Curiosities

July 1, 2014

The gun goes off in the end 0

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“Maybe this is a writer thing, having pages and pages of stuff written that has not yet cohered into a completed arc, which, when you finish it, would be a laurel on which you could rest.” A writer considers Chekhov’s dictum.

July 1, 2014

The real Susan Orlean diet 0

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The Skinny is acclaimed author Susan Orlean’s strangest work, hands down: a half-serious diet book that advises women, among other things, to cover tempting food with bleach. Not one to follow her own advice, Orlean’s diary of a week of eating for Grub Street features yogurt breakfasts, crackers eaten over sinks, and other basically realistic, bleach-free culinary adventures.

July 1, 2014

I think a lot about myself, therefore I am self. 0

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In the Prospect, an essay on anesthesia, 3D printing, teleportation, LSD, and other thought experiments on self-awareness. Also, this line: “If the spectrum of selfhood begins with the roundworm, surely it ends with Proust.” 

July 1, 2014

Tuesday New Release Day: Gould; Foster; Netzer; Sohn; Rotert; Jacob; Canobbio; Wallace; Weil; Beckett 0

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Out this week: Friendship by Emily Gould; God Is an Astronaut by Alyson Foster; How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky by Lydia Netzer; The Actress by Amy Sohn; Last Night at the Blue Angel by Rebecca Rotert; The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob; Three Light-Years by Andrea Canobbio; The Sacred River […]

June 30, 2014

The sublime everyday 0

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Tom Perotta, author of  Little Children and The Leftovers, talks about how he learned to write about ordinary life from Thornton Wilder’s play, Our Town. “The tragedy is that, while we’re alive, we don’t view our days in the knowledge that all things must pass. We don’t—we can’t—value our lives, our loved ones, with the urgent knowledge that they’ll one day be gone forever.”

June 30, 2014

On the 33 0

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Recommended reading: “One of the drillers fell to his knees. Some sobbed, in the way men do when their mothers die, or when their sons are born.” An exceptional and deeply moving long-form essay in the New Yorker recounting the 69 days spent underground by the famed ’33′ Chilean miners buried in the 2010 accident at Copiapó.

June 30, 2014

“The flamboyant misanthrope and the restrained one” 1

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If you’ve ever had a successful friend you secretly envied and maybe even hated, you may be in startlingly good company: a new reading of an old letter between Groucho Marx and T.S. Eliot indicates that the “flamboyant misanthrope and the restrained one” shared exactly this kind of frenemyship. Unrelated: a short recording of Eliot reading “The Naming of Cats.”

June 30, 2014

The other work of a creative 0

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“What you might call an invisible economy of house sitters exists across the country,” writes Aaron Gilbreath in the Paris Review. His account of the generosity and clean counter-spaces of friends is a humbling reminder of the flip side of creative work.

June 30, 2014

Citizen Bezos 0

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Jeff Bezos married a novelist, “expressed a passionate devotion to books”, and may be the one person mild-mannered indie bookshop owners hate more than any other. How’d that happen? After perusing a short history from the New York Review of Books, see for yourself with our vintage news announcements on Amazon’s innovations in pay-per-page pricing, now-old products like the Kindle, and […]

June 29, 2014

Rowling on “the Literati.” 0

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Does The Silkworm, which came out last week, give readers insight into how its author, Robert Galbraith – er, J.K. Rowling – feels about the publishing community? Elizabeth Winkler takes a look.