Critical Linking: The Most Read Stories: March 18 – 23, 2013

Here are the most read stories from the last week in Critical Linking…


The story began with what appeared to be just another young woman’s crush on Eddie Waittkus, the Chicago Cubs’ handsome first baseman. So complete was this crush that the teenager set a place for Waitkus, whom she’d never met, at the family dinner table. She turned her bedroom into a shrine to him, and put his photo under her pillow.

The woman who inspired Bernard Malamud’s The Natural died last week. She was….unusual.


Ideally a bookshop needs a certain tattiness, a lived-in, homely quality, with nooks and crannies to get lost in. Great bookshops are like a wardrobe to Narnia, making browsers lose their bearings, as in Charlie Byrne’s, in Galway, or Strand Bookstore, in Manhattan, with its almost 30km of new, used and rare books.

I used to agree with this, but as I have less time these days to get lost in a bookstore, I want something well-curated and well-organized (preferably serving coffee and a place to sit).


As recently as 2007, before Kindle, there were no ebook sales and upwards of 85% of print was sold in stores.

Man, it’s hard to believe it’s only been about six years that ebooks have been a thing. This year, they will probably be more than 50% of all book purchases.


At first glance
As a society (or, “as a nation”)
TK is not alone
Pundits say (or “Critics say”)
The American people (unless in a quote)
The narrative (unless referring to a style of writing)
Probe (as substitute for “investigation”)
A rare window (unless we’re talking about a real window that is in fact rare)
Begs the question (unless used properly – and so rarely used properly that not worth it)
Be that as it may

Words and phrases that are forbidden in The Washington Post.


But readers, I long for readers, the same kind that Mr. Yu accepts with a humility and a generosity that I find admirable. In the West we could learn from his lesson: More than money, a writer should hope for readers.

Amazing perspective.


“In the end, I began to understand there is such a thing as absolute power over narrative. Those who secure this privilege for themselves can arrange stories about others pretty much where, and as, they like.”

Wise words from Chinua Achebe. He will be missed.

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