‘Book Bites’ for Tuesday 21st September 2010

Paris Review website opens legendary ‘Interviews’ archives to all – I don’t know if you’ve seen the snazzy new Paris Review website yet, but if not then you may well want to pop on over and have a gander. However, it’s not the peachy new colour scheme – as nice as it is – that I’m sending you over for folks. Rather it’s to ‘open’ the wonderful gift that’s been left for us. And that gift given as part as part of the Paris Review revamp, is the opening up of the entire ‘interviews’ archive to anyone and everyone, regardless of whether they are a subscriber to the magazine or not. This means we can all go along anytime we want and soak ourselves in the words and wisdoms of literary greats such as Steinbeck, Hemingway, Updike, Cheever, Oates, Murakami, Vonnegut, Saramago and many, many more.

This is a seriously magnificent gift from the Paris Review folks, and it’s one that brought tears to my eyes earlier this evening. And if you’re looking for one more reason to go and pick up an ereader, then the opening of these archives might well give you that reason. Can you imagine how empowering it’s going to be to have the writerly wisdom of all of these authors at your fingertips, at any and all times? I may well have the four published volumes of the Paris Review Interviews on my bookshelves already (which only constitute a fraction of the entire archive), but you can bet that I’ve gone and saved off all of the interviews to my Sony Reader and iPad already. Thank you Paris Review for making my decade ( and it’s only 2010 :)), and for giving us all such a precious and wonderful gift :).

Journalist set to follow in Steinbeck’s road-tripping footsteps – I was also delighted to discover today that a very special road trip is about to kick off in the US later this week. On Thursday (23rd September), journalist Bill Steigerwald sets off on a journey to retrace the legendary steps that John Steinbeck made 50 years ago, as he wound his road-tripping away around America.

Steinbeck’s journey was of course immortalised in Travels With Charley, and Bill is using the book as his ‘map, timeline and guide’ for his own journey. Bill tells you all about the prep and planning etc. over at his own place; a blog specially set up on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette website to document his journey. So best you head on over there.

Needless to say as a MASSIVE John Steinbeck fan I’m hugely excited to see Bill set off on this journey, and I aim to follow him every step of the way. In fact now would probably be a good time for me (us) to crack the spine on my (our) own copy of Travels With Charley once again, just so I (we) can follow Bill’s pilgrimage on a more ‘spiritual’, deeper level (and yes I do consider Steinbeck to be something of a God :)). If nothing else though it’s going to be incredibly interesting finding out how much has changed from Steinbeck’s day (I’m imagining plenty).

So good luck Bill, and may the spirit of Steinbeck (and that crazy dog Charley), protect you and guide you over the next few weeks. But Bill, no dog to accompany you? I’m so disappointed! If I lived closer i.e. not in Scotland, then you could have borrowed my Golden Lab, who incidentally is called, Steinbeck :).

‘Book Bites’bringing you tasty bite-size morsels of bookish news and delight, from around the web.
About Rob

Rob, a self-confessed bibliophile, is without any hope of rehabilitation. He gets unnaturally excited over anything book-shaped, and if book sniffing were a crime then he would have been locked up years ago (which wouldn't bother him in the slightest provided his cell was lined with books).


  1. Iris (Twitter: irisonbooks)

    Those interview archives.. not good for my study time.. I guess I had better ignore them for a bit, but such a wonderful thing to open them up!

    • Rob (Twitter: robaroundbooks)

      I think it’s the most wonderful of gifts Iris, and you’re right, probably best to ignore tem until study time is over. 🙂
      Warmest regards