Talking About Books . . .

FitzgeraldA year before he died, F. Scott Fitzgerald, completed a short story about an alcoholic writer who is diagnosed with heart problems. Since Fitzgerald was an alcoholic writer with a heart problem (which would cause his death) we can assume that the story was autobiographical in nature. “Temperature,” has finally been found and appears in a recent issue of The Strand magazine. Big Story has the details.

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Entertainment Weekly recently featured an article about literary figures who have been the subject of films. I find the movie about editor Max Perkins particularly interesting.

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Steve Jobs

A movie about Apple co-founder Steve Jobs is in the works. It is based on the excellent book that author Walter Isaacson wrote about Jobs a few years ago. Isaacson was asked by Jobs to write the book, and Isaacson initially turned him down. I’m glad that Isaacson later changed his mind. Jobs gave Isaacson to write whatever he wished – whether it was positive or negative – and Isaacson did so. The result was a book that showed Jobs as both a genius and a jerk who lacked social skills.

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Do you remember reading or hearing the poetry below?

“Love one another, but make not a bond of love: / Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. / Fill each other’s cup buy drink not from one cup. / Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. / Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, / Even as the strings of a lute are along though they quiver with the same music.”

If you do, you were probably a teen-ager or young adult during the 1960s.

The Prophet (or at least part of it) by Kahlil Gibran is now an animated movie thanks to Selma Hayak.

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The Guardian lists and describes ten books that changed the world. Be sure to read them all. A test will follow – as soon as I read them.

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New York Review Books, a semi-autonomous offshoot of The New York Review of Books, specializes in publishing long forgotten books and books in translation. We should applaud them because they make available quality works that the big publishers wouldn’t touch. A New York Times article about New York Review Books also mentions other small publishers that you should perhaps check out. I thank my friend, Jim George, for bringing this article to my attention.

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LispectorAnd speaking of books in translation, New Directions is publishing the complete stories of Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector (December 10, 1920 – December 9, 1977) today. The Wall Street Journal recently featured a very informative article about this respected Latin American author who is quickly becoming better known in the United States.

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Between the World and MeI try to avoid controversy in my blog, but a new book by Ta-Nehisi Coates is seen by many as a major work, and so I want to bring it to your attention – just in case you’ve never heard or read about it. Coates has written a book which takes the form of a letter to his son. The book, Between the World and Me, predicts a bleak future for his son and all African-Americans. The book has received both positive and negative reviews, and so I have chosen what I believe to be a cross-section of articles about it.

A Slate review of the book gives you an idea of what it is about. Jack Hamilton, the author of the article, is very positive about the book.

Rich Lowry, editor of National Review magazine, writes an article for Politico that is critical of the book.

Gawker features an interview with Mr. Coates. In it you get his views in his own words.

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