The last round-up of the year!

This bloody year would end on a Monday, wouldn't it?

  • "Keeping it real": Authenticity (or rather, "authenticity") is a major bugbear for marketers of products to teens, the only people, it seems, who still believe in a true self, true love and truth in advertising, if they can find it: "Teens are wired different than any another consumer group. They navigate through media clutter with a heightened "BS" meter to sniff out hidden advertising agendas."

  • How Granta magazine became Granta magazine.

  • Who knew that "pulling a rabbit out of a hat" may derive from an 18th century Surrey housewife who claimed to have given birth to a bunny? Michael Bailey, the former president of the Magic Circle, the London society of magicians, did, and he's put it in a new history of magic.

  • God and Gold, Walter Russell Mead's new history of how the maritime commerce of Britain and America came to rule the world, uses Lewis Carroll's "The Walrus and the Carpenter" to explain Britain (the Walrus, of course) and the U.S. (the Carpenter) -- "ignoring the fact that these two characters are rapacious and hypocritical beings inhabiting a nonsensical world." Googoogajoob. Richard Francis explains.

  • Our chiseled-ab superheroes were lard butts long before the rest of America followed suit.

  • A look at the year to come in British books, including Peter Ackroyd's Poe bio, new novels from Peter Carey and Salman Rushdie and memoirs from J. G. Ballard and Julian Barnes.

  • December 31, 2007 9:16 AM |



    Best of the Vault


    Pat Barker, Frankenstein, Cass Sunstein on the internet, Samuel Johnson, Thrillers, Denis Johnson, Alan Furst, Caryl Phillips, Richard Flanagan, George Saunders, Michael Harvey, Larry McMurtry, Harry Potter and more ...


    Big D between the sheets -- Dallas in fiction


    Reviewing the state of reviewing


    9/11 as a novel: Why?


    How can critics say the things they do? And why does anyone pay attention? It's the issue of authority.

    The disappearing book pages:  

    Papers are cutting book coverage for little reason

    Thrillers and Lists:  

    Noir favorites, who makes the cut and why



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