Fun Reads for Friday

While waiting out Mother Nature’s standing grudge against New York City (it’s April–what is this 37 degrees and raining nonsense!?) and biding my time until the Mets game this evening (Opening Day–a sure sign of spring!), I’ve collected a few articles of bookish interest for those of you who are frittering away time at your computers today.

1. If You Can Read It, You Can Eat It” : an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education about the International Edible Book Festival, in which participants “[c]reate an edible concoction inspired by a book and, if desired, describe it with a groan-inducing pun.” Some of the entries from previous years mentioned include:

  • Their Eyes Were Watching Cod
  • A Thousand Splenda Suns

And my two favorites, which inexplicably have no pictures.

  • All Quiet on the Western Bundt


  • “Rabbit(s) Run, an Updike homage that featured marshmallow bunny Peeps lined up in single file on rice cakes. (Bunny Peeps failed to win the judges’ admiration last year in a dark submission that had them acting out Andy Riley’s The Book of Bunny Suicides.)”

Your own suggestions for edible book creations (with puns, preferably) are encouraged in the comments.

2. “How Not to Handle a Negative Review” on Flavorpill. Discusses debut novelist Jacqueline Howett’s public tantrum in the comments section of Big Al’s Books and Pals, a website dedicated to reviewing Kindle e-books. Big Al took issue with the spelling errors and syntax issues that he says are prevalent in Howett’s novel, The Greek Seaman. Howett, who eventually took to calling Big Al “a big rat and a snake with poisenous [sic] venom” contends that Big Al just didn’t get her style because he’s English.

Interesting links in the post about Saul Bellow’s response to a review of his novel Dangling Man, which he apparently considered to be “a hash, a mishmash for which I deserve to be mercilessly handled” and a 1914 essay about the importance of criticism in reigning in “the present pride of great writers.”

3. And… (drum roll…) the 2011 PEN World Voices Festival has been announced. Yay! See the new line up here. I have not yet had a chance to peruse the website myself, but potential and alternate schedules will assuredly follow in later posts.


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