In the middle of reading Checkout 19, Claire-Louise Bennett’s coming-of-age novel about a girl who really really loves to read, I rhapsodized to Keets that this book had put into words something that had always been true of my reading experience but that I had never noticed, let alone described.Continue reading →
Janes turned me on to a particular strain of literary fiction of which Ottessa Moshfegh would be considered the standard-bearer: fiction about antiheroines who, rather than rebelling against social norms in a proto-feminist way (as in Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies or even Gone Girl), are simply petty and vain and shallow, while also being darkly hilarious. Elisa Victoria’s novel oldladyvoice answers the question you never thought to ask: “What if Ottessa Moshfegh wrote a book about a nine-year-old?”
Answer: it would be amazing.Continue reading →
As is tradition for, well, all book blogs ever, we compiled a list of the best books we each read in 2021.Continue reading →
We write this post every year, but this year it has a little more meaning. I don’t know about you, but reading was the only thing that got me through this year. We love television, of course, but reading was the only activity absorbing enough to get me to stop doomscrolling. So here are the books that got us through quarantine–the best books we read during this cosmic joke of a year.Continue reading →
Recently the #publishingpaidme hashtag highlighted on Twitter just how absurd the discrepancies between advances for Black authors and non-Black authors are in publishing. For example, NK Jemisin’s famous Broken Earth Trilogy? She got $25K advance for each book. Jesmyn Ward had to fight to get a six-figure advance (a number frequently bestowed upon White debut authors with no track record) after winning the National Book Award.
If you’re White (or non-Black) and you’re anything like us, this hashtag (and the recent uprising against police brutality and racism in general) may have made you redouble your commitment to reading works by Black voices. Anyway, here are some of our favorites, old and new. Some of them we’ve written about before, some we somehow haven’t mentioned yet. Check it out, and follow the links to purchase from Bookshop, which supports independent bookstores with each purchase!*
*We’re not grown-up bloggers, so we don’t get any money ourselves… we just want to stick it to Jeff Bezos.
There are two things Janes and I agree on about our reading in 2019: how hard it was to pick just a few standouts, and the fact that Sally Rooney’s Conversations with Friends was a shoo-in.
Somehow this story was both so exciting that it literally made the hair on my neck stand up when I heard it, and also the most unimportant thing I’ve seen on Twitter since… ok since the meme 3 posts above it, Twitter is basically all garbage.
Conveniently, this story also has the property that if you care at all about it, you already know all about it, so this post is even more irrelevant than the Twitter meme two posts above that other one. BUT I DON’T CARE THIS IS AMAZING:
Claire Bourne recently published an article on marginalia in a particular First Folio copy of Shakespeare’s plays, held in the Free Library of Philadelphia since 1944. The notes drew her attention by being especially sensitive to the nuances of Shakespeare’s language, extending to the point of proposing emendations to words, and more poetic reorderings of key phrases.
One reader, looking at the photos in her article, noticed a similarity of the author’s handwriting to that of one John Milton. I’m sorry, I stuttered:
JOHN FUCKING MILTON.
Like I said, if you found that reveal at all exciting, you already knew. Sorry everyone else. There’s definitely further research to be done to confirm that this handwriting is actually (or very likely) Milton’s, but so far no serious objections to the theory have been raised.
The number of Ph.D. theses, books, articles, everythings that are about to be written about this text boggles the mind. There’s probably at least 50 years of work in understanding how Milton’s reading of Shakespeare affects our understanding of both Milton’s work, and Shakespeare’s. (Or there would be 50 years of work if the U.S. higher education system wasn’t going to collapse before then… but that’s a story for another time. )
For now – Milton! Milton’s notes on Shakespeare! Milton’s revisions to Shakespeare! I can’t wait to read more.
- “The kind of news we needed 350 years ago”
- Britain’s Got Talent – 1630 Edition
- … ok this bit didn’t go as far as I thought it would sue me
As is tradition for, well, all book blogs ever, we compiled a list of the best books we each read in 2018. Continue reading →
As is tradition for, well, all book blogs ever, we compiled a list of the best books we each read in 2017.