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Archive for the 'All Book Issue' Category

June 2012 in Black Lamb

Volume 10, Number 6 — June 2012

June 1st, 2012

The Black Lamb Review of Books IX

In this issue of Black Lamb, our ninth annual Black Lamb Review of Books, Terry Ross looks at books by Jaimy Gordon, Elizabeth Taylor, and Alan Hollinghurst, and then plunges into the world of detective fiction in Shamuses, horses, & queers — oh my! Brad Bigelow reports on a spate of translations of Germany’s greatest novelist before Thomas Mann, Theodor Fontane.

John M. Daniel examines The disruptive world of Charles Baxter. In Knights errant, Ed Goldberg takes a close look at cops and detectives fighting burdens imposed upon them. Andi Diehn reports on how endless book reviewing killed her love of reading in Once I was a reader. In Apples & oranges, Toby Tompkins takes a look at T.C. Boyle and also at so-called genre fiction. M.A. Orthofer reviews Peter Ackroyd’s 1996 book Milton in America in What if …? Young Adult book writer Beren de Motier evaluates Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series.

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Posted by: The Editors
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June 2011 in Black Lamb

Volume 9, Number 6 — June 2011

June 1st, 2011

The Black Lamb Review of Books VIII

In the cover story of this, our Eighth Black Lamb Review of Books, John M. Daniel urges a remake of the movie The Wizard of Oz that is more closely based on Baum’s ironic and imaginative novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Terry Ross discusses several books, old and new, in Spring reading. In Grandpa’s stories, Harvey Freedenberg reviews Tiá Obreht’s The Tiger’s Wife.

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Posted by: The Editors
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The lost wonder of Oz

or, Notes for the remake of an American classic

June 1st, 2011

BY JOHN M. DANIEL

It’s a common belief that if you have read the book first, and loved it, you’ll be disappointed by the movie. There are exceptions, of course, but I’ve found I agree with the cliché nearly always.

scarecrow.pngI read L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz before I saw the MGM movie The Wizard of Oz. It was the first book-length book I ever read by myself, and I have reread it many times, at least once for every decade of my life, every time discovering new truths. I have seen the movie several times, too, and I am brave enough to say aloud that every time I’ve seen the movie I’ve been disappointed.

It is not the purpose of this essay to trash one of America’s cherished treasures. Yes, The Wizard of Oz is a wonderful movie, the Wonderful Movie of Oz. Because, because, because, because the music is great; the special effects were stunning for their time and still hold up; the joy and hope expressed were an antidote to the Depression-Era doldrums; and of course there’s Judy Garland, who deserves her tenure in American hagiography. Believe me, I like the movie. But it ain’t the whole truth and nothing but the truth about the Land of Oz, and it falls short of the book.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: All Book Issue, Books and Authors, Daniel | Link to this Entry

July 2010 in Black Lamb

Volume 8, Number 7 — July 2010

July 1st, 2010

The Black Lamb Review of Books

In this Black Lamb Review of Books, a seventh annual issue devoted entirely to books and reading, editor Terry Ross reflects on his springtime reading, which as included four novels by Frederick Buechner, Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose, two books by Jim Harrison, a Forties noir classic, and novels by Wallace Stegner, Edith Wharton, and Frederic Raphael. Greg Roberts reports on the autobiography of Isaac Stephenson, an honest politician vilified during his lifetime.

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Posted by: The Editors
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A decent man

Betrayal in Wisconsin

July 1st, 2010

BY GREG ROBERTS

I like reading books that no one has heard of. The 1950 memoirs of Valentin R. Garfias, Garf From Mexico, was limited to 2,000 copies, one of which was discarded by Cal State University, Hayward, ending up at the Salvation Army store. An excellent read — and if you do read it, you are in the dozens, like Spix macaws.

stephensonisaac.jpgIsaac Stephenson’s autobiography is easier to obtain — there were three copies available on eBay the last time I checked — but there is a good chance I’m the only person on earth reading it right now. That makes me Martha, the 1914 passenger pigeon.

Is it an important work? Very important. Obscurity means nothing. Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat languished for more than a century before it was rediscovered. And what about Moby-Dick? So there.

Isaac Stephenson’s remarkable life conveys a clear message to us: people living in the mid-1800s were amazingly resourceful, resilient, and self-reliant, and we need to be more like them. We are malnourished slugs, slaves to larger machines, and mentally torpid as well, the light bulb in our brain flickering like a feeble firefly.

