Sunday, August 10, 2008

Excellence Award!

Many thanks to my dear niece and friend Bibliolotrist over at nominating my blog for an excellence award. After looking at her nominees (all of which I have listed below) I am not sure plain old RabbitReader belongs in such august company! I confess I am a Luddite when it comes to reading book reviews on the Internet. I cling to the old fashioned paper journals and book reviews that arrive in my mailbox weekly – always with a tingling sensation of what new books and authors I might find.

However, I have bookmarked all these, and I will give them a go.

Lots of interesting posts on topics not well-covered in the main stream press.

The Erasmus quote is all over my home and office. I ran my mad money account down to 63 cents yesterday to buy a novel by Paul Scott for my Man Booker Prize collection.

Wow! You sure put my paltry 75+ books a year to shame! Teaching six classes for 30 weeks out of the year, plus three more for an additional seven weeks, really puts a crimp in my reading! Can you guess how many essays I grade in a year?

Great short reviews, the same kind I favor and write, although lately, I have been getting a bit longer-winded. Great visuals, too. I need to get off Blogspot or find some other way to jazz up my site.

Love the question approach to reviewing. I always tell my students reading and writing should raise questions in their minds or they are not really reading and writing.

Another great site. I loved the “hangman” game.

Well, these sites are all great, but I guess I do not have the time to devote to mine, so I appreciate every one of you, and hope you will come and visit me once in a while.

I have my favorites, and they certainly do not need any endorsement from me. In no particular order, here they are:

The New York Times Book Review (Weekly -- Sunday) – The grand old lady of book reviews. I have nearly every issue back to 1970 in my office closet at home.

The New Yorker Magazine (Weekly -- Monday) – Another old reliable. I have discovered too many authors to list them all, but Patrick White, Lars Gustaffson, James Salter, and Anne Beattie come to mind. That closet also bulges with every issue back to the 70s, and about a hundred or so I have found at yard sales from its founding in 1925 to 1970. A great source for obscure and serious fiction, poetry, biography, and non-fiction. I also love the cartoons, the profiles, and the articles on current events.

The New York Review of Books (Bi-monthly) – Quirky with long erudite reviews that many times cover five or six related titles, or a review of significant works by a single author, or long articles about art, history, current events. Lots of great advertising, too by small and independent presses.

The Times (London) Literary Supplement (Weekly – Sunday) An expensive subscription, but more than worth it. This keeps me up to date on publishing in the rest of the English-speaking world. The peculiar columns are also a hoot as only the British can produce. Even the letters are worth my time. Each issue devoted to a particular topic, although fiction and poetry are there every week.

The Atlantic Monthly – One of the best written magazines available. Lots of good reviews, but more non-fiction than fiction. The articles are in-depth studies of current affairs and trends. Good poetry, too.

So, Bibliolatrist, thanks so much again, and we will see each other on the web.

--Chiron, 8/10/08

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