Wednesday October 13th, 2010

In the Ether

abookLane Smith writes a charming (and charmingly illustrated) post about writing his new children’s book, It’s a Book, which teaches children about that non-digital oddity. Sadly, Smith scrapped the hilarious character at left because, understandably, he didn’t want anyone to think he was making fun of a goofy child. The post includes thoughts about Buster Keaton and the spatial concerns of comedy, porkpie hats, and a mini-history of the jackass as a character in children’s literature. Read it. . . . Speaking of the young, Jill Lepore, reliably entertaining and informative, writes about a new round of books explaining sex to children and the history of the genre. . . . Howard Jacobson has won the Booker Prize for his novel The Finkler Question, which just went on sale in the U.S. Claire Armitstead says Jacobson’s win is overdue, but that, “many of his fans [will suspect] that, like Margaret Atwood and Ian McEwan before him, he didn’t break the jinx with his best novel.” The Guardian profiled Jacobson in August, and the same paper recently ran an essay by him about the history of, and importance of, humor in novels. . . . Andrew Seal shares a list of books that Theodore Dreiser kept on his shelves under the group title “Library of American Realism.” . . . Levi Stahl, fan of scary stories, welcomed in “October Country” last week, and it seems that this month at his terrific blog will be dedicated to literary frights. . . . Rohan Maitzen admires Elizabeth Hardwick’s confidence, and shares several excerpts from her work.