Eliza Doolittle Day

1910 Serialization of Colette’s The Vagabond begins.

birthday boy • 1688Alexander Pope, English poet (d. 1744) Our proper bliss depends on what we blame.

worth reading • WBUR’s Op-ED pages, Bill Marx gives us Blueprint for the Holocaust. As the 100th anniversary of the death of playwright Henrik Ibsen nears, Steven F. Sage’s new book Ibsen and Hitler argues that the dramatist unwittingly inspired the script for Hilter’s Final Solution.

peekaboo • the WSJ’s Startup Journal’s columnist Mark Henricks gives the rest of the world a glimpse of the new online booksellers with “How Some Bookworms Turn Pages Into Profits.”

event • WA April 10th – June 30th – In honor of L. Frank Baum’s 150th birthday this month, the Foley Center Library at Gonzaga University in Spokane Washington has opened an exhibit called “Oz and Beyond: Highlights From the L. Frank Baum Collection of Currie Corbin.”

one book to rule them all . . . .

worth reading • the New York Times Book Review editor polled a couple of hundred prominent writers, critics, editors and other literary sages for their opinion of “the single best work of American fiction published in the last 25 years.” These sages came up with Toni Morrison’s Beloved. The NYT’s writer A.O. Scott gives us a long lovely essay parsing the question and the answers to that question – which I have reprinted here so you don’t have to login. Granted Beloved is a hell of a book, but is it our ‘BEST’? I fear that if they had opened the voting up to the general populace we would end up with completely different answers, and if they has asked US, even still other results.

The ‘New York Times’ List

Winner • Beloved by Toni Morrison

Runners-Up:
Underworld by Don DeLillo
Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
Rabbit Angstrom: The Four Novels by John Updike
American Pastoral by Philip Roth

Also Rans:
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin
White Noise by Don DeLillo
The Counterlife by Philip Roth
Libra by Don DeLillo
Where I’m Calling From by Raymond Carver
The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
Mating by Norman Rush
Jesus’ Son by Denis Johnson
Operation Shylock by Philip Roth
Independence Day by Richard Ford
Sabbath’s Theater by Philip Roth
Border Trilogy by Cormac McCarthy
The Human Stain by Philip Roth
The Known World by Edward P. Jones
The Plot Against America by Philip Roth

poll • Beth Quittman of the Book of the Day blog is taking the same poll to find still more results.

audio • and still more . . . . Times Book Review editor Sam Tanenhaus discusses the list and the process with NPR’s Debbie Elliott.

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