Recommended Reading: Søren Kierkegaard and Anna Akhmatova overheard whispering on a stairwell.
“I don’t want to settle for distraction; I want to look forward to reading my book with the palpitating excitement of a second date with someone I’ve already fallen for. I want to miss my stop. Ideally, I’ll miss a few.” While it can be easy to spot a beach, airplane, or cabin read, Adam Sternbergh‘s writes about finding the perfect “subway read” for the New York Times. From our archives: our own Nick Ripatrazone‘s essay on reading and writing on trains.
Paris Review editor Lorin Stein recommends a couple of self-help books to one reader in this week’s mail blog. “Let your self-help freak flag fly!” he writes. Such might put you in esteemed company. As Maria Bustillos pointed out in her poignant investigation for The Awl, David Foster Wallace treasured many self help books.
At Bookforum, Rebecca Donner talks with former Granta editor John Freeman about his new book of interviews, How to Read a Novelist. Freeman says that he enjoys interviewing writers in their homes because it allows him to observe them more closely: “The writer thinks you’re taking notes about what he’s saying, but you’re really writing, ‘His head looks like a lion’s head.’”
Right on the edge of Banned Books Week, Rainbow Rowell discusses when Minneapolis’s Anoka-Hennepin school district, the county board, and the local library board censored her from coming to speak about her YA novel Eleanor & Park. “When these people call Eleanor & Park an obscene story, I feel like they’re saying that rising above your situation isn’t possible,” she says.
Mr. Sarvas aka TEV takes another turn in the limelight, this time in the Jewish Journal.Of course this story comes from a local TV news site: Pornographic comic books sold on Wal-Mart, Target web sites. Film at 11!Five things about children’s book awards from a Michigan point of view.”Digital textbooks can save college students hundreds of dollars every semester, but the market is off to an unimpressive start.”A charming remembrance of Ryszard Kapuscinski by writer Andrew Nagorski.
“Every culture has its monsters,” and Jason Diamond writes about the Headless Horseman and one of the oldest American horror stories for Electric Literature.