Alice Munro and Marcel Proust had competing birthdays yesterday and it's like, which party are you gonna go to? I hear Proust's got an open bar, but Alice Munro has a DJ spinning hits from the 80s, 90s AND today.
The Paris Review Daily has a great piece about Nick Drake that reads like Almost Famous. All it's missing is Russell from Stillwater doing one of these. (P.S. listen to this while you read this roundup if you want it to be 100% more like a VW commercial)
So this is heartbreaking. It seems Gabriel Garcia Marquez can no longer write because of dementia. That picture, Jesus Christ. If you need me I'll be spending the next infinity days in my carefully crafted fortress of humor and cynicism where sadness can't get in.
Michael Cunningham, who was on the Pulitzer jury that failed to award a prize for fiction, is doing a two-part series for the New Yorker about what went into the decision. Click here to read part one of "Call Off Your Dogs, Dudes, It Wasn't My Fault: What Really Happened With The Pulitzer, Disaster at Knuckle Beach". [If that reference is lost on you, you need to watch more TV]
From the Times Book Review: hey, hey Woody Guthrie I wrote you this novel...
Also from the Times, Bruce Handy writes hilariously about his boring book collection. If you read one thing from this roundup, make it this. Excerpt: "It started one afternoon two years ago as I was walking down a stretch of Broadway on the Upper West Side where vendors sell used books off sidewalk tables. My eye was caught (I know this will sound improbable) by a photo of Adlai Stevenson: his vast forehead and purse-lipped semi-smile graced the cover of a collection of his speeches, published during the 1952 presidential campaign. Within me, something stirred." Haha Adlai Stevenson.
Here's the opening paragraph of Zadie Smith's new novel NW coming out in September. SPOILER ALERT: it features class angst in [SPOILER ALERT] London. Can't wait y'all. Can't wait can't wait.
The Millions lists the greatest New Jersey novels of all times. Oh man, these are all so good. I'm declaring a four-way tie between Jernigan, Oscar Wao, The Sportswriter trilogy, and Clockers. You all win a novelty sized Kit-Kat (this is a child's birthday party in the 1990s).
Your fave book, Fifty Shades of Grey, is going to be made into a movie produced by the team behind Social Network and released sometime in the next couple years. Thought they already made that movie and it was called "amateur bondage porn" produced by the team behind "other amateur bondage porn" and released on the Internet every second.
At last, Reading Rainbow is available as an app! Voice of an angel: Take a look. It's [on your android, iPhone, or tablet]. It's Reading Rainbow! (Back up angels: Reading Rainbowwwwww!)