- Hitchens looks back at the Rushdie fatwa and its legacy of censorship.
- The Feltron 2008 Annual Report
- “The Governor and the Glove” – an encounter with Blagojovich
- Joseph O’Neill remembers Updike (via TEV)
- Ted Leo performs Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark.”
- The Paleolithic era of online news.
- TNR reviews Outliers: “It is an axiom of Malcolm Gladwell’s method that a perfect anecdote proves a fatuous rule.“
“’I put lipstick on a pig,’ he said. ‘I feel a deep sense of remorse that I contributed to presenting Trump in a way that brought him wider attention and made him more appealing than he is’ … If he were writing The Art of the Deal today, Schwartz said, it would be a very different book with a very different title. Asked what he would call it, he answered, ‘The Sociopath.'” Donald Trump’s ghostwriter from The Art of the Deal, Tony Schwartz, expresses some remorse and tells what it was like to write Trump.
Some very cool Hunter S. Thompson photography showing now at an LA gallery. The show coincides with a pricey new “collector’s edition” book that “presents a rare look into the life of Thompson.” (via)Another most literate cities list has arrived. In 2006, Seattle wins, with Minneapolis second. My hometown Washington, DC, is tied for third and LA, where I lived when I started this blog, is eighth. The last two cities I’ve lived in, Chicago (39th) and, now, Philadelphia (tied for 33rd), fail to crack the top ten. Not sure what conclusions I can draw about that, but USA Today draws its own conclusions in an article about the list.Somebody gets into Gwenda’s garbage, her papers fly everywhere, and before you know it, she’s cought in a “indie movie scene wrought with ironic symbolism.” Brilliant.Lesser-Known Editing and Proofreading Marks. Also Brilliant. (via Languagehat)On a more serious note, Tim O’Reilly explains why the book search efforts of Google, et al, are broken. The problem is that we must search in Google’s (or Yahoo’s) walled garden. There is no way to search across all of the books that have been digitized, which is very much at odds with our experience on the Web, where we can search everything at once.
Sylvia Plath’s final days have long been a source of fascination and horror for many readers. In a forthcoming unauthorized biography of Plath’s husband Ted Hughes, it is claimed that one of Hughes’s more contentious poems, “Last Letter,” was written after an argument the couple had the night before Plath took her own life. Ted Hughes: An Unauthorized Life is out next week.
Lawrence Wright’s exposé of Scientology, Going Clear, is out today. Also out are The Boy by Lara Santoro and debut novel The Drowning House by Elizabeth Black. Our recently published Most Anticipated books of 2013 has much more about what’s still to come this year.