Have you always been meaning to read Proust and just need that extra push of encouragement? Hey, I'd give you a whacking thump on the back; spending a summer reading In Search of Lost Time remains one of the reading experiences of my life. Yes, it really is that good. Publishing Perspectives has just launched a new blog called The Cork-Lined Room in which you can read the novel and hook up with other readers online. They'll be starting the discussion on November 2nd. But first they offer ten good reasons for reading this mammoth, but oh-so-satisfying classic. If you need more guidance, you can also turn to this new guide: Marcel Proust's Search for Lost Time: A Reader's Guide to The Remembrance of Things Past by Patrick Alexander. Isn't the cover terrific?
Another great writer was Vladimir Nabokov and next month sees the somewhat controversial publication of his unfinished novel, The Original of Laura. He had originally instructed his wife to burn the 138 handwritten index cards that make up the "manuscript" of this book but they were locked away instead. Now his son has authorized the publication of this first draft. I'm excited to read this if only because the published format will be quite experimental and interesting - the book will consist of detachable facsimiles of the handwritten index cards (so not particularly practical for public libraries - sorry). Robert McCrum has a great article in The Guardian on the history of the manuscript and the controversy. It makes me want to stop everything and just read nothing but Nabokov for days on end. Check it out here.