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Category: All Book Issue, Roberts | Link to this Entry

June 2007 in Black Lamb

Volume 5, Number 6 — June 2007

June 1st, 2007

The Black Lamb Review of Books

In our cover story Terry Ross wonders how people find time to read books and talks about the 14 books on his shelf waiting to be read. In our page 2 feature, Tales from the Crypt, Ed Goldberg reviews two books haunted by dead white American authors. In A Lot of Learning, William Bogert offers an appreciation of memoirs by Dick Francis and Anne Fadiman. Cate Garrison reviews The Bookseller of Kabul in We Believe Her. You Read It Here First: Terry Ross celebrates the reissue of Evelyn Waugh’s travel books, the 5-volume autobiography of Leonard Woolf, and Irene Handl’s wonderful The Sioux, published in 1965.

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June 2003 in Black Lamb

Volume 1, Number 6 — March 2003

June 1st, 2003

READ THIS ENTIRE ISSUE IN THE ENTRIES BELOW

The All-Book Issue

In this, our first All-Book Issue, Editor Terry Ross describes how close this came to being a (shudder!) All James Michener Issue. In our page 2 feature, Wondrous Land, Cate Garrison pays homage to Lewis Carroll. D.K. Holm celebrates the film critic Robin Wood. In Memorable Miss Osborne, Grant Menzies remembers the first book that made him cry. Jim Patton (Mighty Marcel) claims that Proust is the all-time best. In The Man Who Couldn’t Think Straight, Greg Roberts takes Henry David Thoreau to task.

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The All Book Issue

... and the incredibly cruel All-Book Issue hoax

June 1st, 2003

BY TERRY ROSS

This month’s edition of Black Lamb — which I call the All-Book Issue — is a departure from the norm, because this magazine was created as a reincarnation of the old-fashioned literary Miscellany. Most months, that’s what it is, with the writers checking in from wherever they are — geographically, professionally, psychically — on whatever subjects or anecdotes they choose. It becomes a potpourri of different (and sometimes differing) voices and lives.

But for the June issue, the halfway point in our first year, I proposed that the writers choose a book and write about it in the context of their regular columns. Not book reviews, I said, but rather essays on how influential books had changed their lives. About a month before the copy deadline, I sent a mass email to most of the contributors (a few had already sent in their articles) to remind them of this assignment. That’s when the fun started.

Noting the copy deadline of April 1, one of the writers, Bud Gardner (his column's calledCountry Lawyer) copied the others’ email addresses from my message and wrote to them all, suggesting a prank. Country apparently called to country, for Emily Emerson (En Campagne) in west-central France immediately proposed that everyone write about the same book. Too hard, someone else said, we have no book in common. How about the same author, then, piped in Rebecca Owen from Pittsburgh, Pa. And thus came into being, at least conceptually, Black Lamb’s first, and certainly its last, All James Michener Issue.

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Posted by: The Editors
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Wondrous land

Finding Charles Dodgson and Alice Liddell everywhere

June 1st, 2003

BY CATE GARRISON

I was born a million miles away in a little village on the side of a hill…

(“When you say ‘hill,’” the Queen interrupted, “I could show you hills, in comparison with which you’d call that a valley.”)

alicerunningShe’s right, her boastful Red Majesty, who somehow has followed me from England to the United States. Ben Nevis, Snowdon, the so-called mountains of the English Lakes, all are tiny, benign pimples, mere beauty spots on the face of the earth compared with the roiling, boiling, majestic carbuncles of the High Cascades beyond whose eastern slopes I now make my home. Like Alice, I’m in a constant state of wonder, and not just at the newer, bigger, exhilaratingly more dangerous topography. The flora and fauna bewilder either in their unfamiliarity (for dodos, mock turtles and gryphons, read coyotes, moose, elk and bears) or, more tantalizingly, in an apparent sameness that turns out, looking-glass-like, to be an illusion. Consider the robin; compared to its tiny English cousin, the new world bird is a heavyweight, like Alice’s incongruously huge gnat (“…about the size of a chicken, Alice thought”).

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Posted by: The Editors
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Aged in Wood

June 1st, 2003

BY D.K. HOLM

I remember finding coveted film books the way most people remember where and when they first saw a favorite movie.

In the case of the book Hitchcock’s Films, it was fall of 1971. I was in the Portland State University bookstore, then a massive monument to university press and special-interest books (now a textbook clearing house), with thorough holdings in most fields. After fantasizing for years about a career as either a comic book creator or a movie director, I discovered that I enjoyed reading about films more than making them.

It takes a special personality type to helm the unwieldy juggernaut of a film crew. It takes no personality at all to read a book about it.

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Posted by: The Editors
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