Critical Notes

Roundup 10

By Jane Ciabattari

Andre Bernard’s moody publishing piece brings this year to an end with a somber note: “Yet I can’t help thinking that as this year gasps its way to its merciful end, something terribly sad is happening, that a vague, general shift in the cultural landscape will alter how or what we read in some still indefinable way; that a quirky, creaky, financially insupportable business that in spite of itself produces that most desirable and perfect of objects—the book—is perishing, and that we are yet to fully feel the loss.”

Rick Bass pays tribute to Carol Houck Smith, his first New York editor.

Peder Zane’s links to the best book lists here And another:
Laurie Muchnick’s year-end list of children’s books—ogres and dragons and munchkins, oh my! And the Columbia Journalism Review‘s list of reader-recommended “books for a hard season.”

Also, from the West Coast, where there has been snow galore, Ellen Heltzel’s Top 10. Oscar Villalon’s picks on KQED’s “California Report.” And Mary Ann Gwinn’s list.

And a look back a Poets Forum 2008, a cavalcade of poets, on Flickr.. 

David Ulin revisits Richard Yates’s classic Revolutionary Road, now starring Kate Winslet.

And in case you missed it, Marcela Valdes on Roberto BolaƱo’s 2666.