Yay! I finally have time to sit down and hunt for some Bookbits again!
- R. I. P. Historian Eric Hobsbawm died on October 1st, aged 95. Hobsbawm was probably best known for his quartet of books on European history: The Age of Revolution, The Age of Capital, The Age of Empire, and The Age of Extremes. Obituaries can be found here, here, and here.
- Awards! The shortlist for the 2012 Samuel Johnson Prize (for nonfiction) was announced on Friday. I’m going to list them all because this prize has had some cracking books every year: Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Slum by Katherine Boo, Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest by Wade Davis, The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot by Robert Macfarlane, Strindberg: A Life by Sue Prideaux, The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker, and The Spanish Holocaust: Inquisition and Extermination in Twentieth-Century Spain by Paul Preston.
- Awards II! As has become a tradition now, the Guardian is organizing another Not the Booker 2012 prize. Click here to vote (until October 14th). The Academy of American Poets handed out their annual prizes. Some winners are Gary Snyder for “outstanding and proven mastery in the art of poetry”, Brenda Hillman for “distinguished poetic achievement”, and David Wojahn for World Tree (“best book of poetry published in 2011”). Click here for the full list. Also, since I’m a book-cover harlot, I have to point you towards Design Observer’s 50 Best Bookcovers of 2011 award. Personal favorite: Poetry After 9/11: An Anthology of New York Poets.
- Wondering what to read next? Our Aviva sent us the answer: whatshouldireadnext.com. Does what it says on the tin. 🙂
- Howard Jacobson, 2010 Man Booker winner for The Finkler Question, penned a lengthy essay in praise of bad boys’ books. “If we declare ourselves, as readers, to be on the side of life, the question has to be asked what sort of life we are on the side of.” I like what he has to say, although, for me, what I read also depends largely on my state of mind at the time – there are times when I just don’t want to think about the world, or my place in it. What do you think?
- Lists! The Guardian readers recommend some chilling books to set the mood for Halloween. Flavorwire.com has a list that’s dear to our hearts: 10 Essential Books for Book Nerds.
- Happy 40th birthday to us The Joy of Sex! The Guardian lists 9 other influential sex guides. Which ties in nicely to the Huffington Post‘s 7 Rules for Bookstore Flirting (thanks Sigrid for the link!).
- Interview! The Guardian has a lengthy talk with poet Andrew Motion, in honor of the publication of The Customs House, his first poetry collection since he stopped as Britain’s Poet Laureate in 2009. The NY Times interviews the very-much-not-dead Clive James.
- John Waters reads Lady Chatterley’s Lover in honor of Banned Book Weeks (via flavorwire.com). NSFW! 🙂
- Want to make sure your child learns to love to read? The Independent offers some tips (thank you Sigrid for the link!). My personal experience has been to go to the library regularly and let them pick their own books (and boy, did I manage to pull myself back from the brink on that one…). And read a bedtime story every night. So far, so almost-ten-year-old bookworm!
- And finally: Our Tiemen‘s Amsterdam Science Fiction & Fantasy section is compared to a candy store by BookStore-BookBlogger Connection. Rightly so, of course…
Have tips for the Bookbits? Mail email@example.com!