Mid-Week Remainders

  • After a decade of embracing realistic, character-driven novels, I’ve become equally interested in psychological depth and a compelling plot. (The best books, like Graham Greene’s The End of the Affair and Iris Murdoch’s The Sea, The Sea, combine all of these elements.) So Emma and I went halfsies on Christopher Booker’s The Seven Basic Plots, which I’ve yet to read. Jessica Winter expresses doubts about Booker’s scheme in a review for the current Village Voice Educational Supplement. (Other negative reviews abound.)
  • Thanks to a guy who took midnight phone calls and dove into dumpsters in the pouring rain, Yiddish has been preserved. Aaron Lansky is a one-man Rosetta Project (others helped out, but he spearheaded the effort), and while my schedule has prevented me from reading past the first chapter, his book, Outwitting History, strikes me as a must-read for language scholars and students of Yiddish alike.
  • “If there can only be one woman writing for the New Yorker (this seems to be approaching a law of physics . . . ),” who should it be?”
  • No doubt you’ve heard elsewhere (like, from the Associated Press headlines on Yahoo) but Mississippi libraries put Jon Stewart’s book back on the shelves.

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