Canonical literature isn’t the only way to learn about America. The bestseller list can be equally as telling. Matthew Kahn is reading 100 years of No. 1 bestsellers from 1913 to 2013. He blogs about the books and discusses the project in an interview with Salon’s Laura Miller. When Miller asks what makes a bestseller, he claims, “A lot of it is just a matter of accessibility. A focus on plot and character rather than structure and the prose itself.”
Stanford “will rerelease a collection of Arthur Conan Doyle’s tales of Sherlock Holmes, just as they were originally printed and illustrated in The Strand Magazine.”Maciej Ceglowski suggests that Milan Kundera “is the Dave Matthews of Slavic letters, a talented hack, certainly a hack who’s paid his dues, but a hack nonetheless.” And offers up a number of Eastern European books that young lovers might give to one another instead of The Unbearable Lightness of Being.Google Print has been renamed Google Book Search. “Why the change? Well, one factor was all the comments we got about how excited people were that Google Print would help them print out their documents, or web pages they visit — which of course it won’t.”
“Because what [narcissists] have inside is empty space, they have had to make a study of the selves of others in order to invent something that looks and sounds like one. Narcissists are imitators par excellence. And they do not copy the small, boring parts of selves. They take what they think are the biggest, most impressive parts of other selves, and devise a hologram of self that seems superpowered. Let’s call it ‘selfiness,’ this simulacrum of a superpowered self.” Go enjoy this excerpt from Kristin Dombek’s new book The Selfishness of Others: An Essay on the Fear of Narcissism.
Michael Seidlinger writes on how consciousness occurs online. As he puts it, “We have all become Sisyphus, pushing our rocks up a hill littered with hyperlinks and tweets, perpetually, futilely, refreshing the page of existence.” Pair with this Millions piece on the best of literary Twitter.