Tuesday, February 27, 2007

There are several book-related items I've been meaning to bring to your attention: Dave Copeland's book is making news in New York, and Jason Togyer is entering the home stretch on his book about the G.C. Murphy Co. I am green with envy, or else I just ate some bad peanut butter.

Meanwhile, according to the New York Times, comedy shows like "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report" have become the best places for authors to have serious discussions about their books. (I watch "The Colbert Report" only occassionally, but it seems like every time I do the guest is an author.)

And finally, Random House is introducing a book browser, perhaps in response to Google Book Search.

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Muhammad Ali is moving back to his hometown of Louisville, where apparently many people still harbor ill will toward The Greatest for his refusal to serve in Vietnam. If you're a fan of boxing--or merely a fan of great writing--you might want to check out David Remnick's "King of the World", which is about Ali's early career, ending with his battle over the draft. It's also an interesting portrait of Ali's relationship to the era's other great black heavyweights, the deferential Floyd Patterson and the thuggish Sonny Liston. (Liston fans should check out "The Devil and Sonny Liston" by Nick Tosches.) To Remnick, Ali was the synthesis of those two fighters, representing a type of black man that America had never seen before.

And don't forget "On Boxing" by Joyce Carol Oates.

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Saturday, February 03, 2007

The International Herald Tribune has an article about various aborted attempts to make a film out of Ayn Rand's opus "Atlas Shrugged", which is the only Rand novel I've read. It was an entertaining story, but populated by strawmen. Perhaps if I'd read it in 1957, when she wrote it, it might have had more resonance. It seemed to have lost its relevance with the collapse of Soviet communism and the rise of Reagan Republicans. (Whereas Orwell's "1984" is a more universal portrait of tyranny.)

I did see the film adaptation of "The Fountainhead", which I liked. The IHT article, however, indicates that Rand was not happy with the experience.


Jeffrey Toobin looks into Google Book Search.

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