Reviewing from under a rock

RodneyDangerfield

I loved Michel Faber’s The Crimson Petal and the White (try the audiobook if you want something immersive and long) and am looking forward to his Book of Strange New Things. But there was a passage in Marcel Theroux’s extremely laudatory NYT review last week  that’s driving me crazy: “Since the critical and commercial triumph […]

An open letter to the self-published author feeling dissed.

image courtesy thesamerowdycrowd.wordpress.com

Dear self-published author: I can imagine how frustrating it is to have your book refused possible review coverage by the Horn Book simply because it is self-published. But here is why that situation is unlikely to change anytime soon. If we met at a party or something, I, and I think my colleagues at the […]

Why The Face? I’ll tell you.

ending

I just finished David Shafer’s thriller Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, which I read because of Dwight Garner’s NYT review. The book is everything Garner says it is–bright, popping, funny, suspenseful. And it has all the things I love: complicated heroes and heroines, smart riffs on contemporary memes, and–best of all–a global conspiracy that really is out to […]

Small world, isn’t it?

GypsyandJune

My old Chicago pal Ilene Cooper and I are interviewed by my other old Chicago pal Elizabeth Law at Elizabeth’s new blog, Into the Words.

Priests in Space

Sparrow

For my reviewing class at Simmons, I’m having the students read and review an adult book chosen by their classmates after each made a dark confession: Student: I hate chicklit! Class: you’re reading Sophie Kinsella! A bit sadistic, I guess, but the idea was to get us all out of our comfort zones and also […]

“Take THAT, Dallas Public Library.”

vaffanculo

So extemporized Trina Schart Hyman in her 1985 Caldecott acceptance speech, giving the vaffanculo gesture to her critics. Marc Nobleman has collected an entertaining array of children’s writers doing the same (metaphorically) in vivid performances of their worst Amazon reviews. (Kind of shooting fish in a barrel, though. Let’s see ‘em read a slam from […]

Me and the girls

Bette

                Saturday morning AT THE UNGODLY HOUR OF 9:00AM I’ll be joining my book reviewing sisters Sarah Smith (NYTBR) Vicky Smith (Kirkus) and Luann Toth (SLJ) for a panel discussion of book reviewing at Bank Street College in New York. I hope you can join us.