video star (remember his wacky book trailer for the hardcover of Super Sad True Love Story?). Here he is with Paul Giamatti in a “buddy comedy” touting the paperback.
Online used book marketplace AbeBooks rounded up the most expensive books sold via its site in October. At the top is a collection of Scottish music from 1782 that went for $8,500. Also on the list are some collectible Tolkien and Hemingway. (Thanks, Laurie)
When you’re trying to keep up with the best new writers out there, it’s easy to forget the debt we owe to the classics. So let’s go back to the beginning: Why Homer Matters, a new book by Adam Nicholson on the father of all poets, explores the question of who Homer was, and whether or not he was even one person. You could also read Frank Kovarik on the parallels between The Odyssey and Toni Morrison’s Beloved.
This weekend we posted our 1000th Tumbl. Since we jumped into the Tumblverse last autumn, we’ve been pretty vocal about how happy we are to be there, posting other curiosities, #LitBeat reports, the occasional cute puppy astronaut picture, and other digital ephemera. Of course, we wouldn’t love Tumblr half so hard if we were there on our lonesome; that’s why we made that handy guide to the other lit-loving Tumblogs that make our day on the regular.
One of the more common questions that comes up in The Nervous Breakdown’s self-interviews is what the subjects consider to be the hardest part of the writing life. The most recent edition sees Jac Jemc, whose latest came out last week, admit that time is what foils her: “Everything takes longer than I think it will, more drafts than I think it will.” This might be a good time to look back on some earlier examples of the form.
Here’s a lovely little documentary collecting interviews with various people of the book. Stephen Fowler, of The Moneky’s Paw antiquarian book shop, makes an appearance, though his remarks seem slightly less macabre in HD than those he gave to Kyo Maclear back in March. Joanne Saul, proprietor of Type Books (you know it from that stop motion video that lit up the bookternet a while back) also makes an appearance.
“Getting too quickly to where you want to go, getting there too smoothly, is antithetical to thinking through complex issues. You want roadblocks, confusion, chaos, and doubt. Unexpected, wonderful things come out of this approach.” Jeff VanderMeer provides a master class for Publisher’s Weekly on novel revision, explaining in five steps how his new book Borne arrived at its final incarnation. And for more shop talk, see VanderMeer’s interview with The Kills author Richard House from our own pages a couple of years back.