February 1st, 2012 / 4:14 pm

Wednesday Reading

Jonathan Franzen doesn’t like e-books. I read Freedom on my Kindle. If he wants to defend printed matter, he should maybe not write a book that weighs a million pounds (KIDDING). Also, Franzen’s least favorite things (via The Millions). Franzen is angry in a placid, intellectual way.

At N Plus One, Molly Fischer discusses lady blogs. And then there’s this wonderful response.  I enjoy some lady blogs and especially The Hairpin but appreciated both perspectives.

Is anyone reading Caitlin Flanagan’s Girl Land? Fascinating, yes?

Barnes & Noble is taking a stand against Amazon’s encroachment on the publishing industry.

Speaking of people making Amazon-related decisions, Goodreads is transitioning to new data sources.

Also, Amazon’s earnings fell. Rough week for them, but like Drago in Rocky 4, they’ll muscle through until a Rocky rises out of the Siberian chill to put up a good fight.

At Largehearted Boy (celebrating its tenth anniversary), Hanne Blank shares her book notes from her recently released Straight: The Surprisingly Short History of Heterosexuality, which got a great review in The New York Times. There’s also an interesting interview with Blank at Salon.

John Scalzi is contributing the proceeds of his e-book sales from his titles at Subterranean Press to Planned Parenthood for the next week.

Here’s an interesting piece on how records are made, literally.

Erica Dreifus offers a list of places where you can submit your flash nonfiction.

Colossal, an art and design blog, always has really unique art to look at.

Hey, it’s February.


  1. postitbreakup

      I read Freedom on my Kindle/Kindle apps, too. It’s very difficult for me to read stuff non-electronically anymore now that I can take a whole library with me on my phone, look up words instantly, and highlight passages without guilt. Seems completely ridiculous of me for authors to be against ebooks since I like anything that means people are reading.

      That Straight history book looks amazing, definitely going to download it.

  2. deadgod

      Franzen’s anti-e-book/anti-electronic-gadgetry/really-it’s-anti-distraction kick is misguided and, ultimately, silly.  He’s saying that convenience and ‘flashing lights’ make people lazy, and I think he’s confusing effect with cause, product with raw material.  (I feel him–I don’t like, eh, backward baseball caps–but complaining about a new kind of book??)

      I’ve rescued two birds from my hunter-cat, and failed to rescue three–I wish I could get her – without de-catting her – to quit ‘playing’ with other animals.  There’re birds that are killing machines – one could, some day, kill and eat my kitty – , and you know those cans and bags of food Franzen would feed indoor cats?  –there’re killing-machine factories behind those products.  Cats and dogs all-in, are there more carnivores, and more diversity of carnivore, in the US today than there were 200 years ago? land, air, and seas all-in, in the world?  If one doesn’t like wanton killing machines, there’s really only one species to complain about.

      I like the comment in the dailybeast thread that suggested that Franzen–an excellent writer–is trying to take over for Andy Rooney.

      Jonathon Froonzey.

  3. Anonymous


  4. postitbreakup

      Have you read Freedom, because a major rant of the Franzen stand-in of that novel is pro-bird/anti-cat, so that paragraph of yours was pretty funny to me

  5. William VanDenBerg

      Yeah, can’t help but synthesize Franzen’s opinions into this:

  6. deadgod

       Not yet.  The Corrections was smooth and smart – superb writing, of a sort – , so I expect to enjoy it.  Agreeing with a character, or even a writer, is almost never a criterion of artistic quality, eh?

      The cartoon William links to below–that’s me from, oh, teenager to 90s.  But you’d think someone as into his own head as Froonzey would be alert to the fact that, as a celeb in the writing world, his franticisms are going to go small-way viral.

      I guess it’s cool that some semi big shots don’t filter all their silly shit through pr sanitizers.

  7. Ben Roylance

      right now i’m reading Ayiti

  8. Autumn @ The Beheld

      WOW JONATHAN FRANZEN SURE IS SAYING ORIGINAL STUFF about things that have never, ever worked in his favor. 

      Thanks for the shout-out, Roxane! I’m glad you liked the piece. Like I wrote in my response, I’m glad to see the n+1 piece but just wish it hadn’t seemed so dismissive.