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‘To reinvent yourself means to live openly to life’: an interview with Tom Rachman, author of The Rise and Fall of Great Powers.

Why we need ‘ugly’ heroines.

The rules for book reviewing.

Today, Elsewhere


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‘Ferrante is a master of the unsayable’: the Guardian on Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan series. (Book three in the series, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, is out 24 September.)

The race to destroy priceless manuscripts as idiotically as possible.

The art of the opening sentence.

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An interview with Chris Flynn, author of The Glass Kingdom and A Tiger in Eden, recorded at Avid Reader.

Are categories like ‘immigrant fiction’ and ‘new American fiction’ valid or worthwhile?

The English language: “We will have ‘croissant’ and ‘schadenfreude’, thanks, you can have ‘hot yoga’.”

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The Guardian on Elizabeth Harrower: ‘Australia’s buried literary treasure is unearthed.’

What does it mean to cry over a book?

What is literature?

#fridayfrivolity


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26 excellent book dedications.

10 books that feature dogs.

I wonder what it’s like to be a housekeeper. I bet it’s really interesting and authentic, probably. My prestigious literary novel.

‘The Man, The Writer, and His Cigarette’: photos of male authors posing with cigarettes, recreated.

Jeff Bezos
Believed he was Jesos

A blogger is drinking his way through every drink mentioned in a Pynchon novel.

Infographic: the 16 punctuation marks, in order of how much they do.

A facsimile of the very first rhyming dictionary, originally produced in 1570.

5 of the best literary frenemy pairings.

Do You Know What Would Be Very Sad? So Many Things; Let’s List Them All
Every Irish novel ever.

London’s lovely literary benches.

Bloggers love Paula Weston's Shimmer!


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Paula Weston’s Rephaim series has been widely praised by bloggers, and the third book in the series, Shimmer, is no exception.

‘Beautiful writing, witty dialogue, badass characters and an intense and richly crafted tale, what else can you ask for?’ says Melanie of YA Midnight Reads. ‘If you want an angel series that will blow your mind away, this is the one. Now, I only have one question: where’s book 4?’

‘I have been dying to get my hands on the 3rd book of the Rephaim series ever since Haze officially turned the Rephaim series into my favourite angel series ever,’ says Nomes of inkcrush. ‘The tension is palpable and the pacing is sharp making Shimmer the most fierce and kick-arse book in the series so far…I haven’t been this pumped for a series since those early Hunger Games days.’

‘Paula Weston is the queen of cliff-hanger endings, and this one’s going to blow your mind!’ says Shaheen of Speculating on SpecFic. ‘I have absolutely loved reading Shimmer, and can’t praise the Rephaim series highly enough.’

Paula Weston has a guest post up today on Kids' Book Review, about YA series.

Shimmer is available now in bookshops and online.

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Peter Temple, author of The Broken Shore, Truth and the Jack Irish novels, gives a rare interview to NPR.

Jane Messer makes the case against anonymous reviews.

On endings.

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The case for Peter Temple’s The Broken Shore as the great Australian novel.

‘Every writer needs an editor, and anyone who says he doesn’t has a fool for a muse.’

What the future of reading looks like (to the author of the piece, at least).

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The Rise and Fall of Great Powers is the second novel by Tom Rachman, the much-lauded author of The Imperfectionists.

‘Tom Rachman’s ingenious second novel, The Rise and Fall of Great Powers, is harder to describe than The Imperfectionists, his sensational first,’ says the New York Times, but this new novel has been attracting rave reviews.

‘This is a book about constant motion,’ says the Guardian. ‘It’s at its heart about individual lives: how opaque we are to each other, and how little we understand our own histories…I’ll keep The Rise and Fall of Great Powers on my shelf.’

Gary Shteyngart says: ‘When a Tom Rachman novel lands in the bookstores I stop living and breathing to devour it. It’s hard to think of anyone who has a better grasp on the world we live in (and I mean, like, the entire planet) and can write about it with such entertainment and panache.’

The Rise and Fall of Great Powers is one of the top five books of the month as selected by the New Daily: ‘This mysterious story, beautifully composed and lyrical, is anchored by its deeply etched, oddball characters, floating in and out of Tooly’s life, and by a richly detailed sense of time and place. When we return, at the end, to Tooly’s musty old bookstore of meagre dreams, it’s in this most reassuringly mundane of places that a magical moment may or may not occur, leaving a great big smile on your face either way as you reluctantly close the covers.’

Vulture has named The Rise and Fall of Great Powers one of six books to read this season.

Kirkus calls it ‘brilliantly structured, beautifully written and profoundly sad’, while Everyday eBook loves Rachman’s ‘beguiling heroine’ Tooly Zylberberg: ‘Rachman masterfully manages to render Tooly mythic and all too human—she infuriates us and tugs at our hearts at the same time. There is little more you could ask of a novel’s heroine.’

You can read a Q&A with author Tom Rachman at Word and Film.

The Rise and Fall of Great Powers is available now in bookshops and online.