• In college, I had a friend named Kurt. A lot of people know someone like Kurt in college. In fact, an old college buddy named Kurt is always a good excuse to avoid talking about a book. So let’s talk about Kurt. Because I love Kurt more than this book. And my therapist insists that talking about Kurt instead of a book is fair game. Particularly because it prevents me from another night with a pint of bourbon and youthful memories that cause bitter tears. (via a guy named Mark, who now inhabits the first paragraph of the first draft of any essay I turn in)
  • I understand from the StorySouth people that there is now a Battle Royale-style showdown for the Top Ten Stories of 2007. The writers left on the island will begin shooting each other, and all this will be arranged by Jason Sanford. The winner’s blood-soaked visage will emerge from the melee, only to fight Takeshi Kitano.
  •’s Top 50 Most Viewed Poems. A veritable resource for academics hoping to unleash mad thrashings upon MFAs who lack the apposite assiduity. (via Messr. Junker)
  • The Tomorrow Museum: a fantastic blog that I’m now addicted to.
  • I greatly enjoyed Rachel Shukert’s Have You No Shame?. In fact, she’s coming up on Segundo very soon. But in the meantime, check out coverage at The Publishing Spot.
  • Hillel Italie interviewed by Smart Bitches. It’s a dangerous thing these days when a blogger converses with an AP reporter, particularly when a lolcat photo is involved.
  • Does the world really need another Michael Moore book? Probably not, but it will sell anyway.
  • I would like to see Glenn Beck’s purported bravado tested in a dive bar. If he learned so much from “books for boys,” then let us see if he rises to the challenge when he gets into a brawl with three roughnecks and gets the shit beaten out of him. More at Guys Lit Wire.
  • All that production value, such a cheap climax. Why not two Eves? (via C-Monster)
  • Ideas on a DIY literary scene, and it apparently involves sitting around in living rooms. Having some personal experience in the matter, as artistic innovation goes, this actually gets more accomplished than you might expect.
  • Michael Dirda has a problem with Adam Thirlwell, I’d say. And like Phillip Hensher, whom I exchanged words with, I don’t think Dirda is giving Thirlwell an entirely fair shake. I hope to have more to say on this at length. (via Bluestalking Reader)
  • So the NEA has awarded $2.8 million for this Big Read nonsense. And there are few books here that you won’t find on a high school curriculum. Getting more people to read The Call of the Wild or To Kill a Mockingbird is a noble endeavor. But how exactly does this prescriptive approach to reading get people excited about books? How exactly does this help to support contemporary writers or those who are attempting to encourage others? How does the Big Read program promote the reader’s sense of discovery? Are there really any tangible results? Because the NEA isn’t exactly fessing up here. Interesting in light of the hysteria generated by the Reading at Risk report. And why in the hell has Ford devoted a hybrid vehicle to this program? We are informed that the car’s “colorful design” will “inspire new readers.” Yeah, the same way that I might become a landscape painter while taking a crap. The Big Read program is now dodgy in the extreme. But then when you have a phony like David Kipen at the helm, is this really all that much of a surprise?


  1. Based on which emasculated male books is Glenn Beck making these assertions? I’d like some titles. I’d like some proof he’s not illiterate.

  2. And also, based on my own experience, the guy who is most worried about guys being guys is the least comfortable with and most insecure about his own masculinity.

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