Thursday March 12th, 2009

In the Ether

Caleb Crain thoughtfully reviews a new book about kindness: “Kindness stumbled in the Christian era, Phillips and Taylor write, when thinkers like Augustine attached to it the idea of self-sacrifice, and it descended from a refined pleasure to a mere duty.” . . . The Believer awards its Fifth Annual Book Award to Novel About My Wife by Emily Perkins, “the sort of book that the phrase ‘spoiler alert’ was invented for.” . . . Lorrie Moore reviews a new biography of Donald Barthelme. . . . Joseph Sullivan admires the simple beauty of the design for George Steiner’s two most recent books. . . . Speaking of book covers, this thought had occurred to me, too.