June 6, 2017

Bill Maher has apologized after using a racial slur during an interview with Republican Senator Ben Sasse. HBO called the comment “inexcusable and tasteless,” and said they will edit the remark out of future broadcasts. In response, Senator Al Franken has canceled an upcoming appearance on the show.

Ben Smith talks to former New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan about the paper’s decision to discontinue the role.

Sewanee Review editor Adam Ross talks about the magazine’s struggle to stay relevant in the digital age. Ross had been in the middle of writing a new novel when he was initially approached about the job, and he has postponed work on the book indefinitely. “This is a magazine with some of the greatest DNA in the American literary ecosystem,” Ross said. “That seemed worth slowing my literary career down for.”

Broadly talks to Noëlle Santos, who is planning to open the only general-interest bookstore in the Bronx.

Personal trainer Bryant Johnson is writing a book based on his workout routine for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The RBG Workout: How She Stays Strong . . . and You Can Too! will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in October.

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan has finally given his required Nobel lecture. In the speech, recorded last weekend, Dylan discussed his songwriting influences from Buddy Holly to Homer, “accompanied throughout by jazzy piano chords.” Dylan also paid tribute to his literary influences, including Moby-Dick, All Quiet on the Western Front, and The Odyssey. In closing, he made a case for songwriting as a part of literature: “I return once again to Homer, who says, ‘Sing in me, oh Muse, and through me tell the story.’”

Tonight at Books are Magic in Brooklyn, Elizabeth Strout talks to Amor Towles about her new book, Anything is Possible.

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