14 December 11 | Chad W. Post | Comments

For the past year or so, the German Book Office has been putting together short videos with German readers (critics, translators, agents, etc.) talking about titles featured in the New Books in German publication. All of these are available here, and in honor of the 30th edition of New Books in German, they created a “Behind the Scenes” video which you can watch below.

It’s also worth checking out the specific book videos. So far, it looks like the only one available from the new issue is Cathrin Wirtz presenting The All Land by Jo Lendle.

20 October 11 | Chad W. Post | Comments

Via Laughing Squid:

The short film, Skwerl, gives a glimpse on how the English language sounds to foreigners using clever English-sounding gibberish. Directed by Brian Fairbairn and written, acted and edited by Karl Eccleston, this melodrama was made for Kino Sydney, “a monthly open-mic night for filmmakers” based in Sydney, Australia. Australian actress Fiona Pepper plays the female lead.

9 July 10 | Chad W. Post | Comments

This is kind of an inside joke going public, but whatever . . . Summer Fridays are the best time for slightly off-kilter, questionably entertaining posts. About librarians.

It all started a few weeks ago, when I was at the American Library Association conference and texted my friend Ali about the Book Cart Drill Team World Championships taking place the following day. I’ve posted about this a few times, but in case you’re not familiar with this nerdtastic phenomenon, check it out:

Yeah. Yeah.

And check the team names: “Gett Down with Your Funky Shelf,” “Texas Arrangers,” “Night of the Living Librarians,” “Dewey Decimators,” on so and forth.

But I don’t want to make fun of librarians . . . I heart libraries and librarians. Growing up in Bay City Essexville Hampton Township, I would’ve totally lost my shit way earlier in life if it weren’t for the local library. Glenda was the head librarian who got me to read any number of interesting books, who really shaped my literary development for years and years. And even now, when books flow like water into my office on a near-daily basis, I still have a special fondness for going to Rush Rhees to pick up something specific or just wander the “P“s. And I think librarians are interesting people. They think different than the rest of us. They see information sourcing in surprising, fun ways. They are resource ninjas.

And a seemingly large number of them have no self-consciousness whatsoever when it comes to doing crazy shit on camera. Which is adorable. Or something.

So after the ALA, I started noticing librarian video after librarian video, each a tad bit more absurd than the last. Like, let’s start here:

I’m not entirely sure what that’s all about, except maybe that libraries need more music? And pimping?

Regardless, that’s nothing compared to this insane rapper who’s probably not the best representative of lip-synching, the beauty of the Dewey Decimal system, or librarians in general:

What’s most perplexing is the fact that this kid decided to do a remix version of the Dewey Decimal Rap in his bedroom. YouTube! Cognitive surplus at its finest!

But the real winner is this video from the University of Washington information school:

Still blown away that this video goes on and on FOR OVER FOUR MINUTES. It’s one thing to come up with a cute :45 Lady Gaga meets librarian bit, but to do the whole song? . . . Wow.

Theme running through all of these? Libraries are cooler when they include dancing. And librarians half-embrace the whole “sexy librarian” stereotype. So, to reinforce that—just a little bit—and to cleanse your viewing palate, I’ll finish this off with My Morning Jacket’s somewhat sentimental librarian love song (which, admittedly, is one of my summertime crush songs):

Have a good weekend!

....
Intervenir/Intervene
Intervenir/Intervene by Dolores Dorantes; Rodrigo Flores Sánchez
Reviewed by Vincent Francone

It took reading 44 pages of Intervenir/Intervene before I began to get a sense of what Dolores Dorantes and Rodrigo Flores Sánchez were up to. Recurring throughout these 44 pages—throughout the entire book—are shovels, shovel smacks to the face, lobelias—aha!. . .

Read More >

All Days Are Night
All Days Are Night by Peter Stamm
Reviewed by Lori Feathers

As presaged by its title, contradiction is the theme of Peter Stamm’s novel, All Days Are Night. Gillian, a well-known television personality, remains unknowable to herself. And Hubert, a frustrated artist and Gillian’s lover, creates art through the process of. . .

Read More >

The Seven Good Years
The Seven Good Years by Etgar Keret
Reviewed by Vincent Francone

It’s a rare and wonderful book that begins and ends with violence and humor. At the start of Etgar Keret’s The Seven Good Years, Keret is in a hospital waiting for the birth of his first child while nurses, in. . .

Read More >

Human Acts
Human Acts by Han Kang
Reviewed by J.C. Sutcliffe

Last year, Han Kang’s The Vegetarian was an unexpected critical hit. Now, it’s just been published in the U.S. and has already received a great deal of positive critical attention. The Vegetarian was a bold book to attempt as an. . .

Read More >

Nowhere to Be Found
Nowhere to Be Found by Bae Suah
Reviewed by Pierce Alquist

It’s been almost a year since the publication of Nowhere to Be Found by Bae Suah, but despite being included on the 2015 PEN Translation award longlist, and some pretty vocal support from key indie presses, the book has. . .

Read More >

La paz de los vencidos
La paz de los vencidos by Jorge Eduardo Benavides
Reviewed by Brendan Riley

Jorge Eduardo Benavides’ novel La paz de los vencidos (The Peace of the Defeated) takes the form of a diary written by a nameless Peruvian thirty-something intellectual slumming it in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in Spain’s Canary Islands. Recently relocated. . .

Read More >

Souffles-Anfas: A Critical Anthology
Souffles-Anfas: A Critical Anthology by Various
Reviewed by Emma Ramadan

Anyone with any interest at all in contemporary Moroccan writing must start with Souffles. A cultural and political journal, Souffles (the French word for “breaths”) was founded in 1966 by Abdellatif Laâbi and Mostafa Nissabouri. Run by a group of. . .

Read More >