A Failure of Imagination
February 11, 2013
Why Bookish and other recommendation engines fall short.
Hands On—Does Handwriting Matter?
December 18, 2012
Philip Hensher's historical account of handwriting loses sight of how deeply personal the medium is.
Martha Stewart: Original Hipster
December 06, 2012
For the past twenty-plus years, The Martha Stewart Empire (not its real name, of course, but who doesn’t think of it that way?)—led by their taupe pant-suited leader—has dutifully monitored the cult of domesticity. The media has gleefully followed Martha’s ups and downs. With recent news of major financial blunders, Martha Stewart may be down, but don’t count her out.
Green Piece—Barbara Kingsolver’s Eco Obsessions
November 16, 2012
In this novel Kingsolver abandons the spirited determination of her memoir in favor of transparent literary activism.
Philip Roth's Empty Threat: "Burn My Papers"
November 15, 2012
As a student of literature, Roth ought to know better. If he really wants his papers destroyed, he needs to do it himself.
The Five Types of Amazon Critic
October 01, 2012
How to pan the great works of literature on Amazon? Meet the five varieties of one-star amateur reviewer:
The Good Reader
September 04, 2012
The literary community needs more smart criticism, not less positive criticism.
The Voyage In
November 30, 2011
Alexandra Harris says that “much of Virginia Woolf’s writing life was devoted to … exposing the falsity involved in defining anyone as ‘this’ or ‘that
Since the launch of her blog, Style Rookie, in 2008, now-15-year-old Tavi Gevinson has mutated from little girl in dress-up clothes to media darling modeling couture, and the whole world, strangely, appears to be watching. A profile in The New Yorker and another in this week’s New York Times Magazine, various gigs shilling for fashion magazines, and a multitude of infatuated bloggers have made Tavi a household name despite, or perhaps because of, her tender age and relative inexperience.
The Thinking Person’s Summer Reading List
June 21, 2011
With the first day of summer officially upon us, the long, well-marketed season of mindless reading has arrived as well. There’s nothing wrong with summer froth, but, among the dozens (hundreds?) of “Beach Book” guides that have surfaced in the past few weeks, there is little in which to sink your intellectual teeth. Maybe most people don’t see a terry-cloth towel as the ideal perch to peruse Anna Karenina, nor the blistering sun as a welcome companion for a quick study of Heidegger’s Being and Time.