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  • “In a world where reality has become stranger than fiction, actual books are no longer selling.” At The New RepublicMorgan Jerkins talks with agents, authors, booksellers, editors, and publicists about whether the Trump presidency is bad for the book business. And on that note, let’s revisit our own Bill Morris on book releases: “There are few iron facts in the crapshoot of the literary life, but here’s one: In book publishing — no less than in music, war, and sex — timing is everything.”


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    ~Kirstin Butler
  • “I war-gamed out everything. My biggest fear was that somebody tries to play out my book and finds out it won’t work.” At The New York TimesAlexandra Alter writes about the new Minecraft novel by Max Brooks, author of World War Z: “In the process, he may have also created a strange new entertainment category, one that hovers somewhere between fan fiction, role-playing games and literature — a novel set in a game, that can itself be played within the game.” And while we’re on the topic of games, let’s also talk about geekdom and race.


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    ~Kirstin Butler
  • “Now I get paid to do something I have loved since I was 4 years old. Other than my family, is there anything else I have loved so unconditionally, for so long?” Georgia Cloepfil in N+1 on the uncompromising, compromised life of the professional female athlete. See also: some thoughts about hosting the World Cup.


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    ~Kirstin Butler
  • “Heidi Maier, the new superintendent of the 42,000-student Marion County public school district in Florida, said in an interview that she made the decision based on solid research about what works best in improving academic achievement in students.” In place of traditional homework, 20,000 elementary school students will spend 20 minutes reading a book of their choice each night, reports The Washington Post. Pair with T.K. Dalton on books, kids, and gender.


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    ~Kirstin Butler
  • “I can read whatever I want. No one can stop me. I can help other people read what they want. And no one can stop them.” Zoe Fisher for The Rumpus about being “a horny queer teenager” who found her home in libraries. Pair with a controversial piece from our own pages this week by Douglas Koziol, a bookseller exploring what to do with “a book that you not only find objectionable but also believe actually dangerous in the lessons it portends amidst such a politically precarious time?”


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    ~Kirstin Butler
  • “Who was Bret Easton Ellis describing when he tweeted: ‘The best example of a contemporary male writer lusting for a kind of awful greatness that he simply wasn’t able to achieve’?” The Guardian has a delicious quiz of literary putdowns. And speaking of fighting, let’s talk about books about violence.


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    ~Kirstin Butler
  • Out this week: The Unwomanly Face of War by Svetlana Alexievich; Madame Zero by Sarah HallFierce Kingdom by Gin PhillipsGather the Daughters by Jennie Melamed; and Careers for Women by Joanna Scott. For more on these and other new titles, go read our most recent book preview.


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • “He believed it a privilege and a shame that his race and nationality gave him the chance to come and go from lands where a guillotine blade seemed to dangle forever over the local citizens.” Denis Johnson‘s longtime Esquire editor Will Blythe pens a remembrance of the writer for The New York Times. See also: our own Sonya Chung‘s recommendation of Johnson’s celebrated short story collection Jesus’ Son to a friend some years back. “I know it will knock him out,” she wrote. “It does (of course).”


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    ~Kirstin Butler
  • “There are times it’s happening multiple times a day. Not too long ago, we had two in the same restroom at the same time. We call security, security calls paramedics. Of course they always find somebody lying there.” Samantha Sanders writes for Catapult about the epidemic of opioid overdoses in public libraries, and what some librarians are doing to respond. And ICYMI, here is Corinne Purtill in our own pages about British libraries under austerity cuts.


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    ~Kirstin Butler
  • “Other favorites I’ve found myself overusing include ‘she nodded,’ ‘she raised her eyebrows,’ and ‘she walked home slowly / she slowly walked home.’” Maria Murnane writes for the Amazon Author Insights blog (full disclosure: Amazon helps us keep the lights on around here!) about how to watch out for crutch words.


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    ~Kirstin Butler
  • Recommended Reading: Colm Tóibín reads a new French novel, The End of Eddy.


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • What does it mean to be cool? What has it meant? On a new book about coolness in postwar America.


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    ~Thomas Beckwith

Read More The Millions Top 10 June 2017