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This week at The Quivering Pen book blog: Fobbit on NYT Notable Books list, Adam Braver's first time, new books spotlight, the Friday Freebie giveaway, and more.

The Quivering Pen
a blog about books

It's Fine By Me

Friday Freebie
This week's book giveaway is It's Fine By Me by Per Petterson from Graywolf Press. I mentioned It's Fine By Me in a previous edition of "Front Porch Books" here at The Quivering Pen blog. At that time, I wrote: "In an editor's note at the front of my advance reading copy, Graywolf publisher Fiona McCrae notes that 'Over the next six years or so, Petterson's British publishers and Graywolf Press are planning to release four of his backlist titles: two novels, one collection of short stories, and one collection of essays. Beginning with the novel It's Fine By Me, they are being translated one at a time, in collaboration with Petterson.'"
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Adam Braver

My First Time: Adam Braver
Today, I’m thinking about the first Talking Heads record, called 77. It wasn’t so much the lyrics (which at the time were attracting the lion’s share of attention among my crowd, with their so-called quirky images and ironic commentary on American suburban life), but it was the simplicity of the music and the arrangements. I suppose that now we would call it minimalism. At that point in my life, I didn’t think about terms, nor did they interest me in the least. Everything was visceral. The songs and arrangements on that album had both a power and a space that combined in ways that I never knew. You could almost feel the power of what was not being played, just as pronounced as what was being played. I’ll spare you further music criticism, only to say that that balance was one that I forever wanted to strike (again, even though it was internalized and didn’t really consciously affect me until so much later in my life). To this day, when I’m writing or revising, I think that I want the narrative to sound like 77. I don’t know exactly what that means when it comes to words, only that I want the power and simplicity, the beauty and the elegance, and the tension and force that comes from the silence of open space.
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Fobbit

Visit Fobbit on the web
"What’s most intriguing about this work is that, at its center, it is both a clever study in anxiety and an unsettling expose of how the military tells its truths.  Fobbit traces how 'the Army story' is crafted, the dead washed of their blood, words scrutinized, and success applied to disasters."
--The Washington Post

From Quivering Pen HQ
From Quivering Pen HQ:  As the song goes, it's the most wonderful time of the year.  I love this holiday season, soaked in nostalgia and sumptuous feasts and thirty-bazillion versions of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.  But December also means I need to put my literary running shoes on and make a mad Olympic sprint to the finish line for all the books I intended to read in 2012.  There's no frickin' way I'm gonna come even close to polishing off my To-Be-Read stack.  The most I can hope for is two more contemporary books (Misfit by Adam Braver--see above--is one; I haven't decided on the other) and my annual reading of one book each from Agatha Christie and Louis L'Amour.  I don't know why I always finish off the year with these low-calorie palate pleasers, but I do.  To me, six-shooters and Hercule Poirot are as much a part of Christmas as overpriced Hallmark ornaments, runny noses, and That Fruitcake I'll Never Eat.
Your Pen Pal,
David Abrams
The Aviator's Wife

Front Porch Books
In this month's edition of Front Porch Books, I spotlight new and forthcoming fiction by Melanie Benjamin, Sam Savage, Kate Southwood, Susan Jackson Rodgers, Jeff Backhaus, Joseph Monninger, Anne Bernays and Jan Richman.  Topics include: Charles and Anne Lindbergh, war wounds, tornadoes, homophobes, ex-boyfriends, replacement wives, and rollercoasters.  So, in other words, a stew of delights.

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Fobbit

Fobbit is named to NYT Notable Books list
Shock and awe.
Disbelief and delight.
Thank you, New York Times, for including my book on this year's list of literary dazzlers
.
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Booktalk Nation

Join me on Booktalk Nation this Wednesday
On December 5, I'll be on the live-interview program Booktalk Nation, starting at 7 pm EST. I'll be talking with novelist Sarah Bird and I hope you can tune in for the conversation. Booktalk Nation is a new program which aims to duplicate the kind of events you'd find at your local independent bookstore. To register for the Abrams-Bird interview, go to this page and sign up with your email address. One of the great things about Booktalk Nation is that it wholly supports independent bookstores by allowing listeners to buy signed copies of the authors' books.  In my case, you'll be able to order Fobbit from The Country Bookshelf in Bozeman, MT; and you can order Sarah's novel The Gap Year from BookPeople in Austin, Texas.
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Hollywoodland

Dubble: a novel about Hollywood
At nearly every stop of the Fobbit book tour, I was asked that question which most writers dread (because they're superstitious? because they don't want to commit?): "What's your next book about?"  I've been dropping enough hints in person and in interviews, I thought it was time I talked about it here on the blog.  Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to....Dubble.  Set in the 1940s, it's narrated by David Dubble, a little person (as he's quick to tell you, he's not a midget, he's not a dwarf--he's hypopituitary) who at age 18 leaves his home in Idaho and heads to Hollywood where he gets his lucky break working as a stuntman/bodyguard for child actor Eddie Danger, the reigning box-office champ. That's as much as I'll tell you for now. This opening passage from Dubble will give you a good idea of the novel's tone and direction....
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The Underside of Joy

Soup and Salad
This week's book news roundup includes a picnic basket giveaway from Sere Prince Halverson to celebrate the paperback release of her debut novel The Underside of Joy; Junot Diaz's silences; Antoine Wilson's singular voice in Panorama City; Tim O'Brien's speechless, choked-up moment; a Fobbit auction on Twitter (hurry! it's tonight!); the value of a e-book, according to Nancy Bilyeau (The Crown); and my three favorite books of Southern humor.
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