What is the Picador team reading this upcoming weekend?
Darin just finished Martin Amis’s newest book, Lionel Asbo, calling it “great fun!”
A tremendously well-sourced (90 pages of endnotes! 10 years of poring over government documents!) that shows conclusively that incidents like the My Lai massacre were not isolated incidents. An important book.
PJ has a “super happy book weekend” ahead, with both Give Me Everything You Have: On Being Stalked, by James Lasdun, due out from Farrar, Straus and Giroux in February 2013 and Santatango by László Krasznahorkai on his to-read list.
Gabrielle is just finishing up Karaoke Culture from last week and is looking forward to sorting through her stacks of Picador and non-Picador books to find her next read. In the meantime, she highly recommends Daniel Mendelsohn’s essay on why he became a critic and what criticism means to him.
There are so many words of wisdom in this essay but here’s a bit to give you an idea:
The serious critic ultimately loves his subject more than he loves his reader—a consideration that brings you to the question of what ought to be reviewed in the first place. When you write criticism about literature or any other subject, you’re writing for literature or that subject, even more than you’re writing for your reader: you’re adding to the accumulated sum of things that have been said about your subject over the years. If the subject is an interesting one, that’s a worthy project. Because the serious literary critic (or dance critic, or music critic) loves his subject above anything else, he will review, either negatively or positively, those works of literature or dance or music—high and low, rarefied and popular, celebrated and neglected—that he finds worthy of examination, analysis, and interpretation. To set interesting works before intelligent audiences does honor to the subject. If you only write about what you think people are interested in, you fail your subject—and fail your reader, too, who may in the end find himself happy to encounter something he wouldn’t have chosen for himself.
Creative Director Henry is reading Thinking with Type: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students by Ellen Lupton.
This is one of the best books on the complexities and joys of designing with letterforms. I read it for inspiration, and then use that inspiration to help me with teaching my typography class at the School of Visual Arts.
Justin is re-reading Michael Kimball’s Big Ray ’cause its AMAZING.
If your eyeballs move, this means that you’re thinking, or about to start thinking.
If you don’t want to be thinking at this particular moment, try to keep your eyeballs still.