Happy Wednesday, my literary lovelies!
I hope that this post finds you all enjoying a wonderful start to September. I am missing the beginnings of autumnal English weather, having exchanged it for 95°F Missouri heat and more mosquito bites than it is possible to count. While I go off to rub an entire tube of Gold Bond on my legs, here is everything you need to know about the last week in literature.
'Man Booker Prize 2013: Toibin And Crace Lead Shortlist' - BBC
Yes, it is that time of the year once more - the Man Booker Prize is upon us. Among this year's six named writers are two veteran nominees, with Colm Toibin nominated for The Testament of Mary and Jim Crace for Harvest. Female writers also outnumber males on the 2013 Shortlist, with author Eleanor Catton the youngest nominee at 27 years old. It is also great to see some diversity in the cultures represented by both the authors and the settings of their works.
'The Problem With Prologues' - Book Riot
Love them? Hate them? I have often been surprised at the passion with which some readers decry the prologue. The author of this article suggests that prologues are problematic because they tend to either excel the rest of the work or fall far short. Personally, I think that a well-written prologue can add a huge amount to the reading experience. In certain cases, it can help to re-read prologues after finishing the book, particularly the case with crime fiction and thrillers. But I do always enjoy a little righteous anger - and that's what this article delivers.
'Reading Lolita In Tehran in England' - The Riveter
A little more shameless self-promotion. I've written a couple more From Austen to Zola columns since my last edition of The Weekly Reader. This week's column discusses the utility of literature in cultural exploration, with allusion to Azar Nafisi's Reading Lolita in Tehran (which I reviewed a few weeks ago here.)
'Reading Controversy' - The Riveter
And the second of my columns deals with the issue of reading controversial literature. In light of my decision to work through Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita, I thought it appropriate to discuss the merits of controversy and the need to challenge personal reading prejudices.
TOP IN BOOK FETISH
We all like a bit of the weird now and again. It keeps life interesting. My exploration of the best in book fetish has thrown up some of the strangest literary items on the market. This week, I thought we would celebrate all things bizarre, just in case you have money to spare.
'Mr Darcy Doll' - UneekDollDesigns
Now, you all know that I am perhaps the world's biggest Mr Darcy fan. I always believed that there was no inappropriate homage to the man in the breeches. Until I saw this doll. And had many nightmares.
'Harry Potter Theme Character Cushions' - MaxAndMillieArt
I get Dumbledore. But the others are beyond confusing.
'Gollum Earrings' - AttisTreasures
I can imagine no situation in which these would be anything other than terrifying to all.