• San Francisco Chronicle book critic David Kipen reviews Jon Stewart’s America (The Book), and says its “irreverent footnotes” owe a great deal to “such master practitioners as David Foster Wallace and Dave Eggers”:

    the irreverent footnote derives most of its power from the conjunction of academic methodology with sophomoric diction. My favorite example in “America (The Book)” comes in a text box that begins, “If there’s one thing Americans love, it’s satire.” Now follow the asterisk to the bottom of the page, where the footnote reads, “For an example of satire, re- read this sentence.”

  • Asked which books the presidential candidates should consult, U.S. book club readers recommend that Bush and Kerry read the Bible. What would Fran Lebowitz say?
  • New York is Book Country is relocating to Washington Square Park this year. On Saturday, October 2, and Sunday the 3rd, the book bash “will feature an array of panels, readings and author signings.” Participating authors are listed here.
  • Soft-core porn director Russ Meyer has left the building. Meyer served under Ernest Hemingway in World War II and lost his virginity with the writer’s guidance:

    Major Hemingway escorted Meyer to a brothel outside Paris which he controlled, and told him to take his pick of the 15 staff. “I picked the girl with the biggest tits,” Meyer recalled.

  • Backspace is a good resource for writers, and it’s just launched a new, more user-friendly site. Past guest “speakers” (guests of whom members have asked questions in the online forum) include C. Michael Curtis of The Atlantic Monthly, agents Nick Ellison of Sanford J. Greenburger and Dan Lazar of Writers House, editor Natasha Graf of McGraw-Hill Trade, book reviewer Sara Nelson, and, er, me. Neil Gaiman is one of the future guests. I haven’t read Victoria Strauss’ recent Backspace offering, “The Safest Way to Search for an Agent,” but several friends have recommended it
  • The first episode of the new Hitchhiker’s Guide radio series was broadcast on Monday and will be rebroadcast today. (Via the not-actually-retired Ed.)
  • Moorish Girl is on top of pretty much all the serious literary news that I, due to illness and general laziness, have been neglecting.


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