The sale of audiobooks has skyrocketed in recent years. In 2012, total industry sales in the book business fell just under 1 percent over all, but those of downloadable audiobooks rose by more than 20 percent. That year, 13,255 titles came out as audiobooks, compared with 4,602 in 2009. Publishers seem to be paying more attention to their production. When Simon and Schuster published Colm Toibin’s “Testament of Mary” last autumn, the narrator was Meryl Streep.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
It is the time of year when we are awash in “Best of” lists, and many worthy publications have put forth their recommendations for the best books of the year that is about to pass us by. A friend of mine professed herself overwhelmed by the lists, and asked me if I would curate them for her. Here, for Julie and for the rest of you, is my “best of the best,” a list of books I think you should find a time and a place for in your busy schedule.
One reader created a massive chart collecting and comparing the top 100 books mentioned across eleven different top 100 lists. Joseph Heller, Vladimir Nabokov and F. Scott Fitzgerald led the rankings, appearing on ten out of the eleven lists.
The protagonist of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby was queer, while the modern film version of him is decidedly straight, says Noah Berlatsky in The Atlantic.
Nick Carraway is the voice and central character of Fitzgerald's Gatsby, and for decades, pundits and scholars asserted he was gay or bisexual, and likely in love with the wealthy and troubled Jay Gatsby. Berlatsky believes director Baz Luhrmann's take on the novel, released Friday to middling reviews but decent box office numbers, whitewashes queer references to Nick.
The great Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami once translated The Great Gatsby for Japanese readers. In Columbia University Press’ In Translation: Translators on Their Work and What It Means anthology, you can read an essay he wrote about translating the book:
"When someone asks, “Which three books have meant the most to you?” I can answer without having to think: The Great Gatsby, Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, and Raymond Chandler’s The Long Goodbye."
The general public now has a rather unusual chance to see how F. Scott Fitzgerald’s mind worked when it came to some of the not-quite-literary aspects of his life. His handwritten financial ledger has been digitized and put on the University of South Carolina’s website, where anyone can access it. “This is a record of [...]