Tuesday July 21st, 2009

In the Ether

sorrows-of-workWhen I saw the UK cover for Alain de Botton’s latest book (at left), I thought: I won’t see another cover that ugly for a while. Then I saw the UK cover for his previous book. . . . Paper Cuts posts some choice excerpts from a new collection of Hunter S. Thompson interviews. . . . At the blog about former National Book Award winners (which I first wrote about here), they recently covered the 1962 champ, Walker Percy’s The Moviegoer. Sara Zarr writes that the book “(like so much good writing) reads like a letter to a friend that already knows him just well enough.” Among other finalists that Percy beat out that year were Catch-22 and Revolutionary Road. . . . At Bookslut, Jessa Crispin points to a piece from last year in the American Scholar about a group that meets at a pub every week to read and parse a page or two of Finnegans Wake. The longest-standing members have been at it since 1997. (“Like some old Mafioso, the Wake has been cloistered away partly just by its reputation. It yields nuggets of information to which, among a group of know-it-alls, no one can believably respond, ‘I knew that.’ It has a difficulty that is objective, a prissy intellectualism rendered macho by extremity. It’s a bit of an introvert’s Everest.”) . . . A brief discussion about ways to organize your books. The real fun is in the comments section, like so:

I used to work in a library, so by force of habit I alphabetise everything. However, this does cause problems when you have a row of small paperbacks thrown together with an oversized hardback, so I’m considering having one alphabetised section for regular sized books, and a second alphabetised oversized section.

It is possible that I need help.