Thursday February 4th, 2010

In the Ether

STsalingerJoanna Smith Rakoff remembers her time answering J. D. Salinger’s fan mail. . . . John Seabrook once went to Salinger’s house to watch a movie. . . . And editor Tim Bates recounts communicating with Salinger in the 1990s when his books were being repackaged in the UK. . . . Lord, how I love Jill Lepore. (“I suspect that reading A People’s History at fourteen is a bit like reading The Catcher in the Rye at the same age.”) Some commenters take umbrage, but I think they’re (slightly) twisting Lepore’s point in order to take umbrage. . . . Abe Books gathers its top ten books about drink. Some priceless covers in the batch. . . . John Scalzi writes a scathing, very funny post about being on the author end of the Amazon-Macmillan dustup. (“Hey, you want to know how to piss off an author? It’s easy: Keep people from buying their books. You want to know how to really piss them off? Keep people from buying their books for reasons that have nothing to do with them.”) . . . On the same subject, Caleb Crain with a customarily thoughtful look at the possible future of book publishing. . . . Jessa Crispin writes about “spinster fear” and defends the books of Elizabeth Gilbert. . . . Charles McGrath profiles Don DeLillo, and elicits this quote, which both confirms DeLillo’s humorlessness and cements his lifetime ban from any parties I throw: “I only smile when I’m alone.” . . . A new blog interviews designer Carin Goldberg. (Via Casual Optimist)