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Writing Worth Reading

Weird Al Endures

Weird Al Yankovich had his biggest moment in 1984 with a middling success for his Michael Jackson parody, Eat It. But “the world turns over a new batch of dorky teens” every generation, and Al has outlasted the artists he parodies. “We get older but he stays the same age — goofy, juvenile, exuberant, and proudly uncool, a gawky guy with a perm and a nasally, insistent voice, whose tastes run toward geek humor and polka” (1,280 words)

What Does It Mean To Own A Book?

New reading app, Oyster, allows you to borrow e-books instead of buying them. Up to ten at a time for reading offline. “If this new model gains wide acceptance, either through Oyster or whatever follows on its heels, it will raise big business questions for the industry. The most pressing: What will happen to publishers and, especially, writers, if sales get replaced by what are, in effect, streams?” (1,220 words)

The Curse Of Reading

You too, eh? You read a book, and, a couple of years later, you’ve not only forgotten the substance of the story, but even the act of having read it. It’s not that I thought I was the only one; but I thought I was especially unretentive. Now I have my benchmark. “The spines look familiar. But for the most part, the assembled books, and the hundreds of others that I’ve read and discarded represent a vast catalog of forgetting” (1,857 words)

Real Estate In Literature

John Lanchester’s “Capital” elevates houses to the status of characters. The story is as much about property values as about human values. And why not? Wealth fascinates us, and urban wealth flows mostly through real estate

Jerry West’s Dream Game

Praise for new memoir by former LA Lakers player and general manager. Thoughtful, and fun. He constructs the perfect game, played by two rosters built from the best players across the years. Game tied, five seconds left…

Bad Sex, Good Humour

Report on the Literary Review’s Bad Sex Awards 2010. “He jumped out from his pajama pants so acrobatically it was like a stunt from Cirque du Soleil … She tasted like a hot biscuit flavored with pee”

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