Celebrate van Gogh’s birthday (March 30, 1853) with this post from Brain Pickings on the artist’s meditations on the human pursuit of greatness.
If the looming election has you feeling like you might need a change of address on November 9th, you might (might) consider the United Arab Emirates. Vice President Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, has implemented a groundbreaking initiative which requires government employers to give workers an allotment of free time for reading. Sheikh Mohammed had this to say to novelist Paulo Coelho’s praise of the initiative, “Did you know, Paulo, that in the 9th century, our region had over 100 publishing houses on the outskirts of Baghdad alone? … When its life was centered on books, Baghdad was, my friend, a beacon in the worlds of astronomy, medicine, mathematics and philosophy. Where is Baghdad today?””
Steve Almond at The Rumpus provides a “meditation on editors, ambition, and angry dependence” in reaction to the media’s coverage of the suicide of Kevin Morrissey, managing editor of The Virginia Quarterly Review.
“if I am going to set a novel in a real place, in a real time, I must get all the details right. I should not put a wall around Washington Square, start the Iraq War in 2005, or claim that maple trees bear acorns. This matters because it has to do with keeping faith with your readers. If you get something verifiable wrong, why should they believe you when you really are making things up?” Helen Benedict for Amazon Author Insights on finding the balance between research and imagination when writing fiction. (Full disclosure, Amazon helps us pay the bills around here!)
“The feminist bookstores in the nation’s largest cities are experiencing the most significant upticks in sales, as well as in foot traffic.” We love bookstores here at the Millions, especially feminist ones. So we were ecstatic to see this piece in Publisher’s Weekly about the bonanza of feminist bookstores seeing an increase in sales and attention. While there are not many of these bookstores left, the ones that are still alive attribute their increased popularity to the ‘Trump bump.’ Read the story here and be sure to visit all the bookstores mentioned the next time you’re in town.