May 4, 2010

The News on Tues

Yesterday, as I was riding my bike down the street, I came across a pile of books someone had left out for anyone still interested in this primitive format. There was another man there, a little older than me, looking through the books, and as we both examined and compared our findings, we naturally started talking on the topic of books, and how people just don't read or respect them anymore. At some point he said something like, it's all computers nowadays, people read everything online, never leave the house. I nodded in agreement though in fact, I only happened to be riding down that street because I had just returned from my friendly neighborhood computer technician, with whom I had left my laptop to be repaired (which was returned to me today, so on with the news!).
  • Virginia Heffernan thinks that, thanks to resources like Kessinger Publishing and CreateSpace, self-publishing is starting to lose its stigma.
  • Philip K. Dick fanatics rejoice! Houghton Mifflin Harcourt plans to publish extensive selections from his Exegesis in two volumes, edited by none other than Jonathan Lethem (who also edited the three Library of America volumes dedicated to Dick, and was recently named David Foster Wallace's successor to the coveted Disney Chair at Pomona College. is it possible that he is the luckiest lit-nerd alive?)
  • I've been hearing a lot of buzz around two novels lately: Tom Rachman's The Imperfectionists (reviewed in The New York Times; this review was then responded to in New York Magazine) and Joshua Cohen's soon to be released Witz (profiled by The New York Observer; briefly mentioned in The New Yorker).
  • And finally, Bush's memoir has a (rather uninspired) cover at last, and everyone's excited.
Oh, and in case anyone cares, I rescued five books from the pile, including Arabesques by Anton Shammas and The Israelis by Amos Elon.

Post last-minute addition:

Hot off the Brooklyn presses: My good friend Dave Kim interviews Chang-Rae Lee for The Brooklyn Rail.

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