Private: Quick links

Publishing companies are going for size. (Thanks to Ed for the link.)

Chris Suellentrop, writing for Slate, dubs John Steinbeck’s East of Eden the quintessential Oprah book, and argues that this Oprah pick “is likely to confirm the suspicions of those critics who look down their noses at [Steinbeck] as a simplistic writer not worthy of inclusion in the American pantheon.” (Via Bookslut.)

That Rabbit Girl happened upon a list of travel titles to be released later this year:

As I was browsing the list, one title in particular caught my eye: Meat Me in Manhattan: A Carnivore’s Guide to New York, written by “Mr. Cutlet, who discloses where to buy meat in the city, which are the best steakhouses and more.” As Dave Barry would say, I swear I’m not making this up.

The Burned Children of America, a new collection of short fiction from the U.S., features an introduction by Zadie Smith and provides, according to the Daily Telegraph, “a fascinating picture of the contemporary American short story:”

If we take the work here as representative, there seem to be three distinct styles available: parody, whimsy and, by far the most commonly used, what could be called the Extreme Close-Up.