• January 3, 2019

    Jorge Luis Borges

    At the Columbia Journalism Review, Robert P. Baird reports on Jacobin magazine, the socialist print publication that has gained a sizable following since its launch in 2010. Baird talks to Jacobin’s founding editor and publisher, Bhaskar Sunkara, and tracks the magazine’s unlikely rise. As one Sunkara’s debate opponents put it, Sunkara “started a magazine that’s got 38,000 subscribers! He bought a magazine in Britain! He’s the wunderkind of socialism!”

    On the New Yorker fiction podcast, Orhan Pamuk reads Jorge Luis Borges.

    Emma Best reports on the 1976 FBI investigation of the Village Voice for espionage, after the paper published the Pike Committee Report.   

    McNally Jackson Books in New York City is reportedly going to stay in its Prince Street home.The “books you should read” lists for 2019 are beginning to come out. Literary Hub recommends “13 Books You Should Read This January, ” Nylon has its “Best Books to Read in 2019,” and Book Riot offers a list of the “Most Anticipated 2019 LGBTQ Reads.”

  • January 2, 2019

    At The Atlantic, Derek Thompson looks at worrying trends in the media business, noting four in particular: there are “too many players,” a lack of “saviors,” no “clear playbook” for how to move forward, and publications are stuck with “patrons with varying levels of beneficence.” What’s next? According to Thompson, one clue comes from looking back to the early-nineteenth century “party press era,” a time of flush partisan patrons funding the news: “Journalism could be more political again, but also more engaging.”  

    Sloane Crosley writes about what Hollywood gets wrong about publishing. But, as she observes, being wrong is not always a bad thing: “Happily, once realism has been pulped like the first print run of a fraudulent memoir, the fun can begin.”

    Sally Rooney. Photo: Jonny L. Davies.

    In the New Yorker, Lauren Collins profiles Sally Rooney, the Irish novelist whose next book, Normal People, is one of the most anticipated books of 2019. Collins explains part of Rooney’s appeal: “The quality of thought eliminates the need for pen-twirling rhetorical flourishes. Rooney’s most devastating lines are often her most affectless.”    

    Literary Hub rounds up the seventy-five best book covers of the year, polling art designers on what worked. Which book was their favorite? It’s a tie between Nico Walker’s Cherry (designed by Janet Hansen for Knopf) and Melissa Broder’s The Pisces (designed by Rachel Willey for Hogarth). Unsurprisingly, New Directions gets a special mention: They have 11 books on the list, the most of any press.   

    At the Los Angeles Review of Books, Felix Bernstein interviews Jarrett Earnest, the author of What It Means to Write About Art: Interviews With Art Critics.