Critical Linking: March 16, 2013

Translators are often the ones who call our attention to books that should be given a broader audience — it’s not just the bestseller lists in foreign countries that do this.

Not that bestseller lists are any way to gauge which books are really worth reading.


“The biggest problem with authors today is that they overestimate their writing and editing skills,” he said, adding that, without editing, “It would have been ‘The Meh Gatsby.’” 

I’m probably alone in thinking that would have been a more accurate title anyway, right?


In a memorable moment in Armstrong’s interview with Winfrey, he said he had looked up the word “cheat” in the dictionary. Well, I have looked up the word “fiction,” and here is what the dictionary says: “Prose literature, especially short stories and novels, about imaginary events and people.” Creating works of this nature is noble, I have always believed. I still believe it at some level. Yet when delving into many of the novels I own — novels I bought with hard-earned money and sometimes even recommend to friends — I find they fly in the face of this definition.

Now this is a scandal. The Armstrong thing? Not so much.


Surely, a female editor would seek out new female voices to feature in the magazine?

Or, more likely, they feature the voices that will keep them in their positions.

Sign up to Today In Books to receive daily news and miscellany from the world of books.
By signing up you agree to our Terms of Service
Enter to win a $100 Amazon gift card when you sign up for our sci-fi/fantasy newsletter! Enter here: