Hell Yeah! Worthy: November

Hell Yeah! Worthy
as curated by the Atticus Books staff 

Hell Yeah! Worthy is a monthly feature where our staff distills the plethora of scat on the Internet into a succinct list of the best you haven’t seen, the best you ignored, and the best you should visit again.



J.R.R. Tolkien

Art of the Hobbit: Never-Before-Seen Drawings of J.R.R. Tolkien by Maria Popova
via Brain Pickings
I’m awestruck by people whose artistic talents delight and amaze in cross-disciplinary fashion.  Tolkien’s genius and wizardry did not stop with narrative; his words merely served as a conduit to his magnificent artwork.  I recall The Hobbit being the first book I owned as a child, perhaps in the first grade. I can see my name written inside the front cover of the worn pocket paperback and I can remember feeling utterly captivated by the magic within those pages. (Dan)


The Pleasures and Perils of Rereading by Lisa Levy
via The Millions
My favorite part of the essay is this quote from Patricia Meyers Spacks: “No reader can fail to agree that the number of books she needs to read far exceeds her capacities, but when the passion for rereading kicks in, the faint guilt that therefore attends the indulgence only serves to intensify its sweetness.” (Libby)



The winner of the 2011 National Book Award for Fiction

Who Should Judge the National Book Awards? by Victor LaValle
via Salon
Every year there’s a hubbub around literary awards as too orientated toward the literary community and not concerned with the broader reading public. Unfortunately for this year’s National Book Awards, not only was there a gaffe in the finalist announcement for young adult literature, the judges failed to nominate any appropriately “big name” authors (prompting The Washington Post book reviewer Ron Charles to opine on Twitter that many of the year’s beloved novels weren’t included.) In his essay, LaValle argues that the awards community should include dedicated, professional booksellers among their judges because they “have more contact with the general reading public than most writers, editors, or critics ever will.” Booksellers know that the reading public “is a complex and surprising organism”– the rampant success of Dan Brown aside. (Lacey)


Domestic Ties by David S. Atkinson
via Atticus Review
We published “Domestic Ties” in Atticus Review back in August but (and maybe it’s because I’ve recently entered the world of housewifery), this story keeps eating at me, begging me to come back to it. And when I do, I’m surprised every time by the new layers I find. However, I would, for the record, like to distance myself as far as possible from this story’s main character. (Libby)


The Advent Conspiracy

This video from Advent Conspiracy is a drink of cool water in the midst of Christmas-themed Walmart and Kay Jeweler’s commercials. The idea is simple: buy less gifts, give more of (and to) the things that matter. A brilliantly designed video to boot. (Libby)


The Unlikely Event by Avi Steinberg
via The Paris Review Daily
I hate flying. I suffer from motion sickness in almost any form of transportation, but flying—compounded with the body sized bag carry-ons airline passengers squeeze into the overhead bins, everyone’s rush to make their connections, the statistic that most airplane crashes occur during take-offs and landings, and the regurgitated, virus-coated air—is a special form of torture. Avi Steinberg’s musings on airline safety cards as carefully rendered pluckings of classical art reassure me that I’m not alone in my contemplations that the safety cards are for pre-crash comfort only. (Lacey)


“The Serious Writer Occupies Wall Street” by Marcus Speh
With combats and market crashes ever looming in our soon-to-be Banana Republic, who doesn’t need a happy pill? This tingling flash of words about the “ongoing occupation of Earth” resonates in colors and sounds “like a confused army of yellow ticks.” Speh, a Berlin-based writer, recently engaged with Atticus Books and offered his thoughts on the Occupy Movement in our recent Six Degrees Left of Literature discussion. (Dan)


The 50 Best Albums of 2011 by Josh Jackson
via Paste Magazine
Paste Magazine is almost the sole reason that my taste in music has evolved from early ’70s acid rock and beatnik folk singers imitating Bob Dylan.  My love for modern music is not due to reading Rolling Stone Magazine or listening to commercial radio stations. I have a few friends who have helped shape my taste in music, but mostly  I credit two radio stations:  WXPN 88.5 FM: Public Radio from the University of Pennsylvania and The Spectrum (Sirius XM), and one outstanding periodical:  Paste Magazine.  As much as I love Barrelhouse, Rumpus, and Largehearted Boy, Paste remains my favorite publication to discover new music. (Dan)


Blue Velvet, directed by David Lynch

David Lynch Makes a Mix Tape
via Pitchfork
If you aren’t entranced by David Lynch‘s surrealist subversions of the classic American dream—from small town diners serving up mouth-watering cherry pie to the wanton hopes of fame—then you have an undiagnosable illness. Regardless of how many times you’ve watched Blue Velvet, Lynch (who recently released an album himself) creates a blues, indie, and classic rock-infused playlist that merits repeated listens. (Lacey)