The Kafka papers

“One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin.” — Franz Kafka, “The Metamorphosis” Imagine, for a moment, a canon of Western

A new version of events

The sinking of the Titanic in April, 1912 is such a well-known piece of history, that the spiral of events into disaster seems familiar and thoroughly picked over. However, a new book “Good as Gold”,

In case you missed it…

The New York Times had a great fall book preview today. Here’s a peek: There are novels by Ken Follett, Michael Cunningham, Nicole Krauss and Tom Clancy; cookbooks by Ina Garten and Jamie Oliver;


Jonathan Franzen’s new novel “Freedom” has already been scooped up by President Obama for his late-summer reading, lauded expansively by the New York Times, and projected to easily hit the best-seller

Meeting David Mitchell

Well, I braved boiling temperatures, chugged endless water bottles and crowded into a near-bursting bookshop in a sweat-drenched t-shirt to see David Mitchell Sunday afternoon, the culmination of a

Happy Bloomsday

June 16, 1904 — The day that James Joyce’s hero Leopold Bloom made his way around Dublin in “Ulysses” is celebrated across the world, often with pints of Guinness, (“thick giblet soup”?) and readings

Rome in July

Also from The New Yorker: The Book Bench blog has chosen Tom Rachman’s “The Imperfectionists” as their July book club selection. I’m very excited by this — I’m currently 3/4 of the way through

The ones to watch

The New Yorker recently announced their list of “20 Under 40”, a compilation of up-and-coming young writers “who capture the inventiveness and the vitality of contemporary American fiction.” The list