PROPAGANDA

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is #2 on the New York Times Bestseller List!

Junot Díaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao hit #2 on the New York Times paperback bestseller list after being #4 last week.


Dinaw Mengestu Shortlisted for the 2008 Dylan Thomas Prize

Riverhead author Dinaw Mengestu's The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears (entitled Children of the Revolution in the UK) has been shortlisted for the 2008 Dylan Thomas Prize for young writers—"a 60,000 euro prize designed not only to richly reward the best young writer in the world but also to serve as a focus for and incentive to all young writers throughout the English-speaking world."


Aleksandar Hemon Wins the Chicago Tribune's 2008 Heartland Prize for Fiction

The Chicago Tribune awarded Aleksandar Hemon the 2008 Heartland Prize for fiction for his novel, The Lazarus Project, "a bleak, pain-filled, yet darkly beautiful novel that plumbs the depths of the oppression of immigrants a century ago in Chicago, the horror of pogroms and the Holocaust in Europe, and the mindless violence of the Bosnian war."


Junot Díaz is a Finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize

The Dayton Literary Peace Prize has announced the finalists for its third round of awards and Junot Díaz is among them for The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. The prize: $10,000 each to two books, one fiction and nonfiction, that promote peace, leading readers to a better understanding of other cultures, peoples, religions and political points of view.

UPDATE: Junot Díaz wins!


Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants opens Friday!

Riverhead author Ann Brashares has a second film based on her Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series opening Friday, 8/8/08. The Chicago Sun-Times writes, "The lively foursome reunite in 'The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2,' based on the best-selling novels by Ann Brashares. The sequel finds Tibby, Carmen, Bridget and Lena trying to wrestle with life, love and a key summer vacation that changes everything."


Khaled Hosseini, Author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, Receives Over a Thousand Questions!

Khaled Hosseini was asked over a thousand questions in his book group discussion—watch his video responses to a wide range of questions on his website.


Ask Khaled Hosseini, Author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, Questions in His Book Group Discussion

A Thousand Splendid Suns and The Kite Runner have brought the lives of the Afghan people to millions of readers around the world and inspired passionate dialogue among fans of the books. Now you have the chance to continue the discussion by asking Khaled Hosseini questions on his website.


Riverhead Authors at Chicago's Printers Row Book Fair

In the Chicago area? So are Riverhead authors Sloane Crosley, Aleksandar Hemon, and Dana Vachon. Read about the Midwest's largest literary event and see the full schedule of events.


Junot Díaz Wins the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Junot Díaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and Moshin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist have won this year's Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, which recognizes recent books that have made important contributions to our understanding of racism and our appreciation of the rich diversity of human culture. Junot Díaz humbly commented: "It's a privilege to share it with a book I admire tremendously—one I recommend in public and in private. I couldn't share the literary ride with a better writer."


Junot Díaz Wins the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

Riverhead author Junot Díaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao has won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The 92nd annual Pulitzer Prize awards were officially announced on Monday, April 7th, at Columbia University.


Riverhead Authors at the PEN World Voices Festival

Riverhead authors Nuruddin Farah, Aleksandar Hemon, and Dinaw Mengestu will be participating in the fourth annual PEN World Voices New York Festival of International Literature. The festival begins April 29th and runs through May 4th and this year's theme is Public Lives/Private Lives. Read more about the events and the participants here.


The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao wins National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction

At a ceremony on March 6th the National Book Critics Circle announced the winners of the 2007 awards. Riverhead author Junot Díaz took home the fiction award for his first novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Check out the other nominees and winners here.


Two Riverhead authors nominated for the 2007 Los Angeles Times Book Prizes

Dinaw Mengestu's The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears was nominated for the Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and Junot Díaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao was nominated in the fiction category for the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes. The Book Prizes will be awarded Friday evening, April 25, 2008, at UCLA's Royce Hall. See the complete list of nominees here.


Riverhead Audio Books Nominated for 2008 Audies

Don't Make A Black Woman Take Off Her Earrings by Tyler Perry, narrated by Tyler Perry, and Slam by Nick Hornby, narrated by Nicholas Hoult were nominated for 2008 Audies. The winners will be announced at a gala event in Los Angeles on May 30th. The Audies gala is the only awards program in the United States devoted entirely to honoring spoken word entertainment, and brings together performers, authors, producers, publishers, and media.


Junot Díaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award in fiction

On January 12th the National Book Critics Circle announced their awards finalists, which included widely-acclaimed Riverhead author Junot Díaz for his first novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. The National Book Critics Circle, founded in 1974, is a "non-profit organization consisting of nearly 700 active book reviewers who are interested in honoring quality writing and communicating with one another about common concerns." The 2007 winners will be announced on March 6, 2008, at the annual NBCC Awards Ceremony in New York City. See the other nominees here.


Three Riverhead authors nominated for the 39th NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Literary Work

Three Riverhead authors have been nominated for the 39th NAACP Image Awards. Junot Díaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and Nuruddin Farah's Knots are among the nominees for the Outstanding Literary Work in Fiction category. Dinaw Mengestu's The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears is up for the Outstanding Literary Work—Debut Author award. The NAACP Image Awards "honors projects and individuals that promote diversity in the arts in television, recording, literature, and motion pictures." The awards will air live on Thursday, February 14 (8:00 - 10:00 PM ET/PT Tape-Delayed) on FOX. Learn more about the awards and see the other nominees here.


Díaz, Saunders on Entertainment Weekly's Best Books of 2007 list

Entertainment Weekly featured two Riverhead books on their Best Books of 2007 list—George Saunders' The Braindead Megaphone in nonfiction and Junot Díaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao in fiction.


Riverhead authors among finalists for the Essence Literary Awards

Knots by Nuruddin Farah and The Bond by Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, and Rameck Hunt are among the finalists for the inaugural Essence Literary Awards. The nominees were recommended by Essence readers and Book Club members selected by the editors of Essence for how they "illuminate the African-American experience throughout the Diaspora while provoking discussion about the human condition" and "demonstrate excellence and originality in concept, content and execution." The winners will be announced at a ceremony in New York City on February 7. See the other finalists here.


Kirkus Reviews names three Riverhead books in their Best of 2007

According to Kirkus Reviews, three Riverhead books are "notable titles that deserve your attention." Among their picks for the Best of 2007 are (in nonfiction) The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam: An Illustrated Memoir by Ann Marie Fleming, The Braindead Megaphone by George Saunders and (in fiction) The Office of Desire by Martha Moody. See the complete list here.


The Kite Runner opens to rave reviews

The Kite Runner film is in select theaters, and opened to terrific reviews. The Washington Post calls it "a film of exhilarating, redemptive humanity" while Roger Ebert gives it 4 stars and in his review, writes, "Magnificent... The film works so deeply on us because we have been so absorbed by its story, by its destinies, by the way these individuals become so important."


New York Magazine names Junot Díaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Best Novel of the Year

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao claimed the title of best novel of 2007 in New York Magazine. It has also appeared on numerous other Best Books of the Year lists nationwide including Time (#1 fiction book), The New York Times Notables, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Village Voice, Amazon.com (#2 overall), and the National Book Critic Circle Best Recommended List (#1 fiction book). See New York Magazine's list here.


Riverhead Books lands #1 and #3 spots on Time magazine's 10 Best Fiction Books of the Year

Junot Díaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao was chosen as the #1 fiction book of the year, with Khaled Hossieni's A Thousand Splendid Suns right behind at #3. See the list here.


The Kite Runner hits Theatres

The Kite Runner movie premieres on 12/14 in select cities and rave reviews and accolades are already arriving. The National Board of Review has listed it as one of the top 10 movies of the year and Vanity Fair has hailed the film as "transcendant," "haunting," "beautiful and horrific," "brave."


Shalom Auslander named "New Radical" by Radar

Shalom Auslander was listed as one of Radar Magazine's New Radicals, this year's most notable rogues, renegades, and rule-breakers.


The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears wins The Guardian First Book Award

Dinaw Mengestu's debut novel The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears (called Children of the Revolution in the UK) was announced as the winner at a ceremony in central London on December 5th. Unique among literary prizes, The Guardian First Book Award is open to all debut works, regardless of genre. Read more about Dinaw's win here.


Riverhead Books in the New York Times' 100 Notable Books of 2007

Four Riverhead books made their way onto the New York Times' 100 Notable Books of 2007. Those featured were Shalom Auslander's memoir, Foreskin's Lament, Junot Díaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Nuruddin Farah's Knots, and Dinaw Mengestu's The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears. See the full list here.


