The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

September 21, 2013
by Dan
4 Comments

Jonathan Franzen Says No

So good, Tom… So, so good.

March 28, 2012
by Dan
0 comments

Midweek Miscellany

“Everybody Thinks Their an Auteur” — Film director and critic Peter Bogdanovich at New York Daily News book blog Page Views: Auteurism today? Well, everybody thinks they’re an auteur. But nobody seems to understand what the whole auteur thing was. … Continue reading

May 18, 2011
by Dan
0 comments

Midweek Miscellany

Juggling — The multi-tasking Charlotte Strick,  art editor of The Paris Review, art director at Faber & Faber and Farrar, Straus & Giroux, and book designer,  interviewed at From The Desk Of… Genre — China Miéville, on his new book … Continue reading

March 17, 2011
by Dan
0 comments

Grossman on Franzen Redux

Literary editor Lev Grossman (author of The Magicians) discusses why Time put Jonathan Franzen on the front cover the magazine of with Ramona Koval on ABC Radio National’s The Book Show: ABC RADIO NATIONAL THE BOOK SHOW: LEV GROSSMAN

December 23, 2010
by Dan
2 Comments

A Year in Reading 2010

2010 was a year of losing battles and one of the first casualties was time for personal reading. The moments I did have were snatched on the subway and, if I could keep my eyes open, last thing at night. … Continue reading

December 9, 2010
by Dan
0 comments

Something for the Weekend

Past and Present — An excerpt from Born Modern: The Life and Design of Alvin Lustig by Steve Heller and Elaine Lustig Cohen at Design Observer*: Lustig’s designs fluidly shift from past to present. For his early “experimental” work he … Continue reading

November 30, 2010
by Dan
0 comments

Jonathan Franzen, Writers & Co.

The J-Franz, author of Freedom, talks to Eleanor Wachtel for CBC Radio’s Writers & Company: Writers & Co Jonathan Franzen Mp3

September 8, 2010
by Dan
3 Comments

Midweek Miscellany

Killing Her Softly — Joseph O’Neil reviews Martin Stannard’s biography of Muriel Spark for The Atlantic (thx Ben): In one of her memoirs, [Doris] Lessing suggests: “Writers, and particularly female writers, have to fight for the conditions they need to … Continue reading

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