• National Review: “One promising development in the culture today is that mainstream critics are more and more growing tired of postmodern fiction.” Actually, this is not promising at all. This is, in fact, a serious problem that runs counter to literature’s natural developments as a form. I will have a lengthy post on this subject in the not too distant future. (via The Valve)
  • If you enjoyed Austin Grossman’s appearance on The Bat Segundo Show, he also chatted with Rick Kleffel.
  • It hasn’t been mentioned by anyone other than Tod Goldberg, but it appears that the New York Post is axing its book coverage.
  • Vlad the Impaler’s castle is now for sale. In an effort to respect “the property and its history,” prospective buyers are being asked to demonstrate their bloodletting talents before closing escrow. (via Slushpile)
  • Book artist Gloria Helfgott has passed on. (via Ron Silliman)
  • I’m a few episodes into the third series of Doctor Who. But with the horrible news of Catherine Tate returning, as well as Kylie Minogue appearing (what the fuck?), in future episodes, I fear the worst. Pardon me if I go all geeky on you, but I’m convinced that Freema Agyeman is one of the best things that has happened to the show. Here we have a strong female character who is educated, curious, and who takes action when she needs to, instead of standing doe-eyed and helpless — as Rose often did — marveling at the Doctor’s genius. That it would take so long for the show’s producers to rectify this dated gender imbalance to the program is bad enough. But it would appear that Agyeman will be returning in the middle of the fourth season. The message here? Russell T. Davies and company like their companions dumb and helpless, instead of smart and kickass. (via Ready Steady Blog)
  • Yes, “inhaling” is really the only way to describe reading Sarah Waters’s books. But think of it this way. Better to snort crafty narratives up your nasal lining than Bolivian marching powder.
  • I don’t care for Sarkozy very much, but I think it’s pretty damn silly to declare jogging a right-wing activity. Outside of Leni Riefenstahl’s Olympia, since when did exercise have any political agenda? Besides, if you really want to get right down to it, were I blessed with a bountiful expendable income, I’d expect a personal trainer to demand that I exercise hard rather than have him pat me on the back and offer an Alan Alda-like hug if I couldn’t make my crunch count. If you want to get rid of flab, you have to do the work. Does doing the work make one a Nazi? More from Josh Glenn.
  • Personally, I feel “devastated” that so many words were devoted to J.K. Rowling feeling “devastated.” Next up: a series of 2,000 word Rowling profiles in the Telegraph about how Rowling feels “almost euphoric,” “less than stellar,” “pretty darn okay,” and “just peachy keen.”
  • What the Dallas Morning News layoffs mean for the paper. (via book/daddy)
  • The Heritage Book Shop has closed. (via Bookninja)
  • Hamlet translated into modern English. (via Books, Words & Writing)
  • Armistead Maupin on why he loves San Francisco. (via Colleen)


  1. Martha becomes more problematic as the season draws on, and her relationship with the Doctor is by no means a victory for feminism. I think that in some ways, she’s the one who creates a dated gender imbalance, not Rose.

  2. why do all female characters have to be strong? the message isn’t that davies likes one over the other but that he likes females who cover a range of personalities. i don’t want all my female characters fitting into some pc view of the world.

  3. Right wing jogging? Hahaha! What about Bill Clinton’s jogs?

    Rowling is devastated? That’s ridiculous. She chose to end the series. She can also wipe away her tears with hundred dollar bills.

    I need to start watching Dr. Who already. I’ve read so much about it on blogs and journals I’m beginning to think it’s a pre-requisite to online participation now.

  4. “[T]he horrible news of Catherine Tate returning, as well as Kylie Minogue appearing (what the fuck?)…” Yes.

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