Junot Díaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao voted #1 by the National Book Critics Circle in their new monthly Best Recommended List

The National Book Critics Circle recently created a new literary blog, "Critical Mass," and on November 28th they introduced the NBCC's Best Recommended List. Nearly 500 voters, including John Updike, Robert Hass, and Cynthia Ozick gave their recommendations, and in their inaugural list, Junot Díaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao received the most votes for fiction. See the other winners and read more about "Critical Mass" here.


Dinaw Mengestu Wins Lannan Fellowship

Dinaw Mengestu has been awarded a 2007 Lannan Literary Writing Fellowship. The Lannan Literary Awards and Fellowships were established in 1989 to honor both established and emerging writers whose work is of exceptional quality. The Fellowships recognize writers of distinctive literary merit who demonstrate potential for continued outstanding work. You can read more about the Lannan Foundation and the Literary Awards and Fellowships here.


Riverhead authors at the 2007 Miami Book Fair International, 11/4-11/11

If you're in the Miami area, stop by to see Riverhead authors Shalom Auslander, Daina Chaviano, and Ellis Avery at the Miami Book Fair.


Riverhead Books has #1 and #2 titles on Amazon.com's Top 100 Books of the Year

Khaled Hosseini's A Thousand Splendid Suns grabbed the #1 spot on the list with Junot Diaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao at #2. Riverhead also had numerous other titles highlighted by Amazon for their Top 100, including Dinaw Mengestu's The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears (#14 overall, and #7 in Literature & Fiction), George Saunders' The Braindead Megaphone (#89 overall, and #2 in Pop Culture), and in the Food Lit category, Jenni Ferrari-Adler's Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant. Read more here.


Junot Diaz wins the John Sargent Sr. First Novel Prize

Junot Díaz and his novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao won The Mercantile Library Center for Fiction's 2007 John Sargent, Sr. First Novel Prize. It was the second year the now annual prize has been awarded. It includes a $10,000 cash award. You can read more about the prize here.


Ira Glass and The New Kings of Nonfiction Live On-stage


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Ira Glass is joined by Malcom Gladwell, Susan Orlean, and Chuck Klosterman at Town Hall in NYC in a conversation to celebrate the publication of The New Kings of Nonfiction. The anthology, edited by Glass, benefits 826CHI, a reading and tutoring center in Chicago. Read more here.


The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears Wins the Prix du Premier Roman Etranger

The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears by Dinaw Mengestu has won France's prestigious Prix du Premier Roman Etranger—he award for the best first foreign (to the French) novel published this year in France (where the book is known as Les belles choses que porte le ciel, translated by Anne Wicke and published by Albin Michel). There is more information on the prize here.


Two Riverhead Books Chosen Among Best Books of 2007 by Hudson Booksellers, Including Book of the Year

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini was chosen as Book of the Year by Hudson Booksellers, and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz was named one of the Top 10 Fiction Books of 2007. The books were chosen for their "innovation, readability, thematic impact, popular appeal and cultural relevance" by a panel made up of the Hudson's bookselling professionals and Airport General Managers (Hudson sells books in both full-service bookstores and Hudson News newsstands in airports and transportation terminals across North America.) Read more, including the rest of the Best Books of 2007, here.


The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Shortlisted for the John Sargent Sr. First Novel Prize

Junot Diaz's bestselling Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is on the 2007 shortlist for the John Sargent Sr. First Novel Prize. The prize was established by The Mercantile Library Center for Fiction in 2006 to help "to promote the art of the fiction in the United States;" last year's winner was Marisa Pessl's Special Topics in Calamity Physics. The winner of this year's prize will be announced at an Awards Dinner on October 29, 2007. Read more, and see the complete shortlist of seven titles, here.


Dinaw Mengestu named one of the 5 under 35 by National Book Foundation

Dinaw Mengestu, author of The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears, has been named one of the National Book Foundation's 5 Under 35 for 2007. The award honors writers who have been selected by a previous National Book Award Finalist or Winner as someone whose work is particularly promising and exciting and is among the best of a new generation of writers. Read more about Dinaw and the 5 Under 35 Award here.


Riverhead authors take on the New Yorker Festival

Riverhead authors Junot Díaz, George Saunders, and Khaled Hosseini will be featured at this year's New Yorker Festival:

Friday, Oct. 5

Junot Díaz and Annie Proulx
7 p.m. Cedar Lake Dance Studios ($16)

George Saunders and Jonathan Safran Foer on the Incredible
9:30 p.m. Angel Orensanz Foundation ($25)

Saturday, Oct. 6

Saturday Night Sneak Preview: "The Kite Runner"
7:30 p.m. Directors Guild of America ($25)

For more information about these events, click here.


The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears Longlisted for The Guardian First Book Award.

Dinaw Mengestu's debut novel The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears (titled CHILDREN OF THE REVOLUTION in its UK edition from Jonathan Cape) is one of ten debut books of 2007 across all categories selected for The Guardian First Book Award's 2007 longlist. Earlier in the year, The Guardian hailed the novel as "a quietly accomplished debut" and "astonishingly tender." Look for the shortlist results the first week in November here.


Nick Hornby at ALA

More than 20,000 school, public, and academic librarians attended the American Library Association convention in Washington, D.C. Nick Hornby was in attendance to announce the publication of his first Young Adult title, Slam (G. P. Putnam's Sons, October 16). Over 200 people attended his reading, 500 people attended his author panel program, and another 300 librarians waited in line for an autographed galley of Slam.


#1 Bestseller!

Khaled Hosseini's A Thousand Splendid Suns debuted at #1 on the June 10, 2007 New York Times Hardcover Fiction Bestseller List and continues to hold on the top spot. On the paperback side, Kite Runner rose to claim #2 on the June 17 Paperback Fiction Bestseller List.


See Khaled Hosseini on Tour

Khaled Hosseini kicks off a seven week tour, starting on May 22nd. For more information on where you can see Hosseini reading from his new book, A Thousand Splendid Suns. more...


May 22 Kicks Off "The Year of Hosseini"

On May 22, 2007, Riverhead releases Khaled Hosseini's second novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns, which has already earned rapturous acclaim from advance reviewers and booksellers. That, along with the fall release of the film version of Hosseini's first novel – the runaway #1 bestseller, The Kite Runner – caused Amazon.com fiction editor, Brad Parsons, to dub 2007 the "year of Hosseini" in Publishers Weekly. more...


Nick Hornby to Publish His First Young Adult Novel

Nick Hornby, New York Times-bestselling author of such internationally acclaimed books as High Fidelity, About a Boy, How To Be Good and A Long Way Down, will publish his first novel for young adults with Penguin Young Readers Group, it was announced today by Geoffrey Kloske, Publisher of Riverhead Books, and Doug Whiteman, President of Penguin Young Readers Group. more...


Suze Orman lands at #1 on New York Times Bestseller List

The paperback edition of Suze Orman's Young, Fabulous, and Broke debuted at #1 on the April 15, 2007 New York Times Bestseller List. Also, on the April 15 List, in its second week, Anne Lamott's Grace, Eventually held the #2 spot on the Hardcover Nonfiction List. And in its eighth week, Tyler Perry's Don't Make a Black Woman Take Off Her Earrings, was #14.


John Hodgman Nominated for an Audie

John Hodgman's The Areas of My Expertise, narrated by John Hodgman with musical accompaniment my Jonathan Coulton, has been nominated for an 2007 Audie Award in the humor category. The Audies are annual awards honoring excellence in audio publishing sponsored by the Audio Publishers Association.


City of Tiny Lights a Double-Finalist

Patrick Neate's City of Tiny Lights has been named a finalist in both the Los Angeles Times Book Awards, in the mystery/thriller category, and in the Edgar Awards, sponsored by the Mystery Writers of America, in the paperback original category . Patrick Neate's previous book, Where You're At: notes from the Frontline of a Hip-Hop Planet, won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2004.


A Year of Awards for George Saunders

George Saunders's short story collection In Persuasion Nation is a finalist for the 2006 Story Prize, along with Mary Gordon's Collected Stories of Mary Gordon and Rick Bass's The Lives of Rocks. The Story Prize is an annual book award honoring the author of an outstanding collection of short fiction with a $20,000 cash award. Each of two runners-up will receive $5,000.



