Nine Links for Friday

1. There’s an excerpt of My Name Is Will (a novel of sex, drugs and Shakespeare) on I mention this mainly so that I can segue into this: Shakespeare got to get paid.

2. What classic work of literature are you embarrassed to have never read? These writers admit their shame, so I think you should too. That is, if you’re one to be ashamed for not having read certain books.

3. Blokes bribed with beer to read books. To fool them into thinking that reading is manly instead of girly and lame! Hahah! Tricked you! Ahem.

4. You know that Twilight series of books about vampires? And a teenager who has an affair with a vampire? Or something? I don’t really either, except I know they exist, and I read a profile of the author a couple of months ago in Time. Well, the final book in the series is to be released at midnight Friday. (Though isn’t that actually Saturday, Philly Inquirer?) The film is coming in December.

5. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen: The Coffee Table Book. Due to be on shelves on October 28, it’s just in time for Halloween! I figured I should let you know.

6. Comics in the classroom. Really.

7. Sports and literature: they go together like The Captain and Tennille.

8. Do you like thinking about the canon, especially in when it comes to (relatively) new work that should belong there? Sure you do. I mean, who doesn’t? Well, there’s a piece on Blogcritics about the importance of Toni Morrison’s Beloved.

9. And finally, who doesn’t love uplifting stories of schools in need getting books? Heartless people, that’s who. Don’t be heartless.

9 Responses

  1. Hi Jamelah,

    I am inspired to
    Hi Jamelah,

    I am inspired to make a couple comments based on your nine links. But first some bidness — the link doesn’t work.

    Here are the comments, if they are going through.

    They are now releasing the new Stephanie Meyer book like the Harry Potter book — at midnight and there’ll be a party at the bookstore. How do I know this? I found out tonight that I’ll be taking my daughter over the the local bookstore for the release tomorrow night. Her friend likes these books. My daughter is just going along for the fun.

    Second, I am glad you mention the Shakespeare book again. Levi mentioned it last Sunday on reviewing the review. I rea the NYTBR that week as well and read the review of the Shakespeare book as well. I didn’t make a comment then, so now that you’ve mentioned it again…

    The book is about the Shakespeare as a secret catholic and also, mainly I think, about the grad student at UC Santa Cruz in the 1980’s. I have my interest piqued because I was in fact a real graduate student at UC Santa Cruz in the 80’s (I was in natural Sciences, not a literature department, though), so I wonder how accurate or knowledgeable the author is.

    I always thought as well that actual stories of UC Santa Cruz life for a grad student in the 80’s would be more intereting than whatever this guy comes up with. Stories about fellow students and faculty alike. I actually wrote up about 1000 on memories of that time last night, inspired by this.

    So thanks for bringing it up again.

    I just hope this message goes through because the web site software is acting oddly.

  2. I don’t do shame, but the
    I don’t do shame, but the fact that I’ve never read any of Bukowski’s novels leaves a hole in my psyche. I’ve read a bit of his poetry, commentaries on his works, heard stories about him, saw the movies Barfly and Factotum, but someday I must read a couple of his books.

    And Norman Mailer. Same thing.

    I have previously confessed to reading halfway through Ulysses and then losing interest, but I have a plan. When I finish V. by Thomas Pynchon, I’m going to read Gravity’s Rainbow, which has been compared to Ulysses, and then I’ll tackle Ullysses again. Kind of build up to it, you see.

  3. TKG — Hi. Sorry about that
    TKG — Hi. Sorry about that broken link problem — should be all fixed now! I hadn’t ever heard of Stephanie Meyer or the Twilight books and then I learned that it’s really popular and then I wondered where I’d been. I didn’t get into the Harry Potter thing either, but at least I knew it was around… just goes to show that I am not hip to what’s cool with the kids these days.

    As for bringing up the Shakespeare book again, you’re welcome.

    Bill — Yeah, I don’t feel ashamed about the books I haven’t read either. And maybe this fall I will issue a Ulysses reading challenge. Maybe. Or not. Depends.

  4. I have never read any of
    I have never read any of William F. Buckley’s books, and I am damn proud of that.

    Beer and books – you mean you’re not supposed to drink beer when you read books? That said, I found that Hamlet goes well with a nice Bordeaux,
    while when reading On The Road I like a bottle of Tokay.

    That Olsen twins books is gonna be on my Christmas list!

  5. Perhaps I am heartless, but
    Perhaps I am heartless, but this passage I found shocking:

    “It’s always funny to note what was current in the 1950s,” says Meredith Wilson, an intern who’s a junior at Amherst. As she sorts, she says they send the books that aren’t fresh enough to prisoners – or to the recycling bin.

    They are essentially burning books they don’t like.

    And these older books are exactly the books that should be preserved.

  6. Shakespeare a closet
    Shakespeare a closet catholic, are’nt we all. That’s karmic as well as comic.Also it is not unusefull in any discussion about the guy, he might as well be; it suits the purpose of not knowing much about him.I’m really atracted to the Shakespeare is Jewish argument. One word, Shylock, have you seen the image of the balding guy.doesn’t he look like The Merchant of Venice.
    its the vision over mind argument. The more you think you know him, the less you see you dont.There are dozens of Shakespeares,everybody sees elements of themselves in him and the literature. A literary idiot probably knows as as much about him as a literary genius, a tale told by an idiot….perhaps.
    For mysrlf I like the Catholic Jewish argument because he can be connected to the Upanishads of Hinduism via that tradition. Those are the things that I like, and am. Shakespeare he is probably a mirror, the rest is show business.

  7. Yeah, Jamelah. Issue a
    Yeah, Jamelah. Issue a challenge.
    To yo-self.

    But seriously, I have questions. Is House of Leaves difficult to get through? If I understand correctly, you liked reading Leaves, correct? How does it compare to <Ulysses, from what you’ve read of Ulysses, so far?

  8. I’m ashamed to say I’ve never
    I’m ashamed to say I’ve never got through a Jane Austen novel; my eyes glaze over and my mind wanders to lofty matters such as is it that cat that smells or have I left my half-eaten lunch under the bed again. That said, were there a beer incentive, I’d try harder to pay attention. But beer and books might not be such a good combination, unless it’s Bukowski. That would work.

    p.s. it was the cat.

  9. In David Lodge’s Changing
    In David Lodge’s Changing Places, the English professor main character describes a game he calls “Humiliation” where each player names a book they’ve never read and gets a point for each other player who has read the book. So the winner is the one who can admit to being the least well-read in comparison to the others. I guess this game is only fun if you’re the shame-feeling type.

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