Tuesday October 6th, 2009

In the Ether

drunkA new book collects 2,964 synonyms for the word “drunk.” Two of my favorites are irrigated and cashiered (the latter from Shakespeare). . . . Lorrie Moore quips about a new academic book about her work: “I would have liked a better hairdo than the one on the cover, I must say.” And they did go with quite a vintage photo. . . . A reader’s appreciative note to mark the 60th anniversary of the first correspondence that eventually inspired 84, Charing Cross Road. . . . The Book Design Review recommends the comics of John Porcellino, and offers some sharp photos to back it up. . . . The Millions keeps on giving with its Best Fiction of the Millennium feature. Here’s every book that got a vote. Quite a checklist for the ambitious reader of contemporary fiction. . . . A defense of the Great Books series and the middlebrow. (“They represented an old American belief—now endangered—that ‘anyone willing to invest time and energy in self-education might better himself.’”) . . . Knut Hamsun, “a pivotal figure in the literary canon and a disgusting human being.” . . . A closer look at a truly stunning cover for a collection of J.G. Ballard stories — a cover that includes a “torso-less cloud lady.” . . . Penguin Classics has chosen the ten books (of theirs) that are most essential for anyone to read. I would say the most egregious omission is The Varieties of Religious Experience.