Monday Miscellany

Yes, there were stories in the news this past week other than the U. S. election.

Author Philip Roth says he is done with writing

Philip Roth
(ERIC THAYER, REUTERS / October 5, 2010)

An icon—or iconoclast, depending on your point of view—of American literature casually announced that he won’t be writing any more books. He admitted to a French magazine that he hasn’t written for 3 years.

Philip Roth won a Pulitzer Prize for the novel American Pastoral. He won the National Book Award in 1960 for the novella”Goodbye, Columbus,” which was published along with several other novellas, and again in 1995 for Sabbath’s Theater.

James Bond: Four writers carry forward Ian Fleming’s spy legacy

“You Only Live Twice” isn’t just the name of one of Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels (and the movie it spawned). It’s also turned out to be a fitting description of Fleming’s legacy. Not only does Fleming’s most famous creation live on nearly 50 years after his death — the latest Bond flick, “Skyfall,” hit theaters Friday — but Fleming’s unique brand of international intrigue continues to influence today’s thriller writers.

In Hero Complex the Los Angeles Times describes 4 writers who “acknowledge their debt to Fleming and his sexy, high-stakes take on the thriller”:

  • Jeremy Duns
  • Barry Eisler
  • Gayle Lynds
  • Brett Battles

Everything Comes to an End

On November 9th of 2004, Stieg Larsson — journalist and author of the posthumously published Millennium series of novels, the first of which was The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo — passed away after suffering a heart attack. He was 50-years-old. The next month, Stieg’s long-term partner, Eva Gabrielsson, found the following letter amongst his belongings, marked “To be opened only after my death,” and written prior to a trip to Africa in 1977 when he was just 22.

Letters of Note reproduces the letter from Gabrielsson’s book “There Are Things I Want You to Know” About Stieg Larsson and Me.

Five Winter Reads

Summer reading lists get all the attention, but with the days getting shorter and the nights getting colder you’ll need something to crack open fireside, that cozy Afghan wrapped around your legs, the warmth of your hot toddy working your bloodstream like a magician working a Vegas showroom.

Read why Brandon Bye recommends these 5 books:

  • “The Overcoat” by Nikolai Gogol
  • “To Build a Fire” by Jack London
  • “Snow” by Ann Beattie
  • Canada by Richard Ford
  • Skinny Dip by Carl Hiaasen

The United States of YA

Read your way across the United States with this list of young adults novels, one for each of the 50 states.

Over It: Bookish Conversations We Never Want to Have Again

 We usually keep things pretty positive here at the Riot, but after many years of life in the bookish interweb, we’ve identified some conversations that just keep coming back up. And we’re ready to put an end to them. So pull on your crankypants, kids, and join editors Rebecca and Jeff for a good old-fashioned Airing of Grievances.

If you follow the literary world at all (and I assume you do if you’re here right now), you’ll probably find some of your own pet peeves here on Book Riot’s list.