Jacob Silverman tackles the niceness epidemic besieging literary criticism at the moment. Where have the hatchet jobs gone? Is social media’s “communalism” robbing critics of their fangs? Each time a publication refuses to print a negative review, the act amounts to “a victory for a publicist, but not for readers,” he writes. (Just a few notes: Silverman’s piece is based on a blog post he wrote recently; Emma Straub has responded on her own blog; and, for what it’s worth, our own Michael Bourne’s recent review of Richard Ford’s Canada was pretty toothy.)
If we were to buy ourselves a gift this year, it would be Penguin's "One Hundred Book Covers in One Box" postcard set.
Did you read a short story today? He did.Samantha Hunt scribbles on bar napkins.Deborah Eisenberg not only writes great stories; she also gives a great interview.A Peter Markus story - free! - at failbetter.com.A Ben Fountain story - free! - at The Barcelona Review.Bookslut chats up Elizabeth Crane.Death is dead (via Conversational Reading).