The “We Battled Insomnia with Gin Last Night and the Gin Won, But Heaven Help the Fallout” Roundup

  • The fantastic Carrie Frye points to the Word Nerds, a podcast devoted to “the effect of Internet communication” and various language-related issues. I’ll definitely be checking it out, as soon as I finally finish the next installment of my own damn podcast.
  • So according to the Associated Press, the book world “is still searching for this year’s great American novel,” eh? There are endless ways that I can answer this, but for now I’ll point again to Lee Martin’s The Bright Forever and Kirby Gann’s Our Napoleon in Rags as two books that I’ve enjoyed very much this year and, in my view, do indeed cut the mustard. Perhaps the key here is to stop thinking about the big boys and dare to delve into the little ones.
  • Dan Wickett doesn’t read Playboy for the pictures or the articles. No, sir, he’s reading it for the literature. I knew about the four-bunny system for books, because I actually had a Playboy subscription at the age of sixteen, in which I would secretly run to the mailbox and grab the latest issue covered in black plastic. (Remind me sometime to tell you the tale of what happened when I was finally caught and how I talked my way out of it.) The nice thing about this was that it allowed me to outgrow a reliance upon visual prurience and apply my perverted sentiments to everyday discourse without shame and of course evolve my unabated interest in breasts. But if the likes of Robert Coover can be found within Playboy‘s pages, then I may have to pick up a subscription. I have to wonder, however, if Mr. Wickett is secretly on Hefner’s payroll.
  • Dubya actually reads serious books? Apparently, some of the books that he’s taken on a five-week summer sojurn are Mark Kurlansky’s Salt: A World History, Alexander II: The Last Great Tsar (which seems peculiarly apt) and John M. Barry’s The Great Influenza.
  • The Gothamist talks with Foop! author Chris Genoa.
  • Another celebrity reading slacker: Noel Gallagher, who only just started reading fiction with Angels and Demons (“my first ever book. Believe it or not, it is.”). In the same article, Hester Lacey suggests that to dismiss someone who hasn’t read “seems both sweeping and snobbish.” Oh come on, Hester. We’re talking Dan Brown here. If Victoria Beckham has not even read Green Eggs and Ham, should her raison d’etre not be suspect?
  • The new China Miéville short story collection, Looking for Jake, gets an early look at SFF World.
  • What the hell was I thinking with the gin? Head hurts. More later.

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