If you (for some reason) want to know more about Vladimir Putin, you could do worse than reading Masha Gessen’s biography. At The Rumpus, Kevin Thomas reviews the book in a novel medium: a cartoon. (You could also read our interview with Gessen.)
The Columbia Spectator is about to embark on “a list of 50 books that we think capture the essence of each state.”Daniel Menaker, former head of Random House, is set to host a new internet literary talk show called “Titlepage.” It will be modeled after “‘Apostrophes,’ a popular French literary program; ‘The Charlie Rose Show’ on public television; and ‘Dinner for Five,’ in which a group of actors discussed their craft, on the Independent Film Channel.” Guests on the first show include Richard Price and literary it-boy Charles Bock.Quite a resource: The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Among the many entries: Death, God and Other Necessary Beings, Nothingness.We Feel Fine: Art from the hive mind.Landscape Urbanism Bullshit GeneratorFree Rice: procrastination fun for those with big vocabularies.The Corporation of London Libraries and Guildhall Art Gallery image database – huge, searchable collection of historical images of London, from which one can order prints.The Port Huron Statement, a part of the UVA Sixties ProjectTen Recurring Economic Fallacies – Put to rest “The Broken Window,” “The Beneficence of War,” and more.
As literary genres go, bathroom graffiti ranks somewhere between obscenities carved into desks and poorly spelled comments in terms of respectability. Yet it’s still a form that could reveal interesting things, which is why a group of researchers took a series of fact-finding trips to public stalls across America. Their takeaway? “The mere fact of being in a public bathroom could be skewing how people choose to present themselves when they uncap that Sharpie.” Related: Buzz Poole on The History of American Graffiti.
“She could be a diva, says this source, ‘but in a way I fucking admire it. The world would be a sorrier place without divas.’” For New York magazine, Boris Kachka on the drama behind Michiko Kakutani‘s departure from The New York Times and what her absence means for the world of books. Consider also: our own Matt Seidel‘s rogue’s gallery of prominent critics.
It was the height of the feminist revolution and one man was trying, unsuccessfully, to publish a book about a man amidst a midlife crisis. 25 years later, Esquire editor Gordon Lish read sections of An Armful of Warm Girl in a literary magazine and demanded that Knopf reconsider publishing it (they did). This week over at Bloom, Nicki Leone dives into the work of W.M. Spackman, the man often referred to as “Fitzgerald‘s literary heir.”
“I became completely obsessed.” At the 92nd Street Y, Rebecca Skloot shares the story behind her bestseller, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, joined by members of the Lacks family and actress Rose Byrne, who plays Skloot in the forthcoming film adaptation of her book. Skloot also discusses how the subject of the book is intimately linked to her own father’s health crisis, which Amy Halloran wrote about in our own pages a few years back.