1. I’m just curious: is this subway ad trying to imply that subscribers to the New York Times online payment plan will get some kind of special access to Jay-Z? If so, I’d really like them to substantiate this. If not, why is he on this poster?
2. I still love the New York Times, even though I hate their payment plan. This weekend’s New York Times Book Review includes a satisfying knockdown by Christopher Hitchens of a dumb new book by David Mamet.
3. Also in the New York Times: the inspiring story of 26-year-old Amanda Hocking, who shook off years of rejections and invented herself as a very successful writer.
4. “A direct line to the planet of fear and the imp of the perverse … the desire to do that which we know is wrong”. Lou Reed is channelling Edgar Allan Poe again, this time in a book with illustrations by Lorenzo Mattotti.
5. “Saul Bellow, Norman Mailer, Dwight Macdonald, J.D. Salinger, Paul Goodman, William Burroughs and other bohemian culture heroes” experimented with the strange ideas of Wilhelm Reich, inventor of the Orgone Box.
6. I love the way biographer Charles Shields has been sharing his experience of launching a highly awaited biography of Kurt Vonnegut on a fun, informative, heartfelt blog. Authors take note: this is how to use social media well.
8. Words Without Borders presents the various recommendations of Roberto Bolano as a spontaneous index to its own archives.
9. Sylvia Plath, in her Mademoiselle pose, interviewing Elizabeth Bowen.
10. Bob Mould of Husker Du has written a memoir, called See a Little Light: The Trail of Rage and Melody.
11. Terry Southern’s excellent story collection Red-Dirt Marijuana and Other Tastes is being re-released as an e-book.
12. A revised edition of James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake has 9000 corrections, though I agree with Scott Esposito that it’s hard to imagine how anyone will be able to tell the difference.
14. Classic, classic stuff: the Allen Ginsberg Project points to a 77-minute video recording (in two parts) of the historic 1971 “Free John Sinclair” concert featuring John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Ed Sanders, Phil Ochs, Jerry Rubin, Bobby Seale, Rennie Davis, David Dellinger, David Peel, Allen Ginsberg, a young J. Geils Band, a young Bob Seger, Commander Cody and Stevie Wonder. I’ll say it again: classic classic stuff.
15. And finally, this blog post goes out with love to the joyful Clarence Clemons of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band. I’m so glad he got to write his memoir, Big Man: Real Life & Tall Tales, before he died.