For those of us residing in Idaho, there’s really only one bookish news item worth mentioning. That being, Anthony Doerr (All the Light We Cannot See) has won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. I cannot imagine a more deserving recipient.
With that, a few other bookish bits from the week:
We bid farewell to M.H. Abrams. He was 102 (New York Times). And might I just say, college just wouldn’t have been the same without his Norton Anthology of English Literature.
We caught a sneak peek at Dr. Seuss’ book What Pet Should I Get (CNN)—and by peek, I do mean peek (CNN).
Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti celebrated World Book Day by posting a photo of five wee books floating on the International Space Station (Space.com). How fun is that?
The Oyster Review provided us with their very own 100 Best Books of the Decade.
U.S.A. Today offers some weekend picks for book lovers, in case you haven’t a clue what to read in the coming days. Luckily, I know exactly what I’ll be reading: Peace like a River, by Leif Enger. I have until next Thursday to finish it. Book club, you know.
Illustration to “The Purloined Letter” by E. A. Poe.
April 20, 1841 Edgar Allan Poe’s C. Auguste Dupin made his debut–and the detective story as we know it was born.
You see, when The Murders in the Rue Morgue was first published, “detective” had not yet made its way into our vocabulary. Nor were we familiar with stories focused on the games afoot–mainly, the games of observation and logic.
Like many to follow, Poe’s detective was something of an amateur. Sleuthing was not his profession. As a matter of fact, he was a gentleman, a poet; a man who preferred to work at night, who preferred puzzles to rapport.
If we were to meet him in real life, we may not love him.
But on the page, he’s intriguing–all the more so when pit our mind and attention to detail, to his. For you see, Poe also introduced the number one rule of a true detective story: all the facts and clues must be laid out before the crime is solved. It’s a matter of putting the pieces together, for both the detective and the reader.
Needless to say, now is the perfect time to pick up one of the books that started it all–one of the books that inspired Sir Arthur Conan Doyle call Poe “a model for all time:”
The Murders in the Rue Morgue (1841)
The Purloined Letter (1845)
The Mystery of Marie Roget (1845)
In case you’re unaware, it’s National Library Week here in the U.S. That means shenanigans are afoot. Parodies of music videos, for example—like Unread Book (Bruno Mars Uptown Funk parody, which I kinda love) or Check it Out (Taylor Swift parody). Of course, now’s as good a time as any to sing the praises of your local library, no matter where you call home. And let’s face it, a trip to the library to check out all the possibilities is a mighty fine way to end the week.
With that, here are a few other bookish news items from the week (emphasis on few):
In the spirit of literary festivity, it’s National Poetry Month. If you’ve yet to get in on the celebration, here’s The New Yorker’s Poetry podcast.
The American Library Association has listed the most challenged books of 2014.
If you’re here, reading this, I doubt you’d call this news. Nonetheless, the Wall Street Journal confirms, book collecting is still going strong.
And while we’re on the subject of rare and antiquarian books, did you hear? Ghostly Faces Appear In Medieval ‘Black Book of Carmarthen’ (via The Huffington Post).
I love this cover from Simon & Schuster (Children’s Publishing, Summer 2008, obviously). The colors, the banner–the sweet, handsome fellow. The sweet, handsome fellow being Kenny the rabbit, in case you’re unfamiliar–from Tony DiTerlizzi’s Kenny and the Dragon. The book cover includes the equally-handsome dragon. One look at their faces was all it took to purchase the book for my nephew. Thankfully, the story matches the illustrations in delight. Anyway, speaking of bunnies and such, we’re heading into the Easter holiday. Wherever you may roam, whatever you may do, I hope your days are bright and colorful, with more than a little time to kick back and read a good book.
In the meantime, a few bookish bits from the week . . .
The Paris Review announces The Paris Review for Young Readers. I love how they open the announcement with E.B. White’s quote: “Anyone who writes down to children is simply wasting his time.” So true.
Speaking of E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web is voted best children’s book of all time (The Telegraph).
David Newby gives us his top 10 quests in children’s books (The Guardian).
And there’s a new Choose Your Own Adventure book on the scene—although, it was originally written over a decade ago. All the same, word on the street is it’s the scariest of them all.
Sara Cooper gives us 9 tricks for looking smart in a book club (The Washington Post). Now I feel as though I should include a disclaimer for you serious bibliophiles. Mainly, while this post was written in jest, you may want to forgo the reading. At the very least, skim over #4 which could produce ticks and other nervous conditions.