Critical Linking: June 17th, 2013


The Johnson family has been collecting and accumulating books since the late 19th century.  In 1899 the first family library was built by Thomas Moore Johnson (1851-1919) to house his 8,000 books. It is little wonder that with a library of that size he was known as the “sage of the Osage” (the house and library were built on the Osage River).

Now there are two family libraries and 35,000 books.

Ok, new life goal: pass down an enormous family library over three generations.


Declining humanities majors worry the Harvard faculty. In 1954, 36 percent of undergraduates at Harvard and Radcliffe College majored in the humanities. By 2012, that figure had fallen to 20 percent. Yet Harvard does fairly well when compared to national figures, which show a decline from 14 percent humanities B.A.’s awarded in 1966 to a mere 7 percent in 2010.

Damn those computers.


But could the different frequencies of “she” and “you” and “the” really be called “style”? On this, we disagreed. Some of us claimed that, though all styles do indeed entail linguistic choices, not all linguistic choices are however enough to speak of a style; others countered this argument by stating that, once an author or a genre opts for a certain linguistic choice, this is really all we need for our analysis, as a style follows necessarily from this fundamental level.

Boy is this ever riveting stuff. Sure glad the quants are getting in on literary studies.


There may still be gender imbalances in the world of books, but very strong numbers of women are writing, editing, publishing and reviewing novels.

Nice of Jonathan Franzen to step in and calm us all down about this.


Sign up for our newsletter to have the best of Book Riot delivered straight to your inbox every two weeks. No spam. We promise.

To keep up with Book Riot on a daily basis, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, , and subscribe to the Book Riot podcast in iTunes or via RSS. So much bookish goodness–all day, every day.

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
In a book lover’s life, there’s nothing as magical as a perfect, surprising recommendation from someone who just gets you. But finding those people can be tough! That’s where TBR comes in. Go here to find out more, or just click the image below: