A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2019
One of Poets & Writers' Best Books for Writers
"How lovely to discover a book on the craft of writing that is also fun to read. . . Alison asserts that the best stories follow patterns in nature, and by defining these new styles she offers writers the freedom to explore but with enough guidance to thrive." --Maris Kreizman, Vulture
As Jane Alison writes in the introduction to her insightful and appealing book about the craft of writing: "For centuries there's been one path through fiction we're most likely to travel-- one we're actually told to follow--and that's the dramatic arc: a situation arises, grows tense, reaches a peak, subsides . . . But something that swells and tautens until climax, then collapses? Bit masculosexual, no? So many other patterns run through nature, tracing other deep motions in life. Why not draw on them, too?"
W. G. Sebald's Emigrants was the first novel to show Alison how forward momentum can be created by way of pattern, rather than the traditional arc-- or, in nature, wave. Other writers of nonlinear prose considered in her "museum of specimens" include Nicholson Baker, Anne Carson, Marguerite Duras, Gabriel Garc a M rquez, Jamaica Kincaid, Clarice Lispector, Susan Minot, David Mitchell, Caryl Phillips, and Mary Robison.
Meander, Spiral, Explode is a singular and brilliant elucidation of literary strategies that also brings high spirits and wit to its original conclusions. It is a liberating manifesto that says, Let's leave the outdated modes behind and, in thinking of new modes, bring feeling back to experimentation. It will appeal to serious readers and writers alike.
Are you bursting with literary knowledge that you'd like to put to the test? Or do you just want a moment's distraction filling in a Harry Potter- or Lord of the Rings-themed crossword puzzle, looking up the names of Charles Dickens's characters in a word search, or completing a Jane Austen sudoku puzzle? Literary Puzzle Book, now in a large format, offers puzzles of varying difficulty levels and literary themes that will amuse, excite, and inform. This handy book features 120 craft conundrums that will keep you scratching your head over famous author pen names and obscure literary terms as you exercise your knowledge on Shakespeare, Mark Twain, Marcel Proust, Henry James, and James Joyce. These puzzles include:
- Anagrams and cryptograms
- Crosswords and word searches
- Riddles and quizzes
- And many more
For all book-loving puzzle solvers or puzzle-loving book readers, Literary Puzzle Book is the perfect avenue to unwind, or be challenged.
What does it mean when a fictional hero takes a journey?. Shares a meal? Gets drenched in a sudden rain shower? Often, there is much more going on in a novel or poem than is readily visible on the surface--a symbol, maybe, that remains elusive, or an unexpected twist on a character--and there's that sneaking suspicion that the deeper meaning of a literary text keeps escaping you.
In this practical and amusing guide to literature, Thomas C. Foster shows how easy and gratifying it is to unlock those hidden truths, and to discover a world where a road leads to a quest; a shared meal may signify a communion; and rain, whether cleansing or destructive, is never just rain. Ranging from major themes to literary models, narrative devices, and form, How to Read Literature Like a Professor is the perfect companion for making your reading experience more enriching, satisfying, and fun.
Searching for perfect book lovers gifts? Rejoice Bibliophile: An Illustrated Miscellany, is a love letter to all things bookish. Author Jane Mount brings literary people, places, and things to life through her signature and vibrant illustrations. It's a must-have for every book collection, and makes a wonderful literary gift for book lovers, writers, and more.Readers of Jane Mount's Bibliophile will delight in:
- Touring the world's most beautiful bookstores
- Testing their knowledge of the written word with quizzes
- Finding their next great read in lovingly curated stacks of books
- Sampling the most famous fictional meals
- Peeking inside the workspaces of their favorite authors
A source of endless inspiration, literary facts and recommendations: Bibliophile is pure bookish joy and sure to enchant book clubbers, English majors, poetry devotees, aspiring writers, and any and all who identify as book lovers. If you have read or own: I'd Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life; The Written World: The Power of Stories to Shape People, History, and Civilization; or How to Read Literature Like a Professor: A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines; then you will want to read and own Jane Mount's Bibliophile.
