Wednesday, March 28, 2007

What's New on the Literary Blogs

Inspired (or possibly exasperated) by the new book, The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books by J. Peder Zane (Editor), The Millions, a blog about books, posts about top ten book lists: Top Tens, Their Silliness, Their Allure.
I think I heard somewhere that Americans like lists, compared to who, I don't know. If you "google" the phrase "top ten lists," millions of hits come up. Googling may not be a meaningful research method however, because if you google "jitterbug hamsters," just to pick a random nonsense phrase, 40,000 hits come up. There is no denying that lists are fun, addictive and marketable though, maybe not to everyone, maybe mostly to Americans, but without a doubt lists are out there on every subject imaginable. Probably even lists of hamsters who blog or jitterbug. Oh, nevermind.
Next! Speaking of book lists, Critical Mass posts Lizzie Skurnick's Top Five For Spring which is part of a series of posts labeled "What are you looking forward to reading?" The professional reviewers who are members of the National Book Critics Circle Board of Directors who contribute to this blog share what 2007 books they plan to read.
Lizzie Skurnick writes, "Christopher Buckley, Boomsday: We recently realized--and we're ashamed to admit--we have always stayed away from Christopher Buckley because of some latent association with William F. Buckley, Jr. We're sorry! And we want to see if he's America's answer to David Lodge." Always on the lookout for really funny humor writing, I've been looking forward to that book too. I read that Buckley, fils, admires P.G. Wodehouse, so that puts him up several notches in my estimation.
Finally, the literary blogosphere brings us Memoir Week at Slate. Starting with The Woman Warrior at 30, columnist Jess Row writes, "Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts was published 30 years ago last fall, at a time when Chinese-Americans evoked few associations in the American consciousness other than laundry, chop suey, and Bruce Lee."

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