Brock Clarke answers the Newtonville Books Questionnaire

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Brock Clarke's new novel, Exley, will be published later this year. --Name a childhood hero. Aramis (the cerebral, god-haunted Musketeer); also, Jim Rice (the unsmiling slugging left fielder for the Red Sox); also, Henry “Scoop” Jackson (the senator/presidential candidate, because of his good nickname) --Name a work you wished you’d … [Read more...]

David Goodwillie answers the Newtonville Books Questionnaire

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David Goodwillie's latest book is American Subversive. --Name a childhood hero. Keith Hernandez --Name a work you wished you’d written. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test --If you had to order your work by how successfully you completed what you set out to accomplish, what would that list look like? My two books are about the only … [Read more...]

Pleasures & Sorrows

Alain de Botton's fascinating cross-section of Work arrives in paperback. A perfect easy-yet-substantial read, as well as a worthy follow-up to his excellent book The Architecture of Happiness, de Botton reaffirms with The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work his talent for distilling a vast body of subject matter into a concise and satisfying miniature. … [Read more...]

Three Books to Tide You Over Until June 11

...if you're anticipating the start of the World Cup in South Africa as eagerly as I am. NPR has three great soccer books that explore the economics, freakish fan loyalty, and beauty of the most beautiful game. … [Read more...]

NY Botanical Garden’s Tribute to Emily Dickinson

In addition to being a poet, Emily Dickinson was a gardener, and the New York Botanical Garden has created a special tribute to Dickinson and her love of nature by recreating the poet's own garden.  Much of Dickinson's work was inspired by nature, and she often gave her neighbors bouquets of flowers with little poems tucked into … [Read more...]

Your daily lolcat

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Octavia Johnson joins The Help cast

Veteran character actress Octavia Spencer has signed on to play Minny Jackson in the film adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s best-selling novel The Help. The actress, who can next be seen in Dinner for Schmucks starring Paul Rudd and Steve Carell, has known Stockett for close to a decade and actually served as the inspiration for the outspoken … [Read more...]

All and Everything

  Having been interested in G. I. Gurdjieff's work for several years now, after reading a few summaries of his teachings and hearing his ideas championed by a number of notable artists and musicians, including Keith Jarrett, I have recently delved into his quite imposing "All and Everything" series of three books, divided into ten volumes. … [Read more...]

Amazon, Penguin mend fences

The recent pricing dispute between online retailer Amazon.com and Penguin -- which resulted in Amazon suspending Penguin's frontlist from its e-reader after Penguin shifted to the agency model -- has ended. Penguin's frontlist is now available on all e-reader platforms. … [Read more...]

Steve Almond answers the Newtonville Books Questionnaire

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Steve Almond's latest book is Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life. --Name a childhood hero. Campy Campinaris. The only baseball player to play all nine positions in a single game, including pitcher (and he pitched both left-handed and right-handed). True story. --Name a work you wished you’d written. Oh God. Just one? Henderson the Rain … [Read more...]