Books born today, January 19, 2016:
The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth McKenzie: NPR sums it up best here: “Elizabeth McKenzie’s clever, romantic comedy broadcasts quirkiness right on its cover, with its potentially off-putting title and its illustration of a squirrel instead of the interlocked wedding rings you might expect…The Portable Veblenis a smart charmer about a brainy off-center couple who face up to their differences — and their difficult, eccentric families — only after they become engaged. Although plenty whimsical — the squirrel has opinions! — this is ultimately a morality tale about the values by which we choose to live.”
The Man Without a Shadow by Joyce Carol Oates: A new novel about neuroscience and short-term memory loss. Read her interview in The Daily Beast: How the Science of Memory Seduced Joyce Carol Oates.
The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain by Bill Bryson: “I’ve always argued that the British are very good at laughing at themselves,” Bryson told the Seattle Times, “It’s one of their cardinal virtues. … You can tease them remorselessly as long as they know it’s done with a certain amount of affection and understanding.”
Also, happy birthday, Edgar Allan Poe.