Critical Linking: The Most Read Stories, May 13-19, 2012

The most read stories from the last week in Critical Linking…

The immediate question is whether Sedaris’s stories are, strictly speaking, true — an important consideration for journalistic organizations such as NPR and programs such as “This American Life.” A secondary consideration is what, if any, kind of disclosure such programs owe their listeners when broadcasting Sedaris’s brand of humor.

Not at all surprised by this. I think if NPR took a hard look at its more essayistic contributors, they would find this is the rule rather than the exception. Probably true from some other well-known essayists as well. Nothing new of course, just unconsidered recently.


Great art, or, let’s just say, more modestly, original art is never created in the safe middle ground, but always at the edge. Originality is dangerous. It challenges, questions, overturns assumptions, unsettles moral codes, disrespects sacred cows or other such entities.

Those things you read that bother you are more likely to be important than those things you love.


The publisher contracts with Apple were virtually identical, particularly as it relates to the maximum price floor, definitions for bestselling titles, commission rate, and the most favored nations clause.

I don’t know much about the law, collusion, or anti-trust regulations, but boy, it sure seems hard to believe that this was just a coincidence.

To build the library, Leight began collecting donated new and used books from friends, schools, community organizations, and local bookstores. The effort was so successful that the shelter’s library now has multiple books for every child. And when families are back on their feet and able to leave the shelter, they’re invited take as many books with them as they want.

This kid absolutely and totally rules.


You have no idea who they are or that they exist at all. Nevertheless, as you read, your fellow adventurers are out there waiting to meet you, biding their time behind a chance encounter, a well-fated introduction, a tweet, or a blog post, or an otherwise interesting article of prose. You didn’t realize it, but so much mystery, so much anticipation has amassed behind your new friendship, a cosmos-load of potential energy. You didn’t know it — you were too engaged with the mind behind the words — but through all the sentences, the pages, the lovely, lonely hours past, a part of you secretly longed for a flesh-and-blood friend with whom you could share your experience.

The bond formed over a shared love of books is all the stronger for its elusiveness.

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