Man Booker judge Colin Thubron expressed frustration with gushing book blurbs, which he says “almost blackmail” readers: “you’re either intellectually or morally incompetent if you don’t love this book or you’ve failed if you haven’t understood it.” Our own Bill Morris tackled the age old question—”To Blurb or not Blurb”—a few years ago.
People like to think that the more books they read, the better people they’ll become. But is that really true? The answer’s unclear. But one thing does seem apparent: reading more books might make you better at bullying people.
Try out our new “Random Post” button below the search boxes on the sidebar.CJR unveils new software in the quest to stamp out “gotcha journalism.”* Charlie Gibson, September 11, 2008:Question: “Have you ever met a foreign head of state?”Gotcha Quotient: 95Reason: First of all, foreign policy-related questions are incredibly unfair…Tennis reprints David Foster Wallace’s feature essay from its September 1996 issue.Perhaps not the most useful link in these tight times: “The Most Expensive Things I could Find On Amazon.com” (Note: several of these are out of stock. Coincidence?)None of you saw this coming: Rapper Coolio to release his own cookbook.Cindy Sherman’s famous librarian “Untitled Film Still” fetched $900k at a recent auction.
What do you think gets fact-checked the most rigorously: newspaper articles, magazine stories, or books? If you guessed books, you’d be surprised to know that they are rarely, if ever, fact-checked. At The Atlantic, Kate Newman questions why we have so much faith in books’ accuracy but why publishers don’t bother.