Publishers Weekly did some sleuthing and it turns out that it only takes 300 print copies sold per day to land the Amazon bestseller list – time to get cracking, everyone.
At long last Renata Adler’s re-released Speedboat is out from NYRB Classics. The book’s attracted quite a bit of (deserved) pre-release hype. Also out today are a pair of books covered in our Great 2013 Book Preview: Vladimir Nabokov’s The Tragedy of Mr. Morn (no relation to yours truly) and Aleksandar Hemon’s The Book of My Lives. In three days you can get your hands on Kristopher Jansma’s debut novel The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards.
Helen Vendler is one of those rare scholar-writers who doesn’t adhere to a particular school of theory. In her new book of essays, she explains her view of criticism as distinct from both philosophy and scholarship, as a form of learning that’s inherently “unsystematic and idiosyncratic.” In Open Letters Monthly, Jack Hanson reads through the book. You could also read Jonathan Farmer on Rita Dove’s letter to Vendler.
“Notes: Finally, a Pokémon that gets it: the living epitome of the unbearable ennui that characterizes life in the modern age. Despite having the mass of a cement truck, the Snorlax has the calm bearing of a yogi. Its rhythmic snoring chimes the steadfast paternoster of enlightened meditation. This is one Pokémon that truly doesn’t give a shit. One cannot help but feel humbled to be in the face of divinity.” The only thing that could make Pokémon Go any better would be playing it with Anthony Bourdain. At McSweeney’s, Allen Zhang imagines the opportunity.
Some amateur biologists are at work replacing lamps with bio-luminescent trees and flowers, reports Andrew Pollack for The New York Times. Meanwhile South Korean scientists have barking up an entirely different tree for the past two years. (I’m sorry for the pun; here’s an image of a glowing beagle to make amends.)
“For a novelist, writing letters is writing that is not writing,” Ed Park says of P.G. Wodehouse’s collected correspondence, A Life in Letters. The Year in Reading alum goes on to note that “a collection of letters is the unconscious narrative the author generates over the years.”