A/V CLUB

Lewis Black on Charlie Rose


Junot Díaz on The Colbert Report


Spike Lee's adaptation of James McBride's Miracle at St. Anna trailer


American Eve by Evelyn Nesbit


Lewis Black, Author of Me of Little Faith, on Writing a Book


Nathaniel Rich reads from The Mayor's Tongue


Lewis Black on Christmas (and his new book, Me of Little Faith)


Aleksandar Hemon on Titlepage.tv


Junot Díaz on Barnes & Noble "Tagged"


Lewis Black on prayer (and his new book, Me of Little Faith)


Anne Lamott on The Colbert Report


The Lazarus Project by Aleksandar Hemon with Velibor Bozovic


Lewis Black on Televangelists. Look for a new rant from Lewis each week until the June 3rd release of his new book, Me of Little Faith


Me of Little Faith by Lewis Black—Coming June 2008


Johnny Bunko by Dan Pink


I Was Told There'd Be Cake by Sloane Crosley


The Island of Eternal Love by Daína Chaviano


Sloane Crosley and Julie Klam on Titlepage.tv


The Kept Man by Jami Attenberg


Gorillaz Rise of the Ogre Book Trailer


PBSesque "Hobo Matters" Documentary from John Hodgman's The Areas of My Expertise


George Saunders's "Ask the Optimist" (from The Braindead Megaphone) as Insane, Star-studded Puppet Show


George Saunders on The Colbert Report


The Ghost Map: An Animated Introduction


The Foreskin's Lament by Shalom Auslander


George Saunders and his new book, The Braindead Megaphone, on Letterman


Braindead Megaphone: The Movie.


The Kite Runner will be a movie in November 2007. View the trailer for the film here.

Join The Kite Runner movie club here


Khaled Hosseini on A Thousand Splendid Suns


Ann Brashares' Official MySpace page


Khaled Hosseini's Official Website


Tyler Perry as Madea


Tony Danza reads George Saunders


John Hodgman on The Areas of My Expertise


Steven Johnson on The Ghost Map


Nick Hornby's Official Website


In Persuasion Nation.com



PIXELS & PRINT

USA Today on Kathleen Norris' Acedia & me
Spirit triumphs in Kathleen Norris' Acedia & me

"In a style that is familiar to readers who made her earlier spiritual memoirs best sellers, Norris traverses theology, psychology, literature and personal experience in lyrical, blunt, scholarly and surprisingly funny prose.... Acedia & me has an unsparing beauty, like a Georgia O'Keefe painting of bleached bones, and flashes of unexpected humor." more...


The New York Times Book Review on Maggie Scarf's September Songs
This Old Marriage

"[An] engrossing investigation into enduring marriage...[Maggie Scarf] is a gifted interviewer, knowing what to ask and when to back off. Her gently probing questions—about retirement, health, sexual activity, finances, children, religion, disappointments and regret—lead her subjects to some unexpectedly candid answers." more...


USA Today on Doug Dorst's Alive in Necropolis
Necropolis houses the paranormal and the criminal

"In the same way Buffy the Vampire Slayer mixed high school and bloodsuckers, Doug Dorst combines cops and ghosts in his Alive in Necropolis. The result is a haunted variation on Ed McBain's 87th Precinct series." more...


The New York Times on Richard Todd's The Thing Itself
Author Chronicles His Search for the Authentic

"There is a sweet memoir embedded in this book of cultural criticism, into which Mr. Todd has deftly wrangled the whole gang, from Jean Baudrillard to Lionel Trilling. By the end he has uncovered the truly genuine: the mysterious gifts of a long and happy marriage." more...


The Christian Science Monitor on David Lida's First Stop in the New World
Imagine Mexico City as a New World Hub

"The book is a bold look at Mexico City that is part history, part alternative travel guide, and part social commentary. Most interestingly of all, it is an explanation of how to understand and get the most out of those bits of the capital that can seem so indecipherable to visitors." more...


Bookpage on Beatrice Colin's The Glimmer Palace
A budding star mirrors a nation's rise

"Captivating...Beatrice Colin's irresistible novel, The Glimmer Palace, follows the eventful life of a Berlin orphan who becomes a rising star in the brand-new medium of the cinema. Early 20th-century Berlin is just like Colin's main character: anything it wants to be and full of promise to be more... . The Glimmer Palace is haunting." more...


The New York Times on Doug Dorst's Alive in Necropolis
The half-naked and the undead

"[A] daring and bighearted first novel...The left brain of this novel, the plotty, structured part, is a fine, familiar branch of California noir. Like Dashiell Hammett, Dorst conveys a hard-bitten love of the physical San Francisco, the fog-swallowed town, the sun after rain, the mineshaft drops in temperature. Scenes are rooted in surroundings and the weather. The fiction seems to possess, and be possessed by, its beloved Bay...Awareness is the high prize of the novel." more...


Entertainment Weekly on Adam Davies' Mine all Mine

"Mine All Mine boasts plenty of quirk...and laugh-out-loud moments, particularly a scene involving an apartment break-in, a priceless African mask, and a certain sex toy...[you'll] predict by page 1 how much you'll enjoy this unabashedly fun book." more...


James Wood for The New Yorker on Aleksandar Hemon
The Unforgotten: Aleksandar Hemon's fictional lives

"When he arrived here, at the age of twenty-eight, Hemon had what his publisher calls only a 'basic command' of English. Eight years later, The Question of Bruno appeared, stories written in an English remarkable for its polish, lustre, and sardonic control of register. This conversion is often described as 'Nabokovian,' and, indeed, Hemon’s writing sometimes reminds one of Nabokov's. (Hemon has said that he learned English by reading Nabokov and underlining the words he didn’t recognize.) Yet the feat of his reinvention exceeds the Russian's. Nabokov grew up reading English, and had been educated at Cambridge. When his American career began, in 1940, he was almost middle-aged, and had long experience in at least three languages. Hemon, by contrast, tore through his development in the new language with hyperthyroidal speed." more...


San Francisco Chronicle on Doug Dorst's Alive in Necropolis
Alive in Necropolis—characters of Colma

"Doug Dorst's smart and accessibly unconventional first novel, Alive in Necropolis,...is not quite a horror story, nor exactly a mystery, nor just a hard-boiled police procedural, but an adult coming-of-age saga that pulls with energy and imagination from these various genres...[Dorst] us[es] a limited third-person narrative shot through with streaks of black humor to vivid, insightful effect." more...


Los Angeles Times on Jennifer Traig's Well Enough Alone
The author explores the sources of her hypochondria.

"[Traig] makes illness seem funny. Her joie de vivre is delicious, even devilish (see her hypochondria haiku). It becomes clear that finding the ability to laugh is the point." more...


USA Today on Daniel H. Pink's Johnny Bunko
Johnny hates his job, but by book's end, he's working it out

"Pink tackles serious issues in a humorous, hybrid fiction/non-fiction format, telling the story of the career journey of a young office worker everyman, Johnny Bunko." more...


Los Angeles Times on David Lida's First Stop in the New World
With unflinching prose, the author reveals Mexico City's inner life—its pleasures, pathologies and class conflicts

"Streetwise and up-to-date...a charmingly idiosyncratic, yet remarkably comprehensive portrait of one of the planet's most misinterpreted urban spaces." more...


San Francisco Chronicle on Jennifer Traig's Well Enough Alone
Well Enough Alone details a life of hypochondria

"Painfully frank and very funny...Traig's brutally honest and wickedly funny voice carries the story." more...


"800-CEO-Read" on David Lida's First Stop in the New World

"According to David Lida, Mexico City is such a place that may be a viable place for business of the future to take a stronghold in. He has worked in the city for many years and his book reads like a sharp-witted, David Sedaris type memoir, making it accessible to just about everyone." more...


The New York Times on Nikolai Grozni's Turtle Feet
Dharma Bum

"In this memoir of a musical prodigy’s avatar as a Buddhist monk, Nikolai Grozni, the author of three novels published in his native Bulgaria, dwells on the 'overriding, blissfully benumbing feeling of resignation to the moment' that keeps him in the Indian town of Dharamsala." more...


"The American Scene" on David Goldblatt’s The Ball is Round

"It's an astonishing achievement, and I'm using that adjective with care. Goldblatt has written an incredibly ambitious (and nearly one-thousand-page) social history of the most popular game in the world...Beautiful stuff." more...


