“I think that every novelist of the kind of novels that I write has in them maybe one really good book, but the trouble with so many novelists is that they keep on writing novels even when they run out of ideas.” Forrest Gump author Winston Groom on why it’s taken him 20 years to write his new novel. Pair with our recent three-way interview with writers Emily Barton, Alexander Chee, and Whitney Terrell, all of whom needed a decade for their most recent books.
Recommended Reading: Here’s some helpful advice we all could use — how to raise a mensch: “Less obvious but equally central values that Marjorie Ingall highlights include having a healthy distrust of authority. Jews come from a vertiginously long tradition of ‘questioning, yammering, challenging and disputing,’ she writes. ‘The Talmud, the compendium of Jewish law, is pretty much a bunch of dudes contradicting one another. Each page is a big box of text in the middle, and wrapped around it like a frame is lots of ‘Wait, you think what?’ '”
“We live in a time of image explosion, but without that network images are just content. There’s simply no possibility of a viral digital success—a ‘Call Me Maybe‘ of painting or photography—because a work only becomes successful upon its art world approbation.”
At NPR’s blog, Meg Wolitzer chooses five summer books that deserve more attention from readers. If you’re a Millions regular, though, you may find her selections a wee bit familiar, seeing as we reviewed Jessica Soffer’s book, interviewed This Is Running For Your Life author Michelle Orange and published The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards author Kristopher Jansma.
The latest actor to go vampire? John. C Reilly! As you might expect, he’s a hammy vampire, not a sparkly one. See the preview for Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant
Our good friends at The Morning News just rolled out a spiffy new look this morning! It’s in support of their “news for nerds” mission, which we also wholeheartedly support. Congrats, guys. Might we suggest you celebrate by reading its co-founder (and Year in Reading alum) Rosecrans Baldwin‘s very funny diary from a few years back?
Read here, in the University of Washington’s alumni magazine, about how Marilynne Robinson approaches a book’s essence as “an elaborate needlepoint of decisions and observations”; how novels visit upon her as surprises; and how her recent move to New York might spawn yet another gift to readers.