• Bookbrunch is reporting that, contrary to Robert McCrum’s insistence that the literary lunch is dead, recently sacked Telegraph literary editor Sam Leith was indeed taken out to lunch by Bloomsbury and commissioned to write a comic novel called The Coincidence Engine. By the way, if anybody wants to take me out to lunch and talk to me about my novel-in-progress, let me know.
  • It seems that on Facebook, happiness isn’t really a warm gun, but it can be found through a friend you add. My own tendency is to pretty much say yes to anybody on Facebook. The other day, Anne Rice, whom I do not know and whose books I have stopped reading, asked me to be your Facebook friend. Now if Anne were a real friend, we’d hang out and have mojitos during happy hour. She’d tell me her latest troubles over the phone. I’d offer a shoulder to cry on. We’d have a number of exciting adventures with other friends. But since this was Facebook, this typical friendship was probably not going to happen. Nevertheless, I figured, why not? Maybe Anne’s lonely. Maybe if she’s Facebook friends with me, this will make her happier. Then again, maybe “happiness” is being confused with an opportunistic marketing move. Is it really Anne Rice at the other end or some young and savvy publicist who wants to use the latest technology to get hip with the kids? I am sometimes suspicious of authors who add me as Facebook friends only a few months before one of their books is published. There have been a few instances in which I’ve run into an author in person, an author who added me as a Facebook friend and who initiated the step, but who did not recognize me. Presumably, their gesture for friendship was somewhat phony or motivated by something else. But since adding a Facebook friend hurts nobody, why not add them? It’s the virtual equivalent of cheering up a stranger in the elevator!
  • Ingrid van Vliet has a very interesting way of answering questions.
  • Benjamin Black profiled at The Elegant Variation: Part One, Part Two, and Part Three. What you may not know is this: Jim Ruland just happens to be a pen name for Mark Sarvas.
  • Tina, Dahling, if you’re serious about it, dahling, why don’t your Daily Beast editors return emails?
  • If you’re a struggling freelancer who doesn’t have a Y chromosome, consider donating eggs to make ends meet. (We men get a mere $100 to donate sperm. You know, it’s very humbling to know that your mojo has as much value as a pretty decent Strand haul.)
  • And I’m with Timothy Egan: the time has come to beat the shit out of Joe the Plumber.

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