>You have to love someone who could call her own granddaughter a psychopath

>Rocco has a great interview over at SLJ with Paula Fox, who wrote one of the greatest novels I have ever read (One-Eyed Cat) and who is at the heart of the oddest piece of children’s book gossip I have ever heard.

>Take it from the old stage manager

> who’s seen ‘em come and go . . . . When I heard about the new edition of Huck Finn that cleans up Mark Twain’s pesky use of the word nigger, deja vu of a very real sort came over me. A similar bowdlerization happened at least once before, more than 25 years ago, […]

>Happy birthday,

>Harper Lee! Listen to a mockingbird in her honor.

Lurve is in the air

and Claire has been busily sighing and swooning on your behalf. See her latest booklist of love stories. Speaking of Claire, she’s been pushing me for years to read Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, which I’m finally doing. And loving, not least for the following exchange, among the most indelible in American literature: The bird turned, […]

>Yes, boys, but when no one is looking?

>Katie Couric apparently asked McCain and Obama about their favorite books and got pretty convincing answers: McCain chose For Whom the Bell Tolls and Obama Song of Solomon. As I said in the comments on yesterday’s post re Palin’s reading choices, “What are you reading?” and “What is your favorite book?” aren’t as easy to […]

>Well, it’s not like there’s an election or financial crisis or anything.

>So I’m glad our hardworking Massachusetts legislators are doing their bit to declare Moby-Dick the “state epic novel.” How many of them do you think have read it? (I haven’t.)

>Well, that’s one way around it.

>Jezebel has a post up about the recent challenge to Of Mice and Men at a Kansas City high school for use of the word nigger. I liked this comment from “Miss Scarlet in the hall with a . . .”:In middle school I knew a girl who “objected” to Huckleberry Finn because of the […]

>This made me go all teary

>Watch the clip.

>Magnum Opera

>When Renee Fleming announced that upon consideration she would not, in fact, be singing Norma at the Met (or anyplace else), my first thought was, good call, Renee, but my second was to wonder if writers have any equivalent kind of challenge. Bellini’s Norma is something of a Mount Everest for sopranos. She’s an allegedly […]

>Meg Cabot as Alistair Cooke

>Meg Cabot brings an American classic to life.