The Wall Street Journal on David Lida's First Stop in the New World
Mexico City, a Cultural Guide

"In a brisk, engaging fashion, Mr. Lida, who is fluent in Spanish, chronicles many of the city's major neighborhoods, its food, its nightlife, and its art scene." more...


Los Angeles Times on Nathaniel Rich's The Mayor's Tongue

"In Morphology of the Folktale, the Russian scholar Vladimir Propp wrote that not all fairy tale plots begin in response to an act of villainy; sometimes a hero is spurred to action when faced with an 'inefficiency or lack.' In Nathaniel Rich's imaginatively folkloric first novel, The Mayor's Tongue, that 'lack' is the problem of language, and the two protagonists must travel great distances to resolve it." more...


The Washington Post on Steven Galloway's The Cellist of Sarajevo
The Sounds of Peace

"In this elegiac novel inspired by an actual event during the siege of Sarajevo in 1992, Steven Galloway explores the brutality of war and the redemptive power of music. Crafted with unforgettable imagery and heartbreaking simplicity, his small book speaks forcefully to the triumph of the spirit in the face of overwhelming despair." more...


The New York Times on Aleksandar Hemon's The Lazarus Project
Raising the Dead

"[Aleksandar Hemon's] new novel, The Lazarus Project, is a remarkable, and remarkably entertaining, chronicle of loss and hopelessness and cruelty propelled by an eloquent, irritable existential unease. It is, against all odds, full of humor and full of jokes. It is, at the same time, inexpressibly sad." more...


The Kansas City Star on Lewis Black's Me of Little Faith

"The book is actually quite thoughtful, exploring issues of mortality and the supernatural even as it... but true comic that he is, Black emphasizes the humor." more...


Blogcritics Magazine on Nathaniel Rich's The Mayor's Tongue

"The Mayor's Tongue is a spare masterpiece of postmodernism, an incisive fable whose myriad threads of plot and thought take the inhibitions of our era to task and make Rich's first novel a New York Trilogy for the new millennium." more...


feministing.com on Sloane Crosley's I Was Told There'd Be Cake
Not Oprah's Book Club: I Was Told There'd Be Cake

"You sort of want to hate Sloane Crosley, but when you open up her little paperback original (beautifully designed, of course), ready for the hate to calcify, instead it just melts away. She's just too funny, just too honest, just too original. You'd hate her if you could, but you can't, so instead you love her." more...


The New York Times on Julie Klam's Please Excuse My Daughter
Mommy's Dearest

"To review a memoir is always in some sense to review the life and sensibility of the person writing it, and to Julie Klam, daughter, niece, wife, mother, friend, sister, one is inclined to award a dozen stars." more...


Los Angeles Times on Steven Galloway's The Cellist of Sarajevo
Survival by Music

"This unforgettable novel weaves these four lives together with that of a besieged city." more...


boingboing on Daniel H. Pink's Johnny Bunko
Johnny Bunko—Optimistic and Iconoclastic Career Guide in Manga Form

"Bunko is a quick, funny, and extremely, inspiringly sensible book on career-planning that throws out all the traditional bullshit about getting a straight job to fall back on if your creative gig fails on you. Instead, Bunko makes a convincing case for pursuing your dreams, working to your strengths, throwing out the idea of planning, and persevering rather than relying on talent to make it." more...


Chicago Tribune on Sloane Crosley's I Was Told There'd Be Cake
Sweet Sarcasm

"Crosley has mastered the art of the world's most powerful disarmer: self-deprecation. And so I read and read. It was great fun. I was happy, and not because I am thinking of cakes and bakeries. (Although one essay relates an incident involving cookies, Crosley's horrible boss and the time she decorated a cookie in the likeness of her horrible boss). No, I was happy because I felt I'd found a rare and kindred spirit." more...


"Yeah And So Now What" on George Saunder's The Braindead Megaphone
Read This: The Braindead Megaphone

"It's been a long time since a book made my brain-goo jiggle like this one has." more...


Chicago Tribune on Aleksandar Hemon's The Lazarus Project
"Genius" at Work

"But as always with good fiction, it's the prose—the skill, the flair with detail, the wit—that counts. The writing in "The Lazarus Project" is clean, sharp and wide, with a smell of turbid city water that kind of wakes up a reader. You feel a mastery that doesn't need to show itself off."


"Maitresse" on Sloane Crosley's I Was Told There'd Be Cake
Who Said There'd Be Cake?

"What I like—really like—is that Crosley's writing goes a step beyond hipster referentiality. She's admirably self-aware. She knows the pony thing is a weird, un-funny tick, and she spends some time thinking about why she does it and how to move on from it." more...


The Washington Post on Aleksandar Hemon's The Lazarus Project
Chaos Theory

"The Lazarus Project, the masterful new novel from the Bosnian-American writer Aleksandar Hemon, opens with a passage that recalls the invocations of epic poetry: 'The time and place,' Hemon tells us, 'are the only things I am certain of: March 2, 1908, Chicago'...The structure of The Lazarus Project is ingenious. Alternating chapters give us the story of Lazarus's killing (the story Brik is writing) and the story of Brik's own journey in search of Lazarus. Then, as the novel progresses, these narratives begin, eerily, to merge." more...


The New York Times on Meg Wolitzer's The Ten-Year Nap
Writing About Women Who Are Soccer Moms Without Soccer

"With 'The Ten-Year Nap,' [Meg] Wolitzer decided that women who weren't necessarily leading lives of bold action could still be the subject of muscular fiction. 'What if you wrote what you'd seen, the way people write about war?' she said. 'What if you wrote about what you were seeing about women and children, even though maybe it was hopelessly uncool and wasn't the big male world?'" more...


Associated Press on David Goldblatt's The Ball is Round
New Soccer History Delivers

"The comprehensive effort of English sports writer David Goldblatt is a masterful reminder of what makes the game so gripping for those who partake, and what a grip the game has taken on the world...Some of Goldblatts finest moments come when the author luxuriates in the bright glow of soccer's simple, radiant beauty. Scattered throughout The Ball Is Round are precious vignettes from key moments in the games history. These are a showcase of what the game is all about and a showcase for Goldblatts formidable crispness...Its most passionate supporters would tell you that there are many moments in soccer that lend themselves to such artful and suspenseful prose. It is to their benefit—if not yet the American masses—that Goldblatt has taken up the task." more...


The New York Times on James McBride's Song Yet Sung
Prophetic Dreams

"McBride is excellent on the unusual social nuances of the backwater that was the antebellum Eastern Shore...[A] well-designed, gripping plot. One often risks turning the pages so fast as to miss some of the richness and subtlety of the writing. McBride has a good ear for period black dialect and a deft touch with all sorts of dialogue...In Song Yet Sung, McBride has captured a version of [Edward P.] Jones's dispassionate tone, which can deliver the cauterizing power of anger without the corrosive power of bitterness. That's a radically new way of telling this old story, and it just might turn out to be balm for a wound that has so far stubbornly refused to heal." more...


Blogcritics.org on Steven Johnson's The Ghost Map
Book Review: The Ghost Map—The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic, and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World by Steven Johnson

"Johnson, author of Everything Bad is Good For You and writer for Wired and Discover, skillfully treats the accounts of these 'very different men'—Dr. John Snow and Reverend Henry Whitehead—first as they respond independently to the cholera outbreak to seek the source, and then as their paths are increasingly interwoven and single-stranded to a single purpose in walking the streets and mapping the disease to determine who was dying, who was surviving—and where—to solve the mystery of how the cholera spread." more...


USA Today on James McBride's Song Yet Song
James McBride's Slavery "Song" Riffs on Gray Areas of "the Trade"

"Set in 1850, it deals with slavery—not just its brutality, but its moral complexities as a business, which is how McBride came to see it. His novel calls slavery 'the Trade,' as in 'the trading of souls.'" more...


The New York Times on Brooklyn Was Mine
Last Exit

"The jealous ownership implied by the word 'mine' suggests that (à la Walt Whitman) to live in Brooklyn is both to claim possession of a milieu and to be possessed by it. The contributors make the place more sought after and, by a handy symbiosis, the place makes them cool." more...


San Francisco Chronicle on Sylvia Sellers-García's When the Ground Turns in Its Sleep
Man Poses as a Priest, Searching for Memories as His Father Loses His

"The lesson When the Ground Turns in Its Sleep gleans from these Guatemalan folk narratives is, interestingly, what makes it work as a distinctly American novel." more...


