This fortnight on the bookish internet

  • Peter Derk has many theories about why grammar nazis drive us nuts. (LitReactor)
  • Zoe Dickinson shares her joy at meeting other bookish folk in her bookstore. (Book Riot)
  • Rivka Galchen and Benjamin Moser ponder two classic books that have been misunderstood. (New York Times)
  • Bookstores in major cities are hosting the Resistance. (New York Times)
  • George Sandeman reports on a major book heist in London. (The Guardian)
  • Would you pay £100 to visit this St. Petersburg Library for four hours? (The Guardian)
  • Trisha Brown makes a case against “women’s fiction” as a genre label. (Book Riot)

This week on the bookish internet

  • Learn more from Sophie Gilbert about Dr. Seuss’ anti-Nazi cartoons. (The Atlantic)
  • Zoe Dickinson apologizes to all the audiobooks she’s slept through. (Book Riot)
  • Rachel Wilkerson Miller tells the story of Emma Lazarus’ famous poem. (Buzzfeed)
  • In a bit of good political, bookish news, Virginia has tossed out the law requiring labeling on “sexually explicit” books…like Romeo and Juliet. (The Guardian)
    • Speaking of politics, sort of, here are some book recommendations from the seven countries affected by Trump’s Muslim ban. (Book Riot)
  • Jessa Crispin ponders why we enjoy dystopias so much. (The Baffler)

This week on the bookish internet

  • Lorraine Berry discusses the history of bibliomania and book hoarding. (The Guardian)
  • And speaking of humblebragging, Ashley Bowen-Murphy talks about the hardest books she’s ever read. (Book Riot)
  • Alison Ray shares a medieval illuminated manuscript that has an awful lot in common with modern comic books. (Medieval Manuscripts Blog)
  • Michiko Kakutani explains why we should all read 1984 now. (The New York Times)

This week on the bookish internet

  • I salute these street artists who correct graffiti in Quito. (mental_floss)
  • Lynne Truss shares the story of, possibly, the only author to be killed by a bad review. (The Guardian)
  • Boris Fishman has comically bad luck with translators of his work. (The New York Times)
  • And speaking of translation…Richard Lea rounds up a number of authors who are more popular in translation than they are in their native languages. (The Guardian)

This week on the bookish internet

  • I will never not share a round up of the weirdest things librarians have found in returned books. (Tin House Blog)
  • Zoe Dickinson works at a book store with no catalog! Here’s what she’s learned about navigating without a map. (Book Riot)
  • Looking for something funny to read? The Guardian asked some of the biggest names in fiction about their favorite funny books.
  • Things have gone very wrong with American education when a poet can’t answer questions about her work on two standardized tests. (Washington Post)
  • Courtney Tanner reports on books that are banned in the Utah prison system. (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Emily Temple examines more than a century of books that have been called “the Great American novel.” What do you think? (LitHub)
  • Erin Blakemore digs up an excellent article from the JSTOR archives about underground publishing in the Netherlands during the Nazi occupation. (Daily JSTOR)

This fortnight on the bookish internet

I didn’t feel like posting a round-up of bookish links last week because of the election. So, here’s me catching up.

  • D.J. Taylor discusses the history of tone in book reviews and how the “hatchet job” goes in and out of fashion. (The New Statesman)
  • Joan Bertin and Millie Davis asked teens what banned books have meant to them and helped them. This compilation of quotations is powerful evidence of why we need difficult books: they help us grow up. (Boing Boing)
  • Have you ever heard of beta readers? Priya Sridhar explains this important, but rarely discussed, stage of book writing. (Book Riot)
  • Alaina Leary ponders disability in literature: how we get it wrong, how publishing gets it wrong, and how to improve. (The Establishment)
  • Amanda Diehl explains how becoming a regular library user helps her cope with her workaholic tendencies. I love a good “How I discovered the library” story. (Book Riot)

This week on the bookish internet

  • Michelle Anne Schingler reflects on reading The Handmaid’s Tale in a time when the dystopia looks less and less far-fetched. (Book Riot)
  • Frank Furedi discusses the history of “the bookish fool,” people who collect books for status and not for the pleasure of reading them. (Aeon)
  • Brandi Bailey reevaluates her reading life. (Book Riot)
  • Megan Rosenblum shares the macabre and fascinating history of anthropodermic bibliopegy: the creation of books bound in human skin. Most people I mention this practice to get immediately squicked out. For some reason, they can’t see the appeal of becoming a book after they’re done with their skin. (Lapham’s Quarterly)

This week on the bookish internet

  • Bronwyn Lovell drops some knowledge on people who argue that science fiction doesn’t have a problem with sexism. (The Digital Reader)
    • If nothing else, read through this for the sexist review of Frankenstein from 1818.
  • Ed Simon reveals that literary hoaxes go back a lot further than anyone may have realized. (LitHub)
  • S. Zainab Williams eulogizes the books she loves but will never re-read. (Book Riot)
  • I try not to get political on this blog (unless it’s to do with books), but the #TrumpBookReport is too funny not to share. (Moby Lives)
  • Rocky Rakovic shares some Uber reviews of literary journeys. (McSweeney’s)

This week on the bookish internet

  • Between the late 1880s and his death, Dr. Orville Ward Owen searched for the “real” author of Shakespeare’s plays. At one point, he grew so obsessed that he build a cipher wheel to decode Shakespeare’s plays. (mental_floss)
  • Rachel Hennessy shares how she lost and regained her faith in the power of literature to make a difference. (LitHub)
  • Yiyun Li shares some of her bookish memories from childhood. I know these many of these feels! (Granta)
  • Zoe Dickinson, unlike most readers, does not hoard books like a book dragon. Too many moves. Instead, her shelves are full of books that are “old friends.” (Book Riot)
  • Paul Ringel argues (rightly, I think) that banning books does children no favors. “Protecting” children from “inappropriate” books is misguided and potentially damaging. (The Atlantic)