Out this week: This Is Why I Came by Mary Rakow; The Baker’s Tale by Thomas Hauser; and Late In the Day, a new collection of poems by Ursula K. LeGuin. For more on these and other recent titles, check out our Great Second-Half 2015 Book Preview.
Somewhere along the way, the word “cool” became “the most popular slang term of approval in English.” Humanities has a pretty cool (hip, rad, dope, groovy, punk, hot, sweet) theory, tracing it as far back as Zora Neale Hurston’s collection Mules and Men, and the time when “cool was black… cool was jazz.” (Related reading: the most excellent Hepster’s Dictionary (pdf) of 1939 jive talk, and our own history of the slang word “like.”)
This week, the upstanding men and women of Football Book Club are reading Louisa Hall’s novel Speak — and posting about (a) having their minds blown by Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts and (b) having their metaphoric hearts metaphorically stomped on by the NFL.
“It is not, however, fashionable to love acknowledgments, and for good reason: Most of them are numbingly predictable in their architecture, little Levittowns of gratitude.” In her last piece for The New York Times as a daily book critic, Jennifer Senior writes about her unabashed love for acknowledgements in books. From our archives: Henriette Lazaridis‘s essay on the same topic.