If witty literary lists are your thing (and if you're reading this blog, they probably are!) you shouldn't miss Flavorwire's roundup of literary couples who would date in real life. Example: Jo March and Rhett Butler.
How far can a friendly literary rivalry go? Jonathan Franzen pushed the limits during an interview with the New Yorker's David Remnick in which he oh-so-casually implied that David Foster Wallace fabricated parts of his essays. You can find a thorough breakdown of the interview at the Awl—it's fascinating reading. (You can watch a video excerpt here.)
As the popularity of ebooks rocks the traditional publishing and bookselling worlds, new models are emerging. Two recent entrants caught my interest. The first, The LitPub, is an "online community bookstore" with a curated list of books they recommend. Some can be purchased through their site; others are outsourced to Powell's or Amazon. More on the LitPub's mission and ambition is found here.
The second is Emily Books, a site founded by Emily Gould and Ruth Curry. Emily Books sells ebooks only—they'll select one a month to highlight. Readers can buy a year's subscription and get all 12 books, or purchase them individually.
Here are a few links to provide some end-of-the-day enlightenment:
Books as home décor
Lately I've been thumbing through Damian Thompson's Books Make a Home (to be released on October 1) and daydreaming about new arrangements for my bookshelves. I was thrilled to get even more inspiration from a roundup of 20 Celebrities With Stunning Home Libraries. If you feel like drooling over somebody else's house—or you need even more encouragement to buy more books—take a look at these awesome photos.
Book blogger face-off
Maud Newton's NYT Magazine piece from last weekend attributes modern Internet-speak to the essays of the late David Foster Wallace. It's an entertaining piece—but a weak argument, according to Internet firebrand Ed Champion, who tears into her essay on his blog. Newton and Champion were among the first book bloggers, though the scope of each of their sites has changed over the years.
Happy birthday to The Moviegoer
There's been quite a bit of press surrounding the 50th anniversary of Catch-22 (there's also a new 50th-anniversary edition out, as well as Tracy Daugherty's biography of Joseph Heller, Just One Catch). This week, The Millions published a nice essay on another novel that's having a 50th anniversary—and it happens to be one of my favorites: Walker Percy's The Moviegoer, which beat out Catch-22 for the National Book Award in 1962. The book tells the story of Binx Bolling, a man engaged in "the search," or "what anyone would undertake if he were not sunk in the everydayness of his own life." Here's more from the essay:
F. Scott Fitzgerald thought “the purpose of a work of fiction is to appeal to the lingering after-effects in the reader’s mind.” Other than Fitzgerald’s own works, I’ve never read a novel whose power lies so fully not in the course of being read, but in the astral glow of having been read. When I completed The Moviegoer for the first time, I was at a loss to explain the significance of the 242 pages I’d just traversed, but I knew they had been important. I felt the novel working on me in strange ways, like a slow-release drug. That so much of The Moviegoer’s effect is felt when it’s not being read can be attributed not to some defect in Percy’s prose, but rather to the nature of the novel’s moral project.
Happy Friday, readers! What are you reading this weekend? I can't wait to dig into When She Woke by Hillary Jordan (author of Mudbound).