Critical Linking for June 2nd, 2014


The BookBenches feature stories linked to London and are based on a range of books from treasured children’s stories such as The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Peter Pan to classic adult titles including 1984 and The Day of the Triffids. Well-loved literary heroes such as Sherlock Holmes, James Bond and Hercules Poirot also appear on benches which visitors can discover by following literary trails around London from 4 July until mid-September.

I now require a full photo gallery of all 50 of these book benches.


For those of us who consider Ulysses and Portnoy’s Complaint to be their own brand of self-help book, there’s a new program at the Center for Fiction—a nonprofit that holds readings and events, gives writers office space and promotes the general celebration of literature—called A Novel Approach, in which writers and editors involved with the center (“bibliotherapists”) will give you a 45-minute consultation dealing with the life crisis of your choice and prescribe a year’s worth of reading to help you get through it.

Fun idea for a blog post, sorta weird idea IRL.


But when she was 12, a bookmobile came to the fields where she and her family worked.

“So when I saw this big vehicle on the side of the road, and it was filled with books, I immediately stepped back,” she says. “Fortunately the staff member saw me, kind of waved me in, and said, ‘These are books, and you can take one home. You have to bring it back in two weeks, but you can take them home and read them.’ “

Man, if this story about a migrant farm worker getting turned on to books (and eventually becoming a librarian) because of a bookmobile doesn’t get you choked up, I don’t know what will.

Samantha Irby and Robin Sloan talk about their favorite books in our newest podcast, Recommended. Download it for free from Apple Podcasts or Google Play.