Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘book club’

Shop Talk |

Five Ways to Celebrate Short Stories

Here at FWR, we’re certainly doing our collective best to honor the art and craft of the short story this month. But there are lots of ways that each fiction writer can celebrate short stories individually. Here are five possibilities: Participate in #StorySunday: Reminded each Sunday by @TaniaHershman, short-story fans are encouraged to share a link via Twitter to someone else’s short story using the hashtag #StorySunday. Quick. Painless. Free. Click here to see the latest #StorySunday tweets. Listen to Selected Shorts: As its brand-new website explains, Selected Shorts “is a weekly public radio show broadcast on over 130 stations […]


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Can Online Book Clubs Work?

A couple of months ago there was an online kerfuffle after Bitch Magazine posted a list of 100 feminist YA books, and then removed three books from that list after a few commenters complained about them, for various reasons. Then other commenters cried censorship, including some other authors on the list who asked to be removed. You can read our original post about the melee here, and, should you dare, the 432 original comments here. To soothe and engage, Bitch decided to let readers vote on five books that would become an online YA book club. On the first Friday […]


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No flack from Chuck

Anyone with a television set (by no means a given anymore) and network reception (ditto), has probably not escaped the fact that this is Oprah’s last season. Her most recent Book Club selection – announced during her show featuring Jonathan Franzen, post-controversy – were not one, but two novels by Charles Dickens. The Oprah Book Club paperback version combining A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations, clocks in at a whopping 848 pages (oh, the serial novelist!). Oprah has picked classics in the past, East of Eden, As I Lay Dying, and Anna Karenina have made the list. At […]


Essays |

The ReCorrections: Part II

In the second part of his essay, Scott F. Parker discusses The Corrections as a key to Franzen’s thoughts on commerce and art, and how this tension led to the controversy surrounding the Oprah Book Club. Parker argues that the deep connection the reader forges with the Lamberts is precisely because of their abiding flaws and loneliness, because Franzen reveals how their struggles are our own.


Essays |

The ReCorrections: Part I

Nearly a decade after publication, Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections still looms large in American fiction. The novel, and the controversy surrounding it, have influenced the way we think about issues of family, identity, art, commerce, and the role of the writer. In Part I of “The ReCorrections” Scott F. Parker reveals the impact the book had on him as a reader and why he believes “the mood of The Corrections trumps its plot.” Look for Part II tomorrow.


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Andrew's Book Club: April 2010 Picks

There’s still a week left in April: spend it reading one of these new collections recommended by Andrew Scott. INDIE PICKS: – Strange Weather (Press 53), by Becky Hagenston. Winner of the Spokane Prize for Short Fiction. Praise from Antonya Nelson: The sensibility overseeing these fine stories is curious, clever, quick, hilarious, and heartbreaking. The world contained between the covers of Strange Weather is both realistic and magical, silly and sublime, ‘romance and raunch. Just like real life.’ When a character working a desk job in a toxic chemical plant announces wistfully that ‘nothing’s blown up,’ the reader completely understands […]


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Andrew's Book Club: March 2010 Picks

This month, Andrew Scott — our Oprah of story collections, long may he reign! — recommends the following books: Big House Pick: Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives, by Brad Watson (Norton) “The dark and brilliant tales of Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives capture the strangeness of human (and almost-human) life. In this, his first collection of stories since his celebrated, award-winning Last Days of the Dog-Men, Brad Watson takes us even deeper into the riotous, appalling, and mournful oddity of human beings. In prose so perfectly pitched as to suggest some celestial harmony, he writes about […]


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On (Non-Social) Reading

From to Oprah’s Book Club to Goodreads, reading has become a more social activity than ever before. But what about those people who still like to curl up with a book–alone? The New York Times examines the private reader: Particularly with the books we adore most, a certain reader wants to preserve the experience for reflection, or even claim the book as hers and hers alone. Lois Lowry, an author of books for children and a two-time winner of the Newbery for “Number the Stars” and “The Giver,” said she recently read that Katherine Paterson, also a two-time Newbery winner […]


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The End of Oprah

Oprah gave book publicists a collective fit of the vapors when she announced her show—and its high-profile book club—would be ending in 2011. Many fretted over the effects on publishing, calling it “a blow”: “Other than a book being turned into a popular movie nothing brings readers to a book like Oprah,” said Dawn Davis, editorial director of the Amistad imprint of News Corp.’s HarperCollins Publishers. […] “She brings a variety of readers to a variety of books. Her impact is immeasurable.” Another publicist mourned, “If it is the end of her daily talk show,we probably won’t see something else […]


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Andrew's Book Club: November Picks

As a huge fan of Munro and Dzanc, I’m especially excited about Andrew’s picks for this month. (This is what the world will look like when there is too much happiness!) – Indie Pick: Laura van den Berg’s debut, What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us (Dzanc) / description (via ABC): A failed actress takes a job as a Bigfoot impersonator. A botanist seeking a rare flower crosses paths with a group of men hunting the Loch Ness Monster. A disillusioned missionary in Africa grapples with grief and a growing obsession with a creature rumored […]




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