Sunday, August 05, 2007

My Cozy Hometown Paper: The NYT

I may be living 1775 miles west of my native Manhattan, but the New York Times is still much more relevant to me than the Denver Post. As I perused the Times over breakfast by the kitchen window a little while ago, I felt like I was living in a small town. And that wasn't just because I was overlooking my little patch of garden; there were so many mentions of people I know that I could have been reading The Weekly Almanac (a Northeast PA paper that I wrote for nearly 20 years ago) instead of The Newspaper of Record.

Baratunde Thurston, BP 101 workshop alum and perennial BEA Saturday Book & Author Breakfast date, got this quote in "Democratic Candidates Spar at ‘Netroots’ Forum":
“What you have here is a bunch of micro-media outlets that connect to thousands upon thousands of people — influential people,” said Baratunde Thurston, who writes a political blog in Boston. “The candidates would be foolish to miss out on an opportunity like this.”
In the Book Review, the Fiction Review gave a thumbs up to Timothy Schaffert's Devils in the Sugar Shop. (See his wonderful story of thanks in my post A Grace Note of Gratitude.)

Also in the Book Review, there's a full-page review by Philip Lopate of Patrick McGilligan's biography, OSCAR MICHEAUX: The Great and Only: The Life of America’s First Black Filmmaker. Pat interviewed my father for TENDER COMRADES: A Backstory of the Hollywood Blacklist and was on a panel I moderated at the VaBook Festival a couple of years ago, "The Hollywood Blacklist: Why Does It Still Matter?"

And for the true flavor of a hometown rag, there's the lede in the final paragraph of Lisa Fugard's otherwise excellent review of DOWN THE NILE: Alone in a Fisherman’s Skiff by Rosemary Mahoney:
With her sinuous and richly textured writing and her eye for vivid and startling details
My reaction (after swallowing my coffee): "OWWOOOO!"

Apparently Fugard and the editors at the NYTBR haven't read "Bella's Rules for Reviewing" on my writing website. Rule #6 states:
Shun these over-used phrases & words:
  • richly textured (my #1 pet peeve; do a Google search & it'll be yours too.)
  • luminous prose
  • page-turner
  • keen eye for telling detail
  • a book that you can't put down
  • till long after the last page is turned
  • gripping, compelling, intriguing, interesting
  • [see more in Circle of clich├ęs]

2 comments:

Kim Stagliano said...

Bella, what do you think of the new size? It's 1.5 inches narrower as of this morning.

Bella Stander said...

The national issue has been the smaller size since I've been getting it last year, so there's no difference here in the Outback.