• Tom Hodgkinson, proponent of idleness, argues in his new book and in an interview at the Independent that idling is healthy. He also says Jean Rhys “became a writer because she was totally incapable of holding down a regular job.” Evidently she did not have student loans to pay off, unlike those of us here at, who are burning the midnight oil at the day job this week.
  • Frank Conroy is stepping down from his post as head of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. School policies prevent him from playing any part in the selection of his replacement.
  • Robert Birnbaum interviews Hendrik Hertzberg. Among other things, The New York Times Book Review, and several bloggersreactions to the now-infamous Checkpoint review published there, are discussed.
  • A house built by e.e. cummings has remained in the possession of his cousin for years, but now she has sold it. (Via Moorish Girl.)
  • The likely contents of Choire Sicha’s bookshelves: revealed.
  • U.K. students spend £ 330 million on books and course materials, £ 950 million on alcohol, £ 480 million on cigarettes. U.S. students don’t bother with the pesky books at all. They just buy their term papers. You know, that way they have more time and money to spend drinking, smoking, and trying to get laid. (First link via The Literary Saloon.)
  • Because it’s always heartening to read about someone else‘s crazy mother, especially someone else’s crazy mother in Gainesville, Florida, I have a new favorite personal weblog. If the crazy mother doesn’t do it for you, scroll down to the masturbation post. Read, then bookmark.
  • For the record, despite Stephany’s sensible response to Wired‘s new rule, I will stubbornly persist in capitalizing “Internet.” I’ll be shaking my cane at all y’all over it when I’m 80 years old.

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