The Daily

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Amazon, Robots, and Other News

December 3, 2013 | by


  • Publishing legend André Schiffrin has died, at seventy-eight.
  • Amazon and drones. In the immortal words of Pillow Talk, “some jokes are too obvious to be funny.”
  • Stephen Colbert disagrees.
  • Speaking of! Joyce Carol Oates on Mike Tyson: “To the extent that Tyson has a predominant tone in Undisputed Truth it’s that of a Vegas stand-up comic, alternately self-loathing and self-aggrandizing, sometimes funny, sometimes merely crude.”


    Amazon Is Stressful, and Other News

    November 27, 2013 | by


  • In honor of Thanksgiving, novels full of good food.
  • Hundreds of writers have volunteered to sell books at indie bookstores this Small Business Saturday.
  • An undercover BBC investigation has found that working at the Amazon warehouse during the holiday season can lead to “mental and physical illness.”
  • Keep a notebook, write daily, and other tips from Nicholson Baker.
  • And whether or not you finish the books, twenty great opening lines.


    Modern Austen, and Other News

    November 1, 2013 | by


  • Informality, sex, reticence, and other challenges of modernizing Austen.
  • Morrissey’s autobiography crosses the pond December 3.
  • Starting today, will start collecting sales tax in Massachusetts and Connecticut. “This so, so, so overdue,” the manager of a Brookline bookstore tells the Boston Globe.
  • Speaking of! The behemoth is launching a digital literary magazine, Day One. Says Daphne Durham, publisher of the adult trade and children’s group, “Literary journals have long been an important part of giving a voice and a platform to new and undiscovered authors … We are trying to add to that tradition in a digital age.” Phew, glad someone’s on that.


    Librarians’ Darkest Secrets, and Other News

    October 9, 2013 | by


  • Shame! Librarians tell all.
  • “I think that Napoleon was a terrific guy before he started crossing national borders. Over the course of time, his temperament changed, and his behavior was insensitive to the nations he occupied. Through greed—which it sees differently, as technological development and efficiency for the customer and low price, all that—[Amazon] has walked itself into the position of thinking that it can thrive without the assistance of anyone else. That is megalomania.” Andrew Wylie on Amazon
  • For those inured to leaf-peeping, an October guide to Northeastern horror-writer tourism.
  • Wamblecropt, groke, and other wonderful, forgotten words


    Mr. Men as Social Critique

    May 13, 2013 | by


    We meet Mr Messy—a man whose entire day-to-day existence is the undiluted expression of his individuality. His very untidiness is a metaphor for his blissful and unselfconscious disregard for the Social Order. Yes, there are times when he himself is a victim of this individuality—as when he trips over a brush he has left on his garden path—but he goes through life with a smile on his face.

    This series of reviews from 2010 is, in a word, brilliant.



    Moist, and Other News

    April 5, 2013 | by


    • “Other books I can’t throw away because—well, they’re books, and you can’t throw away a book, can you?” In memory of the late Roger Ebert, an essay on libraries and love.
    • Amazon is in the process of testing an automated cover generator. Well, of course they are, silly.
    • Why do so many people hate the word moist, anyway? On word aversion.
    • Lizzie Skurnick, the Boswell of the world of YA literature, is launching Lizzie Skurnick Books, an imprint that will “bring back the very best in young adult literature, from the classics of the 1930s and 1940s, to the thrillers and social novels of the 1970s and 1980s.”
    • Short version: Scotland is giving back some of George Washington’s books.