“It is a sad irony that the snake’s rattle, which functions as a warning device, is widely regarded as a bellicose drumroll, or war-cry, instead. It may well have been in a mood of remorse for having killed a rattlesnake on impulse that [William] Bartram, vowing solemnly that he ‘would never again be accessory to the death of a rattle snake,’ painted his marvelous portrait of a coiled rattler.” Christopher Benfey on Rattlesnake Island, a sanctuary set up to protect the woodland serpents from their greatest danger — us.
Nick Flynn‘s memoir Another Bullshit Night in Suck City (reviewed on our site last year) is being adapted into a movie for 2012. Being Flynn will star Paul Dano as Flynn, and his parents will be played by Robert De Niro and Julianne Moore. You can check out a trailer here. Or, if you want to check out what kind of books Flynn likes, you can check out his 2010 entry in our Year In Reading series.
Lots of diet books among the new releases these days (in preparation for the post-holiday food guilt one assumes), but readers will also find a vibrant new “biography-in-collage” out this week, Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and Fallout by Lauren Redniss.