Nylon on Brooklyn Was Mine
Brooklyn Was Mine

"The bridge, Coney Island, Prospect Park, the pizza, oh my God, the pizza...the attributes run on, not to mention that Brooklyn is currently, and arguably, New York's most literary borough...a nostalgic, elegant, funny, and wonderfully diverse collection to read—especially while riding the F and L trains." more...


Slate on Shalom Auslander's Foreskin's Lament
The Year in Books: Slate picks the best books of 2007

Shalom Auslander's losing-his-religion memoir, Foreskin's Lament, is unorthodox in every sense of the word...


The Los Angeles Times on Amir Aczel's The Jesuit and the Skull
The Jesuit and the Skull

Aczel, who has written on key figures in mathematics and science, is gifted at explaining complex concepts and introducing the men and women who first articulated them in fast-paced, story-driven accounts. For example, he makes good use of the mysterious disappearance of the Peking Man during the chaotic first days of World War II, an episode reminiscent of "The Da Vinci Code." more...


The New York Times on Shalom Auslander's Foreskin's Lament
Man and God (and God's Sick Punch Lines)

"Mr. Auslander is no longer observant, but he is still a believer, and he believes in a wrathful, vengeful God who takes things personally and is not at all pleased when someone leaves the fold and writes an angry and very funny book about it." more...


Entertainment Weekly on George Saunders' The Braindead Megaphone
The Braindead Megaphone

"Some novelists seem to make great reporters. Two of the best journalists of the last 50 years are Norman Mailer and David Foster Wallace; their literary nonfiction is jaw-droppingly good, the equal of their fiction. Maybe it's time to add noted short-story writer George Saunders to this short list." more...


The New York Times on Junot Diaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
A Dominican Comedy: Travails of an Outcast by Michiko Kakutani

"Funny, street-smart and keenly observed...An extraordinarily vibrant book that's fueled by adrenaline-powered prose...A book that decisively establishes [Diaz] as one of contemporary fiction's most distinctive and irresistible new voices." more...


Time Magazine on Junot Díaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

"In 1996 a young Dominican-American writer named Junot Díaz published a slender book of short stories called Drown. It was tender and tough and heartbreaking and all a first book of short stories is supposed to be, and he was hailed as the next great hope of American literature. Then Díaz more or less disappeared for 11 years, long enough for most readers to assume that, like most next great hopes of American literature, he wasn't coming back.

Now he has, and with a book so astoundingly great that in a fall crowded with heavyweights – Richard Russo, Philip Roth – Díaz is a good bet to run away with the field." more...


SF Gate on Martha Moody's The Office of Desire
Office Relationships Lead to Love & Loss

"Families are not always the people whose bloodline you share. Sometimes they are the random strangers you meet in life." more...


The Los Angeles Times on Jenni Ferrari-Adler's Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant
Essays on Dining with Me, Myself, and I

"What makes this book so arresting is... the clever way it arrives at the issue of how people deal with being alone." more...


The Boston Globe on Fiona Neill's Slummy Mummy
Slummy Mummy

"[A] deftly executed domestic comedy. [Neill's] writing burbles along effortlessly. Her comic timing is excellent." more...


The New York Times on Maxine Swann's Flower Children
Growing Up Hippie

"Writing in lucid, crystalline prose that shifts back and forth from the first person to the third, [Maxine] Swann has expanded a short story... and turned it into a small gem of a novel, a novel that showcases her eye for detail, her psychological acuity, her ability to conjure up a particular place and time. She captures the incongruities of the 1970s counterculture as seen from the point of view of a young child, the shifting attitudes the narrator and her three siblings take toward the adult world as they slip-slide from childhood into adolescence, and the incalculable ways in which the passage of time colorizes the past." more...


USA Today on The Last Summer of You (and Me) by Ann Brashares
Brashares Grows Out of Pants

Ann Brashares, author of the popular Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series for young adults, matures as a writer and looks toward an older audience with The Last Summer (of You & Me). more...


The New Yorker on The Verneys by Adrian Tinniswood
The Verneys by Adrian Tinniswood

The letters of the Verney family survive as the largest and most continuous collection of personal correspondence from seventeenth-century Britain, and Tinniswood draws on them to produce a lively, almost novelistic account of an aristocratic family. more...


The Washington Post on Khaled Hosseini
An Old, Familiar Face
Writer Khaled Hosseini, Lifting the Veil on Afghanistan

For Hosseini, life doesn't go forward so much as backward, as he continues to explore the psyche of the country he left as a little boy, avoiding three decades of war and mayhem by being the "nauseatingly fortunate" son of a diplomat who was already posted to Paris when the turmoil began. He did not escape Afghanistan so much as abandon it, and he returns there again in "A Thousand Splendid Suns" to reconcile his childhood's watercolor memories with reality's bloody tableau. more...


Shaken & Stirred on Always by Nicola Griffith
She Kicks Ass and You'll Always Like It

So, the official word is out that I nominated Nicola Griffith's Always for the summer round of the LitBlog Co-Op, and I'm going to do my best to try and convince you to read it NOW so you can hop over and participate in the discussion later on. more...


San Francisco Chronicle on A Thousand Splendid Suns
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

"With the publication of his second novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns, Hosseini revisits Afghanistan for a compelling story that gives voice to the agonies and hopes of another group of innocents caught up in a war. The Kite Runner is a father-son story written from a male point of view, but this time around Hosseini tells of the experiences of the thousands of silent burqa-clad women of Afghanistan." more...


Roses and Thorns on A Thousand Splendid Suns
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

In his first novel, The Kite Runner, Hosseini created an instant classic, and he has done it again with A Thousand Splendid Suns. In this much-anticipated second novel, Hosseini's sharp, insightful prose has only gotten better. Like The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns is set against the backdrop of a war-torn Afghanistan from the days before the Soviet invasion, through the Taliban's reign of terror, to after September 11th and the reconstruction. Themes of violence, hope, faith, fear, and the power of human endurance resonate throughout the novel. more...


Crazy Mountain Deluxe on Little Stalker
Little Stalker by Jennifer Belle: Review

I finished Jennifer Belle's Little Stalker and I have a toddler – I think that is quite an endorsement in itself. I will be reading High Maintenance soon. When I was in high school I love Banana Yoshimoto's Kitchen this has a similar feel – except put broken mirrors all over it and make it absolutely heartbreakingly hilarious then you will get Little Stalker. more...


Los Angeles Times on Flower Children by Maxine Swan
Flower Children by Maxine Swan

Maxine Swann is keen on this youthful perspective, having employed it in her semi-autobiographical stories and her first novel, "Serious Girls." Her new novel, "Flower Children," relies mostly on a young girl to chronicle a deliriously hippie-like upbringing. The book is full of the visceral pleasures and anxieties of childhood – the tree-climbing, treasure-collecting, knee-scabbing of it all. more...


Otto's Random Thoughts on Dinaw Mengestu
Book Review of Dinaw Mengestu's The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears

What follows is a review of Dinaw Mengestu's The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears published earlier this year by Riverhead Books. This is the first work of fiction I have reviewed here. Most fiction I read is genre rather than literary and merely entertaining. But, this book was exceptional. more...


Popmatters Interviews Steven Johnson
Long Zoom

This idea of the "long zoom," a perspective that shifts back and forth from the macro- to the microcosm, organizes each of Steven Johnson's five books of cultural criticism and science journalism. As he explains below, Johnson deploys concepts borrowed from contemporary science and from literary theory, using these in particular to understand the way information – biological, cultural, or other – self-organizes as it moves along networks. more...


Seattle Post-Intelligencer on Anne Lamott
Faith is fertile territory for author Anne Lamott

Anne Lamott has turned her quirky California life into a touchstone for readers all across the country. The 52-year-old writer from Marin County has chronicled her life and its twists and turns (turning up pregnant, getting sober, becoming a single mother, returning to the Christian faith) in a string of best-sellers that have included "Operating Instructions," "Traveling Mercies" and "Plan B."

Lamott returns with "Grace (Eventually)" (Riverhead Books, 253 pages, $24.95), her third collection of essays examining faith with her trademark combination of sarcasm, skepticism, liberalism, one-liners and earthly delights. more...