Writings on the author's favorite works of literature include discussions on such works as Anna Karenina, The Portrait of a Lady, Huckleberry Finn, Don Quixote, The Idiot, the young adult tale I Capture the Castle, and poetry by such figures as Wordsworth and Milton. Reprint.
"Nina Sankovitch has crafted a dazzling memoir that reminds us of the most primal function of literature--to heal, to nurture and to connectus to our truest selves. --Thrity Umrigar, author of The Space Between Us
Catalyzed by the loss of her sister, a mother of four spends one year savoring a great book every day, from Thomas Pynchon to Nora Ephron and beyond. In the tradition of Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project and Joan Dideon's A Year of Magical Thinking, Nina Sankovitch's soul-baring and literary-minded memoir is a chronicle of loss, hope, and redemption. Nina ultimately turns to reading as therapy and through her journey illuminates the power of books to help us reclaim our lives.
"If there's a heaven just for readers, this is it." --O, The Oprah Magazine
Celebrate the pleasure of reading and the thrill of discovering new titles in an extraordinary book that's as compulsively readable, entertaining, surprising, and enlightening as the 1,000-plus titles it recommends. Covering fiction, poetry, science and science fiction, memoir, travel writing, biography, children's books, history, and more, 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die ranges across cultures and through time to offer an eclectic collection of works that each deserve to come with the recommendation, You have to read this. But it's not a proscriptive list of the "great works"--rather, it's a celebration of the glorious mosaic that is our literary heritage. Flip it open to any page and be transfixed by a fresh take on a very favorite book. Or come across a title you always meant to read and never got around to. Or, like browsing in the best kind of bookshop, stumble on a completely unknown author and work, and feel that tingle of discovery. There are classics, of course, and unexpected treasures, too. Lists to help pick and choose, like Offbeat Escapes, or A Long Climb, but What a View. And its alphabetical arrangement by author assures that surprises await on almost every turn of the page, with Cormac McCarthy and The Road next to Robert McCloskey and Make Way for Ducklings, Alice Walker next to Izaac Walton. There are nuts and bolts, too--best editions to read, other books by the author, "if you like this, you'll like that" recommendations, and an interesting endnote of adaptations where appropriate. Add it all up, and in fact there are more than six thousand titles by nearly four thousand authors mentioned--a life-changing list for a lifetime of reading. "948 pages later, you still want more " --THE WASHINGTON POST
People Pick - O Magazine Title to Pick Up Now - Vanity Fair Hot Type - Glamour New Book You're Guaranteed to Love This Summer - LitHub.com Best Book about Books - Buzzfeed Book You Need to Read This Summer - Seattle Times Book for Summer Reading - Warby Parker Blog Book Pick - Google Talks - Harper's Bazaar - Vogue -The Washington Post - The Economist - The Christian Science Monitor - Salon - The AtlanticImagine keeping a record of every book you've ever read. What would this reading trajectory say about you? With passion, humor, and insight, the editor of The New York Times Book Review shares the stories that have shaped her life. Pamela Paul has kept a single book by her side for twenty-eight years - carried throughout high school and college, hauled from Paris to London to Thailand, from job to job, safely packed away and then carefully removed from apartment to house to its current perch on a shelf over her desk - reliable if frayed, anonymous-looking yet deeply personal. This book has a name: Bob. Bob is Paul's Book of Books, a journal that records every book she's ever read, from Sweet Valley High to Anna Karenina, from Catch-22 to Swimming to Cambodia, a journey in reading that reflects her inner life - her fantasies and hopes, her mistakes and missteps, her dreams and her ideas, both half-baked and wholehearted. Her life, in turn, influences the books she chooses, whether for solace or escape, information or sheer entertainment. But My Life with Bob isn't really about those books. It's about the deep and powerful relationship between book and reader. It's about the way books provide each of us the perspective, courage, companionship, and imperfect self-knowledge to forge our own path. It's about why we read what we read and how those choices make us who we are. It's about how we make our own stories.