Recent Articles

November 4, 2008

We Have a Winner… 3

by

…in the VQR Young Reviewers Contest. Our own Emily Colette Wilkinson was awarded the prize for her review of The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: A Shocking Murder and the Undoing of a Great Victorian Detective by Kate Summerscale. We’ll post a link if and when VQR puts the review online. Congrats Emily!

November 4, 2008

Why Vote? 2

by

Lauren and I were in line, probably about 50 back, at 6:45. By the time the poll opened at 7, the line stretched down to the end of the block, at least 200 people long. Friends and neighbors waved to each other and stopped to say hello as they worked their way to the end […]

November 3, 2008

“Were You Aware Of It?”: John Hodgman and the LRB Personals 2

by

In John Hodgman’s charming 2005 miscellany The Areas of My Expertise, “Were You Aware Of It?” serves as a recurring title for astonishing “facts.” One of my favorite among these inclusions reveals that: Jack Ruby owed seventeen dachshunds, whom he referred to as “his children.” In an astonishing coincidence, all of his dogs were named […]

November 1, 2008

Studs Terkel RIP 0

by

Studs Terkel died at 96 on Friday. In Chicago, Terkel’s adopted home, he was regarded as a local treasure. Terkel had a long radio career hosting shows on which he conducted wide-ranging interviews, but he was perhaps best known for his series of oral histories. The genre is now quite popular, encompassing topics from punk […]

October 30, 2008

Curiosities 0

by

This just in! Senator Barack Obama has “palled around” with the notorious constitutionalist Richard Posner. The good folks at Hotel St. George Press interview Taryn Simon, the artist behind the brilliant Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar. Jonathan Franzen’s remembrance of David Foster Wallace is quite moving… …as are the Elizabeth Bishop stanzas that conclude […]

October 30, 2008

Google Settlement Could Change the Literary Landscape 9

by

After once being a hot topic, prompting many in publishing to vocally take sides, the dispute between Google and the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers simmered quietly in lawyers’ offices for more than two years. But this week Google’s book scanning effort was back in the news with the announcement of a […]

October 29, 2008

Bolaño’s Big Book Makes Landfall 5

by

Today in my mailbox, I found a hardcover edition of Roberto Bolaño’s 2666. Longtime readers of this blog may recall that I’ve become something of a Bolaño–phile in the last year… in fact, I already read the English translation of 2666, the late Chilean author’s magnum opus, this summer, in galley form. And so the […]

October 29, 2008

Oprah Incurs Booksellers’ Wrath 6

by

Over at the Vroman’s Bookstore blog, Millions contributor emeritus Patrick Brownweighs in on Oprah’s endorsement of the Kindle, saying, “I never thought Oprah was anything more than she is — a corporate shill.” Vroman’s president Allison Hill (a beloved and admired figure in the bookselling industry) also shares her thoughts: Oprah, if you’re reading this, […]

October 28, 2008

If You Want To Be Happy For The Rest of Your Life… Be a Republican 6

by

According to a new PEW Research Poll published last week, Republicans are still – in spite of the nation’s economic woes, their epically unpopular current president, and their party’s doubtful prospects for the upcoming election – happier than Democrats: 37% of Republicans versus 25% of Democrats consider themselves “very happy” – and more of them […]

October 28, 2008

Ask a Book Question: #68 (Building a 21st Century Contemporary Fiction Syllabus) 27

by

Gene writes in with this question: I currently teach a high school English course called 21st Century Literature, and I’ve hit a bit of a block these last few weeks in trying to put together this year’s syllabus. We currently read Eggers’ A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Lethem’s The Fortress of Solitude, Zadie Smith’s […]