At Slate, Rosecrans Baldwin notes “Pick up just about any novel and you’ll find a throwaway reference to a dog, barking in the distance.” Amazingly enough, he’s right.
“Do you know the philosopher Slavoj Žižek?” asks John Jeremiah Sullivan in his interview for the LA Review of Books. “He has this thing about love, the evil of love, and he says, I really don’t like love, because what love says is: I pick you out from everything, and I’m going to give you special attention, meaning that everything else is denigrated, and he says there’s something a little evil in that, and in the same way I think that there something a little philistine about lists.”
The publishers of the 33 1/3 series have made public the entire list of suggested albums submitted by their readers for the next book. Don’t worry, you didn’t miss your chance–the “Under-22” category is open through May of 2016. Pair it with our own Emily Colette Wilkinson’s hilarious musical soundtrack for her graduate school screenplay.
Slate books and culture columnist Laura Miller looks at what this year’s bestseller list tells us about 2017. One of her conclusions, “2017 was the year that the very concept of a best-seller became even more dubious.” After reading her analysis, check out our Year in Reading lists, whose authors found joy in reading and viewed it as one of the few good things of this year, even if the bestsellers of the year didn’t reflect those feelings.
Perhaps the best mashup of highbrow and lowbrow to grace the cultural ether in recent years is this innovative scratch-and-sniff guide to becoming a wine expert. The book, which is exactly what you think it is, declares that “not all oaks are created equal” and includes a diagram of “all the smells in the world.” (Related: literary tourism at Suttree’s High Gravity Beer Tavern.)
Is it possible to share something with a “maybe don’t read this” tag attached? The literary internet has been buzzing today over the moral implications of stripping a writer (and, by association, a human) of their anonymity after this piece on Elena Ferrante was published in the NYRB. Read it or don’t read it, but definitely read her work.
It’s official, kids: Dave Eggers will publish a new novel this fall. Named The Circle, the book tells the story of Maeve Holland, a woman who takes a job at a Google-esque company in California. Despite the seemingly idyllic nature of the fictional company’s campus, Knopf assures us that the book is “a novel of suspense.”