Staff Picks: Bookshop Door, Thinking Fast and Slow


This Week’s Reading

The Greenwich Village Bookshop Door at the Harry Ransom Center.

Thinking, Fast and Slow sums up the cognitive research that won Daniel Kahneman a Nobel Prize in Economics (a first for a psychologist). It is also an old-fashioned work of philosophy: a series of DIY experiments that teach you how and why to doubt your intuitions about things as basic as cause and effect. —Lorin Stein

The Ransom Center has launched a curiously fascinating exhibit online, based around a door from Frank Shay’s bookshop that was signed by hundreds of the habitués of 1920s Greenwich Village, including Theodore Dreiser, John Dos Passos, Upton Sinclair, Sherwood Anderson, and Sinclair Lewis. The original shop was across the street from my current apartment and exploring the site, and the interconnected histories of the people who frequented the store, is a nifty way back in time—like a portal to twenties social networking. —Deirdre Foley-Mendelssohn

I’ve been looking forward to pulling Dalkey Archive’s new collection of stories and essays by Mina Loy off my shelf, but it hasn’t yet found it’s way into my reading cycle. I have managed to dip my toe in by way of Triple Canopy’s excerpt of her play “The Sacred Prostitute,” a very funny send-up of, among other things, men’s attitudes toward women. What’s more, some young genius at the magazine has put a handful of CF’s sublime, seductive drawings into the mix. —Nicole Rudick

I’ve been reading By Word of Mouth, a compilation of William Carlos Williams’s translations from Spanish—more numerous than you might think. My favorites are his versions of Neruda’s “Ode to My Socks” (“They were / so beautiful / that for the first time / my feet seemed to me / unacceptable”), and the great Nicanor Parra’s “Piano Solo,” which includes this epigram on the art of translation: “We do not speak solely to be heard / But so that others may speak / And the echo precede the voice that produces it.” —Robyn Creswell

Thanks to David Gates and The Dog House Band, I’ve got this drinkin’ thing. —L.S.

Writers are doing amazing things on the audio sharing service SoundCloud. You can follow Penguin Books, which has a great new podcast, or fiction writers like Paul Rome, whose stories are set to music and feature a character who is bullied out of Bushwick after he writes a satirical novel about its art scene. (Our protagonist keeps getting tofu cream cheese on his bagels and suspects resentful baristas are to blame.) —Artie Niederhoffer

“Reality has finally caught up with science fiction.” Our very own Tatooine. —Natalie Jacoby

While reminiscing about the late, great, Miller’s Dining Room of Cleveland, I ran across an obituary and was struck by this amazing epitaph: “But Doris Jean (Miller) Urbansky, who started Miller’s and led it for 39 years, will be remembered more than anything for hot sticky buns, topped with cinnamon and brown sugar. The average customer ate two apiece.” —Sadie Stein