Watch Joe Sacco explain how The Great War—which is now a finalist for an LA Times Book Prize—came about. (Like all great ideas, it involves drunken darts-playing.)
Months and months and months, and then a week ago I submitted the final draft of the book I’ve been working on, and this morning, it goes into production. Relieved to say: Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter will be out early next year from W. W. Norton.
Unless of course we are all compelled by Nina’s sparkling prose to quit our jobs and become carpenters ourselves. But no, we must resist the urge. The books must be made!
Follow carpentrix now, if you aren’t already.
Joe Sacco is up for an LA Times Book Prize with The Great War. (They’ve shoehorned him in with the Graphic Novels, as there’s not 24-Foot-Long Panorama category. Not yet, anyway.) To celebrate, take a look at this bonus footage from the short documentary about The Great War—in which Sacco explains his obsession with the Battle of the Somme.
AKHIL SHARMA — ON TOUR FOR FAMILY LIFE
“Family Life is a dark and thrilling accomplishment by a wildly gifted writer.”—Ann Packer
4/9 — New York, NY — Asian American Writers’ Workshop
4/14 — New York, NY — The Center for Fiction, with George Packer
4/15 — Cambridge, MA — Harvard Book Store
4/16 — Princeton, NJ — Princeton Public Library
4/22 — Albany, NY — New York State Writers Institute
4/24 — New York, NY — McNally Jackson, with Nell Freudenberger
5/5 — Washington, DC — Politics and Prose
5/6 — Philadelphia, PA — Free Library of Philadelphia
5/7 — New York, NY — Lower East Side Tenement Museum
5/8 — New York, NY — KGB Bar, Behind the Book Reading Series
5/9 — Brooklyn, NY — BookCourt
On the cover of this weekend’s New York Times Book Review Sonali Deraniyagala, the author of Wave, weighs in on Akhil Sharma’s new novel:
Family Life is devastating as it reveals how love becomes warped and jagged and even seemingly vanishes in the midst of huge grief. But it also gives us beautiful, heart-stopping scenes where love in the Mishra family finds air and ease…I found Family Life riveting in its portrayal of an immigrant community’s response to loss…But where Family Life really blazes is in its handling of Mrs. Mishra’s grief. Sharma is compassionate but unflinching as he tells of this mother’s persistent and desperate efforts to cope over the years.
"The stock market is rigged," Michael Lewis tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. “It's rigged for the benefit for really a handful of insiders. It's rigged to … maximize the take of Wall Street, of banks, the exchanges and the high-frequency traders at the expense of ordinary investors.”
Lewis is the author of several books about the stock market, including Liar’s Poker and The Big Short. His new book Flash Boys is about the form of computerized transactions known as High Frequency Trading, in which the fastest computers with the most high speed connections get the information first, and make the trade before anyone else can. A nanosecond can make all the difference between how much money is made or lost on any transaction.
Brad Katsuyama (above) figured out how the system is rigged and set out to change it. Lewis explains:
"There is this perception that Wall Street insiders understand how Wall Street works — and it’s false. It’s especially false right now. Here you have this young man, this kid [Katsuyama] at the Royal Bank of Canada who’s engaged in this kind of science experiment in the market. He figures out at least one angle the predators are taking and he goes and talks to not just ordinary investors … the biggest investors, the smartest investors in the world and their jaws are on the floor. … Even these people have no idea what’s going on in the market and are being educated by this Canadian who has basically just arrived on the scene and has decided to make understanding [this] his business."
Photo of President and CEO of IEX Group Brad Katsuyama by Philip Montgomery for The Wall Street Journal
Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt goes on sale Monday.
MARY ROACH — ON TOUR FOR GULP, IN PAPERBACK 4/1
“Far and away her funniest and most sparkling book, bringing Ms. Roach’s love of weird science to material that could not have more everyday relevance.”—Janet Maslin, New York Times
4/2 — Santa Cruz, CA — Bookshop Santa Cruz
4/4 — Berkeley, CA — Pegasus Books Downtown
4/8 — Corte Madera, CA — Book Passage
4/9 — Sebastopol, CA — Copperfield’s Books
4/13 — Durham, NC — Durham Technical Community College
4/16 — New York, NY — Strand Bookstore
4/21 — Salt Lake City, UT — Weller Book Works
4/22 — Boulder, CO — Boulder Bookstore
4/23 — Denver, CO — Tattered Cover (Colfax Ave.)
4/24 — Kansas City, MO — Kansas City Public Library
4/26 — Little Rock, AK — Arkansas Literary Festival
4/28 — Austin, TX — Book People
4/29 — Houston, TX — Brazos Bookstore
4/30 — Santa Clara, CA — Santa Clara University