- Lucky Ed interviews Oliver Sacks in the latest Time Out New York.
He smiles and selects a track on his stereo to offer an example, finding a cover of â€œShooby Dooinâ€™â€‰â€ performed by Woody Geist, a patient who has suffered from Alzheimerâ€™s for decades but who sings with the polish of a suave ballroom crooner. â€œYou can have profoundly demented people, like Woody here, who are still able to sing beautifully,â€ Sacks says. â€œBut if you asked him if he knew this particular song, he might not recognize the title or the question or be able to answer.â€
- Ed also has just posted his most recent spate of interviews. It’s an impressive list including James Lipton, Naomi Wolf, and Steven Pinker.
- The LA Times loves Benjamin Percy’s Refresh, Refresh as much as I do. It’s the best book you haven’t heard of, one of my favorite books this year.
- Local boy makes good. Scott McLemee interviews Joshua Glenn, co-author of Taking Things Seriously. Glenn writes for the Boston Globe‘s Ideas section, one of the sections that still makes it worth subscribing to.
- The National Book Foundation has interviews with all of the NBA Award Finalists up on their website. They obviously sent out the same email to all of the fiction finalists, but their answers are pretty interesting.
- Mark Sarvas interviews via email Jane Gardam, author of the gem Old Filth as well as numerous other books.
- Critical Mass has posted John Freeman’s longish interview with John Updike. I like his dig at Roth when asked why he writes reviews: “I am too much of a professional to want to be locked in entirely with one novel after another. Roth does it that way, Styron did it. I like the mix.” I have a confession to make: I’ve never read any of Updike’s novels.
- Cat Fight. This regards a review of Tom Perrotta’s most recent novel The Abstinence Teacher, which I happened to have read a weekend or two ago. This was my first foray into Perrotta’s work. He’s local (lives in Belmont, which is two towns over) and a popular author with my co-workers. I found this book to be gripping in parts but oddly flat at the end.
- The Millions posts the Top Ten Most Anticipated Books.
Oh goodee, I’ve been looking forward to that new Benjamin Percy book ever since I started reading his stories in the Paris Review.
I came thisclose to buying the Percy book today. Maybe tomorrow –
Thanks for the shout-out, Bookdwarf. This is especially flattering because I’ve been a loyal reader of your blog for so long.
Percy haunts me, I tell ya! The man even approached me in person a few nights ago. So I guess between that and your mention, it means I have to check him out!
I’m not sure I understand Updike’s “dig”. He wants to write criticism, bully for him; but I’m uncomfortable with the idea that a novelist should be expected to do absolutely anything other than write novels.