Recent Articles

March 27, 2007

Top Tens: Their Silliness, Their Allure 0


Longtime Millions reader Laurie sent in her reaction to all these “top ten” book lists that have been floating around in recent months, while also, of course, sharing her own: In the wake of the release of The Top Ten, [there is also a Web site] a collection of top ten books chosen by 125 […]

March 25, 2007

Four Years of The Millions 8


The Millions notched its fourth anniversary this weekend, and I’m very pleased that the site is still going strong and more popular than ever. As much as I’d like to take full credit for this, much of it should go to my contributors who really stepped it up last year and who since the redesign […]

March 23, 2007

“Turgid Waters”: Zodiac Unmasked 1


When I was a kid, I read People magazine. I mean read it. As in every week. A couple of years into my subscription, I could name the husbands of Elizabeth Taylor, the number of cars owned by Jay Leno, the blood-type of every member of the house of Windsor. Weirdly, People also taught me […]

March 23, 2007

Quarterly Report: Book Industry Trends 0


Every three months I’ve been looking at Barnes & Noble’s quarterly conference call to get some insight into recent book industry trends and to see which books the retailer expects to be “big” in the coming months. Here are the highlights from CEO Steve Riggio on the Q4 conference call (courtesy Seeking Alpha): One of […]

March 22, 2007

Thursday Links 0


An illustration of why Cliffs Notes are never a substitute for the real thing. The Britannica Blog looks at “fun facts” about the 1,000 most popularly held books in libraries around the world, including this item: “Which author has the most works on the OCLC Top 1000 list? William Shakespeare (with 37 works). He is […]

March 21, 2007

A Job for Yaghdan 2


This morning, when I finished reading George Packer’s long article in this week’s New Yorker, I felt like crying. Not out of sadness so much as out of frustration. Reporting from Iraq, Packer discovers yet another in a seemingly interminable series of managerial and moral failures: the U.S. government’s failure to support the Iraqis who […]

March 20, 2007

R is for Ridiculous 1


In a List at McSweeney’s, Chris Steck ponders what might happen when Sue Grafton runs out of letters for her series of novels (she’s up to S is for Silence, so letters are running short). Steck posits that F1 Is for Help might be a good option. He’s got some other ideas too. James Patterson […]

March 19, 2007

Still Tied for the Lead, But for How Long 0


Very clever of The Morning News to do this whole bracket competition with their Tournament of Books, because here I am writing about it again. I can’t help myself, especially with the palpable frisson of being tied for first. In all seriousness, though, I’ve greatly enjoyed both the write ups by the various judges and […]

March 17, 2007

A New, Old Trend: ‘Assistant Lit’ 5


Skimming through the CS Monitor book section I came upon a capsule review describing Because She Can by Bridie Clark as the latest example of “assistant lit.” I assume that this trend hit the big time with the success of The Devil Wears Prada, and the subsequent movie version. But just as some see Jane […]

March 16, 2007

Love: A Burning Thing 6


I guess I re-enter the ring of fire at my own peril, but I feel compelled to return to what has become (or so the publish first, ask questions later crowd would have it) “n+1 vs. lit-bloggers.” At times, the whole kerfuffle has seemed to confirm some of the liabilities n+1‘s “Blog Reflex” sought to […]