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LITTERA Fast, easy, book news
The New York Times (347 news in all)
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Reconsiderations: From Dresden on the 50th Anniversary of ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’ When Kurt Vonnegut was at work on his hugely influential antiwar novel, “he was writing to save his own life,” his daughter said.

 

El Espace: How Will Netflix Do Justice to ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’? One Colombian writer reflects on what the adaptation of Gabriel García Márquez’s masterpiece means for her culture and people.

 

Fiction: Lawrence Ferlinghetti Celebrates His 100th Birthday With a Novel “Little Boy” recounts his life story in a free association of flashes and arias, of high and low culture — the verbal riffs of a good talker.

 

Books of The Times: A Poet Remembers Her Impulsive Trip Into a Civil War In her new memoir, Carolyn Forché tells the story of how a stranger’s suggestion that she visit El Salvador in the late 1970s changed the course of her art and her life.

 

A Comic Book Publisher Creates Its Own Origin Story A new publisher, AWA, will have a connected superhero universe as well as stand-alone comics.

 

The New York Times Sunday (56 news in all)
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Nonfiction: The Bizarre Lives of Rome’s Emperors Barry Strauss’s “Ten Caesars” is a quick romp through the strange lives of several Roman rulers.

 

Nonfiction: When America’s Love of the Open Frontier Hit a Wall In “The End of the Myth” Greg Grandin explores our love of the boundless West as it evolved over the 19th century and into the 20th — and why it was a mirage.

 

Nonfiction: Remembering a Woman Who Was a Leader of the French Resistance Lynne Olson’s “Madame Fourcade’s Secret War” tells of a woman who led the fight against the Nazis while combating sexism among her colleagues.

 

Nonfiction: A New York Times Lawyer Looks Back at His Most Memorable Cases David McCraw’s “Truth in Our Times” is a behind-the-scenes report on one newspaper’s legal battles with the Trump administration and others.

 

Essay: Is Satire Possible in the Age of Trump? Parodies of the president proliferate in books and on TV. But how do you ridicule a man who seems to have mastered the strategies of those who would hold him to account through humor?

 

Sketchbook | Graphic Review: The Enduring Power of “Tuck Everlasting” The artist Tillie Walden pays graphic homage to the classic children’s book.

 

The Guardian (434 news in all)
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Philip Pullman wins JM Barrie lifetime achievement award Author of His Dark Materials acclaimed as ‘a magical spinner of yarns’ who appeals to all ages – especially childrenPhilip Pullman has won the JM Barrie award, a prize to mark a “lifetime’s achievement in delighting children”.The annual award is given by the charity Action for Children’s Arts, which campaigns for all children to have access to the arts, and celebrates work that will stand the test of time. ACA chair Vicky Ireland said Pullman was chosen by the charity’s trustees for his outstanding talent as a storyteller who appeals to all ages, especially to the young. Continue reading...

 

Lotharingia by Simon Winder review – the 'cockpit' of Europe A personal look at the long arc of European history finds a continent perpetually torn between unity and divisionSimon Winder’s trilogy – Germania, Danubia and now Lotharingia – is rather remarkable. A synthesis of a couple of thousand years of European history produced over little more than a decade by a writer with a full-time job in publishing (he is an editorial bigwig at Penguin) who is not a professional historian and takes every opportunity in his self-deprecating narrative to tell us that his facility for languages is non-existent. It is an insane undertaking, yet somehow he has got away with it and come to the end of his “personal history” largely unscathed.He has managed it because, for all the self-mockery, he has a serious purpose. In Germania, he explores the idea of German-ness that culminated in the deadly fantasies of the Nazis. Danubia examines how the dysfunctional Habsburg family could hold together a sprawling empire of competing national groupings for almost half a millennium. And Lotharingia tells the story of that part of Europe – what is now the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Lorraine in northern France and most of northern Germany west of the Rhine – that has been labelled the “cockpit”, so central has it been to Franco-German rivalry and the course of the continent’s history. Continue reading...

 

The Grassling by Elizabeth-Jane Burnett review – a geological memoir A poet comes to terms with her father’s death by wild swimming and taking walks around a Devon village“The soil needs its own dictionary,” the poet Elizabeth-Jane Burnett writes in this, her first work of non-fiction. The Grassling, with its brief chapters arranged alphabetically and its passion for words rooted in history and the land, is indeed a kind of dictionary. But it’s also much more than this.Burnett’s mother is Kenyan: she learned to call the tawny owl by its Swahili name: shamba rafiki, or garden friend. Her father is from the Devon village of Ide, where she grew up: “I have done my growing here. Out in the open is where I took shape.” Her father is in his 80s and terminally ill. He can no longer walk through the fields surrounding their hilltop home. Burnett’s book records her visits from Birmingham where she now lives and how she rediscovers the landscapes she knew as a child, using a guide to the local history written by her father. As his health declines, the fields and lanes become “a place of holding on”. Continue reading...