Running short of discussion topics at your book club meetings? Julieanne Smolinski, whose Fifty Shades of Grey takedown tickled my funnybone a few weeks back, has 15 hilarious ideas over at Jezebel. A few highlights:

4. This book has sold several million copies and has been translated into 26 languages. A lot of us are kind of resentful about this. Do you think you could have written this book or something? Do you think writing a book is easy?

10. What foods or beverages did you spill on the book during the course of reading it? Anything good?

You'll definitely want to email the link to your fellow book club members (although I have to say, if your club has not already debated the attractiveness of Jonathan Franzen and/or confronted the author photo turtleneck question, we should probably take away your wine permit).


Last Wednesday, a Paris auction house sold two newly discovered pages from Antoine St. Exupery's beloved classic, Le Petit Prince. The pages were omitted from the final version, and show the prince visiting Earth. As the NY Daily News' Page Views reports,

Here he sees a man on the road and says to himself, “I am going to find out what they think about life on this planet. That may be an ambassador of the human spirit…” The Little Prince approaches, but the man is preoccupied. He has been stumped for three days by a crossword puzzle and is looking for “a six-letter word that starts with G that means ‘gargling’.”

Scholars say the word was "guerre" (the French for "war") and hypothesize that the passage was removed to prevent the book from becoming too overtly pacifist. The final auction price was a staggering $495,000.


Should we expect a Shades of Grey baby boom next year? The popular—and, in some libraries and bookstores, controversial—erotic trilogy has sold more than 10,000,000 (yes, that's 10 MILLION) copies worldwide in all formats. What's even more shocking: the sales show no signs of slacking, with bookstore chains selling tens of thousands per week and some libraries reporting thousands of holds from patrons. Have you succumbed yet?


Novelist Jennifer Egan—the last winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction—is telling a story through Twitter.  The first installment of "Black Box" was released on the New Yorker's Twitter feed (@NYerFiction) between 8 and 9 p.m. EDT last night, and will continue at the same time for the next 10 nights until all 8,500 words have been published (the whole story will be collated as it is posted here).  Very, very cool. [Via]

What links have you discovered this week?

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