links for 2009-01-20

  • "The book is still the best transportation device to take us through time, to new worlds and ideas. Once you've tasted it, it's hard to give it up." — Peter H. Reynolds
  • "The Lolita we see is so painfully mediated that we are asked to create her out of scraps of rumor and possibility; in the end we figure the difference between the pregnant 17-year-old at the book's end, whose simplicity is filtered through one incarnation of the monstrous Humbert, and the 12-year-old of its opening pages, who is filtered through another. And somehow, in spite of everything, she comes through as one of the great characters in American literature: a cipher, a negative space whom Nabokov has somehow managed to persuade us to create."

    Exactly so.

  • "The 2009 Tournament of Books Zombie Poll is now open, so please click here and vote for your favorite book. Please note that you can only vote once. Also, you don’t need to give us your email address or your name, though we do ask a couple of additional questions about TMN (they’re optional, but your responses always help us quite a bit)."

    Click over for more info — the results of the zombie poll can give your favorite a nudge.

  • 'A beginning writer sent me an email asking "What do you think about critique groups?" I've been asked the same question many times, and my answer is always the same: I think they're the kiss of death.'

    Read on to see what this writer does instead to prompt creativity.

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