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!

....
The Indian
The Indian by Jón Gnarr
Reviewed by P. T. Smith

The opening of Jón Gnarr’s novel/memoir The Indian is a playful bit of extravagant ego, telling the traditional story of creation, where the “Let there be light!” moment is also the moment of his birth on January 2nd, 1967. Then. . .

Read More >

Mother of 1084; Old Women; Breast Stories
Mother of 1084; Old Women; Breast Stories by Mahasweta Devi
Reviewed by Christopher Iacono

Mahasweta Devi is not only one of the most prolific Bengali authors, but she’s also an important activist. In fact, for Devi, the two seem to go together. As you can probably tell from the titles, she writes about women. . .

Read More >

Tristana
Tristana by Benito Pérez Galdós
Reviewed by Lori Feathers

The prolific Spanish author Benito Pérez Galdós wrote his short novel, Tristana, during the closing years of the nineteenth century, a time when very few options were available to women of limited financial means who did not want a husband.. . .

Read More >

The History of Silence
The History of Silence by Pedro Zarraluki
Reviewed by P. T. Smith

Pedro Zarraluki’s The History of Silence (trans. Nick Caistor and Lorenza García) begins with the narrator and his wife, Irene, setting out to write a book about silence, itself called The History of Silence: “This is the story of how. . .

Read More >

Flesh-Coloured Dominoes
Flesh-Coloured Dominoes by Zigmunds Skujiņš
Reviewed by P. T. Smith

There are plenty of reasons you can fail to find the rhythm of a book. Sometimes it’s a matter of discarding initial assumptions or impressions, sometimes of resetting oneself. Zigmunds Skujiņš’s Flesh-Coloured Dominoes was a defining experience in the necessity. . .

Read More >

Iraqi Nights
Iraqi Nights by Dunya Mikhail
Reviewed by Vincent Francone

In a culture that privileges prose, reviewing poetry is fairly pointless. And I’ve long since stopped caring about what the world reads and dropped the crusade to get Americans to read more poems. Part of the fault, as I’ve suggested. . .

Read More >

Three-Light Years
Three-Light Years by Andrea Canobbio
Reviewed by Tiffany Nichols

I would like to pose the argument that it is rare for one to ever come across a truly passive protagonist in a novel. The protagonist (perhaps) of Three Light-Years, Claudio Viberti, is just that—a shy internist who lives in. . .

Read More >