Milton, Disaster, and Ryan Adams: Ten Links

1. The American John Milton: Robert Pinsky on Milton’s lasting influence. With some paragraphs on blank verse and W.E.B. DuBois. This is my kind of nerdy dream article.

2. For you Samuel Pepys fans (I know you’re out there) — History is to Blame: The Life and Times of Samuel Pepys. To begin at the beginning: “Samuel Pepys was, near enough, London’s Leopold Bloom – intelligent, curious, diligent and decent, with an abiding interest in music, food, women and the life of the city and people around him.”

3. Zadie Smith on E.M. Forster.

4. P.J. O’Rourke On God: “Science and religion both assert the same thing: that the universe operates according to rules and that those rules can be discerned. Albeit this does make it easier to believe in God than, for instance, organic chemistry. Just the fact of rules implies a rule maker while just the fact of mixing nitro with glycerin and causing an explosion does not imply a Ph.D.”

5. Really, if someone is going to set Robert Burns to music, it might as well be Michael Jackson.

6. This one is for my mom, who can’t stop talking about the book Three Cups of Tea. Greg Mortenson, the book’s author, who has spent years building schools in remote areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan, talks about a chat he had with Pervez Musharraf.

7. Sneaking this in the middle here… guess who has a birthday in two weeks? That’s right, me! And all I want for my birthday this year? Your tales of hilarious disaster.

8. Salon‘s Laura Miller reviews Reinventing Knowledge: From Alexandria to the Internet. Sounds like an interesting book.

9. Instead of spending time on frivolities (such as reading) this fall, why not go out and do something worthwhile, like volunteering for a candidate? That’s what Michael Moore thinks you should do. Hey, I’m just informing you. Don’t shoot the messenger.

10. Ryan Adams, who is the musician I listen to the most according to (I’m listening to him right now!), is making his literary debut. Infinity Blues is the name, and Akashic Books is the publisher. Beyond that, it’s anybody’s guess.

5 Responses

  1. Dear Jamaleh,

    Happy early
    Dear Jamaleh,

    Happy early birthday!

    What is your favorite Ryan Adamns record? I know nothing about him, and want to be schooled.

    Thank you!

  2. Hi Will — Thanks! If you
    Hi Will — Thanks! If you want to get started on Ryan Adams, I recommend beginning with Heartbreaker and going from there.

  3. Thank you! Now I know where
    Thank you! Now I know where to begin (at the beginning, it would seem).

    A pointless aside: whenever I read one of your posts, I always do one of two things. Either I pronounce your name as “jambalyah” in my head, or else I pretend it’s a magic word. Like what a cheesy kid’s magician would say before pulling a rabbit out of their hat.


    It’d be an awesome superhero’s name, too.

    I think I need to go to bed. Goodnight, Literary Kicks! I love you, always and forever!

  4. P.J. makes a straw man
    P.J. makes a straw man argument in the quote, as well as a watchmaker’s argument and sinks from there. Sigh. I was hoping for better satire.

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Litkicks is 26 years old! This website has been on a long and wonderful journey since 1994. We’re relaunching the whole site on a new platform in June 2021, and will have more updates soon. We’ve also been busy producing a couple of podcasts – please check them out.

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