Q:I read somewhere that the Colonel from Looking for Alaska is black. At least that was this forum's discussion. I do not have a problem with his skin color, but I've always imagined him as a white person. What about you?
Alaska and the Colonel are never identified by race in Looking for Alaska. (Nor is Pudge.) I don’t feel qualified to speak to matters outside the text.
This week’s theartassignment kicks off Book Club with Dave Hickey’s “Air Guitar: Essays on Art & Democracy.” We discuss everything from John geeking out in a library to Michael Jackson’s chimpanzee - Bubbles. Oh, and we discuss the book a little too.
So fun just to talk with my wife about art we love (and a book we both loved).
Q:I read The Orphan Master's Son based on your tweet about it and just wanted to say thank you! It was easily the best book I read this year, possibly ever! Got any more recommendation? :P
If you liked The Orphan Master’s Son, some other books I recommend:
An Untamed State by Roxane Gay
How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid
Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi
Each of these novels (like Orphan Master’s Son) takes us to a place most of us don’t know well and makes it rich and vibrant and complicated and human.
So, I have a strong preference for reblogging over original posts on Tumblr, even when I’m announcing something. Reblogging seems like the spirit of Tumblr: I have a website where I can just make a straight-ahead put-in-on-the-internet announcement if that’s what I want to do, and then I can link to it from Twitter and so on. Or go door-to-door saying “have you visited mountain hyphen goats dot com today, neighbor?” as my son, even at his tender age, has repeatedly asked me to not do.
So what we have here is one of the images that came up when I searched on “Wolf In White Van” without quotes around it just now. I don’t know what movie it’s from and I’m 100% ok with not knowing, honestly I prefer to believe it’s a hi-res cell phone video of something that actually happened, but there it was, anyway, early in the search, wicked as hell, heading not for the camera which you can’t eat anyway but for the boom operator, brave soul, still holding down the station as the wolf advances, drool dripping from its maw.
The reason why I searched on “Wolf In White Van” is I’m doing a book tour in the fall.
9/15 – New York, NY
Le Poisson Rouge
158 Bleecker Street
New York, NY 10012
With John Hodgman
9/18 – Durham, NC
Motorco, presented by The Regulator
Motorco Music Hall
723 Rigsbee Avenue
Durham, NC 27701
9/22 – Raleigh, NC
Quail Ridge Books
3522 Wade Avenue
Raleigh, NC 27607
9/24 – Nashville, TN
3900 Hillsboro Pike
Nashville, TN 37215
9/25 – Oxford, MS
Thacker Mountain Radio
Off Square Books
129 Courthouse Square
Oxford, MS 38655
9/29 – San Francisco, CA
Green Apple Books
With Robin Sloan
Make Out Room
9/30 – Los Angeles, CA
1818 N Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027
10/1 – Portland, OR
1005 W. Burnside Street
Portland OR 97209
With Matt Fraction
10/2 – Denver, CO
The Tattered Cover
2526 E. Colfax Avenue
Denver, CO 80206
10/5 – Dallas, TX
The Wild Detectives
314 W 8th Street
Dallas, TX 75208
Presented by WordSpace and Deep Vellum
10/6 – Austin, TX
603 North Lamar
Austin, TX 78703
With Joe Gross
10/7 – Chicago, IL
Lincoln Hall, presented by Unabridged Books
2424 N Lincoln Avenue
Chicago, IL 60614
With Mairead Case
10/8 – Brookline, MA
Coolidge Theater, presented by Brookline Booksmith
290 Harvard Street
Brookline, MA 02446
Complete information, or complete with respect to the subject at hand, anyway, with links to the events and so forth, is over at mountain hyphen goats dot com right now, so, you know, advance your wolf over there for the details.
I will see you soon!
So so so so so so so so excited for more people to read this haunting, brilliant, fascinating novel.
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart my favourite book I’ve read this year.
I keep thinking about it. And I finished it over 2 months ago!
I thought it was a good excuse to have a play around and design a few book covers for it.
Lovely alternate covers by fayemoorhouse.
Beautiful! Love this book.
Last week on vacation I read Daniel Jose Older’s book of noir ghost stories, Salsa Nocturna. It imagines a world of a tough detective who must navigate the complex bureaucracy of the dead while living in between worlds. It’s funny and wise and keeps you turning pages and the prose is truly fresh. It’s so rare to read something that doesn’t sound like anything you’ve read before, and so invigorating.
ALSO: If you like ghosts and mysteries, I’m a huge fan of Maureen Johnson’s Shades of London books.
Writing this was hard. I was very lucky to be edited by Chad Harbach, who spent many months (6? I forget. Possibly more) working on it with me. My writing group — Bennett, Anya and Lukas — also read several drafts and helped a lot. I would like to dedicate its appearance on the internet to the memory of Raffles, who cost me a lot of money but was worth every penny. I still miss you, buddy.
There was a time in my life when I really, more or less, wanted to be Emily Gould; I was still unsure of what I wanted to do, but I was starting to suspect that writing was going to figure into it, and I would read her work and feel this absolutely seething mix of awe and envy. The seething part has passed, fortunately, but man, this is good.
Me too. What an essay. Can’t wait for Emily’s novel.
For today’s video, I thought I’d share with you 18 books I love that you probably haven’t read. Each of these books has stuck with me over the years. I hope you’ll include in comments a book you loved that hasn’t found as broad an audience as you think it deserves. I’m going to read 18 of those and review them in a future vlogbrothers video.
You know, I think some people fear that if they like the wrong kind of book, it will reflect poorly on them. It can go with genre, too. Somebody will say, “I won’t read science fiction, or I won’t read young adult novels”—all of those genres can become prisons. I always find it funny when the serious literary world will make a little crack in its wall and allow in one pet genre writer and crown them and say, “Well Elmore Leonard is actually a real writer.” Or “Stephen King is actually a really good writer.” Generally speaking, you know you’re being patronized when somebody uses the word “actually.”
- Interview with Elizabeth Gilbert, Margo Rabb interviewing
And great interview altogether. (From back in October, but I just saw it today.)
It was like the second when you come home late at night and see the yellow envelope of the telegram sticking out from under your door and you lean and pick it up, but don’t open it yet, not for a second. While you stand there in the hall, with the envelope in your hand, you feel there’s an eye on you, a great big eye looking straight at you from miles and dark and through walls and houses and through your coat and vest and hide and sees you huddled up way inside, in the dark which is you, inside yourself, like a clammy, sad little foetus you carry around inside yourself. The eye knows what’s in the envelope, and it is watching you to see you when you open it and know, too. But the clammy, sad little foetus which is you way down in the dark which is you too lifts up its sad little face and its eyes are blind, and it shivers cold inside you for it doesn’t want to know what is in that envelope. It wants to lie in the dark and not know, and be warm in its not-knowing. The end of man is knowledge, but there is one thing he can’t know. He can’t know whether knowledge will save him or kill him. He will be killed, all right, but he can’t know whether he is killed because of the knowledge which he has got or because of the knowledge which he hasn’t got and which if he had it, would save him. There’s the cold in your stomach, but you open the envelope, you have to open the envelope, for the end of man is to know.
The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
You love John Green. Of course you do. Now go love these:
Ask The Passengers by A.S. King for love against the odds
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell for all-consuming romance
The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson for love in the face of grief
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz for philosophising about life
Well, that’s is a cool tumblr. (By the way I have read all four of these books and liked them all very much.)
You will know much too much about me and some things about the book by the end of this blog entry.