Quick Hits

February 27, 2014

Just (Un)Like Me: On Our Favorite Characters 3

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The most powerful reading experiences I’ve had all happened when I was seduced into the specific and alien lives of characters who are not like me at all. Characters who do things I would never do.

February 26, 2014

Like, OMG! ‘Like’ Is, Like, Totally Cool, Linguist Says 19

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There used to be a time when my story might have been: ‘I saw her enter the room and I was terrified that she would recognize me and so I crouched down.’ Which is actually sort of boring. But now you can tell that as: ‘I saw her, and I was like, oh my god! I was like, what if she sees me? I was like, oh my god, I’ve gotta hide. I was like, what am I supposed to say to her?’

February 4, 2014

Oh, The Favorites You’ll Give: Literary Twitter’s Best Tweets 7

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To present literary Twitter in its best possible light, we are returning again to those most widely followed on literary Twitter, but this time, looking at which Tweets got the most favorites, we are highlighting literary Twitter’s best tweets.

January 7, 2014

Commercial Grammar 46

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On the spectrum of world problems that need bemoaning, is bad grammar really one of them? Yes. Yes it is.

December 31, 2013

Big Empty: On the Demise of Blockbuster 4

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These were the days when the Internet was new, cell phones were for stockbrokers, and if you missed a movie in the theater, you had to wait six months or even a year or more to catch up. We don’t have to wait for anything now. I’m not sure that’s an entirely good thing.

November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving: A Day of Infamy for Turkeys 0

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Out came my 12-gauge, and I loosed off a shot that at some 100 feet did no discernible damage, and after a brief bout of what-the-hell-was-that the turkeys continued to forage. A fusillade of two more shots finally brought down a 14-pounder. I hung him for four days, plucked him and by Thanksgiving’s end he was history.

November 11, 2013

Call Me Twitterer: Literary Twitter’s First Tweets 5

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Twitter appears to be here to stay, for a while anyway. And it will remain a pastime for writers looking for book news, inspiration, distraction, literary puns, and every other thing they might want. But it wasn’t always that way. In the not too distant past, the literary lights of Twitter pecked out their first 140 characters and waited to see what Twitter would bring.

April 24, 2013

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

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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.

November 20, 2012

Goodwill in Brooklyn: On Donating Books to Unexpected Readers 13

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I am uncomfortable shedding books. The three boxes my husband and I were holding, plus three more in the trunk of the car, were the result of a careful purge executed after living abroad for a year.

November 16, 2012

Cyber-Babbittry: Conventionality and Banality Are Alive and Well on the Internet 2

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Whether the information comes via a Twitter newsfeed or from 20th-century church fellows, ads, and business pals, the effect is the same. Leave it to the crowds! Let the masses decide! This is still straight Babbittry.