Philippe Petit at Green-Wood Cemetery, 4/3014
The Believer is proud to announce the recipients of our 2013 Book and Poetry awards! So proud, in fact, that we’ve decided to share the winners here on the Believer Logger ahead of our May issue’s official release.
THE 2013 BELIEVER BOOK AWARD
For the past ten years, the editors of the …
I dwell in Possibility –
A fairer House than Prose –
More numerous of Windows –
Superior – for Doors –
Of Chambers as the Cedars –
Impregnable of eye –
And for an everlasting Roof
The Gambrels of the Sky –
Of Visitors – the fairest –
For Occupation – This –
The spreading wide my narrow Hands
To gather Paradise –
I remembered to track 118 of the books I read in 2013 and I had thoughts about all of them. I love reading.
My top ten books:
Tampa by Alissa Nutting
Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi
The Book of My Lives by Aleksandar Hemon
Unmastered: A Book on Desire by Katherine Angel
The Isle of Youth by…
This Thursday, I begin the trip from Brooklyn to Antarctica which will span five days, four planes and three continents. I’m usually a minimalist, Zen-like packer, but I’ve never before gone to a place this desolate, wild and supply-free. A taste of the miscellany in my luggage: spices and Aftelier chef’s essences to enhance five weeks of canned food, Four Roses bourbon, high-tech sunglasses that block all UV rays, a go-girl, my childhood stuffed penguin toy, and six new titanium darts, requested by the fish scientists to replace the currently beleaguered dart set at the McMurdo Station pub.
What I do not have packed is serious outerwear: as I was told by my bemused Antarctic handler, you can’t buy at EMS what you need to survive in Antarctica. So our penultimate stop is Christchurch, New Zealand: within this bucolic, balmy town is an enormous Antarctic gear warehouse. Every scientist en route to McMurdo Station stops here for a day to get custom fitted with a giant red parka, snow pants, goggles, and bunny boots. They’ll give us our Southern Hemisphere flu shots and scrub all of our shoes, so that we don’t inadvertently track any seeds or plant matter onto the pristine continent. And in Christchurch, I will make a final panicked run to a supermarket to load a duffel bag with oranges, lemons, avocados, kale, and other fresh fruits and veggies, which are one of the most priceless commodities on the continent, along with fine chocolate, good coffee, and apparently, a new titanium dart set.
Welcome to the Reblog Book Club, the first official Tumblr book club!
For our first book, we’re reading Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, a coming-of-age story about fanfiction, family, and first love. If you’ve read Eleanor and Park, or you follow Rainbow on Tumblr, you have a good idea of why we’re so excited to talk about this book!We’ve already selected some very passionate Tumblr bloggers to help lead the discussion, and we hope you’ll participate too. You can get a copy of Fangirl at Amazon, Barnes&Noble, IndieBound, iBooks, your local independent bookstore, or a public library. Follow this blog to follow the conversation.
Then contribute in one of two ways:- Post to your own Tumblr blog and tag the post #reblogbookclub — we’ll reblog it into the main conversation.
- Submit to the book club Tumblr at http://reblogbookclub.tumblr.com/submit
We’ll begin with non-spoilery posts from 9/10-9/16, and discuss plot developments on the following schedule:Week of 9/17: Chapters 1-12
Week of 9/24: Chapters 13-24
Week of 10/1: Chapters 25-38
And because this is a book club the Tumblr way, you can express your feelings about the book however you choose — a written review, fan art, gifs, poems, letters… Maybe you have Fangirl nail art? Maybe you want to post a video blog talking through your ideas, a g-chat with a friend, or a song you think the characters would relate to? It’s all up to you! And, of course, you can reblog other people’s posts to add your own thoughts and responses. Rainbow will even be answering your Ask Box questions throughout the project!
Thanks for being part of this crazy literary experiment! We think it’ll be tons of fun and we can’t wait to hear what you think about Fangirl!
“Was it too much to want that? Was it too much to want him? Yes and yes. In the back of my mind, the nasty thought always lingered that I would be happier if I did not want so much.”
—Anton DiSclafani, The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls
BLIND ITEM REVEALED: The book I was so engrossed in yesterday and which caused me to eat an entire bag of chips without realizing was The Interestings, by Meg Wolitzer. There are a lot of things to say about this book, and smarter people than me are going to say them, so I will just note that I loved it and very highly recommend it to pretty much everybody I know.
Throw this on the feminist book club pile as well. God, that’s a lot of feminist books in a row. I’m going to go root through Martin Amis’s backlist and cleanse my palate.
(note: this showed up in my feed TODAY, even though it’s from last August. so.)
this made me sigh heavily, and i thought maybe it was worth addressing. i’ll skip the obvious part about “basic human right” and go straight to why a local bookshop can’t possibly stock all local authors:
- there may literally not be enough space! many local shops are small, and have to make every single book on their shelves count.
- making every book count means making sure that they are stocking topics and authors that appeal to their clientele. while you are, of course, very interested in your book, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your local bookshop’s average customer is.
- which leads me to, trusting local buyers. no bookstore DOESN’T want to make money. no bookstore in the world is intentionally turning down a potential bestseller, be it local or national. every bookstore in the world wants to stock awesome books. they read sales reports, they read trades, they labor over catalogs, they stay up at night worrying about their bottom line. they read EVERYTHING THEY CAN. i have worked for five of them, believe me — this is absolutely true.
so if your local passes on your book, it’s because they genuinely believe that that book will not work for their shop. stocking a book just to stock it means that the bookstore makes less money, the book doesn’t move, and then everyone is sad except for that initial five minutes in which the author is happy to see it on the shelf. that’s not a recipe for success, that’s a recipe for frustration.
also frustrating: facing the intense indignation of local authors when you try to explain to them why you won’t be stocking their book.