• Will Self once suggested that if Tony Blair should read John Gray’s Straw Dogs to put Blair’s thoughts into perspective. Tom Freke begs to differ, suggesting that it “could have been an interesting book, if only it was written by someone without such a large chip on his shoulder.”
  • Europeans are up in arms about Google Print. They’re so upset about the potential for American cultural dominance that a “European digital library” is being talked about. Now if only Europeans could get angry enough to create an all-powerful search engine without ads and without tracking an obscene amount of personal information.
  • Believe it or not, there’s hope for the future. Around 70 middle school students engaged in a “Battle of the Books” quiz that had the kids recalling details from books they read months ago. They’ve had to pry books out of these kids’ hands. And here’s the cool thing. This went down in Piedmont, Virginia. The organizers of the event have seen this thing spread to 22 states.
  • John Updike takes on surrealism in the NYRoB.
  • Mark lists what he’d do as LATBR editor.