Three for Three: The Roundup

Given that it’s been months since I did one of these, something of note must gave happened, no?

My employer aims for Amazon’s jugular with the announcement of the Kobo reader, expected later this spring for 100 bucks cheaper than a Kindle, and preloaded with 100 classics out of the box.

Relevant to the previous discussion, Juliet Gardner discusses in the Guardian the merits of fiction and non.  Reading Gardner on the sheer level of research involved in non fiction, and knowing the endless spiral of imagination that character building can lead one down, Shields’ idea of the lyric essay, this discussion of one’s own life with literary techniques seems almost quaint in retrospect. It certainly seems lazy.

Here in Toronto, TYPE books is offering us literary types a way to enjoy March Madness without having to know anything about college basketball, as they hold a round robin tourney to decide the Book of the Decade. The divisions are American, Canadian, English and World literature.  Each book is paired to its real world basketball team and hilarity ensues. Check your brackets at 883 Queen West.

Jonathan Lethem, an author I love; discusses Chronic City, a book I didn’t much like; in Second Life, a thing I can’t believe still exists.

Also in the Guardian, and salve for the lazy, troubled fiction writers among us, Robert Collins sings the praises of the short novel. [I admit, this is a trend I’d noticed in my own reading habits years ago.]

I do so love it when Junot Diaz stops by, and on the occasion of some new work in The New Yorker, he sat down for some questions at the Book Bench.

And now that I know that the Yunior of this new story is the same Yunior who narrates Oscar Wao and features prominently in Drown, I think I might have to go do some reading.  That, or a David Foster Wallace essay on linguists that was mentioned on this week’s Slate Culture Gabfest.  The brain, she’s hungry tonight, friends.

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