Claire Battershill is more talented than you and deserves her success

circusDo you have literary aspirations? Of course you do, you’re reading a books blog. Somewhere you have a half-penned novel or a drawer full of short stories that you’ve submitted to the New Yorker (you aim high, I like that about you) that they never actually rejected so who knows, any day now. When you were writing angst-ridden teenage poetry you were certain that you’d be on the New Yorker‘s Twenty under Twenty list (pretty sure that’s not a thing but it was on Gossip Girl) but then you got a bit older, and figured you’d settle for a Thirty under Thirty list which would still make you a wunderkind but birthdays keep rolling by  and you’ve decided that maybe it’s better if you’re discovered a bit older; mature, fully formed. Oh I know you. I am you.

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‘The mockingbird next door’ or ‘Notes on wringing out a dry sponge’

indexWriters sure have devoted a lot of ink to documenting the life of Harper Lee, a woman who has repeatedly asked that she not be written about. That Marja Mills may have had the consent of the Lee family is perhaps the most interesting fact offered in The mockingbird next door, a book that otherwise says very little that is new about its subject.

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Exciting new books for fall 2014: the Red Brick Reads autumn semester syllabus

road narrows

Quit complaining about summer drawing to a close (I can hear you through the internet, I have the technology) and be excited for the excellent autumnal book releases heading your way. Here’s our list of books to keep your hands busy as we approach sweater and boots season.

P.S. I know, and you know, that Margaret Atwood and David Mitchell have books out this fall so I didn’t list them because you already know about them. Branch out a little, will ya?

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Your weird Friday Read is The extraordinary journey of the fakir who got trapped in an IKEA wardrobe

fakirI know what you’re reading this weekend. It’s about Ajatashatru, an Indian fakir (rough translation: con man) who travels to France to buy a bed of nails (I guess he never received word that IKEA now offers online shopping) but gets sent off course and finds himself on a jaunt around the world.

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