Friday, May 25, 2012

Of Bookmarks, Brothers, and BAD (with an Office Girl and a Swamp thrown in for giggles)

I got my Albatros bookmarks the other day and I'm digging using them.  It really may be a better bookmark, simple, elegant, and clever.  I would prefer they were re-usable.  We live in the golden age of adhesives so I can only guess this is a simple adjustment to make.  

Karen Russell won the New York Public Library Young Lions award for Swamplandia!  The award is for American authors under the age of 35 who show promise.  She was a finalist for her previous collection St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by WolvesAs if I haven't pimped her enough on this blog, I strongly encourage you to read her work.  

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt is out in paperback and continues to rack up awards, especially in his native Canada.  The new cover isn't nearly as enthralling as the original and whoever decided there was need to change it should be taken out and horsewhipped.  However it's what's between the covers that counts. 

Joe Meno's upcoming Office Girl is a winner.  I'll post more about it closer to its July pub date but be on the lookout for this one from those cool cats at Akashic Books.

Paul Fussell passed away yesterday at the age of 88.  A cultural critic with a sharp eye and an acid tongue, his book BAD or the Dumbing of America had a strong grip on me when I read it 20 years ago. I'm re-reading it now and find he is still dead on the money.  I can only imagine what he must have thought about the ubiquity of the Internet and cell phones, reality TV and the demise of empathy, honor and shame in American culture today.  Was he ahead of his time or have we as a society just gotten worse? 

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