Book News and Views from ‘Round the Web

Via Omnivoracious:     A.J. Jacobs interviews Francis Slakey re: his new book, To The Last Breath: A Memoir of Going to Extremes, about his quest to climb the highest mountains and surf all the oceans.

“This is a splendid and exciting read about the author's transition from self-centered narcissist to world citizen during his 10-year, physically and emotionally rigorous adventure to be the first person to climb the highest summits on every continent and surf all the oceans of the world. Highly recommended!”
— Gary Colliver, Windows on the World – Books & Art, Mariposa, CA


"Ever since I fell in love with Jernigan I’ve been drawn to books with one-word titles – partly because Sonny Mehta loves one-word titles, but mainly because they can be so enviably concise and memorable, so perfect. At their best, one-word titles distill content to its purest essence, which is what all titles strive to do, and then they stick in the mind. Sometimes, of course, they fall flat, and much of the time they’re just lukewarm and vague or, worse, falsely grand."


"My whole life has been devoted to stepping through that door, and I find myself in a new place each time I do. Sometimes, it is a place that looks a lot like the world I live in. Other times, it looks completely different, like something from a dream. All of these other worlds are contained within the books I read, and I feel privileged that I get to see what the authors have created by using their imaginations. It never ceases to amaze me when I put a book down and find that my supper is still hot."
–Cassandra Neace


New novel from Jonathan Safran Foer coming in 2014, via Bookpage: Escape from Children's Hospital
"Jonathan Safran Foer just signed a two-book deal with Little, Brown in the US. According to his UK publisher, Penguin, the first, Escape from Children’s Hospital, will be published in 2014 and is “a fictionalised account of when an explosion in a summer camp science class left Safran Foer’s best friend without skin on his face or hands, leaving the author unscathed by inches.” (The boy who had been Foer’s partner at the table was very badly burned as well.)"


Kate Grenville Introduces her sequel to The Secret River, Sarah Thornhill:



Exibition in Focus: Writing Britain: Wastelands to Wonderlands; British Library

"Why did tourists flock to the Lakes from the late 18th Century?
Why do Goths go to Whitby every summer?
Why do people search for a pier in Wigan?
How did the village of Westward Ho! (famously, the only place in the British Isles to include an exclamation mark in its name) get its name?
And why, when we walk through London today, do we still feel the fog descending over narrow, gas-lit streets, in which Sweeney Todd, Jekyll and Hyde, Professor Moriarty and other notorious characters continue to haunt the imagination?

The answer to all of the above, of course, is that writers once created these spaces. They infused them with legend, and with life; and once embellished in print, they can never be the same again."

–Jamie Andrews, lead curator


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