The Daily


On the Shelf

August 17, 2011 | by

A cultural news roundup.

  • Just Kids gets the big-screen treatment.
  • So does Tolkien.
  • Kathryn Stockett triumphs in court (as well as at the movies).
  • Need an alternative to The Help? Try Welty.
  • “As a kid I would get my parents to drop me off at my local library on their way to work during the summer holidays and I would walk home at night. For several years I read the children’s library until I finished the children’s library. Then I moved into the adult library and slowly worked my way through them. With the kids’ library I did it alphabetically but I discovered I couldn't do that with the adult one because there were too many big boring books to read, so I did it by interesting covers.”
  • A tribute to Wendy Wasserstein.
  • Amazon moves in on publishing with first “major” deal.
  • The next best thing to a vacation? Reading about a vacation.
  • The movies may be complete, and the books long finished, but Harry Potter fans need not despair: Pottermore launches in October.
  • The case for spoilers!
  • Who’s your favorite deliciously awful fictional character?
  • Bookstores clear a “Rick Perry” section.
  • “Ah ha! I’ve finally put my finger on a concrete reason for my lingering, irrational, doubtless soon-to-be-jettisoned prejudice against e-readers.”


    1. Joe Carlson | August 17, 2011 at 4:27 pm

      Delicious awful fictional villain? Iago, hands down. Hard not to pull for the guy. And while the other main characters end up dead, Iago’s alive and kicking, with final words that show he’s cognizant of Miranda:
      “Demand me nothing: what you know, you know:
      From this time forth I never will speak word.”

      Lawyer up, my witty friend.

    2. Jon Horvitz | August 18, 2011 at 7:46 am

      I love books with a good villain (not the shoot-em-up type, but the more subtle ones). In Henry James’ The Ambassadors, I enjoyed disliking Mrs. Newsome, the widowed fiance’ of the main character. Also, Anthony Trollope’s Barchester Towers has several characters that are fun to dislike.

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