The good folks at Dorothy labored over a tremendous “Book Map” depicting the settings of some 600 literary works based in London. The books, poems, and essays selected for the map run the gamut from T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land” to J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.
So it’s with a sense of incompletion that I offer my nine recommendations here for January, books and poems that begin, or hinge, or are contained in the year’s first month. Aside from almanacs like mine, surprisingly few books actually start in January, by the way; one of those that does may be the most appropriate January book of them all, though it’s not included below: Bridget Jones’s Diary, which opens the year not with hope but a hangover.
I’m an aspirational reader when it comes to nonfiction: ‘Oh, I’m interested in the topic!’ I’ll say, super enthusiastically, but in the end I’ll barely manage to slog through the introduction.
"Thirty satellites orbiting the earth at a height of 12,550 miles make up the Global Positioning System, what artist and technologist James Bridle describes in ‘You Are Here’ as ‘a celestial superstructure that we all live inside.’ His resulting map shows Earth in the constant conical spotlight of these orbiting beacons. Though the benefits have been countless, we may never be lost again, writes Bridle, and ‘future generations will grow up not knowing what it means to be truly lost.’”
After successfully raising funds through their Kickstarter campaign, Red 14 Films has begun releasing the first of their cinematic book trailers.
Tragedy, horror, and war demand a different sort of art. Writers who take up such subjects cannot be concerned only with beauty. They must balance aesthetics against ethics, and ask questions like, How do I write about someone who is dead? What gives me the right to tell his story?