Slate offers up a treatise on “the greatness of gin.” (via my friend Derek, who wrote: “for your book blog; there is too little booze on it”)
On Friday, I wrote about the British writer William Boyd, whose new play, Longing, debuted last week at London’s Hampstead Theatre. The play is based on two of Chekhov’s short stories, one of which (according to Boyd’s new article in The Guardian) sheds light on the great author’s love life. Apparently the young Anton had “at least two dozen” affairs.
In a head-scratching piece of writing for the New Statesman, Dave Eggers (whose novel The Circle just cracked our Top Ten) reflects on a cross-country drive he took from Jeddah to Riyadh. The journey, and in particular a comment made by his chauffeur, caused Eggers to ponder the significance of his nationality, his ability to perceive danger, and the intentions of others. The short of it: Some people from other countries are nice. Who knew?
While doing some work for his publisher, Jesse Browner discovered something odd about a book he published twelve years ago. One sentence — one he thought of at the time as mostly unremarkable — went viral after the book came out, eventually reaching over two thousand hits on Google. What was it like to find this out? At The Paris Review Daily, he writes about the experience. You could also read our interview with our own Mark O’Connell on viral celebrity and his e-book Epic Fail.
“Baker is such a wonderful prose stylist that he could probably get away with publishing his diary—which, for epic stretches, is what Substitute feels like.” Over at The Nation, Evan Kindley reviews Nicholson Baker‘s latest, a 700-plus-page non-fiction exploration of substitute teaching. Spoiler: it’s not as sexy as Baker’s other work. If it’s the sex you want, see our primer on Baker’s novels; also immensely entertaining, our interview with the author from 2013.