Suspend Your Disbelief

Charlotte Boulay

Editor at Large

Charlotte Boulay grew up in the Boston area and attended St. Lawrence University. She earned her MFA from the University of Michigan, where she taught composition and creative writing for five years. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Slate, The Boston Review, and Crazyhorse, among other journals. Foxes on the Trampoline is her first book, and was published in April 2014 by Ecco Press/HarperCollins.


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No Pulitzer for Fiction

Soooo…this is awkward, no? For the first time since 1977, no Pulitzer Prize was awarded for fiction. Ann Patchett says this means we all lose, and I agree. I’ve never thought very carefully about how books are selected for these kinds of big awards. I guess I imagined a bunch of really smart people passionately arguing with each other, but that doesn’t seem to be what happened here. The voting committee members filled out ballots, and no book got a majority of the votes, so nobody won. Look, we already have a completely dysfunctional Congress that operates on those principles, […]

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Birth of a Book

Remember that old Sesame Street video that shows how a steel factory makes an I-beam? I love that. I also love the crayon factory. This book-making video is a gorgeous descendent. I have no idea how many places still make books this way, but I hope some always do. Enlarge so it fills your screen—it’s worth it. Birth of a Book from Glen Milner on Vimeo. A short vignette of a book being created using traditional printing methods. For the Daily Telegraph. Shot at Smith-Settle Printers, Leeds, England. The book being printed is Suzanne St Albans’ ‘Mango and Mimosa’ published […]

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An old dog reads ebooks

In my early 30s, I don’t think of myself as old very often. Except sometimes when I’m on the train or at a park and I see everyone (everyone!) who looks to be about my age or younger, and sometimes people a bit older than me, too, texting like the wind. I’m a super slow texter. Even with my fancy new smart phone, I don’t see myself getting faster any time soon. I guess texting is okay, but I still like to actually talk to people most of the time Am I just not willing to work at it? Or […]

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Book blog recommendations

I love getting recommendations for blogs about reading. I love lists, year-end or otherwise, of people’s favorite books, and I love to dip into someone else’s reading list for a moment, to get a glimpse of great titles out there that I haven’t even heard of yet. And I also love snark. So while this post is a call for your book blogger recommendations, dear readers, I’ll recommend one of my own: Lazy Self-Indulgent Book Reviews. The author, “Lazy” is a late 20-something Canadian woman who went to Harvard, made a bunch of money working for a hedge fund, and […]

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Is the Times giving up on fiction?

Image credit: Literary Kicks Every week for the past two months, I’ve played a game where, on Sunday mornings, before I open the New York Times Book Review, I try to guess how many more books of nonfiction than fiction it will review. Fiction is consistently outnumbered, and don’t even get me started on the Book Review’s nearly nonexistent poetry coverage. But the past week surprised even this pessimistic grouch—only TWO fictional works are reviewed in the January 8, 2012 edition, plus Marilyn Stasio’s excellent crime reviewlets, in contrast to ELEVEN nonfiction works. The two fiction reviews are both skimpy […]

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The Amazon Rants

You’ve probably read about Amazon’s most recent promotion–they encouraged customers to use their price-check app in stores, scan an item, and then get an extra 5% discount for buying that item on Amazon instead. This promotion occasioned much ranting, including a piece by Richard Russo in the Times, and then a rant from an opposing perspective by Farhad Manjoo in Slate. It won’t surprise regular readers of this site, which routinely suggests buying from independent bookstores and which links to Powell’s most often, rather than Amazon (though we get no kickback from Powell’s, we just like them), to learn that […]

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