2:14 PM, December 18th, 2013

Need a last-minute gift for a reader in your life? Or maybe feel like you’ll need some quiet time over the break? 

Either way, you’ll want to check out our aggregated “Best Books of 2013” list

4:51 PM, November 4th, 2013
Essays on how to be a man, a writer’s 1940s New York, a rain drenched Irish tale of murder and pursuit, and a novel filled with trash, and more of this week’s hot reads. 

Essays on how to be a man, a writer’s 1940s New York, a rain drenched Irish tale of murder and pursuit, and a novel filled with trash, and more of this week’s hot reads

3:53 PM, July 13th, 2012

Why Read ‘Gold’?



It is valuable to read a book like Gold once in a while. As E.M. Forster said, a reader must sit down alone and struggle with the writer—and, worst luck, for it takes a long time to read a book. We often choose books we will love for sure, according to our tastes. (“I adore baseball, so I’m guaranteed to love The Art of Fielding.”) Or we rely on award-winners and books already sufficiently praised. (A Visit From the Goon Squad won the Pulitzer, so it must be good.”) There are too many books and too little time.

But we ought to be tested on our critical skills often, lest we fall into complacency. It can be easy to classify Gold in the many different ways it is classifiable, and to justify yourself writing it off. “It is an Olympics book, which is not a topic worthy of serious literature.” “It is sentimental, and that is not worthy of my attention.” “It is about cyclists, and I don’t care for sports.” “It is a tearjerker, and who wants to go through that?”

But reading a book like Gold allows us to struggle with the writer. Why is this particular sentimentality bad? Wuthering Heights is sentimental, and many great novels are. How far can you take pathos? Are all novels featuring a child with advanced leukemia necessarily shamelessly capitalizing on tragedy? What makes schmaltz? A well-equipped critical mind can think more about these questions as the eyes roll over the sentences. Gold is a book that’s hard to submit to, because you’re aware of its contrivances and ways it wants to manipulate you. It is the perfect book to fight against—and in the process, sharpen your critical skills. - Jimmy So

Jimmy posted this over on the nwk book club tumblr and we wanted to share with y’all on nwktumblr because, well, damn! This is a great little contemplative tumblr post.

I wrote one too!

Reblogged from Newsweek
12:35 PM, July 5th, 2012
Reblogged from NWK Book Club
1:38 PM, April 13th, 2012


The Next Time Someone Says the Internet Killed Reading Books, Show Them This Chart

“Remember the good old days when everyone read really good books, like, maybe in the post-war years when everyone appreciated a good use of the semi-colon? Everyone’s favorite book was by Faulkner or Woolf or Roth. We were a civilized civilization. This was before the Internet and cable television, and so people had these, like, wholly different desires and attention spans. They just craved, craved, craved the erudition and cultivation of our literary kings and queens. 

Well, that time never existed. Check out these stats from Gallup surveys. In 1957, not even a quarter of Americans were reading a book or novel. By 2005, that number had shot up to 47 percent. I couldn’t find a more recent number, but I think it’s fair to say that reading probably hasn’t declined to the horrific levels of the 1950s.”

Full Story: The Atlantic

What are you reading, Internet? 

Reblogged from The Atlantic
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