paper trail

Wired magazine prefers Hillary; Goodreads or #emojireads?

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Wired has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president. “If it’s true, as the writer William Gibson once had it, that the future is already here, just unevenly distributed, then our task has been to locate the places where various futures break through to our present and identify which one we hope for,” writes editor Scott Dadich. “Trump’s campaign started out like something from The Onion. Now it has moved into George Orwell–as–interpreted–by–Paul Verhoeven territory.”

“She just seems to me really intelligent, thoughtful, reasonable,” Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie told HuffPo, of Ivanka Trump. “I just imagine that she doesn’t really believe her father is the right choice for the U.S. It’s entirely possible . . . to love a member of your family, completely, and feel loyal to them while at the same time recognizing that they’re not particularly good at something.”

Thomas Mann’s old house in Pacific Palisades is up for sale. In the New Yorker, Alex Ross describes a “tour of émigré haunts” that led him to visit 1550 San Remo Drive, where Mann wrote Doctor Faustus. “I like to imagine that, in some alternate universe, tour buses are trundling around Los Angeles, showing gawkers the homes of a different class of celebrity—not the stars of the silver screen but the stars of music, literature, and philosophy, members of that extraordinary constellation of European émigrés who took refuge in Southern California during the Nazi period.”

“You all are screwing up your amateur book reviews,” writes librarian Peter Derk. He assails the crowd-sourced star system used by sites like Amazon and Goodreads to rate books, complaining that, among other things, readers can’t be trusted not to judge a book by its cover. “I read a review of Anthony Doerr’s Memory Wall, a book which has fossils on the cover. The reviewer was mad because the book had nothing to do with fossils.” Guess what? “Catcher In The Rye is not about the science of rainbows. The Godfather is not a treatise in marionette operation. The Hunger Games is not a book about a golden bird that carries an arrow around.”

Emoji to the rescue? The Christian Science Monitorlikes the idea of #emojireads, a Twitter movement that would replace blurbs full of “cliched adjectives” with “adorable digital icons and images, to describe book titles, summaries, and even entire stories.” A frowny purple demon and a stiletto heel, for instance, denotes The Devil Wears Prada. “The beauty of literature as emoji is that it refreshes literature in a way that everyone can enjoy—a puzzle of sorts that can be applied to all genres, and that nearly anyone can create or decipher. Think of it as a literary game that you don't even need to have read the book to play.”

Since art books are apparently propping up the rest of the dying print industry, why not pay a visit to the David Zwirner pop-up book shop? You can find all kinds of coffee table tomes at 525 West 20th Street (through August 30).