“You are what you brought from your country? Or you are what you learned here?” The New York Times visits Librería Barco de Papel, one of New York City’s last remaining Spanish-language bookstores. The space also operates as a community and cultural center for the Jackson Heights neighborhood, where roughly half of the 67,000 residents identify as Latino. If you want to feel some more feelings about the state of independent bookstores, check out this old Millions piece about paving paradise and putting up a Chipotle.
“The magical aspect of poetry does not diminish the value of critical scrutiny. Scholarship has clarified the meaning of poetry. The point is rather that an essential part of poetry’s power has little connection to conceptual understanding. Poetry proffers some mysteries that lie beyond paraphrase.” Dana Gioia with a beautiful essay on the enchantment of poetry for The Dark Horse. Check out our extensive On Poetry archive and continue your journey of poetic enchantment.
“Try not to get overly attached to a hypothesis just because it’s yours. It’s only a way station in the pursuit of knowledge. Ask yourself why you like the idea. Compare it fairly with the alternatives. See if you can find reasons for rejecting it. If you don’t, others will.” It’s too bad more people haven’t had a chance to take a look at Carl Sagan’s 8-rule “Baloney Detection Kit.“
At Slate, our own Mark O’Connell delves into the history of the self-interview, which you can find many examples of over at The Nervous Breakdown. Mark cites examples of self-interviews by prominent writers, including Tennessee Williams, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Year in Reading alum John Banville.
If news of László Krasznahorkai winning his second straight Best Translated Book Award for his recent novella, Seiobo There Below, got you interested in reading the Hungarian author’s works, then look no further. Scott Esposito offers a handy road map entitled “Krasznahorkai: A Guide for the Perplexed and Fascinated.”
“As a Pulitzer winner, it’s a unicorn.” For the Washington Post, book critic Ron Charles praised the Pulitzer Prize judges for awarding the Fiction prize to Andrew Sean Greer‘s Less, a comedic, “laugh-till-you-can’t-breathe funny” novel. Pair with: our post with all the 2018 Pulitzer winners.