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Here To Be Interesting: Don DeLillo’s The Angel Esmeralda. The Angel Esmeralda by Don DeLilloScribner, 2011 Don DeLillo has two modes of operation: there are the major works, novels like Underworld and Libra and Falling Man, books that portend to deal with massive subjects like the last half of the American Century, the Lee Harvey Oswald and the JFK assassinations, and the attacks on 9/11 (in these novels readers encounter J.

Here To Be Interesting: Don DeLillo’s The Angel Esmeralda

Edgar Hoover, Oswald himself, and a 9/11 hijacker, for instance). Then there are the works like White Noise and Mao II — no less major in stature, or skill — that operate on a more personal level, full of half-hidden people, go-nowhere conversations, inexplicable motivations and inexplicable actions, and repeated denials of information the reader desperately craves.


Brain pickings. Letters. Kierkegaard on Our Greatest Source of Unhappiness. By Maria Popova Hope, memory, and how our chronic compulsion to flee from our own lives robs us of living.

Kierkegaard on Our Greatest Source of Unhappiness

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives,” Annie Dillard memorably wrote in reflecting on why presence matters more than productivity. What It Takes to Design a Good Life. The Definitive Manifesto for Handling Haters: Anne Lamott on Priorities and How We Keep Ourselves Small by People-Pleasing. Find Your Beach by Zadie Smith. Across the way from our apartment—on Houston, I guess—there’s a new wall ad.

Find Your Beach by Zadie Smith

The site is forty feet high, twenty feet wide. It changes once or twice a year. Whatever’s on that wall is my view: I look at it more than the sky or the new World Trade Center, more than the water towers, the passing cabs. It has a subliminal effect. Last semester it was a spot for high-end vodka, and while I wrangled children into their snowsuits, chock-full of domestic resentment, I’d find myself dreaming of cold martinis. Before that came an ad so high-end I couldn’t tell what it was for. The tower I live in is university accommodation; so is the tower opposite. But that was all some time ago. In those cases photographic images are used, and the beach is real and seen in full. Admit it: Living In New York Sucks. I spent most of my twenties being brainwashed and lied to.

Admit it: Living In New York Sucks

Everybody told me that living in New York was the best–nothing could touch its food, its culture, its opportunities–and I believed them. I believed them every day for the first three years I lived there. I fell in love with the city the way any young person does. Let’s face it, there’s no better place to be young than New York.


Ny times/new yorker. Mc sweeney's. The 10 Best Psychology and Philosophy Books of 2012. By Maria Popova.

The 10 Best Psychology and Philosophy Books of 2012

Essays. Fiction. Camus's "The Stranger": First-Line Translation. For the modern American reader, few lines in French literature are as famous as the opening of Albert Camus’s “L’Étranger”: “Aujourd’hui, maman est morte.”

Camus's "The Stranger": First-Line Translation

Nitty-gritty tense issues aside, the first sentence of “The Stranger” is so elementary that even a schoolboy with a base knowledge of French could adequately translate it. So why do the pros keep getting it wrong? Within the novel’s first sentence, two subtle and seemingly minor translation decisions have the power to change the way we read everything that follows. What makes these particular choices prickly is that they poke at a long-standing debate among the literary community: whether it is necessary for a translator to have some sort of special affinity with a work’s author in order to produce the best possible text.


The 10 Most Disturbing Books Of All Time. In my younger days if I heard a book or movie was disturbing or hard to handle I generally took that as a challenge.

The 10 Most Disturbing Books Of All Time

Most books generally turned out to not be too bad, but occasionally I’d come across something that would leave me with a sick feeling in my stomach for weeks. I’ve largely outgrown this “genre” of late, but here are my picks for the ten most disturbing books of all time. Any one of these books is capable of leaving you feeling a little depressed at the least, and permanently scarred at the worst. I’d say enjoy, but that doesn’t really seem appropriate … 25 Banned Books That You Should Read Today.

Almost since the dawn of publishing, books have been banned for one reason or another.

25 Banned Books That You Should Read Today

Many notable banned books are also compelling reads from classic or contemporary literature. This list summarizes 25 of the most controversial banned books from throughout history. #1 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee Harper Lee's only novel is considered by many to be among the greatest works of fiction in American literature. Yet the story of young Scout Finch and her father, Atticus, has often been banned. . #2 American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis Ellis is a frequent target for protests due to the nature of his writing, but none has faced the level of opposition of American Psycho.

Hunter S. Thompson Essay. “Open Letter To The Youth Of Our Nation” 1955. Hunter wrote this essay in 1955 for The Athenaeum Literary Association’s bound yearbook, it won third prize in The Nettleroth contest.

Hunter S. Thompson Essay. “Open Letter To The Youth Of Our Nation” 1955

Great writing for a 18 year old, and makes for a funny read too. Young people of America, awake from your slumber of indolence and hark-en the call of the future!