paper trail

Michiko Kakutani on the pleasures of reading; New hires at "Wired"

Michiko Kakutani

Michiko Kakutani returns to the New York Times books section, this time as an interviewee. Kakutani tells the “By the Book” column that leaving her job as a book reviewer has given her more time to binge read. “Not reviewing all the time has also meant that I can at least sometimes turn off the analytic part of my brain — which makes mental notes about things like narrative structure, language and tone — and recover the innocence of reading for the sheer pleasure of it.”

At the Los Angeles Review of Books Blog, Nathan Kalman-Lamb looks at the problems of modern fandom and its entanglement with capitalism.

Twitter will start removing all blocked or suspicious accounts today, the New York Times reports. The deleted accounts will lower the number of followers by six percent.

At the New York Times, Margaret Renkl examines what exactly makes a Southern writer. “What if being a Southern writer has nothing to do with rural tropes or lyrical prose or a lush landscape or humid heat so thick it’s hard to breathe?” she asks. “What if being a Southern writer is foremost a matter of growing up in a deeply troubled place and yet finding it somehow impossible to leave?”

At Hazlitt, Sarah Hagi reflects on getting—and losing—her dream job at an online media company and the struggle of making a career out of writing. After years freelancing, Hagi finally landed a permanent position as a staff writer. “Before my job, when people would ask me what I did and I’d tell them I was a writer, I felt like a fraud,” she writes. “The ebb and flow of the job left me too scared to even call myself a writer out loud to other people. Yes, I had been published—but that didn’t mean I would continue being published or that the people who’d publish me would even have jobs in a month.”

Wired has hired several new editors and writers.’s Anthony Lydgate and Vice’s Caitlin Kelly have joined the magazine as editors, while former Wired editor Emily Dreyfuss returns as a senior writer after a year as a Nieman Foundation fellow.

Columbia Journalism Review’s Mathew Ingram explains how Elon Musk became “the poster child for bad billionaires” and Twitter’s favorite target for criticism. “When he was still a plucky, little-known entrepreneur, Musk’s try-anything attitude and somewhat wacky and combative Twitter persona seemed endearing,” he writes. “But now that he is running several billion-dollar enterprises and dating a celebrity . . . the way he shoots from the lip on almost any topic makes his Twitter account a target-rich environment for anyone wanting to cut him down to size.”