Looking to get into Philip Roth? Not sure where to start in the perennial Nobel favorite’s massive ouevre? Thankfully, the novelist Gabriel Roth is here, swooping in with the only guide you’ll ever need. He explains why Portnoy’s Complaint made the splash it did, why Goodbye, Columbus put Roth on the map, and why the character of David Kepesh is critical to understanding Roth’s legacy. Related: Keith Meatto picks out ten lessons from the author’s work.
Nathaniel Philbrick answers the question Why Read Moby-Dick: “the level of the language is like no other,” but also “it’s as close to being our American Bible as we have.”
Amazon is now aggregating the data from the “highlighting” feature on the Kindle to find out what text is highlighted the most across all Kindle users. Amazon is calling the feature “Most Highlighted Passages of All Time” and the results couldn’t be more boring. (via)
Why should a college student major in English? It’s a question with hundreds of answers, but one of the most common is that reading, more so than other activities, makes you a better person. It sharpens your mind and hones your sense of morality. But what if this comforting idea — as close as you can get to a conviction held by all writers — has little to no basis in reality?