For over twenty years, from the thirties through the fifties, a group of Oxford writers who called themselves The Inklings met weekly to drink, exchange ideas and read aloud their drafts. Though J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis were easily their most famous members, the group had other notable figures, among them the language historian Arthur Owen Barfield. In The Chronicle of Higher Education, a history of the group.
The new David Mitchell novel, The Bone Clocks, ends in rural Ireland, which explains why Kathryn Schulz chose to interview Mitchell on a walk through the Irish countryside. At Vulture, she talks with Mitchell about supercontinents, writing in childhood and the global scope of his work. You could also read the story Mitchell recently wrote on Twitter.
From icy Philadelphia, some links to start the day:The latest round at the LBC is over, but we’ve posted our nominees for the next round. Read the books now so you can discuss them with us in a month or so. I was a nominator this round and my pick is The Cottagers by Marshall N. Klimasewiski.An Ask Metafilter thread on books by women for men who don’t like books by women. Lots of good recommendations… Might do a separate “booklist” post here at some point compiling all those suggestions.Dan Wickett’s Dzanc Books has two more titles on the way, one by Yannick Murphy who wrote LBC nominee Here They Come and one by Wickett fave Peter Markus (who he mentioned in his 2006 best of here at The Millions.)Combining Garfield and reference books seems like a bad idea. Note: A groundbreaking work in that it is the “1st dictionary with attitude” (via)
Not caught up on the emerging Hermione/Ron scandal? Here’s a recap: a few days ago, J.K. Rowling not only said in an interview conducted by Emma Watson that she regretted pairing up Harry Potter’s best friends, she also said that Harry and Hermione should have ended up together. “[Pairing Hermione and Ron] was a choice I made for very personal reasons, not for reasons of credibility,” she said. “Am I breaking people’s hearts by saying this? I hope not.” (This might be a good time to revisit Michelle Dean on the series.)
Kory Stamper, one of the lexicographers responsible for Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, describes the pleasures and poetry to be found in the Third Edition’s “color definitions.” Take vermillion for example, which is listed as “a variable color averaging a vivid reddish orange that is redder, darker, and slightly stronger than chrome orange, redder and darker than golden poppy, and redder and lighter than international orange.” (Related: how colors got their names; who names colors what.)