American Book Review’s Top 40 Bad Books – There’s an interesting run down in the latest edition of American Book Review, on what is considered to be the 40 worst books in American literature. It’s hard enough to define what makes a bad book at the best of times – as the introduction to the article itself admits – but the ABR have given it a good shot, and ended up with a very readable, and highly contentious list. Literary creations from Richard Yates, Cormac McCarthy and Jack Kerouac have all found their way on to this ‘Bad 40’, but most surprising of all for me is the inclusion of F. Scot Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, which I’ve long considered to be sacrosanct and exempt from any form of literary criticism. I won’t tell you why Tom LeClair from the The University of Cincinnati considers Gatsby to be anything close to great. You’ll just have to head on over to the ABR website and download the PDF of the article yourself. ::discovered via Jacket Copy, LA Times.
Wolf Hall goes multimedia – The Independent points to the new version of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall which was released yesterday (9th March) for iPhone and iPod Touch. In a joint venture between imprint 4th Estate and app developer Enhanced Editions, this new multimedia enhanced version of the 2009 Man Booker winner, includes the full electronic version of the novel along with a 30 minute video discussion, a Tudor family tree, an essay from Mantel on historical fiction and more. Further details over at the Independent website.
Anthea Bell and Agnes Poirier talk Zweig – Yeah I know I may be a bit bias on this one given I’ve only just discovered the wonderful world of Stefan Zweig. But if you’re anywhere in or around London on Thursday 18th March then you may want to get yourself along to Keats House where translator extraordinaire Anthea Bell, is in Zweig-flavoured conversation with author Agnes Catherine Poirier. Tickets details on the Daunt Books website. This is the point where I could moan about everything being in London. But I won’t :: discovered via Words Without Borders.