“A subject to which intellectuals never give a thought,” wrote Isabelle Eberhardt in a notebook, “is the right to be a vagrant, the freedom to wander. Yet vagrancy is deliverance, and life on the open road is the essence of freedom.” The Paris Review‘s excellent column, “Feminize Your Canon,” returns with Eberhardt, a cross-dressing Swiss explorer and author who published under a male pseudonym as a teenager. Learn about her uncompromising life filled with intrigue, adventure, and passion.
Sure, the various TV recaps, screencaps, and Paris Review fan fiction will be a help, but let’s be honest, how long will those last? You could get through all of it today, in a binge. What you need, my friend, is a good book to sate that Mad Men craving you’ll be having now that it’s off the air again. Well, here’s a list of 10 great ones. That should do it. Oh, yes.
“In spite of herself, the writer has remained loyal. She is loyal to place and the past, faithfully and perpetually reconstructing it, so that no one, having read her, would ever again say, ‘What’s so interesting about small-town rural Canada?’” On a new book of selected stories by Alice Munro.
“I could measure my progress with metrics like number of scabs collected, number of inches ollied,” writes Nick Courage, in his great piece about rediscovering skateboarding in his thirties. “There was an objective truth to the sport; unlike my writing, my powerslides were self-validating.”
A book a day keeps the doctor away. The Reach Out and Read Program hopes to give children (from 6 months to 5) as much exposure to books as vitamins when they got to the doctor’s office. Pediatricians who participate in the initiative discuss reading at every check-up by giving books to families, advising parents about the importance of reading to their kids, and monitoring how the children engage with books.
Could this be the start of a trend? HarperCollins paid the singer Billy Joel $3 million for a memoir back in 2008. Joel wrote The Book of Joel, the publisher edited it, and a June publication date was set. Last week, however, Joel abruptly backed out of the deal and apparently will return the portion of the advance he’s been paid. His reason? He told the Associated Press he “was not all that interested in talking about the past.”