27 February 13 | Chad W. Post | Comments

Ryan Chapman (who totally rocked this podcast about the Pynchon ebooks and whatnot) just emailed me about “The Davids,” an annual competition among Penguin imprints to win a small plastic trophy . . . Here, I’ll let them explain:

Every year Penguin selects the best book videos for The Davids, named after our CEO David Shanks. And in 2013, we’re opening the voting to the public.

So head here to cast your vote. Note that you don’t have to vote in every category.

Of course we strongly, strongly recommend you choose our Thomas Pynchon entry for Best Animated Video. (You would not believe the amount of trash-talking in the offices this week between the imprints.)

Since I’m trying to sweet talk Ryan into doing another podcast this fall wherein we can talk about the new Pynchon novel, Bleeding Edge, I really want him and his Pynchon video to win. So vote!

And keep in mind, that a vote for Pynchon is a vote against Riverhead—which is, um, important, because Riverhead is . . . a bunch of loud-mouthed jerks? (I’ve got nothing. I just want Ryan to win.)

....
My Brilliant Friend
My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
Reviewed by Acacia O'Connor

It hasn’t quite neared the pitch of the waiting-in-line-at-midnight Harry Potter days, but in small bookstores and reading circles of New York City, an aura has attended the novelist Elena Ferrante and her works. One part curiosity (Who is she?),. . .

Read More >

Stealth
Stealth by Sonallah Ibrahim
Reviewed by Christopher Iacono

From the late 1940s to the early 1950s, Egypt was going through a period of transition. The country’s people were growing unhappy with the corruption of power in the government, which had been under British rule for decades. The Egyptians’. . .

Read More >

Miruna, a Tale
Miruna, a Tale by Bogdan Suceavă
Reviewed by Alta Ifland

Miruna is a novella written in the voice of an adult who remembers the summer he (then, seven) and his sister, Miruna (then, six) spent in the Evil Vale with their grandfather (sometimes referred to as “Grandfather,” other times as. . .

Read More >

Kamal Jann
Kamal Jann by Dominique Eddé
Reviewed by Lori Feathers

Kamal Jann by the Lebanese born author Dominique Eddé is a tale of familial and political intrigue, a murky stew of byzantine alliances, betrayals, and hostilities. It is a well-told story of revenge and, what’s more, a serious novel that. . .

Read More >

I Called Him Necktie
I Called Him Necktie by Milena Michiko Flašar
Reviewed by Christopher Iacono

While looking back at an episode in his life, twenty-year-old Taguchi Hiro remembers what his friend Kumamoto Akira said about poetry.

Its perfection arises precisely from its imperfection . . . . I have an image in my head. I see. . .

Read More >

Return to Killybegs
Return to Killybegs by Sorj Chalandon
Reviewed by Vincent Francone

The central concern of Sorj Chalandon’s novel Return to Killybegs appears to be explaining how a person of staunch political activism can be lead to betray his cause, his country, his people. Truth be told, the real theme of the. . .

Read More >

The Last Days
The Last Days by Laurent Seksik
Reviewed by Peter Biellp

Spoiler alert: acclaimed writer Stefan Zweig and his wife Lotte kill themselves at the end of Lauren Seksik’s 2010 novel, The Last Days.

It’s hard to avoid spoiling this mystery. Zweig’s suicide actually happened, in Brazil in 1942, and since then. . .

Read More >