September 2011 in Review

September 2011 Stats Books in progress: 6 Books read: 6 Pages read: 935 Books reviewed: 6 Posts on book reviewing: 12 (includes features like In My Mailbox, Top Ten Tuesday, Wordless Wednesday, Subscription Saturday, and Sunday Salon; reading challenges; and news) My stats are not nearly as impressive as they were in August, but I’ve been having a great time nonetheless. This month, I began my first graduate writing class, which has been marvelous. (Last week our guest speaker was Paul Dickson!) []

“The Subversive Copy Editor” by Carol Fisher Saller

In addition to her position as senior manuscript editor at the University of Chicago Press, Carol Fisher Saller is editor of the Chicago Manual of Style Online‘s Q&A.

During her tenure, she has received tens of thousands of grammar and style questions pertaining Chicago’s complex rules for publishing. Somehow, she reads every single one, no matter how esoteric or absurd, and she posts answers to the most common and/or difficult questions in the online Q&A.

Top Ten Favorites to Re-read

I rarely re-read books. There are hundreds–thousands–of book out there that I want desperately to read, and my bookshelves are lined with dozens of tomes that taunt me when I walk by. (In a good way. I think.)

Book Festivals and “The Wire”

Book Festivals This has been an excellent weekend for books. The National Book Festival, now in its eleventh year, added an extra day to the festivities on the National Mall. And the Baltimore Book Festival also happened this weekend, though I was so busy with NBF I couldn’t attend. I had a great time wandering through crowds of book lovers swarming the Mall, watching lines of eager fans snake by the book-signing booths, and listening to great talks about books and writing. []

“The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde

Basil Hallward, an artist, is in love with his latest painting–and his subject, Dorian Gray. In fact, Hallward firmly believes that Gray’s indisputable beauty and charm have taken his art to an entirely new level, to the point that all who gaze upon his image are compelled to fall in love.

August 2011 in Review

August 2011 Stats Books in progress: 6 Books read: 7 Pages read: 2,382 Books reviewed: 6 Posts on book reviewing: 6 (includes features like In My Mailbox, Wordless Wednesday, and Top Ten Tuesday; reading challenges; and news) August was a great month for me–I read several great books that I’m excited about reviewing, and I reviewed several books that I enjoyed a great deal. I loved John McWhorter’s What Language Is and Noelle Hancock’s My Year with Eleanor. And I also enjoyed []

“American Gods” by Neil Gaiman

People have described Neil Gaiman’s American Gods as one of the true new classics of fantasy. I generally scoff at such claims, since it is virtually impossible to tell which works will stand the test of time; many books and movies are widely heralded upon their release, only to be quickly forgotten. But the description is actually quite fitting for American Gods. The book has a patient, almost meandering approach that echoes the slower pace of classical movies like “Citizen Kane” or “The Maltese Falcon.”

Winner of “What Language Is” and New Giveaway

And the winner of John McWhorter’s What Language Is… The Word Jar! Congratulations! My next giveaway will be Ned Zeman’s fantastic memoir of madness and memory loss, The Rules of the Tunnel. Leave a comment on that review by midnight on September 30 to win! Note: I originally posted that the winner was Gwendolyn B. at A Sea of Books, but she informed me that she had already won this book and graciously offered it to the next random winner.