Articles by Janet Potter

February 28, 2014

The Poet and the Movie Star: An Evening with Frank Bidart and James Franco 6

Bidart wanted to have dinner with Franco so that he could explain his intentions in writing “Herbert White” (which is written in the first-person character of a necrophiliac murderer), plus, he said, “Of course I wanted to have dinner with James Franco! He was brilliant in Pineapple Express!”

February 18, 2014

28 Books You Should Read If You Want To 44

I discovered one of my favorite books because the author called our store and charmed the living daylights out of me. I found another in a box of old books that my Russian literature professor left outside his office to give away.

January 21, 2014

Read Me! Please!: Book Titles Rewritten to Get More Clicks 74

As Upworthy-style headlines sweep the internet, aiming to snag as many clicks as possible by pandering to as many whims and obsessions as possible, the dignified mystery of the great book title stands in stark contrast.

December 10, 2013

A Year in Reading: Janet Potter 2

The Second Annual Janet Potter Awards for Literary Achievement…including “Cutest Couple,” “Best Temper Tantrum,” and “Biggest Failure.”

September 30, 2013

Screwing Up and Falling in Love: Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park and Fangirl 1

Both books are about how falling in love for the first time, particularly if you’ve never seen a love story you can relate to, can be as terrifying and confusing as it is joyful.

September 20, 2013

Zen and the Art of Pie Making 0

A great pie is a product of both skill and wisdom; as, I believe, is a great life.

May 28, 2013

Video Games Are a Metaphor for Life: Austin Grossman’s You 4

I like listening to people talk about video games. Not those conversations about who scored a sick no-scope head shot, or which character’s passive ability allows them to farm the most efficiently, mind you, but about why video games can be meaningful and why they matter.

May 16, 2013

The Museum of Unhappy Women: Z by Therese Anne Fowler 2

Paradoxically, this is the reason to write and read about Zelda, because she deserved a life much more interesting than the one that she got. Interesting to her, that is, a life she could have given her energy and talents to, not just a life made interesting by famous friends and European capitals.

April 24, 2013

What Should I Read on Vacation?: A Question I Never Took Lightly Again 1

This theory of vacation books, which I subscribe to so heartily, all began with a vacation I took, to London, which was one of the worst decisions I ever made, and the book I took along, Banvard’s Folly, which was one of the best.

March 28, 2013

Men Handling Things: On Stuart Nadler’s Wise Men 0

I can’t say whether I was enjoying the book itself or just the true American, grand tradition of it all. Surely I’m reading a great book, I thought, a rich man with a diamond watch is staring at the ocean while his son looks on and doubts it all!