* Google’s getting into the online encyclopedia biz

* The Hartford Courant is the most recent newspaper to deem book coverage unimportant

* Roberto Bolano is in The New Yorker. Also see Conversational Reading’s coverage of Bolano, and and all of our reviews and essays about him at The Quarterly Conversation.


* The Complete Review on Reading the OED (yes, that’s what you think it is):

A book about someone spending a year reading the over twenty-thousand pages of a dictionary does not sound particularly promising — and the author’s statement that: "I think of Reading the OED as the thinking person’s Cliff Notes to the greatest dictionary in the world" isn’t exactly reassuring. On the other hand, what he proposes to do is fairly extraordinary: surely even fewer people read the Oxford English Dictionary cover(s) to cover(s) (there are twenty volumes in the edition he takes on) than climb Everest. Indeed, it is an audacious feat: yes, spread over a whole year, it averages to just less than sixty pages a day — but sixty pages of dictionary-entries, day in and day out ? Who could manage that ? (On the other hand: for a fat book contract, who wouldn’t give it a shot ?)


* The TLS on Fredric Jameson

* The LRB on literary critic Raymond Williams

* And the LRB on Bernhard Schlink’s new novel

The Rest

* The best documentaries of all time

* Max makes some good points about how different feed readers affect your consumption of online material

* Quiz yourself on how much you know about our nation’s wellbeing, or rather, lack thereof:

6) The United States has five percent of the world’s people. What percentage of the world’s prisoners does it have?
5% 11% 24% 41%

* More from the study that inspired the quiz

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Really heavy stuff but a good read
Al the best


The Surrender is Veronica Scott Esposito’s “collection of facts” concerning how she embraced her true gender.


Two long essays of 10,000 words each on sex in—and out of—literature . . .

The first essay dives in to Nicholson Baker’s “sex trilogy,” explaining just what Baker is up to here and why these books ultimately fail to be as sexy as Baker might wish.

From there the book moves on to the second essay, which explains just why Spaniard Javier Marías does right what Baker does wrong . . .


5 essays. 2 interviews.

All in all, over 25,000 words of Latin American literary goodness.

3 never-before-published essays, including “The Digression”—a 4,000-word piece on the most important digression in César Aira’s career.

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