Bonus Book Content Extra Libris

Novelists Adam Sternbergh and Lev Grossman on Genre Fiction and Theories of Nerd-dom

There are essentially three kinds of nerds: Sci-Fi Nerds (e.g. Star Trek, Star Wars, etc.); Superhero Nerds (e.g. superheroes and comic books), and Fantasy Nerds (e.g. Tolkien, Dungeons & Dragons, etc.).

Adam Sternbergh: My theory is: You can’t be all three. You can be one, you can be two, but never all three.

Lev Grossman: I might suggest a refinement along the lines of: One’s nerdiness is a fixed quantity, a non-expanding pie, which can only be allocated to one genre/medium at the expense of another.

Adam Sternbergh: I like that—the Quantity Theory of Nerd-dom . . . I wonder if this biodiversity of enthusiasms has contributed to the explosion of literary-genre crossbreeds—which is to say, novels that take seriously both the pleasures of genre and the pleasures of literary fiction?

Giveaways Extra Libris

Women’s Fiction Giveaway: A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler

“It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon. . .” This is how Abby Whitshank always begins the story of how she fell in love with Red that day in July 1959.

The Whitshanks are one of those families that radiate togetherness: an indefinable, enviable kind of specialness. But they are also like all families, in that the stories they tell themselves reveal only part of the picture. Abby and Red and their four grown children have accumulated not only tender moments, laughter, and celebrations, but also jealousies, disappointments, and carefully guarded secrets.

Brimming with all the insight, humor, and generosity of spirit that are the hallmarks of her work, Anne Tyler’s latest novel tells a poignant yet unsentimental story in praise of family in all its emotional complexity.

Giveaways Extra Libris

Literary Fiction Giveaway: If I Fall, If I Die by Michael Christie

A heartfelt and wondrous debut about family, fear, and skateboarding, that Karen Russell calls “A bruiser of a tale . . . a death-defying coming-of-age story.”

Will has never been outside, at least not since he can remember. And he has certainly never gotten to know anyone other than his mother, a fiercely loving yet wildly eccentric agoraphobe who drowns in panic at the thought of opening the front door. Their world is rich and loving, full of art, experiments, and music—but confined to their small house.

But Will’s thirst for adventure can’t be contained. Clad in a protective helmet and unsure of how to talk to other kids, he finally ventures outside.

Author Essays Extra Libris

Start Reading The Room by Jonas Karlsson

Critics say The Room is Franz Kafka meets Melville’s ‘Bartelby, the Scrivener’ with a dash of the film Brazil thrown in.

Bjorn is a compulsive, meticulous bureaucrat who discovers a secret room at the government office where he works–a secret room that no one else in his office will acknowledge. When Bjorn is in his room, what his co-workers see is him standing by the wall and staring off into space looking dazed, relaxed, and decidedly creepy.

Bjorn’s bizarre behavior eventually leads his co-workers to try and have him fired, but Bjorn will turn the tables on them with help from his secret room.

Your Reading Life Extra Libris

The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins Will Make You Laugh (and Cringe a Little If You’re an American)

Do you think a writer – like Irvine Welsh, who is from the U.K. writing about the U.S. – has a different perspective on American culture?

It’s always interesting to get the perspective of someone from another country, especially when it comes to our own popular culture. Things that we take for granted are thrown into stark contrast for someone who didn’t grow up here.

That’s certainly the case with The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins by Irvine Welsh. He’s the author behind the iconic book and film Trainspotting – he now lives in the U.S. and has turned his comic wit on American culture. As the Financial Times pointed out, “the excitement of Welsh’s writing derives from the perverse glee he takes in our lowest obsessions.”

Your Reading Life Extra Libris

Why I Go to Facebook to Decide What to Read Next

For me, choosing my next read is an exercise fraught with equal parts trepidation and eager anticipation.

Thing is: I’ve usually just finished reading something I loved and am feeling deeply satiated yet slightly maudlin over its ending, which makes the selection of a new book read feel very weighted.

Unfortunately, I rely increasingly less on traditional reviews in all the places I used to go, like The New York Times, for instance. It’s not because I don’t still value them; it’s just, sadly, a lack of time. The continual flow of recommendations Amazon sends me based on algorithms developed by what I download on my Kindle are very hit or miss. And I don’t keep up on Goodreads in the way that I used to as much either. Who has time for Facebook and yet another social media hub?

Giveaways Extra Libris

Enter for Your Chance to Win The Room

Funny, clever, surreal, and thought-provoking, this Kafkaesque masterpiece introduces the unforgettable Bjorn, an exceptionally meticulous office worker striving to live life on his own terms.

Bjorn is a compulsive, meticulous bureaucrat who discovers a secret room at the government office where he works–a secret room that no one else in his office will acknowledge. When Bjorn is in his room, what his co-workers see is him standing by the wall and staring off into space looking dazed, relaxed, and decidedly creepy. Bjorn’s bizarre behavior eventually leads his co-workers to try and have him fired, but Bjorn will turn the tables on them with help from his secret room.

Debut author Jonas Karlsson doesn’t leave a word out of place in this brilliant, bizarre, delightful take on how far we will go – in a world ruled by conformity–to live an individual and examined life.

Giveaways Extra Libris

Enter for Your Chance to Win The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins by Irvine Welsh

The famed—some would say notorious—author of Trainspotting and many other brilliant offenses against common literary decency comes at last to America, with a dark and twisted tale of personal training and abject codependency in the fading glitter of Miami’s South Beach.

When Lucy Brennan, a Miami Beach personal-fitness trainer, disarms an apparently crazed gunman chasing two frightened homeless men along a deserted causeway at night, the police and the breaking-news cameras are not far behind. Within hours, Lucy becomes a hero. Her celebrity is short-lived, though: the “crazed gunman,” turns out to be a victim of child sexual abuse and the two men are serial pedophiles.