For Atlas Obscura, Tucker Leighty-Phillips writes on how a Portuguese-to-English phrasebook, introduced to English readers by Mark Twain, became a comedy sensation. Pair with this Millions piece on Twain’s travels.
Are you familiar with JT LeRoy (or rather, Savannah Knoop ... or wait, Laura Albert), perpetrator of one of the greatest literary hoaxes in recent memory? Author: The JT LeRoy Story is a new documentary by Jeff Feuerzeig that asks questions about whether or not existence is predicated on real-world physicality -- LeRoy's books exist, so doesn't LeRoy exist by association?
The Naipaul Question, as Morgan Meis calls it, is simple: is V.S. Naipaul too offensive to be taken seriously? His recent biography includes scenes of abuse and moments of straightforward racism. But Meis thinks the issue is more complicated than whether Naipaul is a monster -- the author is, in his phrasing, too “protean” to be pinned down.
Boldtype offers up a list of "10 Awesome Books to Give to Your Non-Reading Friends," i.e. eye-candy gift books.