Here are a few links to provide some end-of-the-day enlightenment:
Books as home décor
Lately I’ve been thumbing through Damian Thompson’s Books Make a Home (to be released on October 1) and daydreaming about new arrangements for my bookshelves. I was thrilled to get even more inspiration from a roundup of 20 Celebrities With Stunning Home Libraries. If you feel like drooling over somebody else’s house—or you need even more encouragement to buy more books—take a look at these awesome photos.
Book blogger face-off
Maud Newton’s NYT Magazine piece from last weekend attributes modern Internet-speak to the essays of the late David Foster Wallace. It’s an entertaining piece—but a weak argument, according to Internet firebrand Ed Champion, who tears into her essay on his blog. Newton and Champion were among the first book bloggers, though the scope of each of their sites has changed over the years.
Happy birthday to The Moviegoer
There’s been quite a bit of press surrounding the 50th anniversary of Catch-22 (there’s also a new 50th-anniversary edition out, as well as Tracy Daugherty’s biography of Joseph Heller, Just One Catch). This week, The Millions published a nice essay on another novel that’s having a 50th anniversary—and it happens to be one of my favorites: Walker Percy’s The Moviegoer, which beat out Catch-22 for the National Book Award in 1962. The book tells the story of Binx Bolling, a man engaged in “the search,” or “what anyone would undertake if he were not sunk in the everydayness of his own life.” Here’s more from the essay:
F. Scott Fitzgerald thought “the purpose of a work of fiction is to appeal to the lingering after-effects in the reader’s mind.” Other than Fitzgerald’s own works, I’ve never read a novel whose power lies so fully not in the course of being read, but in the astral glow of having been read. When I completed The Moviegoer for the first time, I was at a loss to explain the significance of the 242 pages I’d just traversed, but I knew they had been important. I felt the novel working on me in strange ways, like a slow-release drug. That so much of The Moviegoer’s effect is felt when it’s not being read can be attributed not to some defect in Percy’s prose, but rather to the nature of the novel’s moral project.
Happy Friday, readers! What are you reading this weekend? I can’t wait to dig into When She Woke by Hillary Jordan (author of Mudbound).