Newsday Tuesday:

I’ve been wanting to do this weird, segment, book-ish thing for a while where I tell you all the fun news I discover on the internet about books and their paper bodies.

So, here’s a trial run….

First. Who knew Harper Lee was a woman?  Am I the only person who loves To Kill a Mockingbird and never knew that the author was a woman?  I may have to read it all over again because this could change my entire perspective.  I know, being a feminist, I’m supposed to acknowledge that the gender of the author doesn’t really change my opinion of the book, or my view, or taste, or anything, but let’s be honest when I hunt through the library stacks – I usually end up with a woman in bed with me covered in flashlight glow.  So, to find out this beloved, middle-school read is written by a woman changes things for me.  I’m not sure exactly what it’s changed just yet, but I’ll let you know when I give it a re-read.  I found out today that a letter of Lee’s to a fan is being auctioned off.  She was a bit more of a recluse than other people (especially authors of today) and so it’s rare to find her words printed anywhere other than inside soft, smudged pages.  Find the letter and attached article here.

First & A Half.  A story from Columbia Nonfiction that I thought was really wonderful.  “Teeth” by Alexandra D’Italia.

Second.  Jonathan Lethem spoke at Occupy Wall Street yesterday with Jennifer Egan (Pulitzer Prize winner) standing nearby in support, but not exactly in solidarity.  Here is that article.  I’ve yet to read Goon Squad so if anyone has a copy they want to mail me, or can give me a yay or nay on its strength, I’d be happy to hear it.  Other news on Lethem is that James Wood (one of the more serious book critics at the moment) gave him a bad review for Fortress of Solitude eight years ago.  And finally, we have the response from Lethem on that review.  I’ve always wondered why more writers don’t take to their blogs to argue about reviews, or to ask reviewers questions, or if anything to get the final say on their own book.   Finally, here now, we have that happening.  Letham’s response to the review from eight years ago (talk about a grudge) can be found here.

Third.  Nathan Bransford wants to know what you’re writing for NaNoWriMo my little Nano’s.  To vote on the poll, go to Bransford’s website here. 

Fourth. Amazon has chosen their Top 10 books of the Year which can be found here.  I have read NONE of these books and so this list has made me feel like a complete loser.  I just don’t have time to dedicate to 1Q84 because from what I hear it’s a bunch of repetition and could have spared a few hundred pages to the recycle bin.  Isaacson who wrote the biography of Steve Jobs had something to say about his making the list and here is that little link.  

Fifth.  This is one of my favorite finds in book news from Bookish Intelligence on Boston Book Bums Blog and the Tuscan Citizen. Apparently, dirty words are making a come-back in book titles.  Shut your virgin ears(eyes) when you enter book stores (We all know the books whisper so you have to wear your ear muffs while entering the stores unless you want to hear S–* My Dad Says yelling about his coffee being too hot and his newspaper not being on time).  Article found here.  (Bookish Intelligence also makes me feel like a special agent).

Sixth. An Interview with Mark Doty, just because I like him.

Seventh. Occupy Wall Street has minted their own coloring book (because what else are you going to do while protesting for months but bring a little color into your life).  I actually want one…do I have to go to Wall Street to get one or can I color my own at home?

Eighth. Roald Dahl is my favorite.  The BFG was a huge part of my childhood, so much so that in 11th grade I wrote a screen play based on the book for my Creative Writing Class.  It wasn’t epic or even that good, but it was about one of my favorite childhood wonders – the BFG and his ears.  Dahl has a “Funny Award” named after him and this year a book about cats & pirates won.  Who doesn’t love a good cat-pirate?  Or a pirate that hangs out with a cat on his shoulder who doesn’t talk, just looks sulky and proud?  Here’s the link incase you want something exciting to read to your kids at night.  I know with my nephew, I definitely get tired of the same ol’ Lego Truck books.

Ninth. Proof that books change lives. 

Tenth. Today Miranda July’s new nonfiction book on the PennySaver is out, titled It Chooses You. (I will be reviewing it in the next day or two as it is halfway done and sitting in my purse as I type).   I’m obsessed with this book for more than one reason – the photographs of people throughout, the stick-on book covers that can be peeled and used as bumper stickers or earrings if you’re a really good folder and remember the stick-on earrings of the 90’s…I love it also because it’s covered in animals (most definitely cats), and because it’s written by Miranda July who’s short fiction is iconic in my world.  She’s a fragile goddess, seriously.  If you haven’t read, No One Belongs Here More Than You, you haven’t properly experienced an affair with a book.

Eleventh. Something positive.  Thirteen year old girl collects over 2,000 books at her Bat Mitzvah.  Here’s to feelin’ good about the world of books.

And that’s it.  If you like hearing about books in the news, please let me know.  If you don’t, you can let me know that too and I won’t blog about it anymore (of I’ll just block you for that post…I don’t even know if that’s possible, but I’ll try).

Good luck with NaNo today – write your 1,667 words, everyone! Here is a Huffington Post article for you all, Nano’s. (Why to keep on’ swimming…).

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