Pre-Morning Roundup

  • So sorry that it’s been nuggets and roundups of late. Some podcasts and more substantive posts will be unfurled soon. Bear with me.
  • Leave it to the Rake to tell the truth about James Wood. Yes, indeed, let’s praise weirdness, shall we? It seems to me that only a dull and incurious mind would rally against the fabulous possibilities of literature. But James Wood ain’t a dummy. And yet…and yet….
  • Mark Thwaite on the Sony Reader.
  • Business 2.0: Dead.
  • Richard Dawkins on Hitch. (via the hard-working Jenny D!)
  • Nathan Englander: I call you out! Just because I can. You’re getting too much press these days, you curly-haired Hungarian Pastry Shop-frequenting writer, you! And I demand that you do something silly! Name the time and place, and I will destroy you in a game of Connect Four!*
  • Gavin Grant makes a cameo appearance at Jacket Copy.
  • If you care to draw a correlation between the NYT mouse problem and Sam Tanenhaus’s far from cuddly disposition, your crazed speculations are welcome.
  • Erin O’Brien on corn chowder!
  • So what the hell does USA Today mean twenty-five years later? A four section daily newspaper that drastically underestimates the American capacity for force-fed news? An enduring homage to 1982? A considerable improvement upon FOX News? Incidentally, Rupert Murdoch’s interested in buying it.
  • Katie Couric, you’ve had your time.
  • I have seen the future and it does not involve John Sutherland.
  • And what of Anne Hathaway?
  • Terry Teachout on video.
  • And John Cleese clarifies the anti-Semitic nature of Monty Python.

* — Yes, Daniel Mendelsohn was also challenged to a game of Connect Four on these pages. But he refused to take up the offer. The time has come to expand the board game testosterone to writers with needlessly curly hair.


  1. I am currently being haunted byMr. James Wood, he is everwhere I turn. Nearly every literary person has an opinion on him & his writing. And so, I must admit, he is good at that aspect of his job as a critic.

  2. Why do we all insist on tempering our criticism of Mr. Wood by mentioning his vaunted smartness? Perhaps he ain’t all that. Rake certainly makes a great case.

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