Mark Dimunation was on the committee that selected the 88 books for the Library of Congress's current "Books That Shaped America" exhibit. Recently he did an interview with NPR's Lynn Neary in which he explained how he arrived at his decisions to include such works as Goodnight Moon, The Joy Of Cooking, and Uncle Tom's Cabin.
There's a lot of (justified) talk about the power of reading, but simply owning a book can be meaningful. Mabel Rosenheck considers Walter Benjamin's perspective on book ownership - "[it] is the most intimate relationship that one can have to objects. Not that they come alive in him; it is he who lives in them." - and her own experiences with book collecting in San Francisco in an essay for The Toast. Pair with Anne Fadiman's essay on relationships, books, and relationships with books, "Marrying Libraries."
The Council of Literary Magazines and Presses is hosting their annual Spelling Bee Fundraiser on October 30th. New Yorker editor Ben Greenman will host the event, which will pit Jonathan Ames, Amor Towles and Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures author Emma Straub against one another (and more) in a battle of lexicographic perspicacity. (Can you state the language of origin, please?) The event will be judged by none other than Jesse Sheidlower, editor of the inimitable Oxford English Dictionary.
"'I just want to be normal,' she said, even though she had amazing powers and a super-family and was mega-gorgeous and better than normal in every way and the entire book would be terrible if she were normal and she had no conception of what normal was to begin with." At The Toast, Mallory Ortberg lists flaws only a protagonist could have.
Lena Dunham is the new voice of the Archie comics generation. The Girls creator will write four issues of the famous comic, coming out in 2015. She's not the only woman joining the comics industry. DC Comics is adding a Native American teenage girl, inspired by the real Canadian Aboriginal teen activist Shannen Koostachin, to the Justice League United.
"Romatic realist" painter Bo Bartlett, born in Columbus, Georgia, is renowned for his epic tableaus depicting a "Hopper-like sense of longing and mystery combined with a Lynchian-cocktail of menace, beauty, and stranger-than-fiction reality." He was also a protégé and life-long friend of Andrew Wyeth. In Oxford American's most recent SoLost installment, the crew checks out Bartlett's surprising and endearing winter workspace.