Weekly Roundup – April 18, 2015

This is a weekly roundup of literary news, great magazine articles, and other reading-related stuff. Not all if it is new. 

The New York Times talks about how The Dictionary of American Regional English will probably be shut down due to lack of funds – unless you have about $500,000 to donate to them? 

Mental Floss ponders 10 Awful Words and the People They’re Named For. 

Newsweek speculates on Why Vinyl Has Made a Comeback

The New York Review of Books asks if Agatha Christie influenced John le Carré in The Art of Deadly Deception

The New Yorker explains The Bizarre, Complicated Formula for Literary Fame.

Weekly Roundup – April 11, 2015

This is a weekly round up of book news, great reads, and other literary related stuff. Not all if it is new. 

The Millions this week published an article (adapted from a January New York Times article on love) about falling in love with a reader

The New Yorker has interesting articles about James Merrill, the poet, and Chris Krause, the novelist. 

Editor and Publisher wonders: Is the Party Over for Social Media?”

The New York Review of Books has a blog post by Charles Simic about reading late at night

The New York Times has an article about why “Writers Love to Hate the M.F.A.” by Cecilia Capuzzi Simon.

Also, Atticus Lish has won the prestigious Pen/Faulkner Prize for his first novel “Preparation for the Next Life.” This book was published by a small independent press, Tyrant Books. Mr. Lish expresses his disbelief in winning the award in a New York Times article.


An era in publishing has come to an end. Newsweek has published the last print issue of the magazine. Newsweek will continue in digital form, but it won’t be the same.

I’m sure that it was a sad day at the magazine. Many people lost their jobs in the transition.

The cover photo is a vintage photograph of Newsweek’s old midtown New York headquarters. The title of the issue is ironic: #LastPrintIssue. It is so obviously a jab at the Twitterization of news.

When I was growing up, my family did not subscribe to Newsweek, but to their main competitor, Time. However, occasionally I would read issues and always enjoyed it.

Apparently after Newsweek merged with The Daily Beast the magazine started producing some controversial covers, probably in a vain attempt to sell enough issues to keep afloat. But in the days of the Internet, it is very difficult and not cost effective to publish a print magazine. Newsweek reportedly suffered a staggering loss of $40 million per year.

Magazines I Love: Atomic Ranch

I will occasionally post on magazines that I love — particularly magazines that don’t get much attention except for a certain small, core audience.

I love Atomic Ranch Magazine because the houses and furnishings are beautiful and I especially love the cool retro ads for mid-century modern furnishings! This magazine is clearly a labor of love for the editors and staff.

I love Atomic Ranch (Midcentury Marvels) because I grew up in a lovely little ranch house in New Jersey — with AUTHENTIC mid-century modern Danish teak furniture with a few older pieces thrown in! I miss that house and I miss that furniture. If only we had known how that style would make such a comeback! But the house and furniture are long gone . . .

Mental_Floss and Elephant

I was in Borders yesterday drinking coffee in the cafe and leafing through magazines that I couldn’t afford to buy (I had to buy the coffee because I was FREEZING!) Anyway, I really like to read off-beat magazines when I do this because they can be so interesting. I saw two magazines that I’d never seen before and they were great.

First, I read Mental_Floss. I think that I’m going to have to break down and buy this issue. It was so interesting! There were so many interesting stories. Most of the articles in this issue have to do with “Crazy Smart” people and were written in a screaming tabloid style. If you look at the cover on the left you will see what I mean. They also had two articles on Sweden inside. My mother was born in Sweden (and my father in Denmark which makes me a true Scandinavian). This magazine is “where knowledge junkies get their fix.” Here is their website, which is way cool.

I also found the first issue of a magazine called Elephant. It is a very thick, glossy magazine about visual culture and art. It has a high sticker price of $19.99 because it is a British import. Here is a look inside the current issue. This is a beautifully designed magazine that is not just pretty on the surface but has interesting articles, too!