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Posts from the ‘News and Notes’ Category

That Time Kramer Met Salman Rushdie

Seinfeld was a fabulous show.

One of the many reasons to love the show is its inclusion of relatively obscure literary references. You might remember I did a post awhile back about the episode in which George discover’s that his fiance, Susan, is the recipient of John Cheever’s famous love letters. Who saw that coming? Read more

Here’s What Dyslexia Feels Like

Daniel Britton is a graphic designer who has battled dyslexia all of his life.

To raise awareness for others who suffer with the learning disability (one in five people), Britton created a font that emulates what it’s like to be dyslexic.

“What this typeface does is break down the reading time of a non-dyslexic down to the speed of a dyslexic. I wanted to make non-dyslexic people understand what it is like to read with the condition and to recreate the frustration and embarrassment of reading everyday text.”

Here’s another example: Read more

This Bookstore Is Offering Refunds For Go Set A Watchman

If you dislike the new Harper Lee novel, Go Set A Watchman, and you happened to purchase the novel from Brilliant Books in Traverse City, Michigan…well, you’re in luck.

This independent bookshop is offering refunds to its readers, claiming the novel has been advertised as a “nice summer novel” instead of an “academic insight.”

Read more

This 12-Year-Old Boy Needs Books. Let’s Send Him Some.

Here’s your heartwarming story for the day.

Last week, a mailman in Utah was delivering mail to the home of a 12-year-old boy, Mathew Flores. The kid was reading junk mail and asked the mailman if he had any extra.

When the mailman, Ron Lynch, asked Flores why he was reading junk mail, the boy told him that he didn’t have any books. For fun, he reads newspapers and mail.

Flores’ family doesn’t have a car, and he can’t afford the bus pass to go to the library. So, no books.

“He didn’t want electronics. He didn’t want to sit in front of the TV playing games all day. This kid just wanted to read,” Lynch said.

So, like any good trustworthy mailman, Lynch did something about it.

He posted a photo of the boy on Facebook, with a description of the situation. The post went viral on social media and found its way to Reddit.  Read more

Rest In Peace, E.L. Doctorow

I rarely break my blogging schedule, but today’s an exception.

Last night, E.L. Doctorow died at the age of 84. According to his son, he passed away because of complications from lung cancer.

As I’ve read through the 101 Books, I’ve noticed how rare it is to actually have a living author on the list. Doctorow, who most famously wrote Ragtime and Billy Bathgate, was one of the few. Since I created the blog almost five years ago, I only recall one other author on the list passing away–that’s Doris Lessing, who wrote The Golden NotebookRead more

The Editor Behind To Kill A Mockingbird

The recent release of Go Set A Watchman is an interesting case study in the development of a classic novel.

With the novel’s publication last week, the New York Times published an interesting behind-the-scenes look at the process that transformed Go Set A Watchman into To Kill A Mockingbird several years later. Read more

Zadie Smith Talks Parenting: Are Two Kids Too Many?

Zadie Smith is one of those writers that, honestly, I had never heard of before embarking on this project. Yet, as I’ve read White Teeth and learned more about Smith, I’ve grown to respect her immensely, so much so that I’d love to somehow be able to interview her on this blog. Gotta try, at least, right?

Anyway, I’ll definitely be reading more of Zadie Smith’s work when this is finished. I love her writing style and witty humor.

Smith is the mother of two kids, and she took issue to an article written by journalist Lauren Sandler a couple of years ago in The Atlantic. The title of the piece? “The secret to being both a successful writer and a mother: have just one kid”


Sandler explained how many of the female writers she “revered” only had one child: Susan Sontag, Joan Didion, Mary McCarthy, Elizabeth Hardwick, Margaret Atwood.

She quotes Alice Walker, who said female artists “should have children – assuming this is of interest to them – but only one … Because with one you can move. With more than one you’re a sitting duck.”

Zadie Smith took issue with Sandler’s article and responded. Read more


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