Recent Articles

May 19, 2011

Is This the Apocalypse? 4

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The day has come. Amazon just announced that it is now selling more e-books than physical books, and its ad-infused “Kindle with Special Offers is already the bestselling member of the Kindle family.” Meanwhile, it’s still news when a well-known author publishes an e-book (in this case, Susan Orlean’s new Kindle Single Animalish).

May 19, 2011

Working the Wound: Meghan O’Rourke’s The Long Goodbye 1

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I read this book in batches, putting it out of my reach until I could bring myself to pick it up again. I ran scared from this book, not because I didn’t think it would be worth reading, but because when I read it, I unraveled.

May 19, 2011

Goodnight Stars, Goodnight Air: Reconnecting with Children’s Books as a Parent 13

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The market for children’s books is probably more resistant to cultural churn than just about any other slice of the consumer economy; it’s a closed circuit that reproduces itself one generation after another.

May 18, 2011

Those Brits and Their Book Awards 0

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Phillip Roth wins the Man Booker International prize (a lifetime achievement award that’s a recent invention) and one of the judges steps down in protest. “I don’t rate him as a writer at all.”

May 18, 2011

Migrations: A Reading List 6

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Migration in its various forms is at the heart of a great many of my favorite plots in fiction. But beyond that it seems to me that migration, as an idea of motion, is inextricable from good fiction. Your characters must change—they must move, psychically at least, from point A to point B—and the plot must move forward.

May 18, 2011

Non Sequitur ad Absurdum: David Thorne’s The Internet is a Playground 4

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If there is an enduring truth revealed by the internet, it is that the world only seems to make sense when you filter most of it out.

May 17, 2011

Theories of Theories of the Novel 0

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In the Boston Review, Jess Row wades – slowly, interestingly, not always coherently – into the perpetually roiling waters of Theory of the Novel, taking on the canon wars, realism vs. the avant-garde, etc. Is it really “a safe bet that your average well-informed critic today has never read a single work of criticism by […]

May 17, 2011

The Chart Artist 0

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Ben Greenman, New Yorker editor, author, chart artist? The Observer explains.

May 17, 2011

TimesMachine 1

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New York Times has a cool feature I was unaware of, letting you browse issues from 1851-1922 in all their original grandeur.  Articles are also available for download as PDFs.

May 17, 2011

The Hype Cycle 0

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Elif Batuman entertainingly muses on “hype” and resolves to “write five 5-star Amazon reviews this month of books I love by living authors.”