December 22, 2006



Hey, congratulations, Mark (and GOTEV/Mrs. TEV-to-be)! It's clearly been a good year for you; I don't know what more you could ask from one spin through the calendar. Enjoy the break.

daniel olivas

What wonderful news on all counts, Mark! Happy last day of Chanukkah.


I would suggest "Lady Elegance" or "Mrs. Elegance" rather than Mrs. TEV.

John Shannon

Happy year-end. WOTEV, of course.

Antoine Wilson

Happy Holidays to you too, Mark. Sounds like it's been a banner year--kick your feet up and shut down the computer for a few days.


Congrats Mark! What wonderful news for the end of the year!!


Congratulations, Mark! And Happy Holidays from us!


Congratulations, Mark. Clearly a great year for you and richly deserved, I'm sure.


Read "By Grand Central Station I Sat Down And Wept" by Elizabeth Smart.


I'm on Xmas vacation, so only just got this. But congratulations Mark!


WOW - an engagement, and another novel from Mr.O. That is all fabulous news!

Hurray and very best wishes - enjoy Christmas, and your very shiny New Year, Mr and Mrs S2B.

Niall Harrison

Further congratulations and holiday wishes from over here.


What, with all of the phones, the computers with the email, even the mailman; I have to find out your engaged by reading your blog. Oy!


It should be pointed out that the genuine MOTEV would never confuse your and you're. I'll call you today, Chris ...


For the record, neither would I.


Congrats and have a nice rest.

Fiona Robyn

Good to find your site - I'd like to join in the chorus of congratulations (how exciting!) and also good to hear that Michael Ondaatje has another novel coming out - I love his poetry. Thanks.

The comments to this entry are closed.


  • The Elegant Variation is "Fowler’s (1926, 1965) term for the inept writer’s overstrained efforts at freshness or vividness of expression. Prose guilty of elegant variation calls attention to itself and doesn’t permit its ideas to seem naturally clear. It typically seeks fancy new words for familiar things, and it scrambles for synonyms in order to avoid at all costs repeating a word, even though repetition might be the natural, normal thing to do: The audience had a certain bovine placidity, instead of The audience was as placid as cows. Elegant variation is often the rock, and a stereotype, a cliché, or a tired metaphor the hard place between which inexperienced or foolish writers come to grief. The familiar middle ground in treating these homely topics is almost always the safest. In untrained or unrestrained hands, a thesaurus can be dangerous."


  • The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald


    Penelope Fitzgerald's second novel is the tale of Florence Green, a widow who seeks, in the late 1950s, to bring a bookstore to an isolated British town, encountering all manner of obstacles, including incompetent builders, vindictive gentry, small minded bankers, an irritable poltergeist, but, above all, a town that might not, in fact, want a bookshop. Fitzgerald's prose is spare but evocative – there's no wasted effort and her work reminds one of Hemingway's dictum that every word should fight for its right to be on the page. Florence is an engaging creation, stubbornly committed to her plan even as uncertainty regarding the wisdom of the enterprise gnaws at her. But The Bookshop concerns itself, finally, with the astonishing vindictiveness of which provincials are capable, and, as so much English fiction must, it grapples with the inevitabilities of class. It's a dense marvel at 123 pages, a book you won't want to – or be able to – rush through.
  • The Rider by Tim Krabbe


    Tim Krabbé's superb 1978 memoir-cum-novel is the single best book we've read about cycling, a book that will come closer to bringing you inside a grueling road race than anything else out there. A kilometer-by-kilometer look at just what is required to endure some of the most grueling terrain in the world, Krabbé explains the tactics, the choices and – above all – the grinding, endless, excruciating pain that every cyclist faces and makes it heart-pounding rather than expository or tedious. No writer has better captured both the agony and the determination to ride through the agony. He's an elegant stylist (ably served by Sam Garrett's fine translation) and The Rider manages to be that rarest hybrid – an authentic, accurate book about cycling that's a pleasure to read. "Non-racers," he writes. "The emptiness of those lives shocks me."