YOU'RE BUYING

A Thousand Splendid Suns
by Khaled Hosseini

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The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
by Junot Díaz

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Acedia & me
by Kathleen Norris

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The Last Summer (of You and Me)
by Ann Brashares

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I Was Told There'd Be Cake
by Sloane Crosley

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Me of Little Faith
Lewis Black

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American Eve
by Paula Uruburu

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Johnny Bunko
by Dan Pink

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The Ten-Year Nap
by Meg Wolitzer

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The Kite Runner
by Khaled Hosseini

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A Whole New Mind
by Daniel Pink

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The Teahouse Fire
by Ellis Avery

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The New Kings of Nonfiction
by Ira Glass

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The Areas of My Expertise
by John Hodgman

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LINKS LINKS LINKS

The New Yorker's September 22nd issue featured two Riverhead authors—Aleksandar Hemon and George Saunders. Read Hemon's short story, "The Noble Truths of Suffering," and Saunders piece on Sarah Palin, "My Gal", if you know what's good for you.


Sarah Vowell, author of the forthcoming The Wordy Shipmates, writes about her gratitude for Pell Grants in The New York Times: "Thanks to Pell Grants, I had to work only 30 hours a week up to my elbows in ham instead of 40."


National Public Radio chooses Adam Davies' Mine all Mine as one of the "Books We Love." "Fleet and funny, Mine All Mine resembles Davies' earlier overdue-coming-of-age comedies in its boyish wit and calls to mind many a recent American novel in its comic-book boisterousness." Read more about the novel, including an excerpt, here.


How big of a geek are you? Henry Jenkins of MIT uses Junot Díaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao to help you determine where you land on the geek spectrum.


Riverhead author Steven Johnson inspires a band to name itself after a term he uses in Everything Bad is Good For You. See why "sleepercurve" chose this name.


Listen to Bill Scher from LiberalOasis interview Aleksandar Hemon about The Lazarus Project and how he approaches art and politics.


The Agony Column Book Reviews and Commentary talks to Nathaniel Rich, author of The Mayor's Tongue and "a wonderful fabulist and a careful thinker." Listen to the two part interview here.


Khaled Hosseini is continuing his run as the author of choice for reading groups, with his Afghanistan-set novel The Kite Runner voted book of the year for the third time in a row (in the UK). Hosseini's second novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns, came in second place in the contest, which saw more than 100 reading groups vote for their favorite books.


Read Riverhead author Geoff Nicholson's essay in The New York Times Book Review, "My Literary Malady," about his run-in with gout: "The received wisdom associates gout with debauchery and decadence. It's supposed to afflict bloated, self-indulgent, post-middle-aged clubmen (never women) who slump in leather armchairs, gorging on grouse, port and Stilton and railing against youth and modernity. Definitely not people like me."


Jennifer Nix, political activist and writer, found that in becoming an activist she was losing sight of art. But, she writes for The Huffington Post, "Rather than reaching for the Xanax, I want to share with you news of a book that has resurrected my love of literature, one I hope can provide sustenance for your progressive soul as well. The book is called The Lazarus Project...This storytelling creates empathy on a level that no polemic or journalism can, and it helped to make me feel whole and inspired again. That's the power of literature. It fills up the well."


In the wake of Radovan Karadzic recent arrest Aleksandar Hemon writes in The New York Times about Karadzic's October 14th, 1991 speech: "It was a spectacular, if blood-curdling, performance. Mr. Karadzic, who was arrested last week after 13 years in hiding, was then president of the hard-line nationalist Serbian Democratic Party, which already controlled the parts of Bosnia that had a Serbian majority, but he was not a member of the Parliament, nor did he hold any elective office. His very presence rendered the Parliament weak and unimportant; backed by the Serb-dominated Yugoslav People’s Army, he spoke from the position of unimpeachable power over the life and death of the people the Parliament represented." Read more.


In the Wall Street Journal, award-winning author Dinaw Mengestu combs the Boulevard St. Germain for remnants of the thriving American ex-pat community that once filled Paris's cafes and he finds a different, quieter city than in the days of Satre, Baldwin or Bellow.


Listen to The New Yorker's fiction podcast, featuring Aleksandar Hemon in conversation with fiction editor, Deborah Treisman, about Bernard Malamud's short story "A Summer's Reading."


In the first installment of a two-part interview, George Saunders tells Vice that the funny thing about working in an office was that, "the people who were oppressing me were usually pretty nice people and were being oppressed themselves, and would joke about the fact that they were oppressing me and being oppressed."


The Washington Post op-ed columnist, George F. Will, consults Steven Johnson's The Ghost Map to understand why "the development of civilization depended on urbanization, which depended on beer." Intrigued? Read more.


Bookslut interviews Aleksandar Hemon about his acclaimed novel, The Lazarus Project, "a prismatic, multi-leveled historical detective novel, Hemon's biggest and best book yet."


Konundrum Engine Literary Review gathers "Some Brief and Frightening Tips from George Saunders" on writing.


Sloane Crosley, author of I Was Told There'd Be Cake, reveals her favorite songs and why she listens to stuff she's sick of while she's writing.


Amazon.com names Doug Dorst's forthcoming novel, Alive in Necropolis, in their Best of the Month roundup: "Mix one part gritty police procedural with one part ghost story, add a splash of teen angst and a hefty dose of black humor, and you have Doug Dorst's brilliant debut novel—a delicious blend of Paul Auster, Kevin Brockmeier, and Joss Whedon."


Junot Díaz reviews the enormously popular video game, Grand Theft Auto IV, in The Wall Street Journal: "Sandbox games (which is a fancy way of saying a game where you can ignore the game's objectives) shot through with criminal aberrance have always been a weakness of mine. Call it the American in me. Call it permanent adolescent."


Lewis Black, author of the newly released Me of Little Faith, shares a moment with WNYC’s Leonard Lopate to discuss his birthday, scientology, and why he hates Hanukah.


Two Riverhead books, Doug Dorst's Alive in Necropolis and David Lida's First Stop in the New World are featured in New York magazine's summer issue: Poolside Seminars.


Jennifer Traig explains the ins and outs of the only disease that is transmissible via television and the internet in Salon.com's exclusive excerpt of her hilarious new memoir Well Enough Alone: A Cultural History of My Hypochondria.


Entertainment Weekly presents The New Classics—the 100 best reads from 1983 to 2008, including Riverhead books The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Junot Díaz), Pastoralia (George Saunders), The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini), and High Fidelity (Nick Hornby).


Sloane Crosley's I Was Told There'd Be Cake has been optioned by HBO for a series. Gawker discusses...


"Killer Commas" loves the website for Aleksandar Hemon's The Lazarus Project. "I was going to purchase this anyway but now the website has ultra-energized my enthusiasm for reading it."
ALSO: Omnivoracious, Coudal, and Design Observer


WNYC's Leonard Lopate talks with David Lida, author of First Stop in the New World, about why Mexico City may be a preview of the world's urban future.


George Saunders has yet another inspired and inventive story in The New Yorker—"Anitheros" is about people who believe they have superpowers and try to exercise them (despite their nonexistence): "A nun in New Mexico whose superpower is the ability to make delicious bread using any ingredients on hand, even mud, even dead bugs, makes a loaf of bread that all the other nuns decline to eat. 'I actually just ate,' one says. 'Honestly, Sister, I have an upset stomach,' protests another."


Slate gives us the best soccer websites and books to read during the Euro 2008 tournament, which includes a Riverhead book: "Perhaps the finest—certainly the stoutest—soccer history ever written is David Goldblatt's 974-page The Ball Is Round: A Global History of Soccer, which crams it all in, from the game's ancient prehistory in Tan dynasty China to Zinedine Zidane."


CBS News talks to Pulitzer-Prize winner Junot Díaz about his "Only In America" journey from immigrant to literary phenomenon.


Snarkmarket thinks that "one way to judge the success of a story is to look at how much additional creativity it inspires," and calls on the Constance Eakins book cover gallery on Nathaniel Rich's website as a fun new example.
Update: The cover gallery on Nathaniel Rich's website inspires Bookslut to "get out my colored pencils and make some covers of my own." We look forward to seeing her skillz with the colored pencils.   


Best-selling and award-winning author, Nuruddin Farah, reads an excerpt on the Penguin podcast.


Riverhead's John Hodgman, author of The Areas of My Expertise and the forthcoming More Information Than You Require, is everywhere: "killing" at BEA, answering revealing questions from Ricky Gervais for his blog, This Side of the Truth, and covering the world of Jack Kirby and comics in The New York Times Book Review.


