Book excitement. Jonathan Franzen's new novel, "Freedom", his first since 2001's brilliant "The Corrections", will be released on August 31st. And the reviews! The New York Times calls it "both a compelling biography of a dysfunctional family and an indelible portrait of our times" Others are similarly glowing. I cannot wait.
Also, a very interesting article on Jack London from Slate.com. When I was in school and my teachers talked about London, they mentioned briefly that he taught himself to write and then assigned us his short story about the wolf. Or whatever it was about. What we didn't learn was that London was a devoted socialist as well as an inveterate racist. Now I'm not one of those guys who think a writer's biography is just as important as their work, but some of that biographical information might have been useful to know while reading to, you know, place his work in some context.
School always seems to find a way to make fascinating people, places, and things much less so, doesn't it?