The New York Public Library's Bryant Park Reading Room.
The New York Public Library's Cullman Center has announced the writers, novelists and historians who will be in residence as fellows for 2013-2014. Congrats to novelists Tea Obreht, Rajesh Parameswaran, Paul La Farge, and Damion Searls, and to journalists Arthur Lubow, Elizabeth Rubin, Elif Batuman and David Grann, among others.
Former New Republic senior editor Tim Noah speaks out about his recent firing and his former boss, TNR publisher and Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, who he suspects might be a “young man with more money than sense.”
Over 100,000 Britons have signed a petition urging Amazon to “pay their fair share of tax in the UK.” The petition was started last fall by two independent booksellers who caught wind of Amazon’s habit of diverting profits to tax havens.
The annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books has a good-looking lineup this year, with Margaret Atwood, Demetri Martin, Jonathan Lethem, Molly Ringwald, Pico Iyer and Jamaica Kincaid showing up to talk books. A full schedule is available here.
In 1995, a groundbreaking study revealed that a child’s linguistic development is directly related to the variety of words they hear in their household, and that children in lower-income homes tend to hear fewer words than more affluent ones, which put them at a disadvantage when they start school. Now, thanks to a $5 million grant, a new Rhode Island initiative is preparing to outfit small children with voice recorders in the hopes of eliminating linguistic gaps before they become a permanent disadvantage. In what Ben Zimmer calls a “project of unprecedented scope and audacity,” parents who are identified as not teaching their kids enough words will be offered classes on “how to boost their children’s language exposure.”
From the new, animal-themed issue of Lapham’s Quarterly: Ryszard Kapuściński on killing a cobra with his bare hands.