June 9th's New Yorker features a piece by George Saunders (The Braindead Megaphone), who, as a young boy in Catholic school, witnesses a priest and a nun necking: "Having seen what I had seen, in other words, entitled me to cry Hypocrites! and leave religion behind forever."


The New York Times' book blog, Paper Cuts, asks Nathaniel Rich (The Mayor's Tongue) some stray questions. When asked if the Web is a distraction or a blessing, Rich responds: "It's a sweet blessing. I spend many zenlike minutes alternating between reading baseball statistics and looking at photographs of strange sea creatures."


NPR's All Things Considered has a new series called "Three Books" in which they invite writers to recommend three great reads on a single theme. Sloane Crosley tells us her three picks of "luscious books about the beach that you can read on the beach."


Hispanic Magazine praises Riverhead Books: "Edgy and urbane, and boasting some of the leading Hispanic talents in the marketplace, the Riverhead imprint of publishing house Penguin Group USA is emerging as one of the top chroniclers of our experience." See what they have to say about Sylvia Sellers-García's When the Ground Turns in Its Sleep, David Lida's First Stop in the New World, and Junot Díaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.


Riverhead author Nuruddin Farah writes in English in part because Somali was not a written language when he was growing up. Here's a chance to hear his native language from the BBCSomali.


Héctor Tobar, author of Translation Nation, delivered this speech to the 2008 graduating class in the Humanities at Cal State Northridge.


In the wake of his Pulitzer victory, coverage of Junot Díaz is everywhere—even on your television. Click here to catch up with him on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.


In his musings on taxonomies for creativity, Roy Christopher "find[s] that The Wu-Tang Manual is a perfect case study of how to build a modern mythology."


People, including Omnivoracious (Amazon.com's blog), are talking about Nathaniel Rich's website and its library of cover art for the mysterious writer, Constance Eakins. A bit odd, perhaps, but then again so is the book—so delightfully odd that according to Los Angeles' well-loved independent bookstore, Book Soup, "Just when we thought this was going to be a bleak year for books The Mayor's Tongue arrived."


In the Louisville Courier-Journal, Erik Reece, author of Lost Mountain: Radical Strip Mining and the Devastation of Appalachia, ponders the ramifications of the recently-published Kentucky Coal Facts, a document put out by the coal industry, and what the industry's own "facts and statistics" reveal about the state of energy, politics, and democracy—and the challenges that lie ahead.


His Holiness the Dalai Lama is visiting the United States this week. Check out his classic titles from Riverhead, including The Art of Happiness.


The National Book Critics Circle admires Riverhead's creative book publicity for Sloane Crosley's I Was Told There'd Be Cake. See what the NBCC has to say about the website.


The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao wins the Tournament of Books! Junot Díaz's response to his victory? "I'm beyond humbled...So do I get a T-shirt with that supercool rooster on it? He's bad-ass."


Meg Wolitzer, author of The Ten-Year Nap, shares her distinctive take on modern motherhood, ambition, marriage, and explains how she came to write her novel with Fresh Air's Terry Gross.


Sloane Crosley cannot manage to have a one-night stand—but not for lack of effort. Read an excerpt from I Was Told There'd Be Cake on Salon.com: "By now, time was running out. Another decade and my invitation to the reckless sex-and-drug-abuse club would get revoked. Then people would be compelled to spit words like 'floozy' into my face and they would have every right. It was suggested that perhaps I was not trying hard enough. But I wasn't about to walk into a crowded sports bar and scream, 'I've got twenty minutes and one expired condom. Who's in?' Adventure within reason was key. Still, it seemed that it shouldn't be this hard. Who do you have to sleep with to get laid in this town?"


In the week's New Yorker, George Saunders discusses washboarding: "I believe it is essential, in a free society that finds itself threatened by a ruthless enemy, to distinguish between torture and something pretty irritating. Otherwise, what's next? Are we going to ask the President to ban the act of singing to oneself in a high, tuneless quaver from the next cubicle over? (Hi, Maureen!)"


Business Week ponders the future of manga in the United States and how it might change business books by looking at Daniel H. Pink's trendsetting career guide The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You'll Ever Need.


Julie Klam, author of the forthcoming Please Excuse My Daughter, narrates a brush with poverty, philanthropy, and Ann Curry in the Lives column of the New York Times Magazine: "We were two months behind on our rent, and almost everything was going to our high-priced health insurance and the occasional lead-laced Dora toy for our daughter...We weren't where we were supposed to be in life, and with lots of self-pity, I wondered if we ever would be. One thing I wasn't thinking about was philanthropy, unless it was a fund-raiser for me." Read more here.


Sloane Crosley, author of the forthcoming collection of essays, I Was Told There'd Be Cake, recounts a disastrous day when she was forced to take the bus instead of the subway in The New York Times: "A subway girl at heart, I'm not used to the bus. I worry that I will insert my MetroCard the wrong way and slow everyone down, that the bus puts too much pressure on passengers to be aware of their surroundings, and that the etiquette observed above ground must somehow be more civilized than the etiquette below ground. I find myself giving up my seat not just for the pregnant and the elderly, but for anyone with legs."


In an interview with Radar, Sloane Crosley, author of forthcoming I Was Told There'd Be Cake (excerpted in their April issue), informs us that writers know how to have fun, and "assuming writers are antisocial just plays into some cliché that if you're a writer you should either be J.D. Salinger or J.D. Salinger in a dress." Read the full interview here.


The Christian Science Monitor catches up with Junot Díaz (The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao), who reveals the "ridiculously awesome" books he's reading, what he's watching, and what he's listening to.


Sloane Crosley, author of the forthcoming I Was Told There'd Be Cake, is featured on NPR's "You Must Read This," revealing that the novel, The Secret Garden has its own dark secret. You must listen to this.


David Lida, author of the forthcoming definitive book on Mexico City (on sale May 15th), First Stop in the New World, gives us a taste of what Mexico City has to offer in "Where Everybody Knows Your Nombre."


Junot Díaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and Stephen Marche's Shining at the Bottom of the Sea are official contestants in the Tournament of Books, a "Battle Royale of Literary Excellence"—the winner of which will receive a live chicken, um, someday. The tournament begins on March 7th. Read more about this unconventional contest and check out the other contestants.
Update: Junot Díaz and Stephen Marche go head to head in round two. See who moved on to the semifinals.
Update: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao defeats The Savage Detectives in the Zombie Round and advances to the finals.


Check out George Saunders, author of The Braindead Megaphone, in conversation with Israeli writer Etgar Keret in Pen America's March issue. Here is an excerpt of this entertaining exchange.


The National Book Critics Circle reviews Junot Díaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (a NBCC award finalist in fiction) in preparation for the award ceremony which takes place on March 6th at the New School in New York City.


Steven Johnson, author of The Ghost Map and Everything Bad is Good for You, challenges a study done by the National Endowment for the Arts that found reading is on the decline in adults and children. Johnson questions the NEA's exclusion of reading done on the computer: "Are you not exercising the same cognitive muscles because these words are made out of pixels and not little splotches of ink?"


Nathaniel Rich, author of the forthcoming novel The Mayor's Tongue, muses on the ever-changing New York City from a native's perspective in The New York Times: "Only later that night, when I looked up at Times Square, did I stop to admire the museum that Manhattan has become. The hysterical wattage of the billboards had turned the night sky over Broadway a pale blue—a kind of artificial, perpetual dusk into which the New York I once knew has floated, never to return. I watch that New York float farther away all the time, marveling at the sparkle, but relieved to live in a different city."


Junot Díaz, author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, talks to The Wall Street Journal about how new voices can get heard.


Junot Díaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (cover design by Rodrigo Corral, art directed by Lisa Amoroso) was selected as one of the "Seven of Oh Seven"—the seven best book covers of 2007.


Evictions, first book tours, and more...Jami Attenberg, author of The Kept Man, writes about it all for one week on MySpace.com.


Amazon.com's blog, Omnivoracious, has introduced a new "best of the month" feature that showcases editors' favorite books. January's list includes David Goldblatt's The Ball is Round, "a gigantic and fascinating history of a subject that deserves (but has never gotten) such a thing."

Update: Amazon.com interviews David Goldblatt.


Listen to David Goldblatt, author of The Ball is Round, on Champion Soccer Radio Network, discussing the politics of soccer with Peter Brown.


