Roundup

  • Paul Shaffer will be writing a memoir. You can be absolutely sure that the man who has sucked up to Letterman for three decades will offer the kind of penetrating insight that good books are known for.
  • I saw this cover at a bookstore last night and I have had extremely horrible ideas about furniture. I pondered the sounds that the chairs would make, should such a coupling go down. Sure, there would be some squeaks. But would the chairs find a way to express their euphoria? It struck me that if the chairs were silent about their activity, it would be a very sad thing. Like anyone, they certainly have the right to enjoy themselves. I’m not sure who came up with this book cover, but I’d like to thank them for making me see chiffoniers schtupping dinettes and making me wonder if I should meticulously wipe the chair before I sit down.
  • I’m with Darby. I seem to be the last person on the planet who hasn’t read Tom McCarthy’s Remainder. But I do plan to rectify this very soon. If recent responses are any indication, I should end up dancing with strangers, telling everybody I know that Tom McCarthy is better than oral sex, and otherwise getting into a euphoric tizzy over the book. All this is assuming that the book lives up. I suspect I’ve avoided the book because I read it after everybody said that it was cool and I’m supposed to be one of those guys who reads these books before everybody else. Then again, I enjoyed Cormac McCarthy’s The Road after I read it at a much later time than was acceptable. Perhaps I’m simply late on the draw with authors named “McCarthy.” For this, I’m sorry. If you’re a talented author named McCarthy, get in touch with me nine months before your book comes out and I’ll promise to read you before the cool kids.
  • Steve Mitchelmore wonders if we’re living in a new age of anxiety about art: “What we see every week is anxiety about personal exclusion. It would be better if critics, rather than hiding, mitigating or condemning the exclusion, brought out how the dual experience is liberating.” I couldn’t agree more.
  • A reason to read this month’s Playboy for the articles.
  • Carolyn points to Luna Park — a helpful blog investigating literary magazines.
  • $3.75MM for a vampire trilogy? Okay, Elizabeth Kostova was one thing. And we all know Max Brooks moved units. But when you have publishing insiders merely gushing, “It is totally awesome,” one wonders if the people who purchased this are aware of just what they are getting into. How do the words “totally awesome” transfer into making back this investment? And were the words “totally awesome” uttered by the person who signed the check?
  • I am now convinced that we will see a spate of “Why did science fiction become so popular?” articles in the next year. “Why did science fiction become so popular?” is the next “Comic books are literary too!” If you have to ask what’s going on, you simply aren’t paying attention.
  • The 30 Most Popular News Sites in June.
  • Kevin Spacey is, according to the BBC, set “to reprise Superman role.” That’s funny. I thought he played Lex Luthor in Superman Returns.
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