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Letters From the Editor

Sunday is for the Books

Summer hasn’t left Brooklyn yet and as my neighbors are playing a repetitive, pounding, techno/rap strain that has made its way through my bedroom wall, I’ve sequestered myself in the living room to ignore the heat and read all day. Plenty of books, a Tupperware bowl of leftover risotto, and a record collection. Perfect place for reading. But before I started, I found a bunch of reading-related links in case you don’t have any books:

Hell’s Bibliophiles: A gang of readers whose motto is ‘Live to Read; Read to Live.’ Don’t fuck with them. There’s enough here to keep you busy till dinner. James Joyce’s ‘Dubliners’: I learned last night that the scientific term ‘quark’ comes from Joyce’s ‘Finnegan’s Wake.’ Must explain why so many Web designers can’t lay out a single page of text. Newt Gingrich, Book Critic: A titan with a compact. Ted Kaczynski’s recommended reading: Notably, ‘Les Miserables.’ Front cover illustration, Brave New! Book! By Man!!, fellatious review for Jonathan Franzen: Further evidence he may have a PR department at his disposal.
It should be said that for all our sneering and sarcasm leveled at Franzen, we have not read his new book, nor his old ones, and we are willing to believe that this new book is a great, breathtaking thing. We simply hate orchestrated orgies of praise. That Franzen is probably a nice man, affectionate and thoughtful, good with the elderly, sure, we’ll give you that; that he is capable of eliciting an honest chorus of ‘Here! Now! Buy this great new brilliant genius work of brilliance!’ from every organ of American criticism simply by his own merits…my ass.

Congratulations FSG, you’ve made yourself a classic. Attention Dave Eggers: please have your desk cleared by six.

Rosecrans Baldwin co-founded TMN with publisher Andrew Womack in 1999. His latest book is Everything Now: Lessons From the City-State of Los Angeles. More information can be found at More by Rosecrans Baldwin

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