Junot Díaz, author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, talks about what it means to be a ghetto nerd in this interview with CW11 Morning News. Watch it here.


Fantasy Book Critic, a website dedicated to providing in-depth coverage on the many different facets of speculative fiction including fantasy, science fiction, and horror, included Heaven's Net Is Wide by Lian Hearn as a Favorite Book of 2007.


In The Areas of my Expertise, John Hodgman shares some useful "hobo signs"—illustrations that you can look for in your town or city that indicate a hobo presence. And there's even a website where you can report a hobo sign spotting. But one Hodgman fan recently took the love of the hobo sign to a new level; check out Dregboy's literal "tramp stamp".
Update: Mr. Hodgman weighs in: "WHILE THIS LEAVES ME SPEECHLESS, and it obviously deserves recognition, as Dregboy has ruined his life, I DO NOT ENCOURAGE YOU PEOPLE TO GET TATTOOS."


David Goldblatt's The Ball is Round is the one essential book for any soccer fan. And ESPN Soccernet is giving it away right now! Enter to win soccer's "definitive book" here.


Erik Reece, author of Lost Mountain: A Year in the Vanishing Wilderness, wrote an op-ed piece for Louisville, KY's Courier-Journal, called "2007: A Year of Recognition." It's one of those rare well-written articles about the environment that is full of hope rather than despair and blame. Read the full article here.


Read "Alma" in the Dec. 24th issue of The New Yorker, a new story by Junot Díaz, author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.


E! Online's "The Books You Must Read: Picks for 2007" includes Junot Díaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Plus, Riverhead authors Will Beall and Sloane Crosley share their picks. Check out the list here.


The cover of Wired magazine's manga issue features an in-depth look at manga culture by Daniel H. Pink, business guru and author of A Whole New Mind and the forthcoming first-ever manga career guide, The Adventures of Johnny Bunko. Pink goes inside the culture of manga and explores how this dynamic pop art form has come to shape Japan's booming entertainment industry. Also in this issue, Pink takes a minute to chat with Jun Nakazawa about what makes a "manga mind." Read the cover story and more here.


Bestselling author Amir Aczel gives a great interview with Ira Flatow on NPR's Science Fridays. Aczel chats with Ira about the controversy around the life and work of scientist and Jesuit priest Teilhard de Chardin, the subject of his newest book, The Jesuit and the Skull. Listen in.


Junot Díaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao was voted Best Book of 2007 by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, author of Random Family, in the National Book Critic Circle's new best recommended list. Here's what she had to say about the title she voted for.


George Saunders' essay "Soviet Deadpan," about Russian absurdist writer Daniil Kharms, ran on the back page of the New York Times Book Review. Saunders says that "Kharms's stories are truly odd, as in: at first you think they're defective," and further believes that "weirdness this deep seems more likely to stem from an aesthetic crisis than a political one." Read more here.


George Saunders, author of The Braindead Megaphone, traveled to Africa with Bill Clinton to write the cover story for GQ's Men of the Year issue. The story's not online, but you can read a Saunders&Clinton Q&A here. There's also a slideshow of photos by Brigitte Lacombe from Clinton's African tour.


The Book Design Review shares its favorite book covers of 2007, which includes Steven Johnson's The Ghost Map, designed by Ben Gibson. See the other covers and vote for your favorite here.


Need a holiday gift for a foodie friend? Food blog hookedonheat.com suggests Alone in the Kitchen with An Eggplant.


Slate's literary editor Meghan O'Rourke interviews Junot Díaz, covering everything from the act of writing and the structure of his novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, to what it means to be a "Latino writer." Check out the interview here.


Salon.com names Riverhead authors Ira Glass and Junot Díaz as two of the Sexiest Men Living 2007. See why Salon thinks these literary men are brimming with sex appeal.


LAPD officer and author of L.A. Rex, Will Beall, discusses how Evel Knievel teaches us the value of liberty. Read the Los Angeles Times article here. Also, Beall talks to Dan Rather on Dan Rather Reports about gang members who enlist in the army and return from duty to the streets with military training and access to weapons. Watch the show online here.


On the eve of the publication of the paperback edition of the Gorillaz illustrated autobiograpy, Rise of the Ogre, and the release of band's new album, D-Sides, Murdoc Nicalls, the animated band's irrepressible front-man, hosted a chat on Facebook and talked about the book, the music, and all things Gorillaz. You can read the transcript here—and become Facebook friends with Murdoc here.


The puppet show version of George Saunders' "Ask the Optimist" from his book The Braindead Megaphone—previously referred to on this site as "completely insane") has been selected by the Youtube editors as a Featured Video in the Comedy category—and it's already up over 100,000 views. Check it out.


The Leaning Toward Wisdom blog calls the website for Steven Johnson's The Ghost Map "perhaps the coolest website ever done for a book." See what you think...


Judith Warner, author of Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety, reflects on how "Thelma and Louise" is a different movie experience today than it was in 1991. Read "Thelma and Louise" in the Rear-View Mirror in the New York Times.


Steven Johnson, author of The Ghost Map, blogs in the New York Times about the extraordinary developments in the design and technology of city life. Read We'll All Take Manhattan.


Shalom Auslander, author of the forthcoming Foreskin's Lament: A Memoir, writes an op-ed about sweat in the New York Times.


The Braindead Megaphone by George Saunders is the September featured book on MySpace.


Patrick Neate, author of Where You're At: Notes from the Frontline of a Hip-Hop Planet, which won the 2004 National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism, writes about breaking up with hip-hop on the NBCC blog, Critical Mass.


Steven Johnson visited Clemson University where he gave a lecture to the entire freshman class about his book The Ghost Map which was selected as the required summer reading for all incoming freshman. Read about his visit here.


Novelist Nicola Griffith spends a week blogging on the litblog co-op about how gender factors into where a book is shelved in the bookstore and more. Read "Girl Cooties" and Griffith's other pieces here.


The New Yorker magazine's summer fiction issue contains an excerpt from Junot Díaz's long-awaited novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which Riverhead will publish in September. The excerpt's not online, but they do have a podcast up featuring Edwidge Danticat talking about Diaz's 1995 short story, "How to Date a Brown Girl (Black Girl, White Girl, or Halfie)," along with Diaz reading the story, which they've also posted online.


Following quickly on Michael Connelly's praise for Will Beall's L.A. Rex, Joseph Wambaugh has just weighed in, too: "L.A. Rex is to the 21st century noir thriller what Apocalypse Now was to 20th century war movies: vivid, powerful, imaginative, unique. It melds a dreamlike fable with graphic reality, and showcases a gifted new author with his own stylistic vision, cinematic descriptive power, and natural writing chops that will astonish critics and public alike." Wow.


Somali novelist Nuruddin Farah (most recently the author of Knots) has a piece "My Life as a Diplomat" on the Op-Ed page of The New York Times, detailing his role trying to broker peace between the Islamists and Somali government before Ethiopia intervened, and explains what he thinks the future bears for war-torn Somalia.


Larry J. Kolb recently appeared on Al Jazeera's English-language channel to discuss his book America at Night. You can watch it here, and see what the political blogs have to say here. And be sure to check out all of Kolb's documentation of his scandalous story at the America at Night website.


Jennifer Belle has just launched her home on the web, jenniferbelle.com. It's stuffed full of information about her new novel – Little Stalker – and the old favorites, plus a lot, lot more, including a can't-miss timeline of incriminating photos. She's also blogging at the site.


The LitBlog Co-op has selected Nicola Griffith's Always as one of the three nominees for the their summer 2007 READ THIS! Selection. The discussion is just beginning...


The Saunders Army – that hardcore group of George Saunders fans who (much to our delight) has taken it upon themselves to spread the gospel of George – has recently launched a MySpace page under the leadership of the mysterious General (we've even talked to the General on the phone and still...mysterious). They've already got more friends than we've ever had. Join 'em?


There's a new highly reputable institution on the Internet: JS Spenser. Operating under the mottos of "We'll Do Anything For a Fee" and "It's Not Illegal, But Its Close," JS Spenser appears to have been founded by Dana Vachon, author of the much-talked-about debut novel Mergers & Acquisitions. Dana's also blogging


Michael Connelly just chimed in on Will Beall's first novel: "L.A. Rex is a stunning debut. A gritty tale dripping with truth – it could only have come from a writer who has lived the life. I can't wait for the next one." The book came out in hardcover at the end of last year, and is coming in paperback this fall. You can read more about it here.